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.

The Spirit of Water

We are swimming in the river of life, sometimes smack in the middle of the fast moving current, sometimes grounded on a sandbar for a time until the water rises again.

Life moves greater ease when we are immersed and surrendered to the flow. Fighting the current of the river of life depletes and weakens the spirits of living beings.

The waters of this river move with one purpose – to join with all waters all rivers streams and creeks, all lakes, inland seas. To become one water.

Allowing yourself to move with the current of the river, allowing it to take you where it wants and needs to flow; steering a bit now and then to keep yourself from running aground, your life will flow with more ease than you ever thought possible.

The gravity pulls all water finally, to the meeting place. This is the vast ocean where trillions of tiny water droplets that once fell as rain or snow, hail or sleet across our Earth merge and become one in a universe of surging and living and sacred water.

Let your spirit and the spirit of water guide you.

Spring Renewal

According to the calendar, the stars and the angle of the sun, the waking and greening life all over the northern hemisphere, spring is here. The Earth wakes finally from her long winter’s nap.

Nature supports your movement toward renewal and restoration during this season of growth and expansion.

Spring is the time to remove those impediments that have kept you from living fully and from enjoying life fully. Now’s the time to let the energy of your life flow freely.

Early spring robin

Remove or change what is bothersome, old, ugly, broken, cluttered, or unused in your surroundings and in your life if you can. Find new colors to live with, new arrangements of objects, give away those things you no longer find joy in.

This is the time to refresh dirty paint, replace threadbare clothes with dull and faded colors, fix and mend broken or scratched surfaces.

It is time to renew and restore the weed choked garden, to haul away last year’s dead leaves, to create compost from the old matter that will feed and nourish new growth. It is time to plant seeds and watch the miracle of their development throughout the growing season.

Now’s the time to explore new interests you’ve been putting off, allowing yourself the luxury of new creative ideas, new projects that will excite and enthuse you.

It’s time to refresh, renew, and clear the decks for the life that is waiting to be born through you.

More about Spirit

Messages given by spirit ring true to heart and mind, resonate deep within the human heart. Spirit speaks in symbol and metaphor. Spirit communicates with you when you ask for guidance. Spirit reveals how all beings depend on each other.

Spirit heals, it does not judge or curse. Spirit reveals oneness and belonging, not division and separation.

Spirit selects no enemies, no villains, no fall guys, deems no one less worthy than another.

Grasshopper and purple cone flower

Spirit knows and sees the wholeness of all that is. Each living being is accounted for in the web of life, each blade of grass. Spirit does not focus on flaws or faults or rain punishment upon those deemed unworthy by human decree and practice.

Spirit reweaves the tapestry of life when it becomes worn, torn or ripped by those who separate themselves from the fundamental truth of all existence, We are All One

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.

More About the Season of Winter in Your Life

When winter knocks on the door and you are snowed in, you can’t leave the house, can’t escape yourself. All human movement in the white world ceases for a time as the wind roars, snow swirls and drifts pile up against all obstacles.

Here you are in the house, cozy and warm, yet there remain many long weeks until the spring thaw comes. You will endure the cold, the wind. You will survive this harsh and bleak time of year when life seems to have abandoned the world.

Winter strips bare the bones of Mother Earth, lays the reality of the frozen world before you – the tree wraiths with their black branches dancing in the gusting wind that cuts like a knife.

Winter trees

Many compare winter to death. But, dear ones, life waits deep in the roots of the sleeping trees and grasses, Deep in the soil below the frost zone, beneath the blinding drifts of snow. Life bides her time, resting and waiting for the warm mild days to return, the bright spring sun that draws all life upward to his life giving light.

Spring tree

When winter overtakes your being, find time to rest and go inward. Connect with the spark of existence that is deep within your being and know that life will return once again when the season turns.

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.

GCW’s Tips for Life

Here are several humble and easy tips from GCW based on her tree wisdom and observations of humans during her long life.

Tip #1: Spend time in nature every day to renew your relationship with with the web of life. In nature, you can release human caused worries, tensions, anxieties and find the peace and calm at your center.

Here you can walk and move your body freely. You can swing your arms, you can run, you can sing to your heart’s content. You can catch a snowflake on your tongue. You can climb or lean against a friendly tree. You can sit on a rock and soak in the sun, observing the life surrounding you and the beating heart within you.

Everything you experience in nature can be seen as a mirror of your inner self and you can learn from this; the dark forests, rolling prairies, deeply rooted grasses, feathered creatures of the air and treetops, grazing animals, fur bearers, scampering tree dwellers, the moods of weather and sky, the quality of light, industrious insects, magnificent spreading trees, tangled undergrowth, flowing streams, silver ponds, changing seasons…

Nature places no demands on you, makes no judgments about you, has no agenda for you to follow. Here you can be yourself. Here you can reconnect with the carefree and happy child within you.

Grandmother Cottonwood, winter

Tip #2: Hug a tree now and then. If you are tuned into your body in a sensitive way, you will notice a change in your energy as you hug a tree. You might also notice the energy of the tree. It may feel loving, welcoming, vital, peaceful, calm, patient. As you hug one of our representatives, you connect to the grounded earthy energy of the tree, and that will energize you!

Tip #3: Root to the Earth. You’re in a body and thus you belong here. You are meant to live fully in your body, not spending the majority of your time in your mind. If you do, eventually you will crash like a weak rooted tree in a high wind. To root yourself, visualize sending your energetic roots deep into the earth so you are anchored to the soil and bedrock. Now you can pull Earth energy into your body through your roots and know that you belong here.

Tip #4: Reach to the Light. Take up your allotted space in the canopy, so to speak. Soak in life giving energy that is your birthright and grow toward the sunlight. A tree will never turn away from the light, but grow always toward it, reaching and reaching and soaking in as much as possible every day of the growing season.

Grandmother Cottonwood

If you are alive and reading this, you are in your growing season. Make the most of it! Claim the light that is yours without apology.

If others are overshadowing you, find safe ways to find the light that is yours. You might start small and build on your successes over time.

When you are rooted and reaching to the light, when you spend time in nature, when you hug a tree now and then, you fully alive in body, mind and spirit. You are free! You are participating in full spectrum of human possibilities from the earthy to the sublime.

In this way, you connect and know your oneness with the web of life.

Winter Storm

Bare branches shiver in the roaring winter wind; air heavy with blowing snow, the sun dimmed, sky heavy with impenetrable clouds. All the world softened, hazy and indistinct.

Pitiless wind ripping and tearing across the land, scouring everything in its path. Wind forming snow into drifts of sculptural beauty near buildings, fences, trees, shrubs. Like smoke from a furious fire, snow pours from roof peaks and slopes.

All perennial rooted beings sleep under the cold blanket. Their life retreats inward to the roots, waiting for spring to rise again, oblivious to the wind and cold and the shifting drifts covering all the land.

Grandmother Cottonwood, snowy day

All fur bearers are safe within their burrows or weather tight nests, snuggled together for warmth. Winter birds fluff their feathers under cover, cold blooded creatures hibernate in their earthy dens, sleeping deeply beneath the frozen mud.

Dear ones, remember the wonder you felt as a child your face pressed to the icy window, watching the snowstorm rage, joyful at the school cancellation?

You were safe and warm in your lighted house, watching the fury unfold outside, feeling the fierce beauty, the raw power of wind and snow.