Tabitha is one of our partners who is co-creating with Nature at unprecedented levels. Her journey since the Spring of 2014 illustrates when we bring out gifts forward, connect with the sisterhood, and serve Nature amazing things happen. This guest blog shares her autumn harvest of publishing a new book and highlights how you can download a free copy of ‘The Nature Process’ as well as how to sign up for her first U.S. retreat in November.
When nature challenged me to launch The Nature Process Online program and donate 100% of the proceeds to TreeSisters back in March this year I had no idea what to expect. I was blown away when 77 people from 12 countries signed up to take part raising nearly $9,900 for TreeSisters.
Inspired by the questions and feedback I received, I decided to write the book so that I could share this work with even more people. If I’m honest with you, the course was great but the book is even better. This is what TreeSisters had to say about the book:
“The Nature Process is a personal invitation from Gaia herself to support you at the deepest level possible in order to experience the maximum possible growth. It is an invitation to trust Life in ways you’ve never imagined. Rather than “anthropomorphizing Earth” Tabitha guides us through an important journey in how we can become more Earth-like. This distinction is critical if we are to fully reconnect, heal, and evolve as a species. The Nature Process is pure genius because it outlines a ‘natural process’ not dependent on our intellects, experts, or facilitators. Tabitha illuminates how we can all tap into Nature’s wisdom and follow where it leads. If you long to go beyond ecological theory and into loving partnership with Nature – as you transform your life – this is the field guide for you.”
I’m so excited to announce that The Nature Process: How to Easily and Effortlessly Step into Your Natural Power and be the Change You Want to Make in the World is ready to be shared with the world!
While the print copy is still being finalized you can get access to the e-book on Amazon. As a fellow treesister I’d like to offer you the opportunity to get a complimentary copy. From October 3rd to October 7th, 2014 you’ll be able to download a free e-copy on the links below:
Not only am I celebrating the launch of the book but I’m also celebrating the first ever weekend retreat where you can experience The Nature Process™ in person and the first person to be trained to facilitate The Nature Process™! Sami Aaron, a passionate environmentalist and fellow treesister approached me after the online program and asked to be trained to facilitate it because how powerful she’d found the process. Right now we’re working together to ensure that this happens in time for her retreat in the Flint Hills of Kansas, USA. Sami is also a Registered Yoga teacher who specializes in meditation, yoga breathing and yoga nidra (yoga sleep) so you’ll benefit not just from The Nature Process itself but also additional gentle yoga, meditation and breathing practices.
The retreat runs from 10:00 am Sat. Nov 1 – 3:00 pm Sun Nov 2, 2014 with a bonus session starting at 3:00pm Fri. Oct 31st for those who want to arrive a day early! What’s beautiful is that Sami is also donating a portion of the workshop fees directly to TreeSisters as she also believes the planet comes before profit. Click here for all the details. Registration deadline is Oct 24. Space is limited so make your reservation early.
Since partnering with TreeSisters in the Spring my deep desire to serve the earth is continuing to manifest in the most beautiful way and a lot quicker than I thought. The on-line program which raised almost $10,000 for TreeSisters is now a book about to be published and a retreat soon to be offered in the United States by another treesister. I believe this is what happens when you say yes to life and let nature be your guide and mentor.
Tabitha, author of The Nature Process
ALL GREAT QUESTS ARE GUIDED BY BURNING QUESTIONS
“In what ways can TreeSisters embody the Feminine Principle and Living Systems in our organizational unfolding and emergence?” This has been the burning question that has guided TreeSisters throughout 2014.
Unbeknownst to us, on the day we asked it, a bonfire was lit. It so fired our imagination that we decided to incorporate living systems – in the form of the annual seasonal flow – within our organizational planning and reporting. And that fire has continued to warm, inspire, and nourish us through the seasonal flow of 2014.
THE JOURNEY FROM THE SUMMER SOLSTICE TO THE AUTUMN EQUINOX
In the Northern Hemisphere, the Autumn Equinox was on September 23rd and we are excited to share the journey from the Summer Solstice through the Autumn Equinox with you in this seasonal update (at the end of the year we will highlight and map the year’s entire journey). We have chosen to use the Celtic Festivals as mid-way points because of how they embody nature’s energetic flow into and out of particular fixed points within the growing season and annual lifecycle.
SUMMER SOLSTICE TO LAMMAS – Growing, Expanding, Deepening
(June 2 1st – Lammas: August 1st)
The sun is at its height and nature is in a time of outer expansion. So too was TreeSisters. We began this summer season by doing a 2014 Summer Solstice Assessment. Just as a gardener notices what is growing well, what needs nourishing, and what might need to be pulled up altogether, we looked at the organization through a living systems lens in order to determine what was flourishing and where to continue putting our energy and focus, as well as where we needed to more fully nourish the organization’s emergence, and redirect its growth.
CREATING ORGANIZATIONAL SYSTEMS THAT THRIVE
Summer was a time of expanding and deepening. We fine-tuned our financial systems and created a new fundraising model that focuses on the creation and offering of empowerment materials as a means of ensuring organizational sustainability. We also hired a new core team member, Gloria, who is helping us create a new database system and identify new website and blog platforms that will create a dynamic and interactive community for the entire network (to be launched in late winter 2015). These new platforms will also enable us to offer our empowerment materials on a global scale which will activate the TreeSisters’ network in an unprecedented way.
Sophie, our Facebook mama and Social Media Director, created a new social media strategy based in living systems that will include a Kick Starter campaign and fundraiser to create our new website and interactive community during the winter of 2014-2015.
FOLLOWING THE TAO OF WOMEN
Internally and below ground, our Core Team began an experimental journey using Alexandra Pope’s ‘A Woman’s Quest’ to explore how we could integrate a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle into our organizational rhythm and work week.
Every week during our team call we each share where we are in our cycle and what we are experiencing and learning about ourselves and how our cycles impact our work rhythms within TreeSisters. These weekly check-ins also enable us to more fully understand one another’s energy and to plan accordingly for that week’s organizational unfolding. Putting the feminine menstrual cycle at the center of our team interactions was a bold step in walking our talk about integrating the Feminine Principle into our organizational unfolding.
Our desire to integrate living systems and the Feminine Principle into our work rhythm also inspired us to create a unique “Moon Chart” that combines the lunar cycle, the tides, and the seasons within a woman’s monthly cycle. We are still in the experimental stage with this process, but we are more convinced than ever that tapping into the Tao of Women (the menstrual cycle) is a wellspring of wisdom and guidance overlooked in the current corporate model of leadership. We believe following this wisdom is key to defining, experiencing, and nurturing what we have termed “women’s nature-based leadership.”
LAMMAS TO AUTUMN EQUINOX – Gathering, Sharing, Celebrating
(August 1st – Autumn Equinox: 23rd September)
August explodes with the fullness of nature’s bounty and is harvest time for every gardener. Organizationally it is the fulfillment of outer activities before we begin to look back over the year and celebrate the fruit of our organizational planting, tending, and growing season.
CELEBRATING OUR PARTNERS
We began this seasonal movement toward the Autumn Equinox with the creation of our new TreeSisters’ blog and designing a new TreeSisters’ Partner Page which will highlight the amazing women we have been collaborating with this year.
When dynamic women began stepping forward and offering to raise funds to support TreeSisters through the giving of their gifts, we couldn’t help but say yes and follow where these experiments led. Thousands of dollars have been raised to support TreeSisters and we continue to receive more offers from within the network. These partnerships emerged organically from within the network and have been a potent affirmation that the TreeSisters network is ripe and ready to be fully activated.
Our Core Team gathered on Cape Ann (Massachusetts) in late August in order to co-create our first series of women’s empowerment materialsas part of our larger vision to provide women with the resources needed to become fully alive as we collectively step into our deepest callings and passions in service and stewardship of Gaia.
TreeSisters was awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Fund (in the United Kingdom) in late 2013 which has enabled us to develop and pilot a 12 week series designed to activate and empower women who long to deepen their relationship with themselves, the sisterhood, and Nature in service of Life.
There is a saying, “no tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” We spent two weeks crafting the series, creating interactive and transformative processes, and filming the project. Creating this initial series was an invitation from Life itself for us – as a core team – to step forward in the fullness of our gifts while simultaneously stepping out of our comfort zones.
We sensed that if there was “no risk in the creation, there would be no transformation for the audience.” So we went to our personal edges with the vision of inspiring other women to do the same. We plan to unveil The Deepening before the 2015 Spring Equinox
NOURISHING OUR REFORESTATION STRATEGY
We visualize TreeSisters as a twin tree nourished by the same root system. One trunk is feminine empowerment and the second trunk is >reforestation. Therefore the summer’s seasonal unfolding wouldn’t be complete without parallel growth in relation to the trees and reforestation.
Throughout the summer months our reforestation team (Nicole in Switzerland and Lauriane in Belgium) researched and crafted the TreeSisters’ Reforestation Strategy. They brilliantly integrated the TreeSisters’ Map of Five Choicesand the Feminine Principle and used them as the guiding framework in the creation of our reforestation strategy. We envision our reforestation strategy as an embodiment of our twin-tree approach and look forward to sharing more of these details with the network as the strategy unfolds.
The Autumn Equinox is a balance point when the day and the night are of equal length. The Earth is poised to move into its Yin Cycle during which time TreeSisters will continue to harvest the wisdom of 2014 and find ways of more fully applying living systems and the Feminine Principle to our 2015 planning and development.
In the past when we have given these seasonal updates on our meditation calls we have had many women encourage us in our vision of applying living systems and the Feminine Principle in how we grow TreeSisters. We wanted to open up this juicy conversation to the entire network so we decided to post the Autumn Equinox update as a blog which would give us all a chance to voice our thoughts, inspirations, and ideas as TreeSisters turns toward the visionary winter season.
This guest blog is written by Mary Reynolds Thompson, author of Reclaiming the Wild Soul. Mary is one of our partners and has generously offered to contribute $1.00 of every book sold to TreeSisters. Mary is passionate about the vision of TreeSisters, which she feels connects the dots between women’s empowerment and the healing of the planet.
When you purchase a copy of Reclaiming the Wild Soul through the White Cloud Press you’ll find a coupon.
Enter TREESISTERS (all CAPS) and $1 of every book you buy will be donated to TreeSisters. To purchase your copy and to donate to TreeSisters go to: www.whitecloudpress.com
When, in 2005, I began to write the book that was to become Reclaiming the Wild Soul, I had this dream:
I am hovering miles above the planet, looking down at what appear to be ants emerging from the core of the Earth. Drifting closer, I realize they aren’t ants at all, but women. As they move, straight-backed and strong, to surround the planet, they pound tall spears to a rhythmic pulse, forming a protective circle of love and healing around the Earth.
Almost a decade later, I still feel in my bones the pulse of those pounding spears, can conjure the sinewy strength of the women, so tall and fearless, so filled with molten power.
The dream reminds me of the mother goshawk who dive-bombed my husband in the Rocky Mountains, talons bared, to protect her nest; of the women of the Chipko Movement who wrapped their arms around the trees to stop them being felled; and of Julia Butterfly Hill who refused to come down from the ancient grandmother tree, and lived there for two years exposed to the elements and constant threat of the chainsaw.
Women know how to protect what they love.
My own desire to protect the Earth began in earnest in 1983 as I stood on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean on a stormy day in Marin County, California, only few days sober. I was shaking and terrified at the prospect of living without alcohol. The churning ocean seemed to mirror my inner turmoil. But I also felt her immense power. I tasted salt, and didn’t know if it was mine or the ocean’s. I felt completely at one with that vast body of water.
That moment was a portal to a deeper connection with the natural world that would support the healthy flourishing of my own wild soul.
With each hike, each backpacking trip, each breath, it was if I could feel more of the Earth—its beauty, pain, and triumphs––as part of my own psyche and soul. Like the old-growth redwoods I sought out in Muir Woods, in connecting to the natural world, I felt something ancient and enduring take root in me. I experienced a sense of belonging to a vast and stirring oneness.
Reclaiming the Wild Soul is a celebration and exploration of that oneness, structured around the five Earth archetypes of deserts, forests, oceans and rivers, mountains, and grasslands. It was written out of a desire to protect the wild landscapes that live within us and without. It lays out a path of personal transformation aligned with the healing of our precious Earth.
The poet and activist Muriel Rukeyser wrote,
What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life?
The world would split open.
I ask, what would happen if one woman owned her own wildness?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mary Reynolds Thompson is an author, life coach, and facilitator of poetry and journal therapy dedicated to bringing forth the Wild Soul Story. Her latest book Reclaiming the Wild Soul:How Earth’s Landscapes Restore Us to Wholeness takes readers on a journey into the great landscapes of deserts, forests, oceans and rivers, mountains, and grasslands as aspects of our deeper, wiser, wilder selves. There, where the inner and outer worlds meet, we discover a path of personal transformation aligned with the healing of the wild Earth. To find out more about Mary visit: www.maryreynoldsthompson.com
Photography by Emmanuellel Brisson
I want to share something that came in the silence that starts our team meetings – in the stunning Forest Temple at Earth-heart, in the Forest of Dean this last spring.
When I closed my eyes, instead of going into darkness, I was clearly facing Edveeje the head of operations within TreeSisters, who was sitting there resplendent, cross legged, powerful, robust and utterly self contained. Bare footed and straight backed, black ringlets falling over silver earrings, left hand resting on her knee with her elbow raised high, right hand holding a huge, ornate, carved silver goblet full of red wine that she was drinking with gusto.
I sat watching feeling somewhat bemused while she drank and drank without stopping, thinking ‘wow, that girl can really put it away…’ until as I watched, I realized that the goblet was bottomless and that I was being shown something that I didn’t understand. I felt like I was witnessing a deeper mystery, and suddenly my whole system felt electrified with it.
Steadily as she drank and I watched, I noticed that the grass around her was growing, that the flowers were starting to bloom, that birds started singing and that the trees were coming into full leaf. Nature was moving into fullness as woman was truly allowing herself to fill with all that she needed and all that she was. The more she simply received, the more glorious nature became.
Now, as I write those words it still rocks my world and makes me weep.
Imagine a world where women’s accepted and respect birthright is to fully receive her own immensity, the tap root of her nature based cyclical flow, the fullness of her intuitive wisdom and knowing, the ocean of her emotional landscape and her limitless capacity for love, beauty, pleasure and creativity?
What could become possible if we could give ourselves permission to simply receive and embody who and what we really are as woman, and then bring ourselves forward, fully alive into the great turning towards balance that is the calling of our time?
TreeSisters is as much about reclaiming feminine nature as it is about ecological restoration and renewal through trees. The re-sacredisation of the feminine principle is here and now – the achingly beautiful upwelling of reverence for Mother, Goddess, sister and nature is blowing like an ancient and familiar fragrance through our hearts and bodies.
The priestess within each of us is awakening with her longing to walk softly upon this garden of Earth again as tenderly as she tends the garden of her own body.
Something wordless, breathtakingly beautiful and clean is starting to flow through the veins of TreeSisters, and with it we say goodbye to our old blog and start again in a new here and now.
If this touches you, then please join us on this journey into the mystery together – discovering what it means to reclaim ourselves, our bodies, our feminine natures and our profound, indivisible and sacred connection to the one who nourishes us all.
Welcome to TreeSisters.
art by Kirsty Mitchel
‘When sleeping women wake – mountains will move’
The Feminine is rising – and as that tide rises – we are being lifted into a new reality for women, for our collective human identity and for nature.
TreeSisters is where the reclaiming of feminine nature and the restoration of our ecology come together as one. This is about the role of women – when we remember what it truly means to be a woman – and how what we are can be put in service to the rebalancing of this world.
Our blog is a window into our shared journey as a team, as a network, as a unique and evolving campaign and an experiment into how to reach beyond inaction to the potent place that ignites our hearts.
Here we hold hands.
We are growing a global network of women to reforest the tropics and accelerate the greening of our world – through feminine values, energy and leadership. Welcome to the family.