GUEST BLOG ~ BY JANE BRUNETTE
All treesisters have one thing in common: our passion for trees. This guest blog post launches a new series inviting treesisters around the planet to share our passion for – and relationship with – trees. Please share your inspired story with us by submitting your guest blog post to email@example.com. And be sure to subscribe to our blog to be notified when other inspired tree stories are posted.
YEARS AGO, I visited the Menominee reservation and met Earl, whose family for generations had been in charge of tending to a river where a dark serpent lived. The old stories said that when the serpent was calm, then there would be peace in the world…
It was the job of Earl’s family lineage to do the practices that kept that serpent placid. I don’t know precisely what those practices were, but I do know that Earl lived alone in a remote place, in the shadows of the bluffs beside which this river flowed.
The trees were tall there, the silence broken only by the sound of water running over rocks, the rustle of leaves or the trill of a bird. Earl’s children had grown and moved away. They didn’t want to carry on this tradition, he told me, and so when he died, there would be no one to tend the serpent.
Looking around that silent place, trees still and tall, I asked Earl if he ever got lonely. He shook his head and said:
“If you sit still long enough, and open, the trees will talk to you.”
As he said this, the trees seemed to lean in, as if listening to a friend. There was a palpable sense of companionship between Earl and the trees that permeated the landscape — a deep comfort and familiarity in the way he inhabited the folding chair on which he sat, alone, beside the river, among the trees, deeply intimate with his surroundings.
And now, as I consider the question of how people can talk to trees, I see that it starts with a stillness born of intimacy — a place of profound receptivity.
This is the attitude of deep listening, from where we can hear the language of trees. Then we can speak to them in their language — not our own.
This communion born of Earl’s deep listening was the prayer that calmed the serpent — maybe the deepest prayer there could be: to sit on the edge of impending disaster, on the edge of the demonic, and listen. This is what brings peace to the world.
Trees are only the beginning. We can listen like this to anything, learn the language of birds and church basements, metal and corn, friends and enemies, babies and flies. We can be truly multi-lingual, if only we listen.
As children, listening in this way is how we naturally learn language. When I visited a language school in India, the man who taught Hindi there told me with great passion how important it was to immerse myself in the sounds of Hindi — to learn the diphthongs, the pure notes of the language as music.
Tune the ear to the music, and the meaning will come naturally. We are instruments and we vibrate with the other, resonate with the sounds that we absorb. We tune ourselves to each other until we quiver as one string. That’s when we can understand the unfamiliar language that lives in another being, another body, another life — and to understand is to love.
I bought an Ektara — a North Indian instrument that has only one string to play. There is another string that you tune to the first, and it plays itself, resonating along with the string that you pluck. The two strings vibrate as one, and Earl’s loneliness vanishes in the language of trees.
Maybe this is our deepest longing — for this union with life, when if only for a moment, we are one sound, one vibration.
I sensed this truth the day I spoke with Earl. I sensed the profundity and power of what he had learned, living beside the river, beside the serpent, amongst the trees. But the timing was wrong to absorb that truth and live from it completely.
Other things had to happen first.
The restrictions on my life, on my consciousness, are as important as its freedoms. They shape me — they shape all of us. Earl was handed this task from his father and grandfathers. The tribe had assigned him this role before he was born. It was this restriction that gave Earl the shape of his life, of his consciousness, and the opportunity to find this wisdom and peace.
Even as I write this, I think: the timing may be wrong for others to understand what I am saying here — for them to understand how to talk to trees and why we would want to. Other things may have to happen first.
It’s a big leap, for a modern person who thinks they know what is “important.” Too few of us can honor Earl and his life, alone by the river with only the occasional rafting party stopping by to rent oars and a raft from his makeshift stand, which is how he earns the cash for a few groceries. “What a waste of a life,” I can hear the utilitarians saying.
But I want to bow deep, and thank life itself for Earl — that I met him and that he said this, from the quiet joy at his center: “If you sit still long enough, and open, the trees will talk to you.”
Jane Brunette teaches and writes about meditation, spiritual practice and creating a soulful life in challenging times. An authorized Buddhist meditation teacher whose own practice is inter-spiritual, Jane is also deeply influenced by the wisdom of indigenous people around the world. She travels widely, living simply in cultures where this is still possible in order to free her time and her mind for contemplation and retreat. You can find more of her writings, at flamingseed.com
Check out her Huffington Post Blog: How Meditation Practice can Impact Deforestation
Photos and art: Tesa Silvestre, Worldiswierd.com, Yvonne Pfeifer
TreeSisters is a twin tree.
One trunk embodies our mission to help reforest the Tropics and the other trunk embodies our mission to awaken and call forth women’s nature-based feminine leadership as the means by which we bring balance back to our planet.
The two trunks share a common root system and are indivisible.
In January 2015 we unveiled our new approach to achieving this dual mission. We shifted from being a charity that asks for donations to being a charity that offers our gifts through the creation of on-line courses designed to awaken and call forth women’s connection to ourselves, our sisters, and Nature.
Twenty percent of every course we offer goes directly to planting trees. The remainder goes to funding the creation of our on-line courses as well as funding the organization. This approach will eventually enable eighty percent of our monthly donations to go straight to reforestation.
Our courses this year are designed to take you on a progressive journey into the heart of life where you will encounter your own wild soul, plug into Nature as your life coach, create deep sisterhood, and reconnect to the core of Nature embodied within you as a woman. The courses follow a seasonal journey and can be taken individually, yet when taken together they synergize and alchemize powerfully with one another…
The 2015 Winter Journey: The Gateway to Nature in Self
Woman is Nature.
We are Earth, the Moon, and the seasons all combined in one glorious embodied package.
The key to unlocking the first gateway is literally found within our wombs and in the wisdom teachings of the menstrual cycle. Alexandra Pope refers to it as the “Tao of Women” because of the inherent nature-based wisdom that resides in our own bodies.
In February of 2015, TreeSisters launched its new on-line courses with Earthing the Moon: Reclaiming the Inner Gateway of Feminine Potency, Creativity, Sexuality and Spirituality. Earthing the Moon is quite simply a game changer, a life changer and a paradigm shifter for women.
Jewels Wingfield is a highly skilled and experienced facilitator and teacher in the realms of women’s’ work and through Earthing the Moon she offers feminine mystery and womb teachings in a way that can literally re-contextualize ones experience of being female. Over 90% of participants said that this was significantly more powerful than anything they could have imagined experiencing on-line. Read more…
The 2015 Spring Journey: The Gateway to Nature Itself
Once we have experienced Nature in ourselves we are ready to connect directly to Nature itself.
Our Spring 2015 course, The Nature Process: Discover the Power and Potential of Your Natural Self, picks up where Earthing the Moon leaves off. Having connected deeply with the Nature embodied within us, this course is designed to take us outward on a transformative journey into Nature itself where we will learn how to plug directly into Nature as the source of personal growth.
The course is created and facilitated by eco-psychologist Tabi(tha) Jayne and is an on-line seven week journey into her revolutionary six step process.
This is a totally unique, step by step pathway into embodied relationship with the intelligence of living systems that have been evolving and regenerating for billions of years.
If you long for more energy and vibrancy, more connection and meaning, more delight in being alive and a greater sense of personal liberation, clarity of purpose and joy – then nature can be your effortless ally and gateway to that potential – when you know how to engage.
Course registration for The Nature Process is open until Tues May 19th. Learn more about the course here.
The 2015 Summer Journey: The Gateway to Nature Within & Without
When we have experienced Nature within our bodies and monthly cycle and have learned how to plug directly into Nature as a life coach, we come to the crossroads of soul-centric integration where inner and outer are directly aligned.
This part of the yearlong TreeSisters’ journey opens us up fully to the wild soul’s unfolding when it is supported directly by the archetypal wisdom of Earth’s landscapes.
In July 2015, author of Reclaiming the Wild Soul, Mary Reynolds Thompson, will be facilitating a six week on-line course through TreeSisters based on her inspiring book. The course is entitled A Wild Soul Woman: Journey into the Heart of Your Untamed Self and it asks a soul-provoking question, “What if the re-wilding of the planet and the world begins with re-wilding our own souls?”
A Wild Soul Woman is rooted, powerful, authentic, instinctual, and awake. She feels her oneness with the Earth, and the strength, sensuality, and creativity this kindles in her.
A Wild Soul Woman is also a journey of soul recovery that offers a dynamic pathway for women to reclaim their innate and instinctual wildness.
It will initiate you into five landscape archetypes of deserts, forests, oceans and rivers, mountains, and grasslands as aspects of your own psyche and soul.
Each landscape sheds light on the magnificent geography of your being in all its fierce grace and bountiful wisdom. In this course Nature within and without fully align and together call forth our souls in wild and glorious ways.
In the Autumn we will offer Earthing the Moon again as well as unveil the long awaited TreeSisters course entitled The Deepening. This twelve week journey is designed to inspire women who want to gather in person and create deep sisterhood while embarking on a collective journey into the depths of the soul’s longing, the art of sistering, and unlocking the keys to our passions and gifts in service of one another and the planet.
The Deepening is a course for groups of women who want to redefine their experience of sisterhood and claim their fullness as women. It’s about the activation of our nature based energies, aliveness, personal alchemy, remembering who and what we are, and the shared permission that we can be for each other to step into our innate feminine authority.
We will offer a shorter on-line version of this course as well as provide the twelve week version of materials for those women who want to use it as the basis for creating a local TreeSisters’ Grove (what we will call our local chapters).
Coming Full Circle…
As you can see, the courses naturally synergize with one another and collectively give us the keys to the essential gateways of feminine unfolding and emergence. Season by season we will offer the next phase of the TreeSisters’ Journey into the heart of sisterhood, embodied living, and reconnecting to Nature (both within and without) as our primary teacher and guide in reclaiming our nature-based feminine leadership as the source of our passion and commitment to reforest the Tropics and bring balance to our planet.
Edveeje is the Director of Operations for TreeSisters. She lives off-grid on ten acres of raw mountain land in the Mother Forest of Southern Appalachia where she is passionate about the power of place and how our relationship to Nature can infuse, inspire, and call forth, not only our souls, but our part in the Great Turning.
In the session, Tabitha ~ our guide on this course ~ offered a complete experience of a process that she is now about to break down into its component parts over the next 6 weeks – and I had my first taste of a way of being that she now lives as the norm.
We were asked to bring something that we’re struggling with to mind. That was easy. I brought a particular relationship that is complex and painful into my awareness and felt the familiar sinking and tightening that accompanies it. Then she asked us (if we were inside) to let our minds take us to an amazing place in nature, and if we were outside, we were to just become more present to the nature around us.
I found myself up in the Swiss Alps, kneeling underneath a melting glacier in 34 degree heat, marvelling at the intense blue green of the ice and the myriad multi coloured and textured rocks that were appearing from beneath it for the first time in what – millions of years?
Unhappily, it felt even worse and I immediately thought I must be doing something wrong. But then heard Tabitha say that ‘the more you can sense disconnect, the deeper you can go’.
This made no logical sense to me whatsoever in that moment. But I did understand that the feeling in my body was of the opposite of easy connection and so probably a state of disconnection being served increasingly into my awareness by the natural state of natures energies.
We then brought our attention and senses even more closely into awareness of the natural place – and were guided this time to really notice what was calling us. I was surprised to find that it wasn’t the colour of the ice – it was the sound of the melt water – and I could so clearly hear it even though the memory was from three years ago.
Then back to the struggley thing and this time I could clearly feel that the tension had changed and moved up to my throat – ‘ah, ok’ I thought, ‘there is a process going on between me and the ice – this communion is lifting out the stuckness and bringing me back into connection…
…so THIS is The Nature Process…’
Then back to the sound of the melt water, this time guided to ask for its support or gift regarding the struggle or issue. Into my mind gently dropped the words ‘just let it go…’ and I had a full body feeling of ice or stuckness, simply surrendering to the melt.
I found myself immediately starting to cry without any thoughts about what or why – it was simply happening. I thought about how many times I’ve heard Tabitha say that emotion can just be lifted out effortlessly, and now I was directly experiencing it – care of connection to a glacier in my mind. Wow.
More amazing still for me – three years ago, when I actually sat and I wept with that glacier, I felt the reality of climate change and the rate of its melt felt impossibly fast. But here I was, three years later, having my perception of melting re-framed by the glacier itself as a beautiful process of transformation. One of simply letting go.
Nature gifted me a shift of perception away from my negative state that was hooked into a narrow human perception of reality, to a simple truth of what is and what was. Change and transformation -acceptance instead of resistance –communion instead of grief filled loss.
As I did the Nature Process last night, I felt – multiple times – that I was entering foreign territory; the realm of paradigm shift, the precarious feeling of ‘oh my god my world is about to be turned upside down’ that often accompanies many a life changing experience.
How wild is it, to recognize those feelings in relation to the most natural thing in the world? Real, embodied connection and non separation from the bigger being of which I am made and that breathes me every day.
I’m feeling the very structures of my own separation and how my mind has created its version of reality and my identity to handle the acceptable known state of radical separation. I’m knowing that my days of that level of separation are over and that with Tabitha’s help I am going to be able to reconstruct my sense of self as a natural being – a natural self.
Far out – really and truly, I am blown away by what lies ahead!
Please consider gifting yourself The Nature Process: a seven week online journey to discover the power and potential of your natural self.
The doors are open for only one more week – you can explore it here.
Hope to find you with us,
Clare Dakin is the founder of TreeSisters– a UK based charity evolving at the intersection of feminine emergence and ecology. She lives between New England and England – currently Gloucester MA, where she just survived the most full-on winter on record (9ft of snow – yes, really) and is now basking in a UK spring of more beauty and fullness than she’s ever known. Nature never does anything by halves – we would live so differently, if we simply followed suit!
This morning a bushy squirrel stood upside down in my backyard’s fruit tree. For years now, my animal talisman, the hawk, has circled above my head as my protector and seer. And today I feel from the depths of my being that Mother Earth’s divine feminine energy is connecting soul sisters together rapidly and with force.
Why? Because we need to be together to make a difference. Change the world. Let our healing energy flow.
And be the women we were born to be. A collective tribe of one. And that, my new friends, is how I found TreeSisters. I was sitting in the library in Playa Vista, CA – on land that was once an Indian burial ground – and I had put the words “women’s spirituality” in a computer search wanting to find more women’s organizations that I felt would be “soul sisters” to my organization Spirited Woman. Through that search, I magically discovered TreeSisters.
Then I had a “light bulb” moment. How about a passionate wallop of joy? I knew instinctively that the divine feminine had led me (albeit through Google) to you. So here we are. On a mission together. A collective tribe of one.
A little history. Fifteen years ago, through another fated meant-to-be moment, I was led to go on an unplanned trip to Montana. There, while staying at a big home next to an Indian burial ground, I discovered in the backyard a huge rock in the shape of a woman. When I asked about the rock, I was told that local Indian lore had named her “Spirit Woman.”
Ahh, I said to myself – so this is what I will do with the rest of my life. I just felt it in my gut, my purpose, my mission of being. I had been sent to see my life unfold. Soon thereafter, I founded Spirited Woman. I was passion-driven, spirit-led to create a women’s empowerment community that would be a positive support for all women. A community that fosters the belief in every woman that “I Am Enough” as I am. Because you are!
Many moon cycles later, as one of the leading women’s empowerment organizations in the world, we have expanded our basic concept to include our heartfelt belief that “every woman is an Every Woman Visionary,” one who is making a difference for women globally.
Our vision is to recognize, encourage and support that woman.
Spirited Woman is all about offering ways for women to shine through to be heard and seen. Through our Top 12 Pick Lists, Spirited Woman Directory: A Collection of Stories & Resources for An Inspired Life! and Spirited Woman Blogger Team – what we offer connects women in a deep, meaningful way and gives them the “energetic” of our bountiful sisterhood.
Three years ago, I began a special project, The Sisterhood of the Sacred Scarves, with the intent of creating a foundation to give back. The Spirited Woman Prayer Scarf is a symbol of spirit, empowerment and beauty. Each scarf comes with a sacred scarf ritual connecting women energetically and through our collective healing powers.
To date, there have been 12 scarves, each representing a different theme. Hundreds of women worldwide have purchased more than 1,400 scarves. Our just-released number thirteen scarf is “Angel Wings.” A portion of all scarf proceeds is donated to the Spirited Woman Foundation to help heal and support women through actions of empowerment. To date, seven non-profits have been supported – and I am beyond excited to announce that TreeSisters will be number eight. By purchasing “Angel Wings,” sisters from around the world will come together to carry the “energetic of all women on our backs.” For every scarf you buy, a portion of the proceeds will be donated back to TreeSisters.
Together, we are the healers, the Light, the goddess energy of the number 13 and the difference. And as we dance with our “Angel Wings” flowing around us, may we never forget that we have the power to fly.
Every woman that purchases their Angel Wings Scarf before June 12 (outside of US) and by June 18 (within the US), will be invited to join in our Sisterhood of the Sacred Scarves Solstice Ceremony ~ a sacred scarf ritual connecting women energetically and through our collective healing powers. Please invite your sisters here.
Nancy Mills is the enthusiastic founder of Spirited Woman, a leading international women’s empowerment community. She is the passionate creator of the Spirited Woman Approach to Life and the Sisterhood of the Sacred Scarves. Through her Spirited Woman Foundation, Nancy is a philanthropic partner and collaborator with soul sister organization TreeSisters.
It is her goal to sell over 1,000 Spirited Woman Prayer Scarves in 2015 alone, so that together we can donate more and more to the women of the world. http://www.thespiritedwoman.com
To buy your scarf and donate to TreeSisters, click here.
“I stood in the stillness of night, feeling my breath deepen through the fear in my body, watching in awe as the glowing stars danced on the path before me. It was as if the sky had turned upside down and I could see my Soul Path stretching out ahead of me, as a mystical invitation to walk with courage into my sacred dream.”
I’m stoked right now! Seriously, I’m feeling the heat of my fire emanating through me as the warm embers in my heart are fanned by my breath.
I can feel my inner fire. My passion. My creativity. My spirit. My love. My life force energy stirring and moving in me.
I just took part in a firewalk for Beltane and I want to share with you my experience of fire walking as a profound parallel to the journey of walking our ‘Soul Path’.
After walking on fire, I can’t speak about fire purely as a metaphor, because I can feel it in me. In many Wisdom traditions fire is recognised as one of the elements that we’re made of. It represents our spirit, the invisible essence of who we are… the creative life force that flows through us.
When our fire burns brightly, we’re energised and inspired by it – it moves us into action. When our fire is dimmed, our energy depletes – it’s hard to be inspired or motivated and we can get sick and stuck. If it’s too ferocious and ungrounded, it becomes out of balance and like any fire, it can burn us out.
Fire is energy. It lives in us and through us. It moves us and it purifies us… if we allow it to.
Fire has been used for thousands of years as a way to purify.
In nature fire produces new life more quickly than decay. We use fire for crop burning, but mother nature will often create those raging fires herself, if we suppress them.
Medicine men and women have used firewalking and dancing for thousands of years, for healing and purification. Fire destroys the old and brings energy for the new.
It used to be the experienced healers who would walk the fire in ritual and then use their energy for healing others. But now firewalking has become a practice for everyone. It’s you and I who have become the healers who walk the fire for ourselves and others.
In the way we use firewalking, it’s very rare that someone would get hurt. There are many scientific explanations about why this is so but what is more interesting to me is the teaching of a tribe in South East Africa who wriggle through the fire on their bellies!
They speak of ‘num’ which simply means chi or energy. The fire is ‘num’ and our energy is ‘num’. The principle is this:
When you meet the fire with the same ‘num’ as that of the fire, you walk unharmed.
In fact you’re not just unharmed, you’re also healed in some way because fire purifies and transforms. Walking on fire brings healing where healing is needed.
This is why firewalking is so interrelated with the journey that we take when we step up to the next level of our own leadership and creativity. It’s not just a metaphor.
I have walked on fire many times and each time I can feel the profound impact it has. Each time the fire has somehow taken me to the next courageous expression of my own truth. Here’s how the principle translates:
When you meet an obstacle with the same energy that the obstacle brings, you not only move beyond it, you become more of who you truly are in the process.
When we choose to follow the call of our Soul and say ‘YES’ to the next level of our leadership contribution, life will naturally surface everything that needs be healed and transformed. I call this ‘stepping into our creative fire’.
It’s the same when we stand before a path of hot coals. Naturally, it brings up our fear. But what we forget is that fear itself is ‘num’… fear is energy. The fear is not meant to stop us. It’s meant to teach us how to meet the challenge and move through it. Our job is to learn how to use it so we can walk the fire unharmed. When we feel and embrace the num of the fear and walk with it, it transmutes into courage.
Every experience is fuel for your fire.
As we walk our path in life, we are given the perfect opportunities to heal and transform what’s in the way of us being the true expression of who we are. Each step we take in the direction of our dreams will naturally trigger the fear that we need to face in order to do that. This is the evolutionary creative process. It’s miraculous, because we receive the precise learning we need to become the leader of the projects and visions we are called to create.
Everything we go though is fuel for our own creative fire. But we need to allow the fire to clear out the old limiting thought patterns, ways of being and ways of relating to life that don’t serve the future we are creating.
It’s an empowering journey when we can relate to it this way but often our fear will get the better of us. If we relate to our challenges from a unconscious, constricted place, they become obstacles that stops us in our tracks.
But when we meet our challenges as opportunities for transformation, we get to learn and grow deeply from being in our own creative fire.
Walking ‘your fire’ with LOVE ~ the ultimate ‘num’.
Fear is energy. Love is energy. Fear is not the opposite of love, it’s a doorway to love. When we allow ourselves to experience our fear and expand through it, we grow our love and our capacity to hold it and act from it.
When I trained as a firewalk instructor 7 years ago, we walked the fire for 7 days. Every day, I surrendered more deeply to the fire. On the last day we were initiated with a 40’ long firewalk. It was an intense and stunningly beautiful experience as I stood in front of my path and felt the energy rise up through my body to meet this doorway.
The only way I could walk it was to focus my energy on walking for Love… to literally fill myself with the love, passion and courage for what I stood for… for what I wanted to create.
I walked for my own self-love and self-expression. I walked for the women of the world to find and express their authentic voices, I walked for the healing of our planet and for the feminine to be re-valued.
You’re the guardian of the dream.
It’s no different when we step into our creative fire to walk our Soul Path. Love is key. Love for ourselves and love for the dream.
When we step out to create something new, we’re invited to navigate the creative tension between holding the dream and not knowing what the outcome will be. This is a dynamic experience as we learn to face our fear without collapsing into it.
What helps me most is to remember why I’m doing it… to stay in touch with the love and intention of the Calling and the evolutionary part I am playing in the co-creation of our future. I’m not the owner of my dream. I’m the guardian of the dream. I am the artist through which life expresses herself. My job is to keep the creative channel open and stay as true as I can to what is being asked of me in every moment.
It’s only in holding this place of creative tension that life can flow through me not from me. This is how we walk the creative fire.
Making friends with your fire as a force for good.
Firewalking unconsciously surfaces our deepest fears of fire and of our own power – that it is inherently dangerous. It brings up the witch burnings in our collective psyche… our fear of sharing our authentic nature and power as women.
But walking on fire has healed and changed my relationship with it. It touched me deeply in ways I cannot easily express. Fire is my friend, the spiritual life force of the universe that is both around me and in me. My inner fire is my creative power.
Fire can be dangerous but like any energy if it’s respected and we direct it consciously, it becomes an extra-ordinary force for good. It feeds us, it purifies us, it inspires us with love!
This is our work as women change leaders. To learn to respect and embrace our power… to transmute our fear into the courage that will carry us beyond the obstacles on our path and help us to stand in our love for ourselves and the future we want to see.
As we near the ‘A Call To Stand’ Live Event, I am deeply in touch with my passion for this work. As a community, we will be holding a beautiful Firewalk Ritual to help each one of us to embody our courage and walk our Soul Paths fuelled by the fire in our hearts.
In doing so, we will be taking a stand for ourselves, for the feminine, for the Earth. We’ll be healing on multiple levels the collective wounds that have been carried by women for many generations.
Listen to your heart. If the fire is calling you to take the next step on your Soul Path, please come and join us for A Call To Stand Live ~ Say ‘YES’ to the Call. 5th-7th June at Embercombe.
Find out more here: http://awakeningfeminineleaders.com/acts-live-2015/
Joey’s gift is to help women to find and express theirs in the world: To help women who are waking up to their deeper calling to be of service, to move beyond the shackles of their past conditioning, step into their power and embody a new presence of feminine leadership as they share their gifts and contributions in the world.
Women are hardwired to be natural multi-taskers, connectors, and communicators. Technology has amped that up in spades. We can now blog, tweet, text, and Facebook our friends, family, and business colleagues day and night. We can discreetly answer our emails while our date goes to the restroom and attend a business conference on-line while still driving to work.
Women should be thriving with all of this multi-tasking, 24/7 communicating, global connecting that technology has made possible. And yet the truth is, if you ask many women how they are, they will tell you that they are too busy, often overwhelmed, depressed for no reason, and tired to the bone; and yet still not getting enough done in the hours of the day.
I propose the opposite is true.
We are doing too much in too short of a time frame, and in the process, we have forgotten our natural self in whose hands are the keys to a truly productive life. Our natural self is the part of us that is plugged into the life coaching wisdom found for free in Nature. If we truly want to be more productive there are four keys that unlock the secrets of our natural self.
Key #1: Connecting Our Modern Brain to the Ancient Earth
Science can now measure the frequency of our brainwaves as well as the frequency of the Earth. It isn’t surprising to know our brains are inherently linked to the Earth; if we know how to cultivate the natural self and consciously align ourselves with Nature.
Here’s the techy bit: Earth has an electromagnetic field can be measured at a frequency of 7.83Hz. Humans brainwaves are also measured by their frequencies: Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta.
Our fast paced technological world keeps us constantly buzzing at the Beta level (14-40Hz), more than twice the Earth’s frequency. No wonder women are in a state of overwhelm, fatigue, anxiety, and urgency.
Alpha ~ The doorway to possibility
When we consciously begin to relax and rest, our brainwaves drop to Alpha (8-14Hz), making restoration and rejuvenation become possible for the body, mind, and soul. We become:
~alert and focused
~more able to drop into a meditative state
~open to inspiration, creativity, and possibility-thinking
~more able to innovate and problem solve
If women spent more time in Alpha, we would find ourselves burgeoning with the kind of insights, wisdom, and vision that are the foundation of inspired productivity. We would slow down and yet accomplish more because we are focused on the truly important and are in a psychic space in which we can naturally create paradigm shifts.
Theta ~ The Magic Key
However, the first key to a more inspired and productive self ~ and the real magic ~ happens at the next level, the Theta brainwave frequency (4-8Hz).
This is total alignment with Earth’s frequency and is a gateway to the natural self. This meditative dimension gives us entry into the kind of deep knowing, intuition, and connection that all the technology, texting, googling, and digital speed in the world cannot provide us.
Key #2: Cultivating Natural Presence
But how do we consciously align with Nature’s productive brilliance? The second key to inspired productivity is consciously reconnecting with our natural self through our six senses.
Being present moment enough to know what you are seeing, feeling, hearing, tasting, touching and sensing all around you is the gateway to the Theta brainwave state. As you experience the present moment and focus on your sensory experience, the monkey mind begins to slow down.
Actively experiencing our senses in Nature (be it in a city park, sitting under a tree in our backyard, or looking at a bush through our window) grounds us in our Natural Presence and serves as the gateway through which we walk when we decide to let Nature’s wisdom be our personal life coach.
Key #3: Inhabiting Our Natural Bodies
To receive the full benefits of Nature’s life coaching, we have to not only slow our brainwaves but we have to get into bodies as well. The modern world is so focused on the logistical, data driven brain and on technology as productivity that we can forget for hours that we even have a body.
Perhaps women are tired, anxious, disconnected, and depressed not because we have too much to do and not enough time, but because we do not listen to or inhabit our gorgeous earthy bodies nearly enough of the time. Our bodies inherently know how to alchemize our daily mental and emotional stress and create work/life balance.
The modern woman’s definition of “self-care” is often the exact opposite. We push tired bodies to do ten more minutes on the treadmill so that we can fit in a dress one size too small. We crush and tuck and smooth out our curves in hopes of seeing the ideal career woman or young mother reflection in the mirror.
Time in nature can coax us back into the forgotten the sensual joy of being a woman in a woman’s body.
Key #4: Follow Our Natural Attractions
When was the last time you followed your joy, stalked your bliss, or went out into Nature to find out more about your authentic self?
Women are Nature. Our wombs are sacred vessels that contain the four seasons and the lunar cycles of the Moon. We are hardwired to connect with Earth and to listen to the life coaching wisdom found only in Nature.
By following our natural attractions, Nature coaches us in how to stop doing what makes us feel bad, start doing things that bring us joy, and commit to a work/life balance that brings vitality and wholeness to ourselves, our careers, and to those whom we love.
Nature’s Life Coaching Approach
Nature never forces growth or transformation. Only humans do. In Nature, growth and transformation naturally emerge because ecosystems are in right alignment with themselves. If only we women would allow ourselves the same soul-centric unfurling of our natural selves.
Nature’s life coaching approach says we can. It begins with slowing down and going deeper into soul-centric terrain where we will find the tracks of our more wild and lush selves left behind in the modern world. It begins with doing less rather than more; trusting that Nature’s life coaching will show us how to be more inspired and more productive because we have tapped into the power of our natural selves and a natural rhythm of life.
Sisters, it’s time to come home to our natural selves…
We invite you on a journey to explore how to align yourself with the earth’s rhythm:
The Nature Process: Discover the Power and Potential of Your Natural Self.
A seven week online course from TreeSisters, with eco-psychologist Tabitha Jayne
May 12th – June 23rd
Find out more and book your place: www.TheNatureProcessOnline.com
Edveeje Fairchild wrote this blog, inspired by Tabitha Jayne’s book: The Nature Process.
Edveeje is the Director of Operations for TreeSisters.
She lives off-grid on ten acres of raw mountain land in the Mother Forest of Southern Appalachia where she is passionate about the power of place and how our relationship to Nature can infuse, inspire, and call forth, not only our souls, but our part in the Great Turning.
This is the first in our new “TreeBrothers Series” in which we invite the brotherhood into our collective conversation on behalf of the well-developed masculine. This is a guest blog post by Giles Hutchins, author of The Nature of Business as well as The Illusion of Separation.
Clare Dakin and I have been in touch now for a few years and it feels like we are kindred spirits sharing at least two things in common: a deep love of Nature and a passion to catalyze a cultural wake up so that we can live up to our true nature.
Climate change, abuse of the feminine, deforestation, biodiversity loss and widespread disenfranchisement are all symptoms of a deeper underlying cause: a separation sickness which creates deep psychic atrophy. This psychic atrophy causes a warping of consciousness to set in where we get caught up in our own illusion; an illusion of separation that perceives mind as separate from body, and self as separate from Nature. It is what Albert Einstein referred to as an optical delusion of consciousness. It is this delusion which underlies today’s carcinogenic culture.
How often do we sense the sentient sacredness flowing all-around and within us; its awesome beauty, its energetic responsiveness, its empathic receptivity, its enchanting wisdom? We largely perceive the world through a narrowed-down, de-sacralising lens, and in-so-doing we impoverish our world. What we have here is a chronic attention disorder of epic proportions and its wreaking havoc. Our inner and outer worlds are being polluted at an alarming rate.
So often we busy ourselves with patching up symptoms while leaving the underlying cause gapping and so unwittingly apply the same logic that created the problems to our well-intended solutions. We must personally take on-board that it’s our rushing around trying to find substitutes for the real thing which pushing us further away from who we truly are.
Much of today’s daily living denies our soulful somatic embodiment of life’s sacredness. This denial undermines and represses both our masculine and feminine qualities. Yet, it is through a simple (yet not always easy) shift in attention (which is aided through our intention) that we may bring about a re-balancing of our anima (feminine) and animus (masculine) aspects within us. This is a process of learning to love ourselves by embracing the shadow aspects we have fragmented and repressed. It is through this love affair that we begin to rob the illusion of its conscious energy while allowing our truer nature to flow more readily with Nature’s wisdom – Sophia – within and all around us. This is an opening up to the inner planes of our selves, and is guided by our hearts. In sensing the subtle perturbations of the heart, we sense our destiny and we learn how to cross the threshold from ego to soul. We begin to ‘know thy self’ through the power of love.
This love affair activates a fresh way of being-doing-becoming; a new way of attending to ourselves, each other and the world, characterized by a shift from fear to courage:
Fear-based attending Courage-based attending
Leader-follower relation Co-creative relation
Motivated by power Motivated by love
Blame culture Compassionate culture
Command and control Improvisational
This love-based evolution in consciousness is very real, and we witness it manifesting in organisations and community initiatives throughout the world through the rapid take-up of purpose-based initiatives engendering a culture that transcends the prevalent fear-based paradigm.
This brings me to Tree Sisters and the map (and shadow map) of five choices. When I first came across these maps I strongly resonated with them as they verbalized the emotions I was experiencing on my own journey (and still do experience daily). They help articulate the shift from fear to love as we learn to live more consciously.
Conscious sisters are vitally important for the metamorphosis in our midst, not least because of women’s natural preponderance of yin, soulful, empathic anima and the Sophia this taps into. We also know, only too well, that our culture’s patriarchal abuse of the feminine qualities affects both men and women. The reclaiming of this collective and individual shadow of repressed feminine qualities is foundational to any personal and societal transformation. Tree Sisters is helping lay these foundations, so we may build on rock rather than sand.
And I see trees as a keystone in all this. We now scientifically understand the uprooting that goes on in the macro cycles of water, air and nutrients when forests are destroyed. We are also beginning to re-awaken the ancient knowing that trees have an important psychical part to play in the Dance of life. At a personal level, trees are my teachers, and I turn daily to trees for my own psychical and spiritual nourishment. The ancient Druids (and other shamanic traditions the world over) knew well that trees are powerful healers for humankind. The help and healing trees provide is needed now more than ever at both outer and inner levels, both physically as a source of nutrient flows, and psychically by aiding the healing of our psychic atrophy. And so to plant trees is to embark on a powerful healing process.
For me, the time has come for true education (from the Greek educere, meaning to bring forth, to transform). True education is about the communal, enlivening, somatic, social and soulful enrichment of ourselves to live a more attuned way of living and loving, through the quality of our attention and intention. Tree Sisters creates the sacred space, encouragement, intimacy and community for this individual and collective educational unfolding to take root. As Clare Dakin says, the time is ripe, the time is now. It’s time to get real and live up to our name of Homo sapiens, wise beings.
Visionary speaker, writer and adviser Giles Hutchins explores the cause of our current crises and then activates the logic required for change agents to reach beyond conventional sustainable business approaches. Formerly Global Head of Sustainability for an 80,000 employee IT service-provider, author of the books The Nature of Business and The Illusion of Separation and adviser to a variety of pioneering educational establishments, Giles explores a new paradigm inspired by and in harmony with Nature. Giles blogs at www.thenatureofbusiness.org. Here is a short video about his work and a podcast series bit.ly/1Gj31TL
May we scrape the cement
off our shoes
and bury our feet
deep in the humus and black soil
from which we came;
Deep into the Rainforest floor
where wilder and more innocent
dreams are birthed.
May we dive into our oceanic longings
and surface at the North Pole
where we touch all things tenderly
knowing one day we must part
when the evening comes.
May we climb the Achaia Tree
and swing from Serengeti branches
daring us to call the canopy
May we have the courage
to speak to her by name,
Our Darling Earth,
as we gaze into her eyes
and see the love she bares for us;
even after all this time.
Even after all this time
the Desert does not say
to the Rain,
“You owe me.”
Nor does Darling Earth
May we find our earth-scape:
valley, forest or plain
and let it shape our soul
into someone more like ourselves
women who recognize from where we came
and to where we go.
May we splash in tide pools
and build our castles from the sand;
May we laugh and twirl with the seagulls
and count the clouds.
May we rejoice and dream
with bare feet and seaweed in our hair
knowing we never looked or felt
Now that we understand
who we are to Darling Earth
and who She is to us.
Even after all this time
She never says
“You owe me.”
What will you do
with a love like that?
TreeSisters wants to do something gorgeously poetic and celebratory and also profoundly practical for 2015 Earth Day. And we want to do it in sisterhood; we want to do it with you. Beginning today, Tuesday April 21st through Sunday, April 26th (until 12:00 pm PST) all one-time gifts and all new monthly donations will go straight to the Earth. In celebration of our love and commitment to our Darling Earth, 100% of your gift will go directly to planting trees.
It currently costs approximately £1.00/$1.50 to plant a tree in India through our partner Project Green Hands. During this Earth Day Campaign all amounts (no matter how small or large) will be accepted. Imagine what your gift will mean for our planet and the trees:
- £10.00/$15.00 = 10 trees
- £10.00/$15.00 monthly donation = 120 trees a year
- £20.00/$30.00 = 20 trees
- £20.00/$30.00 monthly donation = 240 trees a year
- £50.00/$75.00 = 50 trees
- £50.00/$75.00 monthly donation = 600 trees a year
Visit our donation page here.
This Earth Day may we find the crossroads of the sacred and the wild and hold out our hands in a gift offering to our Darling Earth; now that we understand who we are to Her and who She is to us. Even after all this time. What will you do with a love like that?
Edveeje is the Director of Operations for TreeSisters. She lives off-grid on ten acres of raw mountain land in the Mother Forest of Southern Appalachia where she is passionate about the power of place and how our relationship to Nature can infuse, inspire, and call forth, not only our souls, but our part in the Great Turning.
TreeSisters will be hosting a free event on Sunday, April 19th with the author of The Nature Process, Tabi(tha) Jayne, who will be facilitating our Spring online course which begins in May. For more tantalizing details and to register for the free event or the on-line course, you can read more here. The following guest post reveals more of the inspiration behind Tabi’s exquisite nature-based journey.
Majestic heather-covered hills with the gorse in full bloom. A stunning combination of green, yellow and brown fields marked by towering trees as far as the eye can see. Cows out to pasture while the sheep nurture their lambs. Welcome to Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
The land where I first fell in love with nature.
I was up here last weekend visiting an old friend of mine who is now living here. Memories have flooded back of all the magical times I’ve had connecting with this land as a child. It’s been very emotional.
Especially since it was here that I first started developing my own Earth Self.
The Earth Self is our embodied awareness that the Earth is not just our other body.
It’s also the embodied awareness that the Earth and everything in the planet are actually one living organism.
It’s through our Earth Self that our Nature Self (which is the source of everything and nothing – and a different blog post) is strengthened and amplified so that we can receive its direct guidance in each and every moment.
I first mentioned our Earth Self a couple of months ago when I introduces the radical new paradigm of Nature Consciousness, which is the ability to live simultaneously from three different perspectives: Human self, Earth Self and Nature Self.
There are seven key stages that I’ve observed within myself and others over the last 28 years. It’s important to note that this model isn’t linear with one stage following on from the next.
Rather it’s triangular. And there’s two of them (Identification Triangle + Integration Triangle). That blend into one (Unification Triangle).
At this point my Earth Self jokes, “Triangular?! I thought I was more of a sphere myself.”
Yup. Have a look at the diagram below before I explain more.
Both triangles are created with an initial experience of an aspect of the triangle. The Identification Triangle at 1. The Integration Triangle at 4. You’ll find more about what each number signifies in the explanations further down the page.
Once both triangles are established, your repeated experience of each of the stages flows into the next creating a never-ending flow of experiences that strengthen the existence of both the Identification Triangle and the Integration Triangle.
It’s only when both of these triangles are fully established that the Unification Triangle can start to emerge.
The more experiences you have of your Earth Self through the Identification Triangle and the Integration Triangle, the more the Unification Triangle starts to emerge through the fusion of the two.
Finally the two triangles become one.
And that, my friends, is my modern day theory of what our Stone Age ancestors meant when they drew a triangle in sacred sites all over Western Europe, South America and Northern Africa.
I’m a genius! Either that, or I’m full of shite. Read on and make up your own mind :)
Identification Triangle Stages
This triangle belongs very much to Western ideology.
In many indigenous societies around the world, their stories, culture and beliefs already reflect the three parts of this triangle.
Therefore this triangle becomes fully developed at a very early stage for them, to the point that they don’t even get that these stages need to be developed first in many Western people.
I perceive this as why it’s so challenging for indigenous beliefs to become fully accepted in our Western mainstream culture.
It’s also one of the reasons why our mainstream culture doesn’t yet fully understand the importance of a conscious connection to Nature.
- Identification of Human Self with the Earth
This starts as the intellectual understanding that humans and the Earth are connected. In essence, we are one.
Some people also experience what they perceive to be the pain of the planet from what humanity is doing to it.
In reality, these people are experiencing their own pain from the unconscious actions they have taken that contribute towards the destruction of the Earth, which is now recognized as an extension of self. And yes, before you ask, I was one of these people.
In truth, no-one can understand what it is to be the Earth. It’s been in existence for 4.6 billion years. We humans think 100 years is old.
Think about this: When you shave/wax/whatever, you consciously cut down all the hairs (let’s pretend they’re trees just to make you more like the earth) in a specific area on your body from choice.
Yet do you give any thought to the fact that there are around 1000 different species of bacteria living on your skin?
Do you consider how your actions might affect the ecosystem that they live in?
Do you grieve and feel their pain every time you shave?
- Shift in Human consciousness when in the Earth’s natural ecosystem
This is something that is actually really misunderstood, especially with some people out there having psychedelic experiences in Nature after ingesting natural hallucinogenics.
While this is one way to experience a shift in your human consciousness, you don’t have to take hallucinogenics to experience a shift. It’s a natural side effect of being fully present to nature. The only difference is that it’s a lot more subtle and less intense.
Do you go out into nature and experience feelings of well-being, relaxation and come back feeling refreshed and renewed?
That comes from you experiencing a different state of consciousness while out in nature.
Have you ever seen a shimmering, translucent field that tends to hover over forests, the sky, or in fields of snow that you put down to being a trick of the light?
That also comes from you experiencing a different state of consciousness while out in nature.
Do you find that when you spend a long time in nature the thoughts in your mind calm down and quieten?
Yup. That also comes from experiencing a different state of consciousness while out in nature.
These are just three examples.
The more you do this, the easier it becomes until it happens almost instantaneously every time you’re out in nature. You don’t even have to be conscious that it’s happening. In fact, most people aren’t.
- Recognition of the Earth as a living organism
In our Western Society we have been conditioned to believe that the Earth is an inanimate lump of rock floating around in space. As a result we treat the Earth as if it’s nothing more than a resource for us to use and abuse.
Now contrary to some people’s beliefs, recognising the Earth as a Living Organism doesn’t mean that you recognize it as a fully sentient being.
James Lovelock, author of The Gaia Hypothesis, was one of the first Western Scientists to recognize the Earth as a living organism capable of maintaining itself in balance through a series of processes.
He was very clear to state that just because he viewed the Earth as a living organism didn’t mean that he viewed it as conscious sentient being.
While I recognize the Earth as a living organism, I personally have no idea whether the Earth is actually a sentient being. I experience it so but I have no idea if that’s just a figment of my imagination or reality.
The one thing that I do know is that my Human Tabi Self can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be a living sentient being that’s 4.6 billion years old.
Especially because I would have wiped humanity out long ago (even though it’s literally like a blink of an eye in the time of the earth since humans started their domination over the Earth!).
My Earth Self comments, “Mutant bacteria (a.k.a. humans) chopping down my trees and polluting my water and air. No thank you. I’m older, wiser and bigger so you better watch out. You’d be fools to take me on. Plus see the example in point 1 again. I really don’t care about you the way you think I do.”
Integration Triangle Stages
This triangle is the one that’s the biggest challenge for most Westerners to develop.
Before you can even experience any other the stages of development in this triangle you first have to accept that the Earth is a living organism.
That idea is nowhere near being accepted in traditional mainstream.
In fact, there’s a large part of the population that look at you like you’re a weirdo when you say this.
Sound familiar to anyone?
Therefore the stages of the Integration Triangle come across as. Just. A. Wee. Bit. Strange.
- Experiential understanding of sharing consciousness with an aspect of Nature
This was one of my favourite exercises from when I studied applied ecopsychology. You would take a part of nature that you were attracted to and become fully present to it with your 54 senses.
I can’t actually work out if it was just that I had a great imagination or that I did actually experience becoming the flower looking back at me. Whatever it was, it was awesome.
In an attempt to articulate one of these experiences I wrote the following poem a few years back:
Sunlight glimmers from behind white fluffy clouds
In total contrast to the brilliance of the blue sky beyond.
The white clouds sparkle, tainted golden from the sun’s power.
I feel its power too in the depths of my soul.
Throwing my heart open with wild abandon
Love for the beauty of this world consumes me.
I am the sun and the sun is me, together we are one.
I sit and watch myself so seemingly small and insignificant
Overwhelmed by the raw essence of who I truly am.
Inside, I burn with fervent furious fire
Delighting in the very nature of my existence
Every fiber of my being is alive.
- Experiential understanding of being the Earth
The more that you experience different parts of nature, the more you are connecting yourself, either in your imagination or reality, to the Earth as a whole.
There is a key distinction here though in how you experience being the Earth.
If you are viewing yourself expanding to become the Earth you are doing so from a Human perspective. It’s not wrong and many people start off by doing this.
Yet this still offers a subtle level of separation where the Ego can step in and start to convince you that you’ve gone as far as you can.
There is another way that is far more powerful.
It is when you feel the Earth being pulled into you and you then become the Earth that you have gone beyond the limitations of the Human Self into the Earth Self for the first time.
You are fully the Earth suspended in the glory and wonder that is space (a.k.a the universe). Some people refer to this as cosmic/universal consciousness.
When this happens you will understand on an embodied level that the way we view the Earth as fragile, delicate, and in need of saving is inaccurate.
There is power and strength with the Earth that is beyond our Human comprehension.
Our Human minds cannot even begin to understand the Earth.
The only way for us truly to do so is through our body.
- Experiential understanding of Earth as creator of reality instead of Human Self
There’s many schools of Western thought that teach us that we are the creators of our own reality. In essence, we are the Goddesses and Gods of the universe. We can do anything we want.
It’s an awesome perspective. However, it is only one part of a greater whole.
Like the blind men discovering an elephant for the first time, this perspective is only the trunk of the elephant. There’s actually a whole lot more.
As you experience a deeper connection to the Earth you realize that rather than your human self being the creator of your reality (which is still true) the Earth is also the creator of your reality too.
Over 4.6 billion years, since the Earth first sparkled into existence, it has been dreaming, consciously or unconsciously, as a living organism to reach the fullest expression of itself.
As part of its own growth and development, using its own natural intelligence, it brought you into existence. It doesn’t mean that you are the pinnacle of development on Earth, merely one facet of it.
This is what people mean when they tell you that you are a child of the Earth/Universe.
Again, going back to the first stage of the Identification Triangle, there is a huge difference between knowing this intellectually and experiencing it on a full-bodied level – especially consistently.
Unification Triangle Stage
- Fully developed Earth Self
You perceive no separation between you and the Earth. You are the Earth. The earth is you. It’s more than just an intellectual understanding, it’s a full bodied awareness.
You look at a tree dance in the breeze and see only yourself.
You watch a cat lick its fur and experience only yourself.
You witness the strength and power of a storm and know you are witnessing your own strength and power.
This is the stage where human language fails to convey the depth and experience of these statements.
Many people have experienced glimpses of this.
However very few maintain this awareness in their daily life. After all, most people would think that you’re crazy if you talked like this. Believe me, I know!
The biggest challenge is the realization that if you are the Earth and everything in the Earth is the Earth too then even the suffering humans create is the Earth too.
This is the deepest lesson of being able to offer compassion to everything and everyone. It’s not easy.
It’s only when the identification triangle and the integration triangle have fused completely into one that you’re able to consciously maintain this awareness in your daily life.
Our fully developed Earth Self helps us to take action that not only benefits humanity but every living being in this planet.
This is when the Earth, and subsequently Nature, speak through your Human Self.
Can you imagine what our world would be like if every single man, woman, and child, spoke, and subsequently acted, directly as the Earth and Nature itself?
How do you develop your Earth Self?
That’s easy. You use The Nature Process (or you can figure this out yourself like I did).
I know I’m biased about my own work. Yet I’ve always maintained that The Nature Process isn’t really Human Tabi’s.
It was given to me from my Nature Self as a way of showing how nature works.
Many people who’ve gone through The Nature Process say that they’ve been doing this unconsciously for years.
They’re right. I’ve unconsciously done The Nature Process since I was born. It’s an innate talent that all children are born with.
It’s been my attraction to make this unconscious process conscious that has led me to the work I do now.
Now, more than ever, we all need to become fully conscious of our relationship to Nature so that we can deepen our connection to it and use Nature’s wisdom to become the humans that we were all born to be.
If you’re interested in finding out more about The Nature Process LIVE online program which starts May 12th, I’m doing a free introductory call where I’ll be interviewed by TreeSisters Founder Clare Dakin on April 19th @ 10am PDT/1pm EDT/6pm UK/7pm CET.
On this call you’ll:
- Hear the story behind The Nature Process and why it works
- Learn how the stress of daily life can block a conscious connection to Nature
- Discover how your 54 senses are the key to becoming fully present in Nature
- Experience an introductory guided exercise that will introduce you to some of your 54 senses and help you expand your Natural Presence
- Be able to ask whatever questions you want to
I do hope you’ll join us!
Earth Tabi :)
P.S. If you can’t attend live, don’t worry, you’ll get access to a recording.
P.P.S. Click here if you want to check out the course content. The Nature Process LIVE online is going to be even better than last year!
Tabi Jayne is an eco-psychologist, business growth consultant, nature geek, author and speaker who developed The Nature Process® after 5 years of research and work into synthesizing ecopsychology and coaching.
The Nature Process® teaches people how to release emotional pain and limiting beliefs through a conscious connection to nature. In May 2014, the first LIVE online program was launched, which donated 100% of the proceeds to support the work of TreeSisters. 77 people in 12 countries took part and raised £5827.56 (approx $9,900).
The book, The Nature Process: How to easily and effortlessly step into your natural power and be the change you wish to make in the world, developed from the first online course, is marketed through an affiliate scheme. If you buy a copy of the book byclicking on this link, TreeSisters will receive approximately $5 from the sale of the book.
Did you know that up until twenty years ago, all stress research was done on men? I just discovered this, and it blew me away. Researchers thought that female hormones fluctuated too much to measure accurately, so they left them out of their studies.
Luckily, a researcher named Shelley Taylor decided to embark upon a ground-breaking stress study – one that included women. What she discovered could have a potentially radical impact for women, especially women who are engaged in a healing journey of any kind.
Taylor’s studies show that the typical ‘Fight, Flight or Freeze‘ stress response isn’t always what happens for women. Rather, the female body often responds to stress with a flush of different hormones, including Oxytocin, which instead creates an attitude of ‘Tend and Befriend‘.
In times of stress women don’t move to run or fight, they reach out to protect and connect.
Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the ‘Goddess Hormone’, and along with the other ‘Tend and Befriend‘ hormones, it serves as the female body’s natural de-stressing mechanism, by:
~helping muscles to relax
~reducing blood pressure and cortisol levels
~increasing pain thresholds
~activating anti-anxiety effects
~and promoting the body’s natural healing response.
Happily, there are many ways to activate this ‘tend and befriend’ response, and all it’s healing benefits, without being stressed. Hugging a friend, cooking a meal for someone you love, petting your dog, walking in nature, and even giving yourself a thirty second shoulder rub all release a flush of oxytocin and it’s host of healing effects.
For the last five years, I’ve been on a recovery journey from chronic digestive pain, so I’m especially curious about the potential healing effects of this ‘Goddess Hormone’. One of the turning points in my healing was when I joined the TreeSisters team and began to connect with them in weekly team meetings, as well as taking part in the Awakening Women Institute‘s online women’s programs. I noticed that my symptoms were reduced both during, and directly after experiences of being in circle with women (even online).
Women’s circles can be a tend and befriend heaven. Deep listening with no agenda, hugs, feeling ‘seen’ and ‘met’, low light and soothing music, a sense of kinship, eye-gazing, and respectful touch all activate oxytocin.
I began to ask myself: could the friendship, bonding and support within women’s circles have tangible, measurable healing effects for chronic health problems?
The statistics about chronic health conditions are shocking – women make up nearly three quarters of the people who experience them:
~5 million people with Fibromyalgia (80 – 90% women)
~1 million with Chronic Fatigue (66 – 80% women)
~30 million with IBS (66-75% women)
If gathering together in supportive circles of sisterhood could truly activate healing for these women in a tangible way, it could be huge.
Totally intrigued, I’ve decided to explore the healing potential of women’s circles by launching a new project called Women’s Wellness Circle. Together with my dear sister, Frances (who recovered from a five year journey with Chronic Fatigue many years ago) we’re researching and developing ways to gather women with chronic health challenges together to activate the ‘tend and befriend’ healing response.
Our first experiment is a free three day email course, where we share several practices to invite the oxytocin hormone flush through the body, as well as a Facebook community where women can gather in a supportive environment and build sisterhood.
So, I raise a toast, to sisterhood, to oxytocin, to including women in research (honestly), to the healing power of women’s circle, and to these fabulous women’s bodies, with all their hidden healing keys.
Sophie Jane Mortimer
Sophie is TreeSisters’ Communications Director. She is also a Yoga Instructor (RYT200) specializing in Restorative Yoga, a Massage Therapist and a Women’s Temple Leader in the Yogini tradition established by her teacher Chameli Ardagh at the Awakening Women Institute.
Photography and Artwork by: Emmanuelle Brisson, Flora Aube and Aubrie Woods.