I feel like I’ve been going through a major transformation for over 10 years. Just when I thought I’d gotten to the light at the end of the tunnel, I’d have a brief reprieve, then another tunnel would appear, and several more after that. My Dark Night of the Soul journey, with deep inner work for me.
I’ve felt connected to nature all my life. As a child, nature was my playground. A few years ago, I did a ‘family tree healing’ training session with one of my mentors. Since then, during my meditations, I often see myself as a tree 🌳 (thus the tree meditation that I created). For many months now, I’ve seen my tree in a dark grove, surrounded by huge tall trees that blocked most of the sunlight from me. My tree was alone in the middle of this grove, a few small animals would visit me briefly, then scurry away. My tree went through the winter, lost its leaves, and this spring it budded out again, and currently has young green leaves. The ground around me was dirt bare except for a few fallen leaves and pine needles. Compared to the trees around me, my tree was small and sheltered, though it seemed healthy. This is how I’ve felt in my life for the past year, restricted, frustrated, feeling like nothing is happening, like I’m stuck and not moving forward, not knowing which direction to even try moving forward. Like that little tree, I too felt sheltered and secluded, frustrated and impatient.
Recently, I’ve been hearing the song ‘No Roots’ a lot. I kept thinking, but we need roots to be grounded, but that didn’t feel right either; we can still be grounded without having our roots stuck. That was it! Don’t confuse roots and grounding, with being stuck. Every major change in our life requires us to uproot, move, and re-ground. That can be physical, such as leaving home as a young adult, relationships, marriage, divorce, career changes… It can also be internal change, internal transformation, internal growth, a personal alchemical transformation – revealing that golden light within ourselves.
There is someone close to me, who I’ve been telling to pick up their roots, and go plant their own tree, instead of staying stuck to their old family tree, and their old ways. They keep complaining that nothing will change, ‘that’s just the way it is’, they’re holding on to the past, but change will only happen if you are willing to do something different. We can’t change others, but we can take charge and change our own path. I’m not telling them to let go of their family, but just to allow each to stand in their own space.
This week, during my meditation, again I saw my little tree, but this time a small path opened up in the grove of trees surrounding my little tree, sunlight streamed in. What if I picked up my tree, my roots, and moved on? So that is what I did. My little tree ‘walked’ out of that grove, out onto its own path, into the bright sunlight, and expansive world, where there was room to grow. I can move and still be grounded, my roots don’t need to be stuck. This time, I see a long brightly lit path, hopefully no more tunnels for a while.
At first, I viewed that dim grove with the big trees as holding me back, keeping me small and restricted. But a perspective that feels truer for me, is that it was a safe place for me to do my inner work, incubate, it was womb like. That small opening and me moving through it was like a rebirth, me emerging after a long dark transformational period.
Warning, overused analogy: Just like the worm in the cocoon, it seems like nothing is happening, but there is much going on within, and when the butterfly is ready, it emerges transformed and beautiful, ready to take flight. 🐛🦋 That little tree walking out of the dark grove, onto the sunlit path is all metaphorical, I didn’t actually leave anything behind in my physical life (not this time). I needed that safe space for my inner transformation and to prepare for the next part of my journey, before picking up my roots and stepping out again.
Personal transformation takes time, sometimes we move through it quickly, other times, it requires a lot more patience. Be kind to yourself, and allow for that safe space to nurture you as you grow. That opening will appear when you are ready to emerge.