The trees are calling for you

Dear clients and fellow nature lovers,

Those of us who have experienced and been deeply nourished by the trees and forests in our lives, may share my experiences of helplessness and despair when realizing that our natural wild spaces have been systematically destroyed for fleeting monetary profit just in our lifetimes. The act of replanting rows of financially profitable species of fast growing trees with the goal of “harvesting them” does nothing to correct the error of disturbing centuries old forest communities. These elder forests do so much we still don’t understand, but some of what we do know shows them sequestering carbon and harboring multitudes of beings, including undiscovered and rare or possibly lost species. The medicines contained therein are incalculable.

If you need a more greedy perspective, there are many discovered and many more undiscovered human and animal medical cures in the plants and trees of the forest that heal and cure and prevent diseases. These could realistically save your and your loved ones lives one day, if they haven’t already. Also, because of the amount of carbon they sequester, they are vital to help insulate us against the catastrophic weather events that may continue to occur more frequently than in the past. Most of us feel deep in our hearts the inherent value of respecting and protecting the trees of the Earth.

Any of you who grew up, as I did, climbing trees and sitting for hours in their strong protective branches, who watched forest creatures become increasingly comfortable with us as we sat in their worlds, will know the truth of this and want to do everything we can to keep mature and old growth forests in all of our environments. These are vital to all Life.

Now is your chance to do something that will make a difference for both forest and human communities for generations to come- for we are inextricably linked and bound.

Hopefully, this is one step on a path of ever increasing human awareness and respect for our small but vital part in the web of Life. If we want to survive as a species on this gem of a blue green planet, we have to act as a people who are willing to cooperate with each other to protect and expand mature and old growth forest ecosystems.

Here is a link for ways to help reverse a logging contract into our pristine lungs, the forest ecosystems along the US – Canadian border- some of our last remaining mature forest communities.

https://protectancientforests.org/stopblackram

Here is a short film about this project to stop the black ram project

https://protectancientforests.org/

Here is a links to learn more about the proposes Curtain of Green and

https://protectancientforests.org/curtain-of-green

Celebrating Old Growth with Robin Wall Kimmerer and more

https://protectancientforests.org/learn-more

Thank you for caring and doing and being part of the solution. I appreciate all of you!

Peace in every step.

Love is in your hearts.

Breathe in and out

Feel the harmony of Nature.

Love to you ALL

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Ways to reconnect with gratitude and joy

Photo by Karen Peters
Appreciating the beauty

I’d like to share some techniques to encourage a state of contentedness or joy or something better than the winter blues. I’d love to hear back from any of you who have other ideas that I haven’t covered here. Winter can be a tough time for many people, and the holidays can be triggering for many. Please know there are others who feel like you do, you are not alone! Reach out and connect with others who care, especially your animal friends, and your human friends too.

What keeps you going during the cold dark months of Winter? This could be a time that is natural for reflection, for inner nurturing.

. Here’s some ideas.

  1. Journal on gratitude. Journaling in general is a great way to get out your feelings and express yourself in a safe and totally private way. I’ve been told that the actual act of putting pen or pencil to paper and physically making marks is healing to our brains. Sometimes typing into a computer feels most satisfying. After you pour your heart out to the paper or digital machine, you can either burn or erase what you wrote, or save the words to review and get perspective on your life another day.
  2. Exercise. There are tons of studies showing that exercise releases natural endorphins and is good for mood regulation and circulatory health, among other things. I’ve found the key for me is being realistic about what kind and how frequent and long each session needs to be. If you have an already active life, with alot of walking and stairs in your day, that counts too. It seems to matter that at least some of your exercise is cardio- active, or getting your heart rate up to a level that is appropriate for your age and fitness level. One of my favorite ways to do cardio is to put on some of my favorite music, then sing and dance to my  heart’s content!
  3. This brings me to the next great idea- Music! Music is the great healer for people. It connects us and brings many different emotions to the surface. What emotions are strengthened is up to you. Upbeat happy music, soulful evocative music, R&B, Funk, Country, Classical, all of the above might be right on one day and not another. I have my favorites. Spotify has some great playlists that they have created. Check out some recent ones around a Giving Thanks theme
  4. Notice dietary habits that may be helping or suppressing your natural Joy and satisfaction with Life. I’ve been taking a course with Charis Lindrooth and Paul Bergner called Food for Optimal Health. It’s been really good to reconnect with what I put into my body, including the power of plants and flower essences. I highly recommend this course or something similar.
  5. If anxiety is part of the mix for you, you could try some farm grown individual whole plant high CBD plant tincture. I think anything we are going to put into our bodies needs to be researched and either made with our own hands so we know what is going into it each step of the way, or buying from someone, in this case an herbalist, whom you know and trust.
  6. Connect with old friends or make new ones. I know this can feel  hard for introverts like myself. I also realize how nourished I feel when I make connections with other people or animals. Sometimes pushing past your comfort boundaries just a little bit can be very rewarding. Take baby steps and retreat if it doesn’t feel good. You can suggest a project to help others in the community and see who signs up with you, this can be the basis for a new friendship.
  7. Do Art. I am a watercolorist – and I have a very individual style. What is your way of expressing yourself creatively? It could be sculpy animals, knitting, dancing, and so many other possibilities.
  8. I’ll be updating this post as I think of any more ideas to share. Please reach out and connect. 💓💗💕💜🌈
Photo by Karen Peters😌
Soon the endless stars will come out!

Communications with Jack the Dog

In my work, I am sometimes called on to help during a transition time for an animal.  Upcoming, we have Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day, which is a time for remembering and honoring our loved ones who have crossed over. I’m going to recount one of the times I had an opportunity to help an old client with the painful grief she was feeling at having to assist her dog Jack in crossing over onto the Rainbow Bridge. I was given permission by both human and canine to write about the essence of what Jack said that day.

Jack had a difficult life. In addition to being a rescue dog who had some trouble finding one forever home (until Kathy decided she was in love and hers would be it no matter where she went) he routinely had a large range of emotions, as he called it, waves, that would wash over and often overwhelm him and everyone around him. He also had a number of physical ailments including a long battle with cancer, which complicated life.

On his last night, as his breathing slowed, and Kathy rushed him once again to the hospital. There, the vets informed her that his lungs were filling with fluid, one more phase of the sarcoma that had attacked him long ago. They made the decision to put him to sleep, unable to find a better solution, but filled with pain at having to say good bye to an old friend. Kathy called me to help her make sense of everything that had just happened.

Jack shaved in Kathys car 2009

As we asked Jack for his perspective, he described what a relief it was to be released,  not only from an old body that wasn’t working properly, but especially from the lifelong waves of emotions that he’d had to ride up, down, sideways, and often just chaotically all over, all his life. What a grand relief. Such a bright happiness and contentment permeated his every word now.

He began to describe, as Kathy and I listened in rapt attention, what the Purpose of Life really is. I’ll try to reproduce it here, and please forgive me if I don’t do complete justice to these deepest of musings.

Jack said “Life is not about getting it right or achieving this status or that job, this or that title or property, these people liking you or those not liking you.

It is about the waking up each day, going to bed each night, setting a goal and then living that journey as far as it takes you. It’s that simple. Then doing it again with another goal or focus.  That that is what is important, right there, living the journey to the goal. Not whether it was the “right” goal, not how you performed or if you thought it didn’t turn out the way you had hoped it would, or the way others had predicted or you had even  prayed it would.

That there is nothing wrong with, and everything right with, picking something, anything, to focus on and seeing what that brings. If that isn’t pleasant or desirable, then picking a new goal to journey toward and immersing yourself in all the highs and lows and in-betweens as all equally valid and good and valuable. You can decide to step back and relax about it all, no problem. There is no badge to be earned for suffering, or conversely for appearing successful to the outside world and living a life seemingly free of angst. Suffering is ok to do if that is what happens. To grieve the existence of suffering as lost opportunities or grave mistakes we think we made is to miss the point. To coin a phrase “it’s all good”.  However, Jack had more to add to that thought. He was showing that we benefit from all of it that is part of it.  Immerse yourself fully in the experience, as so many dogs (and cats!) are so good at doing. Fully experiencing exactly what they are feeling at the moment. Barking lustily, staring intently at what they don’t know(or what they do know), diving into the same food they’ve eaten every day for years with gusto and enthusiasm, well you know the list is just endless. Just pick something and lean into the experience. Leaning forward into the ride toward the (whatever) goals you set. These “goals” are anything that you pick to move toward – there is no right and wrong. And even if you are thinking while you are living it ‘this is so wrong’ or ‘this is so right’,  that doesn’t really mean anything. That the greatest fun comes after all the rights and wrongs are over and you are just floating on the biggest wave of all – heaven from a dog’s eyes. The failed attempts and faux pas’ are all equally valid with the victories and accolades, neither better or worse, all good to experience and live. Jack on front sidewalk Oct 2012

We may never really know all Jack is saying here, but just to get a taste of it, coming from one who’s life was rarely if ever easy because even when there weren’t outside pressures, he had his inside pressure cooker bubbling, well it makes it that much easier to accept. You don’t have to live a perfect life to live life perfectly. In fact its better if you don’t. 🙂