Potential

We living beings are born, our seeds sprout, our eggs hatch, cells divide and whoever we are, we begin a joyful time of tremendous growth and transformation.

Whether you are a tree sprouting from a minute white seed embedded in cottonwood fluff, a tiny songbird hatchling breaking through into the light, or a human baby leaving the warmth and comfort of your mother’s womb, the growth at this tender time of life is exponential.

Newborn baby

All creatures come to this life with amazing potential within the limits of the energetic blueprint of their species.

For me, Grandmother Cottonwood, my greatest potential is to reach maturity, to live a long life, rooted to the earth, stretching tall, soaking in the sunlight through my thousands of leaves each springs and summer, developing new seeds each year…

…then letting my seeds go on the wind and watching my valley fill with white cotton floating on the breeze, my tiny seeds finding secure places to sprout and send down roots, then watching them grow while they meet the challenges of weather, predators, mowers, insects, earth movers, herbicides, heavy feet or hooves.

Cottonwood seeds

For those with two legs, reaching your potential can be a lifelong process of recognizing challenges to your body heart and soul, discovering or creating solutions, moving through them with grace, letting go of old beliefs that keep you stuck, accepting limitations, listening to the promptings of your heart, paying attention to the dreams of your soul, the deepest desires of your spirit and finding healthy ways to get where you want to be.

Reaching your potential is a constant movement toward wholeness and soul satisfaction in your life.

Come back home to yourself

Beneath all the noise and cacophony of headlines, arguing pundits competing and posturing for ratings with the ugliest most outrageous or inflammatory stories;

Beneath the constant traffic noise, the heavy vibrations of earth movers, the rushing sirens, jet engines with their off the charts decibel levels;

Beneath the rushing to work or appointments, the constant push to be somewhere else, then somewhere else again;

Monarch butterfly on blazing prairie star

Beneath all this constant hum and ceaseless activity and useless arguing and controversy lies the inner peace, the serenity of your spirit.

It is the one unchanging constant in your life, from cradle to grave and beyond; the foundation of your existence, the ground of your being.

When the rushing and worrying become too much, when stress overwhelms you, come back home to your heart and body and your resilient spirit.

Park your car. Turn off the news. Turn off the constant hum and irrelevance of the TV. Tune into the quiet and calm at your center.

Let your breathing slow and deepen, let your awareness come to your heart. Know that you are so much more than the outward trappings of life – the worry and fear, the job, the news, your political party, your race or religion, your schedule, your to-do list…

Yellow swallowtail on zinnia

You are an expansive and indestructible spirit living in a body with peace at your center. Know this and come back home to your true self.

Monoculture

Nature abhors a monoculture… That can be a planting of one type of plant like potatoes. Or fields of nothing but corn or beans as far as the eye can see.

A monoculture can create a dependence on one kind of food, one source of nutrition to the exclusion of others. These planted monocultures deplete the soil of nutrients and vitality, requiring every more artificial pesticides and fertilizer, further depleting the health of the soil and water.

Dead tree

If the crop fails, so do the humans who depend exclusively on it.

A monoculture can also be planting one kind of tree in a town, such as ash or elm. A disease or pest specific to that type of tree can come along and wipe them all out, leaving a sun bleached and unhappy town behind. In a human created monoculture, the strengths of each plant or tree can become vulnerabilities.

Monoculture is not nature’s way. Nature allows a mass of many different plants that complement and feed each other and the wildlife who live nearby. They are all adapted to the land and soil, the climate, the water supply. Nature, when left to herself creates thriving diverse communities!

A monoculture of thought is like a gated community. Uniformity of beliefs and habits can seem like a strength at first. Keeping those who look, think, and believe differently locked out may give the illusion of strength and safety and power, of rightness.

But these seeming strong points create isolation from new and vibrant ideas, adaptations to changing conditions, evolution in thinking and beliefs that can help individuals, families and groups move forward in life with opportunities for connection and growth.

Instead of getting stuck and dying of the viral infection and malnutrition of hate & fear of the other, bring some variety and newness into your life.

Plant your garden with a profusion and variety of growing things that thrive together. Let your diet be varied in what you eat, Let your mind be rich in interesting new thoughts.

Monarch butterfly and wildflowers

Let your beliefs transform when they are getting stale, stuck and dusty by welcoming new people into your life. Let your acquaintances delight you with their interesting take on life, their intriguing ideas and customs, their different ways of eating and living happily on this planet.

Open your heart and mind to the richness and variety of this earth and all who dwell here and life will thrive with true health and vitality.

Butterflies

In this season we can observe those with colored wings, those whose life path is transformation, feeding on summer’s nectar.

Yellow swallowtail feeding on bee balm

There is enough bounty for all. The variety of wild flowers, orange, purple, gold, white, opening to the late summer sunlight, hosting the fluttering masses in an ancient symbiosis.

Before frost comes, before the killing cold, more eggs appear on host plants to become the tiny caterpillars of late summer, who feed, eat and spin their tiny chrysalis and silently begin their metamorphosis.

Monarch butterfly on wildflower

Emerging, unfolding new tender wings, absorbing the sunlight, gaining strength, following their age old ancestral pattern of migration, life, death, transformation, rebirth, .

Many who observe this fleeting beauty believe in miracles.

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.

For empaths

Are you feeling the weight of the anxiety and fear you’ve inherited from your ancestors, that you pick up from your neighbors, friends, people who drive by your home, customers in the store you’ve entered, in the library stacks just opposite you, those closed in with you on the plane…

Do you soak in the anxiety and fear from the news, feel the victim’s pain, the anger, fear, and outrage the media amplifies?

Virginia Creeper

Your true light is dimmed by the clouds of stuffed emotion you pick up from others as an empath.

Dear ones, it is not your job, your responsibility or your duty to take on and feel the feelings of any others! You are to live your life, not that of others. It is your job to feel your own feelings, to to know yourself and shine your light.

When you strengthen the tapestry of your aura and ground your energy to the earth, it will be easier to filter out the random energies of others. When you discern the energy you are feeling is not yours, ask it to drain into the Earth for recycling.

If you feel it is important, you can teach those close to you to begin to feel their own emotions. Where do they show up in the body? Describe the sensation in the body. What sense is activated? Name the emotions if possible.

This is a new skill for many, so patience is called for. If it is too overwhelming, they may need a healer or therapist.

If your family, friends, loved ones cannot or don’t want to learn to feel their own feelings, remember, it is not your job to do it for them! Perhaps they will eventually be ready to heal, but do not hold your breath.

Grandmother Cottonwood

Maintain energetic and emotional boundaries and keep yourself clear and whole. This is your mission above all else.

In this way you help keep our world healthy and allow your light to shine to the full extent.

Managing your blessings

How do you manage the many blessings ideas and inspirations that flow freely into your life?

It is a blessing to be bursting with inspired ideas, to bring your talents and gifts to the world, to fill your day with interesting activities, creative projects, meaningful work, …

Orange butterfly and elderberry

With limited time in the days of your life, how do you decide what are the most important and most satisfying inspirations to focus on?

You might try to imagine and visualize yourself as a tree, with roots anchoring you to the earth, your trunk, branches, twigs and leaves reaching to heaven.

This is a process of filtering and sorting those blessings that inspire and delight and sustain your interest, your connection to the divine and the earth and then focusing on what is most important to you each day.

Visualize the inspirations flowing down from the divine through each twig and leaf — receivers of the light. Now they are synthesized, their energy filtered and sent to larger branches then to the main limbs of the tree until the blessings you receive have been sorted and organized into several main branches – those that feed your soul and satisfy your spirit.

Grandmother Cottonwood

Now as this energy reaches your main trunk you know your alignment with source, you know what is most important to you and how it all fits together. No matter how many inspired ideas and blessings flow to you and through you, you are one with the light of source and strong in your determination and calling to do the soul satisfying work that flows through you.

Your roots also draw in and filter the energies and messages of the earth, up once again up through the earth to your trunk. These energies keep you anchored to your home and safe in your body.

You are a channel for divine inspirations and energies. When you keep yourself grounded to the earth and centered in the divine you will thrive!

Creation/destruction

You are the creator of your life. But think of this… You are also the destroyer.

Prairie grass sprouts after a fire

In your home you paint fresh color on a wall, destroying and covering the old color. You may tear down a wall to create a larger room. You may give away or repurpose old clothes you no longer use to make room for new more fashionable and better fitting clothes.

In your life you dismantle those beliefs that no longer resonate or serve your purposes, and you create new supportive beliefs. You withdraw from relationships that hurt and diminish you and create new uplifting connections.

You create and destroy and create again. You make and unmake, you build up and tear down. You construct something fresh as you deconstruct the obstacles to its creation. In this way, you grow and create the life, the home, the environment that you desire.

You create and destroy just as nature does. A tree grows supple, flexible, tall, shady. After many years it becomes huge, brittle and breaks easily in a destructive storm. The sun can now reach the earth allowing new seedling to grow into the light as they feed on the decay from the old wood.

Tiny seedlings and concrete

As humans you must realize this is part of the pattern of your lives and your civilizations, your history. The new and fresh is built on the foundations of that which has served it’s purpose and can no longer sustain itself.

Your challenge is to discern when the time is right to release your tight grip on what has been and reach out in trust to what is coming and help to shape this new reality into a life that is lived fully, with a whole heart.

Knowing this pattern will help you weather the times of destruction in your life, divorce, the death of a loved one, a job loss, a move, a natural disaster. All of these events are difficult, perhaps devastating…

But please know that you will create a new life again from the ashes of the old. You will endure!

We will endure!

We plant spirits, the spirits of nature, and living plants in our hundreds of billions have endured, persevered, and adapted over the lifetime of our home Mother Earth.

Vine tendril

Some of our number have gone extinct only to be replaced by new plant life forms better adapted to new and different climatic conditions.

We plants adapt and endure even now with the warming oceans, super-storms, human alteration of our valleys, rivers, plains, mountains, and forests.

We will endure into the future as we’ve endured for billions of years trusting our seeds, spores, runners and roots to the future.

We are constantly changing and adapting to our home, interwoven with all life in the vast and complex web of existence.

Come out and play!

Have you kept yourself in the glow of your computer screen too long this year? Are you glued to the couch, too comfy in your recliner?

We the nature spirits of your land, invite you out to play! Let our shifting and dappled midsummer shade mesmerize you and bring you into the present moment and release your worries. Let the sailing clouds on a deep blue sky enchant you.

Tree swing

Let the flowing and sparkling water of a nearby stream fire your imagination and light up your childlike enjoyment of the simple things in life. Sail a paper boat, watch a large leaf float downstream, skip stones, drop rocks in the water and watch & listen for the splash…

Go to the playground and swing, climb a tree & observe everything above & below you, create a bouquet of wildflowers some might call weeds. Go barefoot. Twirl around until you get dizzy and then rest on the grass. Smell the clover. Watch for lightning bugs after dark. Take a moonlit walk.

Pure joy!

You are too serious! Leave your cares and worries behind and come out to play!