GCW speaks, continued

These words of Grandmother Cottonwood’s are continued from the previous post…

This Earth, this home is so very dear to me… Words cannot capture all I know, all I feel…

I know, too the flow of the stream, the flood in spring, the ice in winter, breaking and grinding during a thaw… I know the rocks and sandbars of the creek, the elegant s curves of it’s southward course, the downed trees, uprooted by the current, changing the flow of the water .

I am familiar with the creatures of the water, the tiny silver fishes, the earth hugging turtles, the insects that skate and float…those that come to drink.

Spider web

I know the worms of the soil, the fungus that consumes rot, the spiders patiently weaving their silver webs, the bright butterflies and nodding wildflowers full of nectar, the sharp trilling call of the red winged blackbird in early spring.

My world is made beautiful by the deep shade of my companion trees in summer, the bark of the sycamore, dark and rough near the roots, creamy white and peeling near the crown…I know the cushiony moss, growing in the cool damp places, a green to remember.

GCW and sycamore

From my home, I feel and know the heartbeat of the city, the town, the homes and all those creatures inhabiting this place. I feel the rushing and impatience of some, the peace and contentment of others.

I experience the students who hurry past me on their way to school, their thoughts and attention elsewhere, forgetting the lesson that life is lived in the moment, one breath at a time; that hugging a tree will help them feel better.

Come to school with GCW and you will learn an age-old yet always fresh curriculum – Observe without judgment. Breathe. Notice what you are feeling. Notice what happens in your body.

Be present to what you see, hear, taste, touch feel, smell – be present and allow yourself to know what you know, to be who you are. Become friends with your own self. Listen to your heart – the dreams of your heart.

Now, put the shiny blinking thing down, for if you let it, it will block out everything but itself. Turn it off for a little while and just be.

Know that you too are a part of this magnificent tapestry! Above all, hug a tree.

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Grandmother Cottonwood speaks

Because of my rooted nature, I am by necessity a homebody. I observe and experience my world…and I am never bored!

I am exquisitely tuned to the shifting air currents and breezes, the temperatures that rise and fall, that are different at my crown and my roots.

I know minutely the angle of the sun as it moves through the yearly cycle of seasons, I know patterns of bird migration, seasons of nesting, hatching, fledging, the first flight; the burrowing habits of the fur bearers, the call of the owl, the secret places they drop their feathers, the movements of the deer at dawn and dusk…

I am witness to the patient gliding and flicking tongues of snakes in warm weather as they embrace mother earth with their bodies; the buzz or quiet wing beat of insects as they go about their business of crawling all over me… or nesting in the soil nearby.

I know the prairie grasses, from their first show of green in early spring to the late summer when they’ve grown taller than a man, seed heads heavy and nodding, swaying in the wind.

Prairie grasses

I know the exquisite blue of the sky, sometimes perfectly clear and fathomless, sometimes holding storm clouds that move swiftly to the south, sometimes holding clouds slow and heavy, blotting out the sun, stalling over our valley for days.

From my height, I feel the sunlight gilding my upper branches on clear mornings. I know the gentle swelling and unrolling of my leaf buds in spring, the effortless growth of my bead-like seed pods from tiny and tender to dry and brown and bursting with tiny seeds.

Cottonwood seeds

I know the flight of my cottony seeds on spring winds. I fill the valley with my white fluff. I know them all. I know every leaf on the crowns of my offspring.

From my chosen place on this great planet, I observe the beauty, the variety, the oneness of all things and I am richly blessed!

GCW’s speech is to be continued in the next post…

Cycles rhythms and seasons

I sleep in the dark winter months after letting go of my cloak of golden autumn leaves, waking as my sap rises in spring and my buds unroll to soak in the sunlight…. It is my yearly cycle of life, death and life again. This is who I am! I am at peace.

Observe the age-old cycles of the moon, from full brilliant light to complete darkness, then back gradually to full light again. Each phase of the moon is necessary to the next, an integral part of the whole pattern.

She teaches patience, timing, renewal, shining brightly, allowing herself to rest in darkness, then rising and shining again.

Almost full moon

Do you as a woman resist the time of blood each month, call it a curse? Do you fear the change of life, fear that you will be finished, washed up, that you will be invisible, a dried up husk?

Do you as a man fear the time of life when your physical strength diminishes, when you slow down?

We are all creatures of Earth’s rhythms and cosmic cycles, each species with its own patterns and timing. You too have your seasons of growth, death of the old, rebirth, and regeneration.

Your ever present breath, like waves on a beach; your constant heartbeat, your rhythmic footsteps; your patterns of waking and sleeping accompany you all your days and nights on this earth.

Let your rhythms soothe you, let the breath and heartbeat carry you to sleep at night. Let them calm you when you are anxious.

Let your footfalls and the easy swing of your arms grace your day as you move about your business. Can you slow down and pay attention to these subtle movements within you?

Dear one, this season you find yourself in is your reality now! You are precious as you are! You are as you are meant to be!

When you know this, you will learn to live in harmony with the cycles and seasons of your life, large and small.

Waves of emotion

My dear beloved ones, do you flow with the rhythms, cycles and seasons of your lives, or do you resist them and run your life by the clock, the work schedule, the calendar, or the convenience of others? Life is so much easier when you allow yourself to be as nature in her ageless wisdom created you.

It feels wonderful to ride the wave of your life as it rises, crests and peaks in periods of well-being, happiness and maybe even joy…

The wave you are riding may at times dip downward into the shadows, into a place you may not have been before. Perhaps the wave takes you to a place of darkness, of strong emotions, grief, or illness.

Can you remain steadfast as you pay attention to the energy that wants and needs to move through you? Can you be still and allow yourself to feel what you feel? Can you focus on your breath and heartbeat as you feel?

(Ask for help from a healer, therapist or friend if you are feeling overwhelmed…)

In time you will rise back up into the light, renewing and recharging yourself, rediscovering your passions, reinventing your life – like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly!

It is in the nature of waves to rise and fall, then rise again.

The cycle of life comes around once more as day follows night. It can assist you in letting go of the old tired ways of being, washing through you, clearing you of the unhealthy patterns and feelings you’ve held onto. Know that, like the moon, you will move into the light once again and shine brightly!

All this is life, dear one. Hang on for the ride!

Leadership

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.

GCW as healer: A Shamanic Practice

Dear friends, rest here awhile in the shelter of roots at my base. Can you imagine yourself laying among my roots, on the cool Earth? What do you feel? What do you see, smell and hear as you take shelter with me?

Grandmother Cottonwood – winter afternoon

Feel the Earth energy permeate your body as my roots draw it upward from deep in the earth. My roots are deeper and wider than you can imagine!

Let yourself feel her energy, anchoring, filling, healing, and energizing you. Know the feeling of belonging, of home.

Gifts from Grandmother Cottonwood

Now as you soak in the energy of home, letting your mind rest and your body be one with the earth, let yourself feel the energy of sky and stars fill and permeate your being as I gather it in from my leaves, buds, twigs and branches, channeling it down through my trunk to fill you with light and life force.

Let the light that fills you be in the color most needed for you at this time. It may be any color of the rainbow, bright, clear, jewel-like. Become one with the gorgeous color. Allow yourself to dissolve into it. It might be a deep electric blue, the rosy pink of sunsets, or whatever color your spirit has chosen for you.

Now let the energies, the colors and vibrations of earth energy and heavenly energy fill every cell of your being, bless you, energize you, and heal you.

Rest here in this peaceful place as long as you wish, experiencing and bathing in the peaceful healing energy of earth and sky.

You can revisit my sheltering roots whenever you need peace and renewal.

Climate change

The earth and her weather reflect her creatures; what is going on in the human heart and mind, the clouds of unexpressed emotion, the storms of toxic anger and fear, the build up of heat with no release valve, no outlet. The explosions of wars and genocide, the burden of thousand of centuries of violence, injustice, inequality, terror…

The earth reflects human pain in her own language; weather, natural disasters, tsunamis, mega storms, extremes of drought, flood and fire.  

Are you feeling weighted down by the emotional burdens of your ancestors, and your own life, anxious, nervous, depressed, unable to move forward?

What are you weather conditions? Anger storm ahead, drought, no growth, too much rain, wildfire destroying everything in its path…

Please face the truth of your life! Learn to feel your emotions, clear yourself and continue to clear as you go forward.

As more and more humans regain clarity, heal emotional burdens, let go of fear and resentments, the Earth will begin to reflect this new energy, the web of all life will be rewoven and restored.

This is what you can do to help! Heal yourself, heal the earth.

More about emotional healing

Do you get caught up in the small things, the psychic debris, the junk drawers of life that claim your focus and direct you down blind alleys, backwaters and dead ends of overthinking, worry, numbing and time wasting?

Millions of videos at your fingertips? Sugary treats? Just one more beer? Endless TV?

Dear ones, what is beneath all this? What do you send to the backroom of your heart and mind? What are you avoiding? Does your body provide clues with pain, stiffness, illness, loss of function, decreasing mental clarity? Do you find yourself stumbling, falling, breaking bones?

Feeling your feelings won’t kill you, cripple you, make you sick or weaken you. Stuffing and ignoring them will hurt you! Your feelings are meant to move and flow through you.

Find help if this seems overwhelming! You are meant to be clear and live fully!

Letting your feelings flow with empathy, understanding and self compassion will set you free!

Emotional Healing 2

Does fear reside in your body? Where do you feel it? It is in your gut, heart heart… do you feel it in your throat?

Are there other emotions that live in your body?

Can you sit with this and notice what happens as you tune into the feeling? What happens in your body? What happens to the feeling as you sit quietly noticing it in your heart, your stomach, your jaw…?

Take the time, make space In your life to truly love yourself. Feel your feelings with compassion, without judging or trying to control anything.

It is safe to feel! If it frightens you, ask for help on your healing path. Do this in private or with a trusted friend, healer or counselor.

No frowning adult will punish or make fun of you for crying sobbing, or feeling your true feelings as someone might have done when you were a child…

To live at your full capacity, it is vital to feel what is moving through you, to allow the energy of emotion to pass through your body like ocean waves. All waves start small, build and build, finally peak, then release and dissolve into the water around them.

When you learn to accept and feel your emotions, you are learning self love!

Emotional healing I

Note from Betty: Dear friends, GCW has a lot to say about emotional healing this month. This and the next two posts are variations on that theme.

Dear ones, do not carry the past forward, for it will accumulate and pile up like thunderheads on a windy spring day. It will weigh you down more and more as you grow older.

Let each moment of your life be new. Let the moments of yesterday, last year, decades ago be healed and released. Do not carry the old stale feelings forward for they will taint your present moments.

To let them go, feel them, experience them for that is to live fully in the moment. Listen to your body, do a scan and notice where you feel the emotion. It could be your throat, heart, gut… anywhere.

There is no need to blast a person you are angry with. Anger and other strong emotions need not be harmful to you or others. Use it as fuel for a passionate life!

Love yourself and feel what you feel. You can use your voice to express the emotion, to safely and privately release.

If you let yourself experience your emotions in your body then you will not carry it forward into your future as a dark storm cloud waiting to burst when you least expect it.

Let each moment of your life be sacred as you pay attention to what you are feeling with compassion and self love.