Seeking the Spirit

You might try to find me in that place I called home for so long. You could sit on my stump and try to locate my spirit.

Just as you might seek a deceased loved one again in their favorite chair, just around a corner, or puttering in the garden, you will no longer see or touch my physical presence.

We spirits of the deceased are no longer limited by life in physical form, by illness, emotional pain, sorrow, grief, fear, natural disasters, roots that hold us to one place, to weather that breaks branches and uproots, the freezing cold, or wilting heat.

Grandmother Cottonwood last year

Time space and distance no longer limit beings that have passed into spirit form.

Those who cross to the light slowly acclimate to the freedom and flow, the lightness of being, the life of the spirit. This is our new dimension of existence.

We can communicate with you. We can give and receive messages in various forms. We are with you. We love and care for you. Please ask for a sign, a message, a feeling, a word, a dream or image from us so you will know our presence.

Flying red wing black bird

Once again I understand that all living beings originate in spirit. We choose to manifest in our various forms in physical existence. We live out our precious earthbound lives, be they long or short. We die, leave our bodies behind and rise up once again as spirit, indestructible, resilient, immune to all ills.

We spirits exist with expanded awareness, expanded compassion, expanded joy, expanded love.

Even though you do not see us, we are everywhere. Call on us.

GCW speaks

Dear ones, my spirit is stunned and disoriented by the sudden and violent loss of my life.

My spirit still hovers in this place, the beloved home I’ve know for so many decades. I have been forcibly removed from this precious life for unknown reasons. I was not ready for this.

GCW stump

One day I was soaking in sunlight through my green and silver leaves, drawing in life-giving water and earth energy through my roots. Then suddenly I was in pieces on the ground.

My growth rings are now visible to the sky.

I will have more to say when I get my bearings in this new yet familiar realm of the disembodied spirit.

In my new dimension of existence storms, lightning, heaving frosts, high winds, insects, gnawing rodents, men with chainsaws can never again harm damage or diminish me.

Grandmother Cottonwood

My earthly presence is gone, taken down in a morning’s work. My spirit endures.

My spirit belongs to this Earth.

Near Death Experience for GCW

From Betty:

Last week a bucket truck and workers clad in day-glo vests carrying chainsaws were seen in the vicinity of GCW.

Instead of trimming weak branches and removing dead wood as I had hoped, her western trunk was cut off several feet above her roots. Huge chunks of wood, splinters, and bark now scatter the ground around her for many yards.

GCW in parts

I feel a huge sense of sadness and loss at this action. The landscape and horizon here on our patch have been changed forever.

For some reason a part of her eastern trunk was allowed to remain, so a portion of her once magnificent crown still gathers in summer light through silver and green leaves.

Remaining crown and trunk of GCW

It is not known if the men in chainsaws will return to finish the job and bring her completely down.

Her remaining lifespan and physical being have been severely curtailed, but her spirit endures.

Cross section of GCW

I know she will continue to speak. Her wise and loving spirit cannot be destroyed, cannot be diminished or eradicated.

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!

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.

Renew your spirit

If your spirit is heartsick and your heart is grieving, all the objects, money, luxury, and comfort in your life will be like dust to you. People and activities that were once interesting may seem petty and trivial.

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Spider web

Remember, dear ones, the human heart and spirit can be renewed and made whole again. A torn, threadbare, and dusty tapestry can be carefully rewoven, mended, and cleaned.

Your disrupted energy can be balanced and cleared of dark clouds. When your energy is in harmony, your spirit is fulfilled, and your heart is satisfied, you set the tone for true engagement and full participation in life.

No matter what you are feeling, your spirit possesses the knowledge at some level that wholeness is possible for you, that you are worthy of joy, clarity, and good health.

When you are ready to make this wholeness manifest in your life, ask the universe to support your healing journey. Be open to the guidance you receive, and act on it.

Healing with a tree

When despair or sadness come over you, take a walk – find a tree and sit at her roots, lean against her trunk.

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Grandmother Cottonwood, morning sunlight

Now see yourself rooted deeply to the earth. Nothing can topple you. You are flexible and you sway gracefully with the wind, safely and securely anchored.

With the tree’s help, you can release the feelings that drag you down, and know yourself as a powerful being!

Let the despair, the fear, the grief you feel drain into the sweet earth where these energies will be transmuted, neutralized, and healed. Let your feeling be carried down into the earth on your out breath, through the trees roots – for your energies intermingle and become one.

Now imagine breathing earth energy up into your roots and bringing it into your lower body. Allow it to fill you with its calming and peaceful frequency. Allow the gentle tree energy to clear and renew you.

Now with your roots firmly planted, let your energy rise and expand with the trunk, branches and crown, taking in the sunlight and joy of living in this place at this time. Divine energy will fill your being as you allow it to pour through you.

Know the peace, solidity, awareness, and love of your chosen tree. Breathe healing energy from above and below as you merge and experience for a few moments what it feels like to be a column of light, rooted to the earth and reaching to the heavens.

Are you highly sensitive?

Some of you are blessed with the ability to feel what others feel, to pick up the tiny hints and clues of actions yet to occur, to feel or see the subtle energies of others.

You may carry the cares of the world on your shoulders, weighed down with sorrow and pain and anxiety that are not your own. In this way your greatest gift becomes a burden, and your life is not under your own control.

Please know dear ones, that you can manage your gifts and sensitivities without carrying and feeling the grief of others.

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Winter trees, snowy day

When you feel overwhelmed and know it is not yours, send blessings and love to the sufferers whoever and wherever they may be. Then imagine yourself shutting a door or a window, or pulling a curtain that will keep your energy with you and theirs with them.

Perhaps you felt as a child you could help others by carrying their feelings. Know this! It is not your job to carry the weight of the world on your back. You can keep yourself clear and free of collective anxiety! Your job is to feel and manage your own feelings.

If you are called to help others, you may teach others to manage their own feelings, to become literate in the language of emotion so the earth may become a more peaceful and happier place for all to live.

Grief

GCW speaks of injury, loss, and grief

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Have you seen? I have lost many branches in my long life, The dead sumps and scars are here to be seen, the bark still protruding where it once protected a dear limb, now white and rotting on the earth at my roots.

Have you lost something precious, someone dear? Does your heart grieve? All living things know loss. Sickness and health. Injury and healing. Having and losing. Grasping and letting go. Falling and rising again, perhaps to a new reality you didn’t ask for and don’t want.

Can you sit and breathe through the tears? That is enough for now, simply sit and feel and breathe, even though your tears may fall. Can you love yourself, the part of you that feels what all others who have walked this earth have felt? Can you simply love yourself as you sit and breathe and feel?

For love heals. The breath heals. Feeling heals. Tears heal.

Expect nothing. Simply sit and feel and breathe. Like waves on the shore – in and out in and out, the rhythm of life.