“Listen to the trees as they sway in the wind.
Their leaves are telling secrets.
Their bark sings songs of olden days as it grows around the trunks.
And their roots give names to all things.
Their language has been lost.
But not the gestures.”
― Vera Nazarian,
A week ago, I wrote about finding the balance between the masculine and feminine sides of me. Of embracing my feminine side more, and how it has served me well as I stay in touch with this softer me.
And I am reminded of this deeper, dreamier side as I gaze at my garden in early spring. The trees stripped bare. These tall, stalwart soldiers seem to be standing guard. Strong, straight and unyielding, at times, to even the strongest winds.
But if I look closer, I see that trees cannot survive if they are unbending, and too stiff. If
they cannot be flexible, they break under the wild winds, and heavy bitter snow. It is their ability to remain loose and shed their bark, that makes them stronger.
And like a tree, I grow from Mother Earth with strong roots reaching deep down into the enriching soil. Creating a strong foundation to draw from in time of need. To allow layer upon layer of bark to grow as it is needed for protection. And when that bark is no longer needed, it is stripped away letting the next layer grow to accommodate the growth in me.
Recently, I found I needed to throw off the bark that had been protecting me for so long. It felt as if it were strangling me, not allowing for the changes coming. A need was growing to let go of what was no longer serving me. And allow this new strength, I was finding in the softer side of me, to begin to grow.
I had been asked to testify at a hearing regarding work issues. I had been gone for over a year, and wanted no reminders of my old work experiences. Of reliving the stress. But without a choice, I was forced to make the 2 hour trip twice.
I had forgotten so much of my job, in such a short time, which was telling. I was hiding from much of this excruciatingly stressful time. When I worked for a bully in a toxic atmosphere. It felt almost surreal to recount the work….the sometimes humiliating treatment of my superior.
And if that wasn’t enough, I had to endure the ridiculous, overbearing and intimidating questioning by one lawyer in particular. Not for any real purpose, but to try to rattle me, and waste time in order to have time to prepare for subsequent testimony by others. To say it was a total waste of my time would not be correct. Hopefully my testimony would help others. And I know it helped me.
As I went through the experience, I found I could draw upon my foundational strength, still flowing deep in my roots. And I kept my head about me. Not drawn into the aggressive, assertive, tense me of old. But now a calmer, cooler head prevailed. And when it was done, a release was felt through out my mind and body.
I was able to shed the bark of the past. No longer having to use the strategies of old. I could feel an evolution unfolding inside of me as I followed my intuitive side. A swelling of new growth, bending and yielding as the winds of this situation blew about me. And I knew at once I was home in this new place. This new Yin of me. And when I returned home, it was time to get busy, and start my journey along this new passage….to the softer side of me….feeling stronger than ever.
Have you experienced a shedding of your outer bark? What new lessons are you learning?
Special Note: The pictures here are of old, 80 foot trees growing in my garden. The stump at the beginning of the post is of an ash tree that suddenly fell in the garden one day. It had become too brittle to yield to the prevailing winds. I thought it perfectly summed up the post.
I leave you with a few additional words on trees. I welcome you to download this photo and share it.
All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2016. Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.