Getting Real!

High anxiety and stress seem very common in the human world. What is anxiety but an energetic message to you that your life is out of balance in some way?

Can you live more simply and more in tune with your body, more aligned with the rhythms of nature to bring yourself back into balance between body mind and spirit?

Rushing, worrying, trying to beat the clock and cram many activities into a finite amount of time, constant busyness, constant pressure to look “good”, to measure up, to perform to even higher standards, to acquire and organize and clean more things, to ignore your feelings, to attend to your shiny beeping and blinking objects, to allow those objects to dictate a measure of your reality – these and similar habits cause anxiety to root even deeper in your life.

Can you catch yourself as you buy into black and white thinking of should, ought, or must have, must do? Pay attention to these traps of thought that increase your anxiety levels.

For the health of your life and the life of the planet, slow down, pay attention to yourself, your body your senses. Pay attention to the healing and calming vibrations of nature.

Learn to get real!

Breathe mindfully and create space in your day for the real and true you. Discern your true needs and wants by quieting the mind and listening to the voices of your heart and spirit.

Give the voice of spirit attention for this is your best guidance for a balanced life. Your heart and spirit will not instruct you to go along with current trends, crowd,s influencers, glossy images you try to live up to. Spirit will show you only what is right and true for you.

In this way, you can access the deep liberating wisdom of your heart that knows only how to be real.

Life’s end

As my physical remains crumble into dust and become food for the Earth, for the insects and worms, I enrich and feed the soil that once fed me. The decay of my physical being nourishes the soil that sustained my long and prosperous life. The rains, snows, ice, the freezes and thaws have begun to break down what is left of me.

Grandmother Cottonwood’s stump

My spirit, the energy that supported my physical being continues, as bright, as strong as ever. Now the “I” that was focused and centered in the once living tree experiences an immense freedom, an expansion, a lightness, a joy in knowing my oneness with all that is.

Gone are the days of knowing the baking heat and withering drought, chill winter winds, eroding washes of driving rain, the threat of lightening and high winds.

I loved my life in the form of a magnificent cottonwood tree in spite of harsh weather, boring insects, men with bucket trucks and chainsaws. I lived a beautiful life, connected intimately with the web of all-that- is.

My spirit endures!

And now from my new perspective, my spirit observes the manifestations, the ebb and flow, the dance of life on earth with deep gratitude and great love for all beings.

I have a new viewpoint on the web of life, or the web of spirit, if you like. For in my new reality I know without doubt that all things are one.

Life’s beginning

I am filled with gratitude for the long and beautiful life I lived under the sky, rooted to the Earth in this place.

I remember the first burst of life within me. I felt the swelling of my tiny fluff encased seed, resting in the mud, taking on moisture and warmth many decades ago.

Cottonwood seeds

My embryonic roots slowly unrolling as has been the pattern for all those who came before me for the entire history of this Earth. My roots obeying the ancient call to life, pushing my seed open, surprisingly strong, beginning to grasp the soil to reach downward as if pulled by a magnetic force, to draw in nourishment, and sustain my life, to hold me here.

Now my tightly folded seed leaves, pale from their time in the dark enclosed seed space soak in the first particle of sunlight through the crack in the seed casing. They reach out as though starved for light and unfold and harden and reach upward and multiply under the sun’s life giving love, with nourishment and moisture from my roots.

This is how my life began, dear ones. The ancient will to live and survive and thrive on this planet was encoded in my seed as it is in all living beings – those that move freely about and those rooted to the Earth.

Grandmother Cottonwood, winter

What love, what gratitude I feel for the magnificent web that connect us all in the never ending dance of life on this planet.

Ice and Water

Dear beloved, do you exist in the manner of frozen ice, living in a perpetual winter, or do you live and breathe and move like flowing water? Have you known both ways of being?

All who walk this earth find themselves in the season of life called winter from time to time, a winter in the mind, in the emotions, a frozen heart, perhaps a time of grief.

GCW in snow

If you are stuck in the cold, you will find a way to cycle through the season of winter in your life and move on to the time of thaw and warming. This feels like spring with new life unfolding everywhere, giving way to the bank full flow in streams and rivers and the green leaves of summer.

When you are living in the seasons of spring and summer within your heart, your life flows effortlessly downstream finding the path of least resistance, moving forward with grace, moving toward the ocean with ease.

In summer, your life is like a river, refreshing all who drink of it, sustaining life along its course. The river of your life moves through the landscape, flowing easily around obstacles, even cutting through layers of stone over the course of centuries, to reach the goal.

Sunlit ripples, shallow creek

Then once again you may experience the biting winds and chilly air of autumn and into the frozen time of winter. All forward movement, all flow ceases when winter arrives, life goes underground and water freezes. Everything is stuck in place, frozen in time and space. As you have been here before, you know it is a temporary state. Do not lose heart, dear ones.

With time, patience, self awareness and self love, you can thaw the frozen and stuck places in your heart. Reach out for help if you need it. Your life can once again flow like water in midsummer.

Where there is forward movement and flow, there is life.

Let Your Love Flow

It is never too late to learn more about love. Are you are alive? You have another chance.

As a child, your parents showed and defined love for you, nurturing or neglectful, one-sided, self centered or all inclusive, empathetic or abusive, somewhere in between, good enough. Loving and kind, or not so much.

Then on your next go-round in the school of life maybe your pairings and friendships and loves as a teenager and young adult mirrored your relationship with your first family. Maybe you got stuck in a hamster wheel of unhealthy patterns again and again.

Winter Nest

Know this! Throughout life you can learn more about love. You are never too old to realize you can get unstuck from old hurtful patterns you can learn to open your heart, trust your tender being to others you want to be closer to. Your heart can thaw.

You can learn to see and feel and know the light in others. You can learn to gently dismantle any walls or barriers you’ve placed between your heart and those others you want to be closer to.

You can learn new and safe ways of opening your heart, new ways of relating to others you trust if you desire it and practice with patience, compassion, and love for yourself.

Ask for help from a trusted therapist, healer or friend if you need it.

You can dam the river of your love, or you can let it flow. Your life and feelings of love can flow like a surging stream if you trust and allow it.

Walking on Ice

There are times in life when humans who live through freezing winters must walk on ice. It cannot be avoided.

To walk safely on the ice, total awareness is required in the present moment. Each movement and each step forward much be considered, balance maintained.

Those who have no choice but to walk on ice must have an eye for the safest places to place their feet. These are the spots that will provide the most traction. This knowledge and body wisdom is based on a lifetime of walking on ice.

GCW and Icy Path

Sometimes the path ahead is clear for easy walking without the walker having to consider each step. Then once again there may be packed snow or glassy ice patches on the path. It is beautiful, yet potentially dangerous.

You who walk on ice must know when to walk flat footed, when to shuffle, when to stride forward without planning your every step. Thoughts of fear or anger will deflect your attention and bring you down.

Such is life in a human body, dear ones. Sometimes you will have to carefully pick and choose your steps, slowly making progress through the dangerous places, finding traction, trusting the Earth will support you.

You must do your part as well and listen to the wisdom of your body, earned through many years of experience walking on ice.

At the Heart of Your Spirit

Dear friends, thank you for your patience while I paused my blog due to an illness in the family. My family member is doing well. We’re back now. Many blessings, Betty

Now, in the words of GCW:

If I could weep, I would not weep, for our Earth and her many inhabitants have survived upheaval, turmoil, danger, disease, war, plague, drought, famine, violence, death and destruction over the eons life on this planet has existed.

Beneath the fear, the terror, the hate and destruction seen in current events, beneath the profound deprivation visited upon so many families lies the spirit, untouched by death and destruction, enduring, gaining in wisdom from lifetime to lifetime. Unbreakable, unshakeable.

At the heart of your spirit lies peace.

GCW in Midwinter

At the heart of your spirit lies a loving and profound silence in which all things are possible.

At the heart of your spirit lies the unfolding of love, the love that carries us from lifetime to lifetime with joyful anticipation, that permeates the billions of living beings on Earth, that infuses the cells and DNA of all living things.

The very web of life is composed of the energy of this love. All spirits are joined as one in this magnificent web.

When times are difficult, when you feel fear, when all you’ve known is breaking apart, tune into your spirit for the wide angle view. Like a soaring bird, your spirit will help you rise up and see your life, your family, your community, the events of the day from 1000 feet up.

When you are able to gain this spirit perspective you can feel the temporariness of fearful and dangerous events, the immensity of peace and love surrounding and permeating this world, this universe.

Love endures. Spirit endures.

Ask for Help

Dear reader, this post is from the archives of AskGCW.

Dear friends, I feel a great heaviness in this world right now.

I can feel the vibrations of your tension, the tightening of your shoulders and throat, the churning in your gut, the stress, the weight of worry many are feeling right now in this time of uncertainty.

For those who are worried, frightened – lean against me and those of my kind, the extended family of trees. Enter into our friendly energy, rest your weight on us, we will support and calm you, help you know what is real and solid and true.

Grandmother Cottonwood

Tune yourselves to our quiet and subtle frequency. Listen with your whole body and heart, your wise self.

We will help you know you are not alone, that life goes on, that you are safe in this moment.

Know this. All trees and the collective spirits of nature – animal and plant, insect, reptile, amphibian, all angelic beings, your human ancestors who have crossed to the light, all spirits or land air and sea, of heaven and Earth, of the Universe are with you always.

Male Cardinal in winter

Please call on us for advice, kindness, companionship, spiritual nourishment, comfort. You are not alone. You are surrounded by love.

Tune into our quiet and loving voices to steady and calm your anxious minds.

Come home

When you feel distraught, take a moment, bring your awareness to your heart and breathe. Let your breath soothe you.

When you feel unsettled, ground yourself by walking barefoot on the Earth, or hugging a tree and come home to nature. Let the sights and sounds, the smells of nature calm you.

When you feel ungrounded, come home to your roots. Plug yourself into Earth energy by hugging a tree or imagining your energetic roots sinking deeply into the Earth.

When you feel exhausted, rest awhile and come home to your inner spirit, the part of you that never tires, that lasts forever, that will never lead you wrong.

When you are worried or anxious, come home to this present moment of your life. Release regrets for the past and worries for the future for several beats of your heart and feel the peace as you breathe in and out.

Come home to your heart and body, to the present moment. In this way, you will live a true and authentic life.

Leadership

Dear reader, this post is from the archives of AskGCW.

If your leaders guide you astray – away from what you know to be right and true and good, you must let your heart guide you instead. Trust yourself!

When your leaders are mistaken, misguided, ill informed, emotionally stunted, you yourself must step up and be a force for good in the world. You don’t have to shine on a national stage, run for elected office, or head a large corporation to make a positive difference in the web of all things.

Grandmother Cottonwood, winter afternoon

I ask you to allow yourself to become a force for good and kindness, guided by your heart and by Source in your own life, within your own sphere of influence.

If you feel alone in your beliefs and actions, hold fast! Do the right thing and you will respect yourself and gain confidence. Others of like mind will be drawn to you. And you will create ripples of compassion and loving kindness in the web of life.

The ripples you create flow from the center of your spirit and touch all things on the energetic level, the level of spirit. All creatures benefit from your heart’s wisdom and your wise and kind actions.

Let your guidance and leadership come from within, from the depths of your heart and spirit. Let Source be your partner, and you will make the world a kinder safer place.