Trees have been on my mind a lot lately. If a person wanted to compare themselves to a tree, you can find many analogies. Take for instance the seasons, in autumn the leaves on the trees fall being a nuisance for many people to either rake up, or leave them there to rot. In the summer we welcome the leaves for shade. Many of us can think of our families in the same way. We can all be a nuisance and trouble at times, but when storms come families can be a refuge and bring comfort. Though, some of us can be like a tree in the forest that is over bearing and limits the growth below. Ask yourself, if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you want to be? What is your favorite tree? Mine would be one with plenty of room to expand my roots, free to let my leaves dance in the wind. The sound of rustleing leaves in the breeze to me is a peaceful and reasuring sound. I would like to have my branches spreading out to create a welcome environment within my sphere of influence, i.e. drip line.
I do not want to be cut up or cut down- A little pruning is good to be healthy and to grow in the right way. My tree would avoid low growing strubs full of drama and danger that promote weeds and invasive plants, like ivy which can choke off a healthy tree. Heavy undergrowth create a place for fire. We can think of those people in our lives who are clingers and negative dream killers. (see last weeks blog) We can’t avoid them but we can keep them at a safe distance. My tree promotes all positives things, we all can create an environment that promotes healthy growth in our sphere of influence.
We can use trees as an emotional connection analogy, not a physical. My husband sees himself as a tall poplar because they are kind of sentinels. He thinks of them as watchers and protectors from the wind, especially when they are all lined up together. My husband has always enjoyed team work.
It is that time of year again. A lot of people come to me dreading the holidays, with all the expectations that we put on ourselves and others. What I do as a hypnotherapist through the sub conscious mind, is to reverse negative thoughts. Such as; “You now look forward with joy the holiday season, you look forward to being with family….. you choose to feel the love… you fill your heart with the simple joys of the season. You choose to be kind to yourself because you are worthy and deserving of all goodness. Your heart is full of gladness, you look at others in a more positive way and you stay positive.” Nearly everyone’s comment on completing a session will say “I feel lighter”.
Many of us have been greatly blessed with many wonderful people in our lives. One of them for me is the friendship of Idamae, she is now 94, I have known her for 24 years. We have done many wonderful activities together. She is one of the most gracious women I have ever known. She has had a great influence on me. She makes everyone that she comes into contact with feel special and loved. She is that tree I discribed. I do not want to limit myself, but honestly I can’t imagine being all that she is but I just did imagine! I imagined a tree in my mind, it is big, it gives a lot, it is strong, healthy and wise. I encourage you to imagine what kind of tree life you would choose. It is a little meditation. How would your tree impact your sphere of influence? Close your eyes, now imagine, sense and feel that you are there, see yourself where you want to be. The kind of person you want to be. Does your tree live in a manicured garden or in a native natural meadow? Focus and stay centered and it will come to you.
A few nights ago I dropped in on Idamae, over a cup of tea I asked her a few questions. My first was, “how have you handled the holidays with all the dynamics?” her answer was to “roll with it” and when you have guests give them a merry welcome.” I asked, how do you handle disapointment? she said, “with a smile”.
It is up to you, it is your choice, to slow down and take a deep breathe. It is your choice to go inside your heart and feel the love that surrounds you. To go into your heart and mend what needs mending. Let tears come when needed, release and let go of all that is holding you back from experiencing joy. Forgive yourself, forgive others. We all have a great inner intelligence, it knows just what to do and how to do it. Trust your great inner intelligence, your great inner wisdom.
I choose to be around people who are positive and give me room to be myself. People who inspire me to become a better person. Then I think, what good is that if I am only around positive people? It’s not that I go out and seek negative people but when they enter my sphere of influence, I pray I will find the words to have a positive influence.
I awoke early this morning from a disturbing dream. It made me think that I should probably invest in a dream catcher.
You have probably seen a Native American dream catcher but do you know the story of how it came to be?
The story (goes more or less) this way….
There was a band of Native Americans with many of its children experiencing terrible night dreams. This caused the parents great concern and so they called a council meeting with the elders to figure out what could be done. With the parent’s concern in mind, the elders called upon the Great Spirit. The Great Spirit told the elders to make a net to catch the negative dreams before they could enter the children’s minds as they slept. The band came together and created the net-like catcher, and the dream catcher has been a part of Native American culture ever since.
To me, dream catchers are one of the most fascinating traditions of Native Americans. The traditional dream catcher was intended to protect the sleeping individual from negative dreams, while allowing positive dreams to pass. The positive dreams would slip through the hole in the center of the dream catcher and glide down the feathers to the sleeping person below. The negative dreams would get caught up in the web and dissipate when the first rays of the sun struck them.
I love that the tribe members would go to the elders with their concern over negative dreams. I love that my ancestors took serious the emotional well being of their people. They were in tune with nature because they lived with nature. It wasn’t that they lived each day as if it were their last but rather it being their first. They were optimistic rather than pessimistic.
This past summer while I was spending the summer in Santa Fe, NM, I was walking past a shop and heard the most beautiful Native American flute music. It drew me in like the Pied Piper. I decided that I needed to feed my soul by learning the flute. My husband and I usually run our purchases past each other first so I talked to him and told him about wanting to buy a flute — he simply said, “No, you probably won’t play it.”
I was hurt and told him, “You are a dream stealer!” Oh my gosh! He felt so bad at my remark that he immediately and sincerely replied, “YES, please fulfill your dreams.”
My flute brings me great joy and I love playing it. I understand why my sweet husband thought I wouldn’t -It isn’t the intention of most people to be dream stealers, and the majority don’t even realize that they are doing it.
The moral of this story is to never allow the disapproval or negativity of dream stealers to destroy your dreams. Especially if it is something that you believe will truly enhance your life, or more importantly, feed your soul. Be the Dream Maker!
One day many years ago while I was at work- I got out of my chair to go to the printer in the other room, out of the blue I started limping. I was so upset and scared by this- I wondered, what was happening to me? After limping for a few days I went to a shoe store, where I was fitted with my first pair of Dansko shoes. I remember so clearly the great relief I felt, I said to myself, “It’s a miracle” – After having tears of thankfulness, I had a smile on my face all that day. The next week, I visited a Podiatrist. He was puzzled when I told him that I felt numbness under my two middle toes. He did an x-ray and told me that I had a Neuroma. However, he couldn’t figure out why my foot would be numb and why I didn’t feel any pain. I was told that I could never walk in sand again, I couldn’t walk bare foot, I could never wear high heals, all kinds of don’ts. Like a good patient, I shook my head in agreement. I left feeling sad.
It wasn’t until I was studying Hypnotherapy, we were getting started in medical, clinical session of our studies. My instructor asked the class, “who has a medical issue that you would like to work on”? He went around the the class, came to me, I told him that I had a Neuroma- He thought for a moment and said, “yeah, we can use that, that’s been cured before” – We then got into groups of three, I was the client with the issue, two of my classmates were the hypnotherapists. I have to be honest, I didn’t think it could be done, it was after all a medical condition, not an emotional issue. I thought, “what the heck,” I’ll play along. My two hypnotherapist did a fantastic job, very thorough. What we discovered was at that same time in my life, when the numbness started, I felt lost and I felt left behind. My three daughters, had all graduated from college and moved on with their lives. I suppose you could call it empty nest syndrome. I just wanted to numb myself, so that the feelings wouldn’t be so strong. For many years I lived with the notion that I had a numbing Neuroma, and it would always be there. I excepted what I was told.
What we do as hypnotherapists is to ask the issue (numbness) what it needs to feel better. What my numbness wanted was “connectedness” …. My hypnotherapist used the words “day by day the numbing is going away, we use “day by day” because increments are often easier for most of us to except. My hypnotherapist than told my subconscious positive actions steps on staying connected and so on. One of the visualizations I chose for my therapy, was to walk in sand barefoot, and to wear shoes that I didn’t consider homely. Within a few days of my session, slowly, day by day, I noticed the numbness was subsiding. I admit, I was surprised- I thought, wow, that’s cool and amazing.
Soon after I left the Academy in Santa Fe, NM, I came home to Seattle. It was a Saturday afternoon, I said to my husband, “I am tired, how about a vacation to Hawaii?” The next morning we were on a flight to Maui. That is where I felt so liberated, I walked barefoot in the sand with no numbness what so ever. I walked near the water anyway- most of the sand was too hot to walk on. Although I am sure, if I put my mind to it, hot sand would not bother me either.
Slowly I am wearing cute shoes. I am not over doing it, I find myself still a bit cautious. I stay connected. What you should take away from this is that our emotions play a huge part in our physical wellness.
(image from here)