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.

A Practice for Connecting with Your Inner Child

In this practice, you will be going inward and meeting yourself as a newborn infant…

Find a quiet place where you can relax and just be for a little while. Tune into your breath and your heartbeat. Settle comfortably into your chair or cushion

Now with your inner vision, bring up a picture of yourself as you currently are, your fully grown self. Send yourself heartfelt love for the person you are and the person you are becoming, heartfelt empathy for the challenges you face, the mistakes you’ve made, and heartfelt acceptance for yourself, flaws and all.

Let go of your logical mind for a while and allow yourself to roll back in time to the day you were born.

Tiny baby

Now see your current self lovingly lift up and hold your newborn infant self, cradling him or her gently to your beating heart. You might imagine yourself rubbing their tiny back with the flat of your palm. Perhaps you can feel the velvety softness of the newborn’s skin and hair. Can you see and feel the perfection of ears, fingers and toes?

Smell their scent, Feel and see the perfection, the expansion of spirit in this completely unique, beautiful and tender being.

Do you sense your newborn’s complete trust in you and in the new life they’ve chosen? Can you allow your heart to open with love and tenderness for the tiny but mighty being you were?

As you hold your newborn self in this healing place inside yourself, consider what promises your current self will make to your infant self. What stories will you tell him or her about your life? What will you tell this precious being her about who he or she is. What qualities will you recognize in this beautiful infant? How will you care for and protect your tender inner child?

Spend the time you need reconnecting with yourself on the day you entered this life. When you are finished, put your infant back to sleep and return to the here and now. Tap your cheekbones and the center of your chest to ground yourself in the present. Take a few deep breaths. Notice how you feel now.

In the sacred place deep within your heart, you have the power to soothe and heal your inner child.

Loosen up!

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Tree swing

Why are you so careful all the time? Are you afraid of a misstep, a mistake, getting dirty? I tell you you must sink your toes into the mud and let it ooze. Hear the squelching noise as you lift your foot. Admire your perfect footprint! It is proof that you too can loosen up and go barefoot once and awhile.

No matter your age there is still a playful child inside of you, wanting to escape the tight clothes, the stupid meetings, wanting to play and be free!

Skip stones across a little steam, climb a friendly tree, swing on a rope swing above the fragrant lawn, make a sand castle, spin with your grandchildren in a made up dance. Laugh at the funny noises you invent. Play here under my branches. Make a little play house, create a shelter to call your own.

Pretend.  As you pretend you dream.  As you dream you create your world.