More advice from a tree

Dear ones, send your roots deep and spread your branches wide. As a living being on this planet it is your birthright to take up your share of sunlight water and nutrients. No more, no less.

Hackberry tree

When you sacrifice the water, nutrients, resources, space, and sunlight that you require to thrive in order to help a weaker being, you only weaken and diminish yourself.

When you sacrifice your own well-being to try and help other healthy adults you are keeping yourself small and stunted. Your health and well being suffer, you have trouble accessing your inner power and your future suffers.

You will never see a tree leaning away from the light!

Sometimes they must lean away from the shade of larger trees, to find their own light. When the larger tree falls, the smaller can shoot up and take its place in the canopy. This is the way of trees.

Of course when you have small children or you are caring for someone who is ill, you will do what you can for them and help them. Yet, even then, you must maintain and take care of your own energy, take some time for yourself, breathe deeply, eat healthfully, get enough sleep and exercise. No one will do it for you!

Do not give up your own precious path, your well made plans, your true heartfelt work, your beloved dreams to try and help those who live in the shadows. You will both be weakened. Once abandoned, your creative and spirit guided life may fade from your consciousness and be forgotten.

To help others in healthy ways that honor your needs, you can show and reflect to them their own inner power, their own strength their own capabilities, their own capacity to plug into the light.

Grandmother Cottonwood

That is what balanced healthy loving is. Letting others find their way according to their purpose here on planet Earth.

My purpose as a tree: Root deeply and reach to the light.

Holiday Traditions

Have you bitten off more than you can chew? Over committed to others, under committed to yourself? Are you running on empty?

Must you uphold tired old traditions that suck you dry, exhaust and deplete you?

Have you fallen into the “we’ve always done it this way” trap, or the “so and so expects it” trap? The guilt trap?

Do your expectations for your holiday celebrations match the reality of your needs, energy, desires and wishes?

Male cardinal in winter

Be honest with yourself and kind to yourself as you create fresh new holiday plans and loving new traditions that honor your deepest needs as an autonomous human being and a unique individual.

Do it your way!

This life you are living is yours to shape. You are the potter, life is your clay.

You can free yourself from stale and unhealthy patterns that have been built up over years of others living on autopilot.

Keep what you love, discard the rest.

Within whatever confines you find yourself this holiday season, be creative, be true to yourself.

You can celebrate the holidays in ways that honor and respect your deepest self.

Healing Entanglements

To reach your full light your peak flow and effectiveness, you may need to heal some of the entanglements from your past.

These may be entanglements with tired old beliefs that once seemed to keep you safe, entanglements with people who you discover do not have your best interests at heart.

Autumn trees at dusk

Perhaps you are entangled with those who were friends or lovers of your youth, but who were not able to grow and learn from life and heal themselves as you did. And now your relationship with them does not feed your soul any longer, but drains you.

Take courage! Take heart! Gather your will and your inner power as you reinvent your life and create healthy new beliefs, uplifting new friendships and let go of the stale old patterns and habits of thought that keep you small.

Yes, this healing can happen for you, step by step, hour by hour, little by little. This is not an easy overnight process! You must do the difficult work of healing, of letting go, and learning to trust and love yourself. There is no substitute!

Ask for help from a healer, therapist, trusted friend, compassionate spirit helpers, or a wise mentor as you enter into this life changing path. You do not have to do this alone!

After a time, you will look back on yourself and see how far you’ve come in the evolution of your soul and how much healthier you are in mind body and spirit.

Grandmother Cottonwood, summer

Dear ones, once you have seen the light, you will never want to go back to the entangled you, the small and hurting you. You may have some good memories of those days, still keep in touch with old friends on a surface level, but remember this: after you have been born, you cannot go back into the womb.

I am calling you to your highest self, your wise self. I am calling you to tap into your true inner power based on your innate worth as a child of earth and spirit!

Trust yourself

Did your parents, teachers, aunts & uncles, grandparents ever encourage you to trust yourself? To trust the knowings of your heart, the inner hopes and dreams for your life, your intuitions, and instincts about other people, your certainty about what activities you wanted to pursue, what your inborn interests and talents were?

Grandmother Cottonwood

Or, were you told to be nice, to smile when you didn’t want to, to fit in and not rock the boat, to worry about what the neighbors might think, to suck it up and get along?

Dear ones, if so, you were betrayed! Now it is time for you to reclaim and regain your own power, your trust in yourself and your intuitions, preferences, your inner knowings, your autonomy, your mastery of your life.

Begin little by little to tune into your inner voice, your wise and loving spirit, your indestructible soul and the wisdom and power of your heart.

You will find your truth within your heart, not outside yourself with any teacher, guru, mentor, parental figure.

Yes, parents teachers and mentors are needed at certain times in life, to help mirror the best in you, to help you learn skills and boundaries, to learn love, to keep you safe. The best of them assist you in learning to trust the innate wisdom of your heart and soul and tap into your inner power and riches.

Look within and know that you can trust the knowings of your heart mind and soul.

Trusting yourself is loving yourself.

Strike spiritual gold

Have you locked in on a particular object that you “must have”? Do you feel your life is incomplete if you do not meet the income level of your dreams or own the shiny new car?

Take a moment to look around you without judgment. Bring your awareness to your heart.

Grasshopper and purple cone flower

In this moment, even though you may not have “made it” in comparison with your neighbors, family, and friends, when you quiet your ever busy mind and churning thoughts and take time to make friends with your true self and listen deeply to the longings of your heart, you will know that in this moment you are safe, you are whole, you are complete.

You knew this as a child, you can know it again!

You are safe, whole and complete with or without the higher income, the rare collectible object, the advanced degree, the life partner, the new house, the labor saving devices, the newest phone, the designer clothes and shoes, the high end jewelry, …(the list is endless, isn’t it?)

Slow down and get to know who you really are beyond all the things, all the education, the money, beyond the striving, planning and wanting.

You will strike spiritual gold when you get to know your true heart and genuine self.

Grow to the light

Tree grow tall to the sun, our source of energy and we root deeply to the earth, our home base, our ground of existence.

We may grow in a group together, but we do not lean to the right to the left to help another smaller tree to more light.

Community of cottonwoods

We do not weaken ourselves to help others grow. We are strong together, each taking our place in the light. When a mature tree dies the young saplings crowding underneath will shoot up quickly into the sunlight, finally finding their own place in the canopy.

Be like a tree. Do not weaken yourself or sacrifice your energy and power or hold yourself back because another adult is weaker, has less energy, is farther behind than you.

Of course you will help and protect and love your children. Human children need more care, attention and togetherness than cottonwood seedlings.

Grandmother Cottonwood

If you want to, show them where their power lies. Reflect their strengths to them, let them access the source of power within themselves

Weakening yourself to help other grown people never works because the others do not know what to do with your energy, your power, your knowledge. They will squander your gifts while draining you. For nothing!

They will either learn to access their own power and stand on their own feet or they will not. If they do not, please bless them on their life’s path and let go of your misplaced responsibility

Your job is to grow to the light and spread your branches!

Use your power wisely

Time to take stock: Do you use your powers for the betterment, the uplifting of our earth and her creatures? Do you use your powers to shine your own light in this world?

Grandmother Cottonwood

When a human uses their power to hurt and abuse others, to destroy with wanton disregard for the sacredness of each individual, they cause the web of life to tear. This skews the amazingly intricate and beautiful patterns of love and connection that support us all.

In this way, patterns of abuse and ugly behavior are passed down in families and communities.

The fabric of a once beautiful tapestry becomes torn and tattered and more so over time. Make no mistake, this damage will be reflected somehow in the lives of those who hurt and abuse and know they are causing pain.

They cannot escape from the consequences of their actions. All the money in the universe will not rescue one who hurts others from their karma.

Grandmother Cottonwood

If you are causing pain to others, or thinking about it, please ask for help from a therapist, clergy, or healer.

You do not have to repeat the hurtful behavior of your family or ancestors… Find some way to heal your spirit, your thinking, your feeling, your beliefs, so that you can become a builder of the web; one who strengthens the connections between all things.

Those of you adults who witness or know of abuse must stand in your power, gather your courage and do whatever you safely can to get help, to make it stop!

In this way, using your power wisely, you help to reweave the web of life on this earth into the beautiful patterns of love and connection that are meant to be.

Obligation and duty

Do you feel obligated to carry out certain actions that others deem important?

Do you feel you must go to events chosen by others, buy and give gifts, act within the human made frameworks of rules, rituals, honor, custom, tradition, and habit?

Vine tendril

Do you follow procedures out of routine and attend ceremonies that no longer make you happy?

Do you feel trapped in endless cycles of duty that bring you no joy and keep you stuck?

It is time to look closely at your automatic responses when duty or obligation come knocking at your door. Do you feel anger, resentment, a lack of freedom, or do you feel uplifted, joyful, connected, and happy?

If you feel resentment, it’s time to gather your courage and create new habits, new thoughts, and new rituals that support and add real meaning and purpose to your life and connect you more deeply to your loved ones. And, they must bring you joy.

It is your life, dear one, and you get to make the rules and set the boundaries that work for you, create the ceremonies, choose the events and activities you enjoy.

You are the creator and designer of your life. Make it beautiful, make it uplifting, make it fun. And make it yours!

Trust the threads of love

Do you allow yourself to make the kind gesture, let yourself reach out to others when that is your first impulse?

Do you stop yourself from creating new friendships, visiting family members, having friends over when deep down you know you would thrive on the connection?

Pair of wild geese in evening light

Some day, dear ones, your friend may move many hundreds of miles away, your family member may fall ill, your loved one may die. Your life in this body is limited and finite so you must make the most of each moment.

(Please remember – the life of your spirit is infinite and unlimited!)

Do you feel you are not worthy of love, connection, or deep abiding friendships with amazing people? This dear one, is a distortion in your thinking. Begin compassionately and lovingly to create new habits of thought that support your highest good!

Trust your spirit to know who to spend time with. Trust the whisperings within you that move you toward connection and wholeness and expansion.

Allow yourself to participate fully in the great web of life that connects all living things with the resilient and powerful threads of love.

In memory of a brother

Betty’s note: Recently, my youngest brother, Steve died unexpectedly. I hope Grandmother Cottonwood’s words will resonate with those of you who’ve lost a loved one.

Now that a loved one has left his body behind and his spirit has crossed to the light, we must grieve this unimaginable change, this shattering of expectations, hopes and dreams, this kind and loving presence in our lives, now gone, this ground of the known universe, this brother that has been with us since earliest days.

Steve’s kindergarten picture – 1967

In the blink of an eye, the measure of a breath, the beat of a heart, our lives have changed and we are forced to let go, to allow his spirit to continue on in a new form, in a new dimension, one that is not so easy to wrap our minds and hearts around.

His physical form has left the building, but his spirit, the expansive peaceful part of him that is love, that is eternal and indestructible, lives on.