When I first begin working with a client on their love life (or lack thereof), it’s not unusual to find them experiencing a great deal of uncomfortable emotions in their bodies. They might be feeling grief, anxiety, confusion, frustration or loneliness, to mention only a few. But no matter what they’re feeling, the bottom line is that there insides are spinning and turbulent.
So, before we can begin to work on our intimate relationships, we first have to deal with the inner turbulence and the spinning. For how can we make significant changes in our lives, or even be able to think clearly, when we’re so unsettled emotionally?
For example, if you stood up right now and physically spun in a circle for one minute and got yourself really dizzy, could you, in that moment, think clearly enough to solve a problem? No way, right? You’d first have to stop spinning and find your balance, right? Then you would be able to think. It’s the same here. First we must quiet down on the inside, find the Stillness within, and then we can address our relationships or any other issue we’re facing.
I have found an amazing way to help my clients do that. I take them to my meditation tree. It’s an enormous Live Oak tree sitting right in the middle of a cemetery. As bizarre as it sounds, it’s an amazing experience and it produces incredible results. We just sit on a bench, look deeply at the tree and I ask my clients to tell me what they see. I ask them to describe the tree’s essence, it’s existence, it’s inherent qualities.
What my clients quickly discover is that they are exactly like the tree. Not physically, of course, but metaphysically. All the qualities that they see in the tree are also true within them. And when they open up to realizing that they are the tree, the spinning stops and it’s replaced with Stillness and Peace.
I thought I’d share some of their insights with you this month. For who knows? You might occasionally experience a little inner spinning and turbulence of your own. Space prevents me from going into great detail on their insights, however. But that’s actually a good thing because it gives you the opportunity to experience the insights in your own body and find that you too are just like the tree.
The most unmistakable essence quality of the tree is its stillness. It simply feels quiet and at peace. Even as it’s being blown violently about by hurricane force winds, you can still feel the stillness of the tree. Likewise, no matter how hard the winds are blowing in your life, you are Stillness as well. Can you sense that in this moment?
2. Root Structure
The most important part of a tree is the part you can’t see. Likewise, the most important part of us is the part we can’t see. Yet we obsess over what’s “above ground”: our bodies, our emotions, our goals, our relationships, our finances—and pay little to attention to what’s “underground”, our root structure, that from which life is sourced and sustained.
Though the tree may look like a separate individual entity, in reality is not separate at all. It is not disconnected, alone and left to fend for itself. Likewise, though you appear to be a separate individual, you too are not a separate thing, but are one with all of life. You, too, are not disconnected, on your own and left to fend for yourself. You are Life—not separate from it.
When you sit and meditate on a tree, you soon come to see that it lives completely in the present moment. It does not worry about tomorrow (“I’m scared the sun won’t shine!; What if a hurricane comes and blows me over?; OMG!, what if it never rains again!), nor does it obsess over the past (“I will never forgive that tree over there for soaking up my sun and drinking my rainwater!). It just lives in the timeless present without memory or anticipation—and thus it lives in peace.
The tree doesn’t experience worry, stress, anxiety, striving, lack, fear or pressure. It’s not Type A or even Type B—it’s more like Type Z! The tree is Beingness. It’s does not see itself as the doer, the chooser or the decider. Yet it gets along beautifully. It lives with the flow of life, in alignment with it, never worrying, always trusting that life will unfold perfectly. Do you see yourself as the doer? If so, worry and fear dominate your life. But we are human Beings not human doings, or better put, we are human trees.
While the tree doesn’t do anything, it makes an incredible contribution. Think about it. The tree provides oxygen for all living creatures through photosynthesis. Additionally, it is home to thousands of insects, birds and animals. If you feel into your Beingness and let go of the doer persona, you will contribute to life in unimaginable ways.
I invite you to find a big beautiful tree and sit down next to it, open your heart and allow it to tell you about yourself. You’ll never be the same.