Recently my husband and I visited the Pacific Northwest–specifically Oregon–which is where I grew up. I love visiting that area of the country. I always associate it with beauty, wonder, and mystery.
One of my favorite things about the culture in Oregon is all the the Bigfoot lore and memorabilia one encounters while visiting there. It is not surprising that legends of Bigfoot are so prevalent in this part of the country.
The Pacific Northwest is home to the biggest and oldest forests in the world.
This is a forest on Chehalem Mountain, near where I used to live for a while.
Many of the trees in the Pacific Northwest forests began growing before the dawn of civilization. (You can read more about this here.) Trees like that, older than most everything, carry an aura of wisdom, alien beauty, and inscrutability. Whenever I walk in such forests, I feel like the trees are sentient and ready to impart their wisdom whenever we are ready to listen.
We could learn a lot from those trees.
This picture is from the Redwood Forest in Northern California. I love to go there as often as I can.
So it is no surprise to me that legends of Bigfoot, a mysterious and inscrutable creature, have always been associated with the forests of the Pacific Northwest. While some legends describe Bigfoot as violent and terrifying, more legends describe him as an elusive, enigmatic creature who prefers to hang out with the ancient trees, rather than modern civilization.
I think Bigfoot has probably gained a lot of wisdom from hanging out with those trees and is also ready to pass it on to us, whenever we are ready. (You can read more about this here.)
While we were on our trip this summer, one day I was taking some quiet time and reading over some affirmations, which are peaceful thoughts I meditate on to help me cultivate a more loving attitude towards myself and the world. (Here are some affirmations for people who don’t like affirmations and an explanation of why you might want to use affirmations.)
I had also been thinking about Bigfoot earlier in the day, and all of a sudden, the phrase Bigfoot Affirmations™ popped into my mind. At first it the thought was just comical to me, and then I began thinking about what these kind of affirmations would be like and the pictures that would go with them.
So without further ado, here are seven Bigfoot Affirmations™ for a groovy state of mind. After each affirmation, I have included a question and an activity in case you want to practice some of the ideas contained in the affirmations. They are certainly one-part silly, but they are also two-parts serious.
Activity: Make some time today to sit in silence for as long as you feel comfortable. Breathe slowly. You can close your eyes or leave them open and just look around. Try to let your mind settle and be peaceful, like you are walking through a forest. Don’t worry if you have a lot of thoughts during this process. That is normal. Just notice them and then let them go and return to the feeling of walking through a forest. (You can also go sit or walk near some trees to help you cultivate this state of mind more easily.)
Question: What feelings do you notice when you take time to be silent? What feels good about being silent? What is difficult? Both good and difficult feelings are welcome.
Activity: Go on a walk in a forest or a park with trees. Walk slowly and breathe deeply and take time to look around you and notice the scenery.
Question: What is something beautiful or odd you noticed on your walk?
Activity: Take a moment and think of something in nature or the environment that gives you joy. Express gratitude to Nature or the Divine or to the world in general for this gift.
Question: What is one thing you can do to show love to the Earth, our home, today? If you aren’t sure what to do, here are some ideas:
Pick up some litter outside and throw it away.
Figure out how to recycle in your state and start recycling paper or glass. (You research this by googling your state name and “recycling programs”.)
Donate to a local non-profit that works with urban gardening. If you don’t have a local non-profit that does this kind of work, please consider donating to Seedleaf, a non-profit in Lexington, KY where I live. Ryan, the director of Seedleaf, is a personal friend, and this organization does awesome urban gardening and environmental work. You can read about Seedleaf and donate here.
Watch Ken Burn’s documentary on our national parks and learn about one of our country’s most precious resources. You can buy the documentary here or watch it on Netflix.
Go for a walk in the forest or near trees and notice their beauty. The more people fall in love with the earth, the more we treat it as it deserves.
Plant a tree.
Have a plant in your house and spend time each day caring for and appreciating it.
Plant a garden next year, even if it is a very small one.
Activity: Take some time to imagine what your most loving life would look like. Your most loving life is the life in which you practice kindness, compassion, and respect to yourself, others, and the world. You are just as important as every one else, and you cannot give your gifts to the world if you are depleted and exhausted. So make sure you imagine a life in which you care for yourself as much as you care for others.
Questions: In your most loving life, how do you spend your day? What are some daily or monthly habits you have? What kinds of things bring you peace and joy and help you care for yourself more, as well as others? What is something you are doing now that you can say “no” to in order to move towards your most loving life?
Activity: Take one to ten minutes today to rest and be still.
Question: What is one way you could express or gain love, wisdom, or creativity today? It can be large or small.
Activity: Take one to ten minutes today to rest and be still and to take stock of your immediate surroundings and life. Notice something beautiful or good right now, no matter how small or large it is.
Question: What is something beautiful or good in your life right now?
Activity: Take some time today to think about your relationships and the people with whom you spend the most time with.
Question: Do the people with whom you spend the most time treat you with kindness, compassion, and respect? Do you treat them this way?(If you are not sure, this post might help you better know the answer to this question.)
Are there some relationships in which you need to create boundaries or from which you need to distance yourself? (You can read more about this here.) Are there some kind, compassionate, and respectful people in your life with whom you could build relationships?
Final Assignment (if you choose to accept it): Take some time this week or month to work through each of these activities and questions. As you do this, notice some of the things you learn along the way. I would love to hear about it below, if you care to share.
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