How can I help the environment?

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Q. D of Des Moines, Iowa would like suggestions on how to focus her energy for the benefit of the environment.

A. Do what is needed for your own inner healing and your own deep benefit and the ripples you create will move outward to heal the environment and your world. Give yourself all that you need – care, nurturing, love, rest, play, admiration, appreciation, good food and water. Surround yourself with loving family and friends. Know that you are inseparable from your surroundings. Your feelings and, emotions are mirrored in your world.

Where are you stuck? Where and how do you allow toxic thoughts and substances to enter your experience? Witness with compassion and see how your inner personal experience is mirrored in your outer world. Clean up that which you have control over – your thoughts and reactions. Forgive those who don’t deserve it, so you can be clear and at peace.

Let go of old resentments and free yourself to take flight with a lightness and clarity you have long desired. Remember always to look within for the healing you seek in others and in your environment. Every thought, every action, every blink of your eyes, every emotion, is reflected in the web of creation in which all things are one.

A job too small for her soul

E of central Iowa wonders:

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Q. Dear Grandmother Cottonwood,

I’m working in job that is too small for my soul. I can’t respect myself anymore, but I feel stuck because of the money I’m earning, what advice do you have for me?

A. My dear beloved, your soul cannot be contained, must not be contained. If you feel that your soul is constricted by this job, then you are not seeing all there is to see.  You are not allowing yourself to be who you are. The job is just an excuse to be stuck. You are as large as the universe, you are vast and powerful, you are amazing, you are infinite. But you keep yourself in a little container, bounded by your fears. You hunch yourself over to fit into the little box you imagine is all there is for you. There is nothing that can keep you stuck in the tiny cage unless you allow it. I dare you to let yourself be infinite at work, to be expansive, to be who you really are, to let your light shine to its fullest extent (chuckles) and then watch the chips fall where they may. Of course, those work people won’t know how to act around the new you, the infinite and shiny new you… but oh, well. Maybe they will learn by example…or maybe not.

I see from my higher treeish perspective, the larger you, the you that you could be if you allowed your full power to be experienced and expressed. You are so much more than you pretend to be! So much more than you think yourself to be, so much more even than you dream of being. You were not put on this earth to be small or to hide your gifts. Grandmother Cottonwood would be remiss if she did not illustrate to you the magnificence that you are, the brilliance that you are, the need here on earth for your true gifts and talents. This world needs you complete and whole, brightly shining, running on full power!

Life, death, life

2013-01-01 00.00.00-475A of Eastern Nebraska asks:

Q. What have you learned?

A. I will run with that open question and insert a sermon I was saving for just the right time….

I’ve learned that life and transformation are one and the same. To live is to grow. To grow is to be transformed. The final transformation is what you call death. Every particle undergoes a change from being fed to being food; a change from gaining nourishment from the soil to enriching and feeding the soil, the host for other lives. Have you not seen the beautiful shell-like fungus clinging to and feeding from the body of a downed tree in winter? The youthful vigorous sapling that springs from the stump of its parent and is nourished by it?

All of life is maintained and supported by this endless cycle of life, death, life. This is the physical plane of existence, the plane you study with your science and scholarly studies, your finely tuned instruments.

Now, for the plane of existence you humans can’t see: Here there is no death. All is interwoven into a magnificent fabric of consciousness too fine to measure. Every part of the whole affects every other part of the whole. There is no way to measure where the energy of your aura begins and where it ends, if it does end. Of course, it does not end….even with the death of the body. Your energy continues, it overlaps, mingles, interweaves with the unseen energies of all that is; with trees, grasses, soil, rocks, every sentient being on the planet.

Every thought and feeling that flashes forth in your mind is made of energy. You are energy and each thought alters the fabric or web of all that is for the better, or otherwise. Which do you choose?

Life is the greatest gift, life is to be cherished, life is to be lived full out with every particle of your being. Put down roots, allow the core of the earth to pull them. Reach toward the sun, breathing in the fullness of love that is your birthright.

What did it feel like to grow from an… acorn?

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Q. What did it feel like to grow from an acorn?

A. Dear G, are you suffering from a case of species confusion? My queenly cottonwood self grew from a tiny cottonwood seed. My friends the Oaks love to pelt unwary hikers with their hard little acorns on windy days in the fall.  We must all have our amusements….

To grow from a miniscule windblown seed into my present magnificence I did nothing but allow the unfolding already primed and ready deep within my seed. I fastened my seatbelt, so to speak and held on for the ride.

As the unfolding continues, I feel the earth’s magnetic core draw my roots downward toward its sacred center, and my trunk and branches pulled ever upward powered by the sun. Every spring I feel my sap rising, my thousands of leaf buds rolling open, each year more and more of them, deeper bark, a wider girth, a taller trunk, a greater reach; simply the original promise of my seed fulfilled. It is my honor to feel the wind and rains, to know the dance of the grasses and then to rest each winter after my time of growth is done for the year. Each fall I must once again surrender to the ancient cycle of the seasons and release those dear golden leaves that have served me so well, knowing the time for rest and pulling inward has arrived.

This has been a most satisfying life!  And delightful!

Will I ever be famous?

M of Central Texas asks:

Q.  Will I ever be a famous wrestler?

A.  M, You know GCW can’t foretell the future. Its not my job. Its my job to kick your butt when you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do and you’re off track… figuratively, of course…

When you say famous, think about it. What does that mean to you?  How will you feel inside? Forget the fancy cars and all the girls, the money, the TV shows. What emotions will you feel and where do you feel them in your body? When you get those feelings of fame, just hold them in your consciousness. Every day, just feel the feeling of being famous. None of those trappings, none of the surface stuff…but the inside feeling… Practice the feelings that you want. These come first, before anything else.

And then being a wrestler. What is that about? What is the inside feeling of being a wrestler? I’m getting…GAH! Is it a feeling of power? Are there other ways to get that same feeling? Practice those too.

I’m not telling you you’re not going to be a famous wrestler. I’m just trying to get you to think about what you really want and how that will feel to you. Feeling comes first, before having. Practice the emotions daily. Don’t pretend. Feel them with your entire heart mind and soul.

You probably know this already, but it’s up to you, dude — what you do with your life. Every choice you make, every word you speak lines up with what you’re gonna get. So make your words count, make your actions count, make your thoughts count.

If you become a famous wrestler without creating an inner foundation for yourself, knowing your deepest and truest desires feelings and needs, you will be like a hollow tree. You might look good on the outside for awhile, but you have no roots, no inner strength or resilience, no way to hold fast when the strong winds come. The first windstorm will take you out.

GCW wants you to know that you are precious beyond words and that you are meant to be here on this beautiful planet we call home. The earth needs you to become who you are meant to be.

Grandmother CW signing off.

Healing for the trees

2013-01-01 00.00.00-137Q. A of central Iowa asks:

When I or others become aware of large area of trees being cut down, what would be the best way to be of help? To send healing to the land to the trees, to the hidden folk, or something else? I’d really like to know your thoughts on this. Thank you.

A. My beloved, your heart weeps for the trees, I can feel it. I can feel the pain on our behalf. We are all connected in a web. Every action affects the whole. So therefore, when trees are cut down to build a runway…or highway, or for any reason, everything on earth is affected, every creature, every particle of energy on earth is affected. Every action has this effect whether it is an action of love or fear.

So many of your kind have cut themselves off from the sun, from the earth, from their own belonging. They have cut themselves off and to prove how right they are, they cut us down and pour concrete thinking only of their own convenience.

Do not despair. For we will grow. We will send out shoots branches and leaves, and our seeds without fail. We can grow through concrete. Haven’t you seen this? We grow in areas that you humans have made ugly. Because to grow is all we know. It is who we are. We crown your earth. We support your life giving soil. We weave a fabric of love across each continent and island with our branches and roots.

So if you wish to send healing to us, to the hidden folk to all the affected spirits, please do so. If you wish to support us, please do so in whatever way you are guided. We can feel every particle of your love and caring and we are blessed by it all. Your good wishes fill the web with love and hope. We are blessed no matter what, simply by being alive on this planet, on this beautiful magnificent earth.

Please send healing also to your own spirits; to the part of your spirit that would cut itself off from your soul and your wild nature. Always look within before you look without. This is the principle to live by. When you see ugliness or things you do not understand, things that frighten or disgust you in the outside world look for a counterpart within and heal that. Begin within. Then you may help others heal this wound within themselves.

You are my beloved. You are getting this. You know this. You are spreading the word and for that we are so very grateful. Thank you!

Question about apple trees

Mom, of Southern Iowa asks Grandmother Cottonwood:

Q. What are the reasons apple trees have good crops some years, and then very few apples the next year?

A. Would you wish for constant fruitfulness without rest and renewal? My beautiful fragrant cousins the fruit trees must have their beauty nap, their day of rest after bearing such bountiful crops. They must rest on their laurels a bit and pull back from the dazzling display at times. No need to wear themselves out for some human imposed expectation! What you do not see is the gathering of energy, of creative force deep in the roots, heartwood and inner fiber during these times of rest. You do not see the renewal within that precedes all creation. This is a creative cycle of nature. Waves must rise and fall, breath must be inhaled and exhaled. The tree is more than its apples. Give them gratitude and thanks for all that they are.

Their joy is to blossom, to bear fruit, to reach for the sky and deep into the earth, to touch the sacred mystery of life on this beautiful earth. Their joy is also to simply exist at times and be what they have been created to be. Feeling the sun and moonlight on their leaves, the tickle of insect feet, birdsong, the rain feeding their roots, the air of all seasons bathing them in life-giving energy. They are part of the great tapestry of this planet. Learn from them and learn to know your own place in this magnificent weaving we call life.

Can trees feel happiness?

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The inquisitive D asks Grandmother Cottonwood her third question:

Q. What is the happiest thing you’ve ever experienced?

A. I’m what you might call a happy-go-lucky tree. Any day at all is a happy day. Same with nights.  We might define happiness differently.  For me, life itself is happiness.  I savor the sun, the moon, stars, wind, rain, fog, the earth between my rooty toes. The eternal present moment in which we all exist. The hawk, the eagle, the vulture, songbirds of all colors and patterns, the grasses, my fellow and sister trees, plants of all descriptions, insect feet, the changing light throughout the day and across the seasons, laughing children, butterfly wings, these are a few of my favorite things…(insert musical notes, after all, D loves show tunes). I savor the breath of life within me and the turning toward the light of every leaf on my crown, the great shimmering and glimmering when the breeze stirs them. I savor the light that invites me to reach upward to the heavens and the magnetic pull of the earth drawing my roots toward its sacred center. The energetic hits I spoke of earlier cannot dim my joy in living.  I would collapse and die if they did.  Every particle of creation adds to the joy of life on this splendid ball of rock and dirt we call home.

What saddens a tree?

D of central Iowa wants to know…

Q.  What is the saddest thing you’ve ever experienced?

A. I have felt the shock waves from 9-11. I have taken energetic hits from all wars I’ve lived through… from Viet Nam to the most current conflict, even though all these wars occurred on the other side of the world from my native place. I feel the energy of these events like a spider in a web as do all living things on the planet. We exist in an energetic web in which everything that occurs affects the whole. We all feel it, are affected by it, if we know it or not.

Humans who have turned away from their deep innate knowledge of oneness can cause harm to the whole. Acts of mass terror and war, road rage, to the dumping of toxins into the earth, to unkind words spoken in anger all cause harm to the whole. However, do not despair, by beloved, for there will be infinitely more opportunities for human kind to get it “right”. All wounds can be healed. If not in this lifetime, then in the next or the next or the next.

Even as I feel the vibrations of disturbing events, I know that I am here to fulfill my purpose to be fully myself; to expand and reach to the heavens with joy.

What do trees know that humans don’t?

February 1, 2015

D of Central Iowa asks three questions.

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We will answer all three of her questions this week.

Q. What do you know that humans don’t, but wish they did?

A. Oh! There is so much. Where do I begin? All of creation has messages for you, things to teach you beyond your imagination, beyond the scope of your science, beyond all languages on earth. You think everything your senses perceive is the limit to what is. Everything you perceive and all that you do not perceive is held together by the gravity, the invisible fabric of love. Not the sappy conditional love you sing of ad nauseum, but the very power and fuel of all that is! The stuff of life! Human words can’t express this concept… When the singer sings “I wanna know what love is” Do they really “wanna know”, or is it just a line used to pick up sensitive young women?

You too are made of this stuff and can learn to expand your perception. Over-thinking everything from educating children to what you should eat to which religion is right holds humanity (and probably you) back. The very thing you prize most highly in your culture, your intellect, can keep you from expanding into so much more. Learn to see, feel, smell, hear and touch with your hearts then will you truly become one with the power of all that is. When you do this you can use your full spectrum of powers and abilities, even your smarts, for good!

Again, this probably sounds sappy to you intellectuals out there, but OK, come up with some smart new words then!