For me, one of the (frankly…MANY) good things to come out of COVID was getting to meet some new JC gal pals via Jersey City Women’s Collaborative…via Zoom. It’s an awesome group of women and a perfect way to connect with other like-minded gals about the town. Everyone has some kind of cool business or expertise or talent or art or cause and some people have ALL OF THOSE THINGS BECAUSE THEY ARE SUPER HUMAN AND I SALUTE THEM. And this past weekend, it was time to actually meet some of them in person at a meditation in Lincoln Park!
But also a little nervous! In-person event etiquette is rusty for all and I didn’t realize COVID’s impact on my social skills at first but I do think that they have definitely suffered. I’m an extrovert in the sense that I’m loud and I’m out there and I need to suck the collective energy from other humans around me to survive, but I also kind of really don’t like people overall and I especially dislike strangers. I don’t love to make small talk. I also have a lot of difficulty hearing…LIKE A LOT…so I usually prefer the written word for interactions. Like if I message with you all the time on Instagram and then don’t really talk to you when I see you at a loud-ass bar or concert or workout class…that’s why. Like I literally CANNOT HEAR YOU and it is MENTALLY EXHAUSTING to try.
Sadly there is another element to my nervousness and it involves caring what other people think. I know…ew. So gross. And I don’t usually care what people think, I really do not. But in a situation where the whole GOAL is to try to make new friends/acquaintances and possibly locate the social jackpot that is a kindred-spirit, a small amount of care must go into considering the thoughts of others. Like really just a “read the room” approach is acceptable here but even that makes me nervous that I’ll do it wrong. Whew. Human-ing is just too much.
Enough about me because I want to tell you about this meditation in Lincoln Park! It was led by Jennifer Wai, Intuitive Consultant. She has an incredibly calming and thoughtful vibe and also has THE BEST HAIR. Not to take it THERE and make it about PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES, but…love her hair. When I arrived I looked across the park with her awesome hair in mind and when I spotted it I knew which group I should head toward!
Okay but BEYOND THE HAIR she expertly led us through a really calming and relaxing meditation under a tree in Lincoln Park. We were invited to sit down or lay down and it was Sunday and I had my blanket and I was also very tired so I laid down on my back and looked up at the beautiful tree before closing my eyes.
IT FELT SO NICE.
She talked to us about using nature as a grounding force and how connecting with something alive can help us meditate. LOVE THAT. I personally avoided meditating for many years because I 1 – thought it was silly and 2 – thought I would suck at it. In the past few years I’ve been more open to it and have definitely seen real and valuable benefits, but the suggestion of using something alive/in nature to help in your meditation like COMPLETELY BLEW MY MIND. Which is what is ACTUALLY SILLY because I love nature and I’m always hanging out there anyway so I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.
Jennifer played some music and guided us through the meditation and I will say again that it just felt so relaxing and nice. The park is beautiful right now, and the weather wasn’t perfect but it was good enough. It was SATISFACTORY. We all just relaxed and listened to her voice and connected with nature and when she told us it was done and to open our eyes I felt very warm and fuzzy and float-y.
I SHOULD DO IT EVERY SUNDAY.
But the fun wasn’t over because we got up and headed across the park to do another exercise! I couldn’t wait to see what it was and we found out soon enough when we gathered in a circle in a grove of big ass trees.
We partnered up, and usually partner things make me feel weird. Like in dance classes if there is partner work I will go hide in the bathroom until the class is done learning that part because I don’t want to do it. But for this exercise I was able to partner with a gal I have met via Instagram and I felt like I already knew her and she wasn’t a scary stranger and that was great!
It’s worth pointing out that no one there was actually a scary stranger and I’m just a weirdo. This one’s on me.
After we found our partner, Jennifer passed out some neat little blindfolds and told us that we would be taking turns being blindfolded and led around by our partner to a particular tree. Our partner would also try to disorient us by spinning us around. We would then be expected to touch, smell, hear, etc the tree. Also, and this is my favorite part, we were instructed to “Ask the tree for information.” AND I FELT LIKE I HAD BEEN WAITING MY WHOLE LIFE TO BE GIVEN PERMISSION TO ASK A TREE FOR INFORMATION AND I COULD NOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT. After getting to know the tree we would be led back to our starting spot, take off the blindfold, and try to ID which tree around us we had just had a moment with.
I didn’t think we’d be able to do it! I went first as the Blindfolded, and my new pal guided me around. It was super weird to not be able to see and totally freaked me out…so that was tough. But I met my tree soon enough and I hugged it and explored its surface with my hands and smelled it and spoke to it and ASKED IT FOR INFORMATION. Then we did the whole thing again with my partner blindfolded and me guiding her.
And guess what? WE ALL FOUND OUR TREES. IT WAS NUTS. MY MIND WAS BLOWN.
What a cool exercise! I kind of want to go back and make my friends or my mom or my boyfriend do it with me. She DID let us keep the blindfolds…
It was an outstanding and memorable event and a perfect way to spend a Sunday, so thank you very much Jennifer Wai and Jersey City Women’s Collaborative. I’m looking forward to the next event, a summer clothing swap at Canco Park 6/12 at 1pm. Maybe I’ll see ya there!