This past weekend, as I was busy staying indoors, I suddenly had the desire to be surrounded by plants. Not just any plants but the ones inside my house that I love, and with whom I have a standing long-term relationship.
I gathered them all together and created a plant sanctuary, a plant bath quiet space, placed my meditation cushion in the middle, added some essential oils, stones, crystals and minerals and a basket of relaxation books and craft materials.
Then, I plopped myself down in the middle of all those plants and sat still to just breathe. I took a plant bath! (Since forest bathing, or the Japanese art of Shinrin-Yoku, has become a favorite thing to re-connect with nature and experience inner peace, I decided to create my forest indoors out of my house plants instead). It was so calming and centering, I didn’t want to get up to make dinner! What’s more is that my family liked it so much that we have re-arranged the room to accommodate the new plant bathing space.
Plants are, by nature, great friends and teachers of relaxation. They are rooted, grounded in the earth and show us how to calmly be present where we are. They stand consistently focused and content where they are planted, demonstrating how to circulate energy from within and around ourselves in a steady, regulated way. They emit oxygen in the air, supporting our deep breaths and creating a healthy environment for us to live.
Today, I invite you and your child to make plant bath quiet space together! It doesn’t matter if you have one plant or 50, or even if you don’t have any indoor plants at all, you can use your imagination to create a space to relax surrounded by plants. For instance, you and your child could a draw a picture of your favorite plants to hang on the wall and then imagine resting there with the plants surrounding you.
First, gather whatever plants you have and arrange them in a quiet corner of a room in your house where you won’t be interrupted. I suggest a corner since it is easier to create a cave-like feeling of privacy and seclusion from the rest of the room. Decorate the area in calming ways–perhaps add some soft lighting or fairy lights for effect?
Next find some soft pillows to add to your plant area. Be generous with the pillow, you want your child to feel fully comfortable in that space so they can relax.
Gather some relaxation items to add to your space. Your child may want to blow bubbles, color pictures, read a book on relaxation, listen to quiet music, cuddle a stuffed animal, or hold a cool stone or crystal in your hand.
I included some essential oils in my plant bath space, so that I could inhale relaxing fragrances while I sat there. Please make sure that your child only uses the oils for smell. Add them to a cotton ball and monitor their use. Safe essential oils for kids include:
Finally, sit quietly and practice relaxing with your child in your plant bath quiet space. Breathe in and feel the healthy plant energy surrounding you, centering and grounding you. Breathe out and relax your body. Try sitting or lying down and notice the difference between the two. See if you can feel the plant energy all around you. Blow some bubbles with your child. Color a picture together. Inhale some relaxing essential oils. Most of all, build a relaxation relationship with the plants, allow them to show you how to just BE for a few moments each day.
Take a daily plant bath to relax!