Thank God for the Tree

Thank God for the Tree.

I love this statue, and laughed out loud when I saw it. I appreciate how it would take nothing for him to shrug off the load, yet he remains and keeps it perfectly balanced. Whatever his motivation, he is there by choice and maintaining balance under load.

Since I last connected with you so much has occurred. As I look back over the past 8 weeks, I would have to say that for the first time in many years my stress levels were the highest that I can remember. Like all things with stress, it seems to attract more stress. The more that came, the more I went within and connected with my personal tree.

On one level it would seem like the world was conspiring against me, yet on another I could clearly see where, unaware of what I was experiencing, people blissfully unconscious or just willing to add to my stress. Either way, they were asking more from me than was available. Then, there were those few close friends who went above and beyond their busy schedules to assist me. Thank God for them. However all these experiences, in retrospect, would make more sense to me in the quiet of my inner world.

For me the Tree of Life is series of teachings that remind me that my life and the world around me are expressions of my choices and desires. When my life is bumpy and the route unclear, I know I am getting a very strong signal. I am being told that I have consciously (or unconsciously) created a series of events that just aren’t in alignment for me. How can that be? I mean, I planned so well, right? Well, every new path or foray into uncharted territory reveals to me a limited knowledge or experience base in that area. I have no map to access. So what I say and do creates my outcome and since I am out of mastery I tend to create more of what isn’t serving. My obvious frustration arises from not knowing what to do and the need to do something to resolve it. Net result, Stress.

Where “The Tree” supports me is by providing structure and a path where none seems to exist. The 10 + 1 energy spheres know as Sephora reveal to me where I am and as such what is available to me. For example, this blog started by my seeing how only a few people offered assistance. The others saw frustration and, rather than engage and support, they choose another option. On one level, the lower part of the tree, I would see things from my “all about me” perspective. Any creations I create from here, like annoyance, would net me an understandable and predictable outcome of more annoyance. It becomes an inescapable loop where relief is only found by doing something different. In this case the Tree encourages me to seek an outcome that benefits me and those seeking from me. Is it fair? Surprisingly, YES.  There is a way to have your cake and eat it too. When I move to the teachings found in the top part of the Tree I am able to see an outcome by which I am honoured and those “wanting” are supported.

So how does this happen? Each of the Sephora (and in further teachings, the “Paths”) show me that I have experienced something similar, even if it feels different. Then by accessing these memories or energies I am able to see how I already know what to do to ensure a more positive outcome, especially when I am unsure. It is when I am unsure or lost that I often project my uncertainties out into the world and it is very happy to reflect them back to me. So no matter how uncomfortable I am, a change of tack nets a more uplifting outcome. Does it remove everything? No. The Tree reminds us that we are still here, physically, the world is still the same, yet I am seeing it differently. Bad things will happen and so will good.

One of the events that occurred in the past month was that my less than masterful side revealed itself during a stressful situation. It would have been understandable if I rejected the situation and spoke how I felt. The Tree revealed to me that my emotions (the Sephora of Netzach) were out of alignment. Though being provoked and feeling vulnerable, I was able to quell the building storm and find an internal serenity. With all the things that were feeling out of sorts I was beginning to find peace even though those around me had other agendas. Did my world get better? No, not at all, though I was getting better. Peace found me.

It took some time, yet day-by-day the stressors started lifting. Those situations or persons encouraging a lesser outcome faded. People started showing up because I either asked from a place of Gratitude for help or perhaps they could see I had been struggling. My Peace moved to immense Gratitude. The world around me is still in flux. There are good days and some less than so. There are some very large stressors around me right now. It would be understandable if I decided to pitch the heavy block away, yet there is an inner knowing that this all works out. The Tree is guiding me and reminding me that the world outside of this body will meet me wherever I am. Thanks to the Tree, I have at my fingertips a series of paths and insights that support a healthier outcome, a calmer more appreciative me, no matter what is presenting. Like this past month has reminded me, there is more to me than stress, the light at the end of the tunnel is guiding me.

Places to call Home

The world over, in every town and city there are famous households. They stand as a testament to the people, the Stewards that once called them home. Tourists come from all over to enter these buildings in hopes of glimpsing, if only for an hour or so, the lives of people like Nostradamus, William Lyon Mackenzie and Abraham Lincoln. What is it about these homes that people hope to experience? I wonder if these famous people saw them as friends, as I do?

I concede it’s a little easier for me to understand, for I believe that every building lives. Yes, there are spirits, entities as well as people that exist within these spaces, yet I am talking more particularly about the spirit of any building, and in this case a home. Having moved many times, I have said good-bye to many loving spaces and now as I prepare to move to Costa Rica, I am going through my exit patterns again. This time has been most fascinating, what am I saying good-bye to?

Amazingly, in the past month the sale of two houses very important to me closed. Both homes where rich in character, were well known for their street presence and built in the 1800’s. One was a close friend’s home in Ottawa, the other my brother’s home in Toronto. 

 As I left the Toronto home for the last time I opened the garage door and looked into the alley I had seen 100’s of times before. My mind’s eye reminded me that this is the same spot where one of my favorite pictures of my young daughter was taken. Just a week before, I walked through the Ottawa home and was reminded of the first time I’d seen it, some 20 years prior to my friend moving in. In both cases I walked the inside of the homes so I could say good-bye properly, because both of these houses felt like a home to me.

 Most of us move into a dwelling that “feels right”. It is an initial response, like meeting someone for the first time. We immediately know when the right home is our home. We will move mountains, take on seemingly impossible debts and even forego some creature comforts to live there. We tell ourselves, “Why would I need to go out when I love being here?” It is very much like falling in love.  In fact how many times have you heard someone talk of his or her home and say, “I love this place!”

As I watched these Stewards prepare “their” homes for another, to separate their lives from the on going story of the house, their actions were very similar to the ending of a friend relationship. There were moments of frustrations, longing looks at a particular aspect of the home, even frustration at what had to be done to be free of the relationship. Was the sadness I was feeling the house’s, the steward’s or mine? I know there’s a multitude of experiences, laughter, heartfelt conversations that have occurred within the walls. Was I feeling these stories? It is an easy step to see how a house bears witness to the lives that are with in it, so when I suggest that a house is alive, what am I talking about? A house is just a collection walls and floors right?  I am not so sure. I believe there is a collective presence that I have made friends with.

In my real estate and renovation days there was a renovation phrase called “gutting a house.” I would cringe back then, I cringe even now. To “gut” something is to remove its inner workings, like a fish, strip it of life. For a house that means those walls and their stories, floors that supported millions of footsteps are removed. Would you gut a church? If you sensed a level of discomfort with this last paragraph then I am comfortable that you see homes as living spaces as well, and yes, the double meaning was intended.

Watch people as they walk through famous homes. Notice how they energetically probe the space, how they touch the walls seeking for snippets of energy from the former famous steward. Those Stewards left for good reasons. There are times when we must move on, leave our friends. I smiled as my friend and brother’s homes were removed of the “things” that made them special for their stewards. All the decorating and styling was washed with white paint, furniture removed and staging furniture moved in. It is easy to see this as a distancing, a softening of the departure energy. The Steward and Home making room for a new Steward. I smiled because it was so obvious to see it was easier for the Steward to leave when it no longer felt like their home.

Leaving these two homes felt like walking away from a friend. I know I will, like my friend and brother, drive by these stately houses, these old friends. I will see what changes were made and look for what is similar. I know they will take on the characteristics of their new relationship. I am confident that I will secretly hope these homes look happy to me, then like two past lovers passing by on the street we will glance over our shoulders at each other, one last look.  Now I ask you, are you sure these spaces aren’t alive or am I just anthropomorphizing wood, brick and windows?

I am in the final act of packing up my home, putting into storage “my stuff”. While I loved this home, I knew my time here would be short. Still, this home has endeared itself to me. These other two older homes seem to be telling me more though.  They seem to be speaking of my short roots. I am by nature a traveler, best out in the world. I find it hard to settle down. With these three homes packed, it would seem that my anchors are being pulled up again. It would seem there is only one anchor spot left, my Mother’s home. We spoke yesterday and she is preparing to leave her home of 20+ years.     

Am I nostalgic, yes of course I am. It is my hope this rambling musing inspires you to share appreciation with your home space. Touch the walls and let it know how you feel. Smudge your home. Place a shrine or altar within it, for it. Have regular clearing ceremonies and share with this space how much you care. Laugh at those wonderful times you have shared within it and offer Gratitude and Thanks for when it provided a safe harbour for you. Your home is the one place in the world where you can step inside, close the door and leave outside, outside. It is the one place where you can relax within. Listen to it, hear it saying, “You are safe, I have you.”

These places we live in are vibrant and have energy. Please free yourself from taking them for granted. If you have any doubts about this, try moving as much as I do, you will soon see they are friends that help you celebrate life. When you do, your life will be richer for knowing this.

Blessings.

Costa Rica

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A wonderful opportunity has presented itself, Costa Rica.  If you had asked me 5 months ago where I would be in August I would have said Nepal. 2 months ago would have been Slovenia. One of the blessings of being flexible is having an awareness that something will always present itself. We are really excited to explore our new surroundings.  Located just outside of Ojochal is the retreat Bali Rica, our home for the next few months, equipped with Yoga Shala, Stone circle, and Labyrinth.

A Beach within walking distance is minutes from the National Whale Marine Park.
It sounds like paradise. 

Once we have become acquainted and comfortable with our new surroundings we would like to set up retreats there. For now, we have so many plans to be brought to life and this time away offers us the ability to dream and find clarity in our visions.

The monthly Newsletters will still be sent out regularly and I am of course still available for personal ceremony. For those of you exploring the Tree, time can still be found for supportive calls. I will be leaving just after this July's vision quest and while no firm dates have been established, the owners have made space until mid November.

While Nepal is still on, it is now slated for "Later".  This adventure in Costa Rica also allows me time to start the "Walk my Path" Nepal Blog.