Thor, Banyan Trees and why it's important to be yourself...
Last month, I was on a call with my Women’s Circle. We were being lead through a beautiful meditation in which we were asked to visualize ourselves as a tree. I’m sure the visualization went on to something super empowering about grounding and allowing yourself to sway in the wind. However, I got distracted by what tree I would be.
The first thing I saw was a wildly large oak tree whimsically swaying in the wind. My brain hit the brakes - record player screeched, super loud annoying alarms went off - an OAK TREE?! I would have thought I’d have been be a banyan tree.
I love banyan trees.
They are my favorite, and way more intriguing than a boring old oak tree.
As I sat there for a few breaths trying to replace the super sweet and sturdy oak tree with my way cooler and more interesting banyan tree, I couldn’t. This oak tree was going nowhere, and seemed to be growing bigger the more I tried to change it. In hindsight, there was nothing special about the banyan tree image. It was all right in color, stature, and energy, but nothing outstanding. Yet I was determined in my mind to be a banyan tree, and no matter how much I tried, I could not get a banyan tree to appear within this visualization. I was in complete opposition with myself. A few deep breaths later, I surrendered and answered the invitation my meditation was offering… stop trying, and just be who you are! I sat in sweet defeat and surrendered to my perceived boring, oak tree-self.
The whole thing took about eight minutes, but it was a strong and beautiful soul reminder to always be myself. I have worked hard to get to know, honor, and respect who I am.
I remember when my thinking was quite different. I used to believe that if I gave up my fancy career in the music industry, let my hair go natural, gave up the fancy titles and New York dress-to-impress clothes, I would appear boring to others. The idea that I could be boring without these external factors paralyzed me into a relationship with an inauthentic version of myself for a decade.
A version of myself that I am happy I experienced to get to who I am today, but a version I would not have been able to keep up with for the rest of my time here on earth.
Recently, on a second date, the man and I realized we had a shared experience with the word “boring.” We laughed about our similar stories, and continued getting to know each other through the rest of the date. He called me afterward to offer this: he said, “Darling, the woman I got to know tonight… well, there is not one ounce of boring in those bones of yours. The old you? Now, she sounded boring.”
We both laughed, but the message was received.
Being who you are - with your inner feelings, complexities, desires, neuroses, and ways - is extraordinary and rich, and will call in the right people and events to your life’s path. When you try to be like everyone else, or anything but yourself, well - that brings you back to ordinary. Not the other way around.
Think about the people you admire or look up to: why do you look up to them? More than likely, it’s their authentic nature and fearlessness to stand tall in it.
I want to assure you if these people can find the way to be themselves, so can you. You are sitting at the same table. I am asking you to pick up the fork and start eating.
My experience with the oak tree image has not left my side since that mediation, so I decided to do a bit of research around it.
Oak Tree Interesting Facts:
- The oak tree is an enduring emblem of strength and survival.
- Many nations, including the United States, Germany, and England chose the oak tree as it’s national tree.
- In Greek mythology, the oak tree is sacred to Zeus, king of the gods.
- In Norse mythology, the oak tree was sacred to the thunder god, Thor (HELLLLOOO).
- An oak tree’s roots reach as far into the ground as its branches reach into the sky, which supports this tree as the symbol for the saying, “as above, so below.”
- Oak trees symbolize leadership, wise rulership, generosity, dignity, truthfulness, courage, and steadiness.
- Considered “the Goddess Tree” (um, duh).
I am definitely a woman who is strong and steadfast and in deep fellowship with God. I thrive in expansion and elevation and believe in the movement of both. I have dedicated my work to leadership and live with generosity.
I am and will always be an oak tree. Taking the time to get to know my root patterns, my trunks, dark and light tunnels, and branches that reach my capabilities has been the best love story of my life. I would not have been able to put that love story into one image till I sat in this meditation (thank you, Jen).
Who you are in your purest, natural, most powerful state of being will present itself in all sorts of ways if you choose to see it. Remaining devoted and patient will allow your rightful tree, that is unique to you, to present itself.
I would have never guessed an oak tree. Ever. But I am what I am.
There is an intelligence within you that sits with delicate, open arms, holding a beautiful space for you to explore the inner tunnels of your soul. Why not explode in curiosity, and dig deeper into the mounds of wisdom and creative learnings you have so vastly available to you, just by being you.
My meditation and mindfulness practice is my main tool to help me explore the dark and light tunnels within me. To understand, heal ,and grow further into relationship with all parts of me while reflecting myself out into the world from the inside out. These sacred practices allow me to anchor in the oak tree I am.
What are you anchoring practices? What keeps you grounded in you? Shoot me a note and share with me what is resonating from this week’s offering. I would love to connect with you.
You know, I may never be a banyan tree, but if Thor, Zeus, witches, ancient celts, and our very own country find brilliance in an oak tree’s simple but sturdy presence... so can I.
Be the tree you are.
Even if you are not a fancy banyan tree.
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