Monthly Archives: October 2013

Wise Teachings from our Trees

Big Basin RedwoodsCome… Take a walk in the forest with me.  Imagine you are really there.  Smell the familiar smell of the Redwood forest.  Can you see the trees?  Look up, these trees reach hundreds of feet into the sky.  Aren’t they beautiful against the backdrop of the sky?  They actually have microclimates at different points on their trunks.  You can feel the lush ground softly crunching beneath your feet.  You can hear the birds calling.  There is a quiet feeling of safety and strength standing among the trees.

Whenever I need to feel grounded, I stand tall and imagine I am a Redwood tree.  My feet become firmly rooted in the ground.  I can feel deep into Mother Earth.  I feel strong, rooted to her core.

Whenever there is chaos, I imagine my tree.  I root to the the ground, I reach up my arms and they become branches, that can sway in the wind.  My body, the trunk, can sway, but I am firmly rooted.  I will not blow this way and that as drama tries to hook me.

My mouth will communicate words of wisdom for people in distress, just as a tree feeds all the critters that live in it’s branches.

Imagining I am a tree, immediately acts to correct my posture.  I feel my spine lengthen and grow, lifting up and out of my hip joints, instead of “sitting” in them.  My mood elevates quickly and I feel alive.

A Shaman’s journey typically uses a tree as a starting point for their ritual.  They visualize themselves going down the roots to the underworld to meet their power animal or go up the trunk to the top and take off on wings of a crow to the heavens and the upper world.  The trunk serves as middle world, our “reality”.

Trees breathe in our carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen for us.  What type of tree calls to you?  What wisdom does it impart?

“Nature is the wisest, the only infallible teacher, and her lore is inexhaustible.  Books are but her interpreters, and, though valuable aids when she is silent, are never to be preferred to her lessons of wisdom.” ~ Harriet Martineau

“Spend one hour in nature or out-of-doors every day for maintenance  of health and well-being.” ~ Angeles Arrien

Photo06251738_1    Photo06251738

I Want A Life With Depth

Book with butterflies coming out

Thanks Earth School Harmony for this picture!

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it.  I want to have lived the width of it as well.” ~ Diane Ackerman

“Width adds a dimension to length.  Depth adds a dimension to length and width.  The world is at least 3 dimensional.” ~ Anne Wilson Schaef

I have always believed that we should grow a little each day.  (In our brains and our souls, not necessarily in our pants size!)  One of my bucket list goals is to “Read 1000 books and then read 1000 more.”  I am always reading 1-4 books at a time.  Some of the learning ones are slow and methodical, so I have to keep switching books until one day, I have finally finished with one or the other.  Sometimes, I reward myself with a Stephen King book to really get engrossed in a good story.

Every day I think about my body, mind, heart and soul.  I try to feed each one daily.  Exercise, good, organic food and daily walks focus on my body.  Listening to what my brain is saying and how I talk to myself and others, I continue to encourage unconditional love for myself and others.  I think, “Was that the most empowering thought I can say to myself?”.    I use the teaching of the Magician in the Tarot deck to teach me the right words, right time and place to say something… or not.  This and the walking helps to melt the stressful mind and open up my heart and soul.

Paying attention to what has heart and meaning, I feed my heart and soul  by noticing all the positive in my life, instead of focusing on the negative.  We always have both and we always have a choice of which we wish to focus on.  I notice all the beauty in nature and all the wonderful creatures on this planet of ours.  I notice beautiful smiles and happy people.  I appreciate the people in my life and the expansive love that is all around me.  My heart is full.

Then my soul can soar.  I know why my soul came here.  I came here to heal myself so I can heal others.   I came hear to teach others how to heal themselves.  I came here to help others have a soul filled life.

Here’s a mind teaser:  Why do we get Wisdom teeth when we are young?   We usually aren’t ready for them, so they get removed.  I think we should get our Wisdom teeth when we are in our 50’s when we are becoming wise sages.

“Are you expanding your comfort zone or growing??  Take that first fierce step into the unknown without any thought of return.  That is transition.” ~ Angeles Arrien

Nature's Music

Thanks Saphire Moonbeams for this picture!

Change… 10% at a time.

bowl of ice cream

Have you ever wondered where emotional eating comes from?  I did. I know exactly where mine came from.  I was a teenager and my Dad was in charge.  My Mom was on religious holiday.  I had a date and I had been stood up.   Being the drama queen that I was, I cried for hours.

This was my Mom’s department to handle, not my Dad’s.  He was beside himself, not knowing what to do.  Every half hour or so, he would pop his head in and ask if I wanted ice cream.  “NO!  I’d rather die!” I would cry out.

“Come on, let’s go get some ice cream.  It’ll make you feel better.” he would plead.

This went on all afternoon.  Finally, I saw that I needed to help him feel better, so we went for ice cream.  Voila!  I’ve been emotionally eating ever since.  Mad, glad, happy, sad.  Any emotion is a good emotion to eat!

Enter my brother the personal trainer.  A couple of years ago, he said 80% of the time, he eats well and takes care of himself and the other 20%, he has “No worries”.   I love this brilliant line of thinking.  It’s not complicated, not a bunch of calorie or point counting.  Just focus on taking care of yourself most of the time and not giving yourself a hard time when you indulge.

If I take this further, this kind of thinking can be applied to any habit we want to change or new habit we want to create.   If we focus on changing 10% at a time, we can ease into any new way of being.  You can change your posture, the way you talk to yourself, how much more to exercise or what you eat 10% at a time.

When people say, “I’m not eating sugar anymore.”  I know that is a new way of life that probably won’t last.  I think saying, “I’m taking a break from sugar.”  or “I am cutting back on sugar.” is more realistic.  I think when we give ourselves too demanding limits, it is a recipe for failure.  Maybe it’s just me, but if I say I am never eating something again, that’s all I think about and I feel like a victim.

If we have a big goal, it is helpful to add many smaller goals to accomplish on the way to the bigger goal.  For example, if someone wanted to loose 40 lbs.  They could reward themselves every 10lbs lost with a new top or pair of pants… Not this delicious molten lava cake below…

Chocolate Lava Cake