DINK #146 Tree Surfing

Posted on : 15-08-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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Had a wonderful conversation with Author, Coach and Vision Quest Leader Catriona MacGregor about her latest book, “Partnering With Nature: The Wild Path to Reconnecting with the Earth” on www.blogtalkradio.com/hope42day. IMHO, Catriona is beyond being just a tree, plant and nature advocate, she is truly walking her talk and has partnered with nature and is sharing what she has learned with others so that they can also learn how to partner with nature.

Her book is rich and dense, full of stories about her experiences as well as exercises that we can learn how to interact with nature that is all around us, like “tree surfing”. Catriona says, “I refer to this practice as Tree Energy Surfing because it feels like your are “surfing the tree’s energy system with your hands and body.” In this exercise, she gives you a simple outline for Tree Energy Surfing as well as signs you can look for of a beneficial energy exchange or signs of harmful or depleting energy exchange.

So you know I had to go Tree Energy Surf with our big ole Cottonwood again. I feel so connected to this tree that has stood outside our bedroom window lo these many years, that really today’s exercise was just a matter of standing closer to it with my body. It certainly does have nice steady strong energy but gentle strong energy if that makes sense.

What I noticed was that after the tree and I surfed each other as I was turning away to go back inside I noticed that our “specimen” Crepe Myrtle is in the midst of shedding it’s skin to let the smooth Cinnamon bark show through. I spent about ten minutes helping to peel away the bark that was hanging from various branches and I’m pretty sure if the tree could have shaken like a dog after a bath, it would have! I’ve always felt like the Cottonwood Tree was a “mother” tree so I wonder if she encouraged me to help the Crepe Myrtle? Hadn’t noticed the shedding bark before today.

I know most of my family and many of my friends have considered me a “tree hugger” (like that was a bad thing) for a long time now but they haven’t seen nuttin yet! I have a feeling now that I know how to Tree Energy Surf, I’ll be trying this out with all kinds of trees whenever I can and comparing what, say, the Crepe Myrtles feel like to a Mountain Laurel.

That sound you’re hearing now is me trying to sound like the rustling leaves of a tree as I go!

Surf’s on!!

DINK #110 When Snake Is Your Totem

Posted on : 11-07-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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I’ve always known that the Red Tail Hawk was one of my animal totems (http://www.linsdomain.com/totems.htm). I  became aware of this in a dream the night before the first time I would ever experience a sweat lodge. In the dream I was told to look for the Red Tail Hawk and that an Apache would lead the sweat. That morning, the friend who was arranging for our group to attend called to tell me that the Lakota who normally leads the sweat was called away unexpectedly and that an Apache would take his place. Outside my window I heard the caws of two Red Tail Hawks circling above our trees.

Lately, it has occurred to me that perhaps the snake is also one of my totems. I think I may have known this for awhile but because of all the negative press that the snake usually gets, I disregarded it. Meanwhile, I’m the person who has actually stroked a baby rattler as he crawled under the storage room door. I had no fear (but anyone who hears this tale certainly does for me!!). I also found myself explaining to a good friend of mine last night that my emotions lately have felt exactly like I’ve been on the inside of a snake moving in and out of the changes.

Catriona MacGregor talks about the “Spirit of the Snake” in her book Partnering With Nature. She shares her experience when helping a client discover her spirit animal. Her client had much the same reaction to discovering that snake was her spirit animal as I had. Catriona shares that “in ancient times, snakes were revered. Snake represents a powerful feminine energy often associated with the element of water; Snake has powers of healing and transmutation; and Snake is able to reach deep into the realms where illness and death exist, transforming this energy at its source. Snake is also linked to tremendous energetic and spiritual power. The Goddess Kudalini is also associated with Snake as “coiled” energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine until spiritually awakened………Because snake energy is source energy, it can appear to us as dark and foreboding. Like Kali, the Hindu goddess associated with death and destruction, as well at the goddess of time and change, snake energy may be interpreted as dark and violent. Yet this energy refers to the annihilation of the ego as well, which is what occurs when one enters the “ultimate reality” or the devine realm.”

Last night I dreamed about snakes and saw Corals and King Snakes (probably because I’ve been seeing some smished on the roads in our neighborhood) and also a big yellow Anaconda (I don’t even know if Anacondas come in colors, but this one was a pale lemon yellow). Anyway, in my dream the yellow snake was young and innocent and trusted me. It came to me when I called it because some friends of mine wanted it. One of these friends was someone that I knew who has a very powerful job as a litigation attorney and he grabbed up the Anaconda and put him in a burlap sack. I actually woke myself up in the middle of saying very loudly to my friend “don’t you hurt him because he trusts you”.

I’m sure a Jungian psychologist would have a field day with this! Suffice it to say that I am willing to pay closer attention to the forces that are coming to my aid right now and am being mindful of where I put my attentions.

How about you? What friends and forces have been beside you all the while helping you along your life’s journey? Do you recognize them? Do you acknowledge them?

DINK 102 Partnering With Nature

Posted on : 01-07-2010 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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(The Wild Path to Reconnecting with the Earth) by Catriona MacGregor. Great book! Nettie Hartsock gave this book to me awhile ago and I have finally gotten a chance to read it. I have a hard time watching or reading most movies/books etc. about animals or nature because it either makes me cry or the people do not seem to “get” nature and animals the way I do. Anyway, I should have known that Nettie would not lead me astray. This is an excellent book.

In the second chapter, Catriona talks about the Evenk or Reindeer People who live in Northeast Siberia where temperatures can drop to 96 degrees below zero (that’s mighty, might cold people!). She says that, “in spite of this inhospitable climate, they live and thrive by keeping close to ancient tradition. They mirror the behavior of the animals and form tightly woven relationships with the reindeer to help them survive in extreme conditions. The Evenk rely on the reindeer for most of their needs, using their meat for food, their sinews for string and their bones for tools”. This is the part that helps make this bearable for me to read, “Although the Evenk rely upon the reindeer’s body for survival, they also believe that they share a spiritual, energetic essence with the reindeer and with the land itself. In the Evenk’s world, a compassionate spirit pervades the vast landscape. They call this all-knowing, all-feeling spirirt “Bayanay”. Bayanay is not separate from the people, the animals, or land, but permeates all in a “field of shared consciousness”.

I don’t know about you, but I can get down with that concept. It seems that many of the traditions that I enjoy studying and learning about have similar qualities in their beliefs from “we are all one” to “respect for all life”. I think I still have a lot of maturing to do when it comes to my relationship with animals and nature because in the culture I have grown up in, I have become very disassociated with the meat that I eat and the clothes that I wear and how they came to be by the process that the animals had to go through to make these products. I know that Dr. Temple Grandin–world famous scientist and autism self-advocate–has studied and written extensively concerning what she has observed about animals and has had an impact on the meat packing industry in the way that cattle are led to slaughter. I’m grateful that she had the ability to look into this process and come up with a less terrifying way for the cattle and this process. Who of us really ever think of this aspect of the food we eat or really care if the animals were terrified? Evidently Dr. Grandin has and we’re all the better because of her.

I believe there is a connection between all living things and that we are either in harmony or disharmony. Now, my actions are a whole other enchilada and I realize that I have many layers of denial to come up and out of to be living half the kind of life that I want to live. There are people in my life who reflect back to me what is possible by their actions. My Coach Helene Van Manen is one such person. Over the years of working with her I’ve loved the creative ways that she has come up with to recycle cards that she has received by cutting them in half and writing on them like a postcard with some of her own art thrown in for good measure. I have drawers full of cards with just this intention in mind…..remember that if anything should happen to me before I send you a special postcard!

As a final thought, the back of “Partnering With Nature” says it best, “The way we interact with the world around us affects our health and well-being more than we realize. In today’s world it’s often too easy to forget about the natural world sitting right outside our window. We mainly live our lives surrounded by electronics, concrete walls, glass and artificial light. This growing disconnection with nature can lead to physical as well as mental stress, from depression and fatigue to attention disorders and obesity. But by awakening a natural connection to the environment around us, we can move beyond simply using nature and into a true partnership with it.”

How are you partnering with nature today