Why do I have the tree of life on my vision board?
The tree of life is represented in many of the world’s mythological, religious and philosophical traditions.
It represents connection; the connection between heaven and earth as well as connecting all forms of creation. It reflects the interconnectedness of the cosmos as well as immortality. It is the source of wisdom.
At the highest level of reality, all is one. We’re all part of nature.
Living in our World Today
In the world we live in today, there’s so much fragmentation and disconnect. We’ve been taught that it’s each woman for themselves, to focus on scarcity and the feeling that there’s not enough!
We have to be competitive, you either win or you lose. Winning means success. Things must be perfect, or at least better than everyone else!
Failure is perceived as bad and we fear rejection and ridicule if we fail at something.
We’re taught that there’s a right way and a wrong way. We often reject others who do things, “the wrong way.”
We live in fear; fear of rejection, fear of failure and even fear of success. We try our best to fit in and do what we believe others expect from us.
We spend most of our time thinking about the past (analysing our performance and worrying) or the future (planning what we need to do next and worrying).
The way we live makes us feel disconnected from ourselves and others. Disconnection leads to loneliness and feeling isolated. Our joie de vivre can be lost and we feel stressed and overwhelmed. Choosing the safe route due to our fears, makes life grey, dull and uninspiring.
How Do We (Re)connect?
I have 5 tips to help you reconnect to yourself, others and nature.
Meditating on a daily basis allows you to connect with yourself and be present in the here and now. Sit straight with both feet on the ground and your hands in your lap or on your legs. Follow your breathing for a few minutes and observe how you’re feeling. Now you just sit for a few more minutes. When you become aware that your thoughts have taken you somewhere else, simply concentrate on your breathing and let the thought go. Repeat this each time your thoughts take you away! You can have your eyes open or closed.
2. Being in Nature
When I meditate, I look out at nature and I really love it! Walking or running in nature on a regular basis helps you to reconnect and get a new perspective on things. Notice the beauty that surrounds you and the fresh air awakening and refreshing you. I love watching how the tiny birds seem to thrive in all weather conditions, it reminds me that so much is possible! If a tiny bird can thrive, so can I!
Be aware of how the trees are calm and rock solid due to their well-developed root systems. Yet they shed their leaves and let go of all that’s no longer required. Then they’re bare for a while, knowing that new growth will come in the spring season. Just like us, trees continue growing and maturing each year.
How strong are your roots? Have you shed all unwanted baggage for the winter? Can you allow a bare period, having faith that spring will come?
3. Become Aware of Unhelpful Thoughts
Are you aware of how you talk to yourself? Our internal conversations can lead to extreme stress and overwhelm.
Try to become more aware of the conversations you have with yourself. How often does the inner critic or perfectionist take the lead? When does fear step in to stop you in your tracks? How often does something distract you when you know you should be doing something else?
Journal your observations and find your self-compassion to see how your conversations can be more supportive and encourage you instead of whipping you into shape!
4. Give your Feelings Space
We often find our feelings unpleasant and even scary. We try to do everything to avoid them, perhaps telling ourselves, “don’t be silly’” or “they didn’t mean it like that.”
Feelings are a great source of information about how you are and what you do and don’t need.
What makes feelings scary, is the story we attach to them. The thoughts amplify the unpleasant feeling which then amplifies the thoughts and we enter a vicious cycle.
Allow your feelings some space. Follow your breathing for a few minutes and note where the feeling is in your body. Try not to make up a story about the worst-case scenario or what could happen next. Feel it in your body and keep following your breathing.
Observe what happens. The feeling will change and may even give you an insight about what you need. Feelings really do come and go as long as we don’t attach a story to them.
5. Implementing the Learning Zone in your Life
This has to do with changing your mindset when it comes to the idea of failure.
Implement a learning zone in your life. This comes after the comfort zone and before the danger zone. In this space, you’re learning something new.
If I decide to learn Chinese, I won’t expect to have a fluent conversation with a Chinese person after the first week!
You don’t expect to do it perfectly and approach it with curiosity and a learning mindset. You’re happy with any progress you make and don’t expect to get it right yet.
There is no failure in the learning curve.
There is no failure in life, only lessons to be learned. Next time you feel you’ve failed, ask yourself what lessons you’ve learned and focus on these.
The Tree of Life teaches us to give ourselves time and space to connect on a regular basis. We have the opportunity to find out how we are and what we need. The more we understand and accept ourselves while practicing self-compassion, the more understanding and compassion we have towards others.
We’ll increase our awareness of the interconnectedness of all things and how our energy impacts others.
This allows us to feel more connected, which in turn results in a feeling of wellbeing and joy in our lives.