Mindfulness — First Stop:
The Tulip Poplar

By Allison From-Tapp, Psy.D., HSP

Every season can be a beautiful time for mindfulness with nature. Each unique human will find different types of joy in different seasons. There is something about the Fall colors, the leaves blowing in the wind, and that favorite cozy sweater that make it a perfect time for a mindful walk. Some days you will notice a crispness in the air as a chilly wind passes by. You may also notice it is getting darker earlier so you may have to take a stroll earlier in the day than usual. Throughout the next several months we will focus on a mindful tour of campus to start noticing our surroundings in a deeper, mindful way. We invite you to move through campus and take in all the beauty you can find and we will give you some guidance for that along the way.

And as we transition into Fall, check out this article on transitioning with a Mindful Mindset.

The first stop on our mindful tour is the grand Tulip poplar tree in the mansion courtyard. We invite you to take a few minutes whenever you can to visit this beautiful tree. The paragraph below gives you some ideas of things to ponder as you sit and notice the tree. See how many of your senses can notice the different things. While the tree is majestic and beautiful, it is not all about seeing it. You may notice the sound of the leaves falling and the squirrels running through the branches. You may smell the differences between the fresh leaves and those already on the ground. Play around with any of the senses you have in order to take in as much of the majesty as you can.

Tulip poplar in the mansion courtyard: This majestic tree has been here longer than anyone at this university has been alive. If you have a moment, step back and gaze at the beauty and majesty in front of you. Imagine all the things this tree has been through. Imagine the thousands of people who walked beneath these branches and enjoyed its shade. Imagine who may have planted the tree and give gratitude to their decision to give us a lifetime of beauty. Breathe and move about your day feeling a little more connected to the earth, the people who take care of it, and to the gratitude for the moments we have here.

Tulip poplar in Mansion courtyard at Spalding University during the autumn.