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Don’t miss the forest for the trees

Observing trees imparts an organic perspective on the passage of time. Trees are admired because of their age and the time they’ve taken to mature. They never try to make themselves smaller, hide what they are and their strength comes from their ability to adapt. Trees have been the most wonderful guides for practice this month for all of those reasons and because of their collegiate and communal nature. They communicate with each other, share resources and; listen.


In Ageing Well, psychiatrist George Valliant wrote; it’s not so much the kinds of adversity life might throw at us, it is more how we deal with them. Haven’t we had a lot of shared adversity lately? How are you getting on recovering from the impact of lockdowns? Do you recognise the profound impact they’ve had on your nervous system? Hypervigilance, restlessness, bracing for the worst, issues committing to things (in case they’re cancelled), withdrawal, loss of joie de vivre to list a few. As Valliant says, it’s not what we’ve been through, it’s how we face it.

The most important contributors to resilience are; cultivating close relationships which sustain us, and; how we spend our time. In a culture that promotes individualism, self-sufficiency and productivity, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees and consider the bigger picture. We’ve had a considerable amount of time interrupted. Life is short and unbelievably precious. When you feel as grounded, centred and flexible as possible, you can show up and be generous to others in your network. Did you know that when you’re stressed/ traumatised the hairs in your ears curl in, so you can’t actually hear reassurance, kindness, the acres of good out there?


Click here for tonight's class details, here for the upcoming weekend retreat, and here to be a mighty oak and train to be a teacher.


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