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If I Were a Tree

Two years ago on a trip to Costa Rica to work with horses, I did an exercise in an arena with a stallion named Juano. I was blindfolded and asked to notice how he was communicating with me through feelings in my body. Immediately I thought, I’ll never be able to do this—I’m in my head all the time and I hate being in body due to a chronic health issue. I often fear that my body will hold me back from things I really want to do.

But here’s what happened: I didn’t know where Juano was in the arena, but I felt I had to turn and take a few steps in a certain direction. Then my body felt like a tree trunk—strong and solid. I saw myself as a white birch tree with a starry night sky above it. I knew Juano was telling me I was physically stronger than I thought, and that I could rely on my body despite my fears. The night sky is my symbol for the third eye, intuition, and connection with the universe. It was a vivid picture of balance that I never knew I could have. I opened my eyes to see that I was facing Juano, directly in front of him in the arena.

After that I loved to imagine, what if I were a tree? What would it feel like to have that grounded safety and reach for the stars at the same time?

The rest of that week in Costa Rica, I worked with a horse named Mr. Big who showed me over and over again that I had an inner power and had nothing to fear. On the last day of the workshop I was asked to paint a picture on my horse, and I painted a white birch tree on Mr. Big’s body.

A couple of weeks ago, I was super out of balance before going on a trip to the Midwest. I had run myself ragged in order to frantically get stuff done before traveling. One day on my trip, my friend and I wandered into an art gallery. My eyes were drawn to a small encaustic painting of what looked like a birch tree trunk next to my favorite shade of third-eye blue. My heart filled, and then I read its title: “If I Were a Tree.”

We all go off track now and then from listening to the universe, but what’s cool is that we’ll always be steered back on course—the universe literally put me in front of the most beautiful reminder. As I wrote a couple of weeks ago, it also threw me a migraine to further spotlight my imbalance.

And now I know for sure what will keep the migraines and fear away: After hanging my new piece of art, I’m going to the park to hug the heck out of the first tree I see. 🌳

It’s all about the magic. 🙌

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