I was a young girl when I first discovered the magic of sit spots.
When I was a young girl, my favorite place to go when I needed time alone to dream and think was a secluded area underneath the drooping branches of a giant hemlock in the forest behind our home. There was something about the way the light filtered through the drooped branches overhead that made me feel at home there, like it was a secret room just for me and no one else.
It was here that I became familiar with the flora and fauna of that special place, and with the changes that came with each passing season. And even though I didn’t realize it at the time, this was where I began to develop my love of nature observation, and where I developed my first sit spot.
What is a sit spot?
A sit spot is a place where you regularly go to increase your awareness of nature, expand your sensory awareness and study patterns in local plants, birds, trees and animals. The practice supports mindfulness and builds routine.
A Sit Spot is a place designed to help you deepen your understanding of yourself, the natural world and the universe. By choosing a sacred place in the natural world that you can visit again and again, you can strengthen the most ancient parts of your human awareness and tune deeply into the rhythms of nature.
Choosing a sit spot
The first step in selecting a sit spot is to feel safe there. The second step is to make sure that at least some components of nature are present. Some good examples include trees, grass, or flowers. The final step is to make sure it’s convenient and close to your home so that you can visit it often. If you are having trouble picking a spot, don’t worry: You can always change it later. All that matters is that you go somewhere.
Look around you, and let yourself forget about everything else for just a few moments. Observe what you can see around you.
Take in the surrounding sounds—the wind rustling through the leaves, a cricket chirp in the grasses nearby, or birdsong from above.
Notice any smells present, such as pine resins or earthy scents; take time to breathe these in deeply and fully experience them.
Feel whether it is warm or cold beneath your palm on the ground, log, or rock beneath you; do this with all parts of your body and all of your senses.
Let yourself feel at ease with being there, simply observing and listening, noticing where you touch the Earth and letting this be enough for now. Simply be.
How often should i visit my sit spot?
Try making a habit of visiting your sit spot each week. When you return to the same place over and over, you will notice changes with each visit. These might be very small changes, especially if your visits are close together. You can spend ten minutes or even an hour watching and learning about the living things and non-living parts of the habitat. Bring your journal, writing tools, and anything else you’ll need so that you can record your observation time.
Other Sit spot Suggestions
- Your Sit Spot should be a place where you can connect with yourself and the natural world around you. If you have children, creating a separate space for all of you to experience can be wonderful! Just make sure you also have a sacred place to call your own.
- Turn off your phone and put away any other gadgets. The feeling of connectedness will increase as you focus on the surrounding landscape.
- Bring a chair or blanket, water, a thermos of tea, or other things that will help you settle into your Sit Spot session. Bring a journal and pen if desired.
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