Be The Tree
This past Fall, my husband and I were out for dinner and drinks with some friends, sitting at a table next to a beautiful tree that extended overhead. We were indoors, so the presence of the tree was unexpected and welcoming. In the middle of our conversation, a bright green leaf detached from the tree and fell to the table right in front of me. Any other time I probably would have paid no mind to this, but I happened to look up and notice that this tree was full of green leaves - while it's outdoor counterparts were changing colors and becoming barren.
"This must be a fake tree" I proclaimed.
"No, it's real" responded our friend. Clearly he didn't know what he was talking about - his years of studying Natural Resource Sciences and Landscaping Architecture did nothing for him.
"Yea. It's fake. Look, its leaves are still bright green and aren't falling off." I replied.
"This tree hasn't dropped it's leaves because it still has use for them. Trees lose their leaves when they no longer provide nutrients for the tree." The conversation ended abruptly as we were pulled back into our table's previous debate on the correct pronunciation of David Bowie's last name (RIP).
Cut to my Monday morning class. We begin as we always do - eyes closed, focusing on our breath, attempting to still and clear the mind - when it hits me: we should be like the trees.
Stay with me here.
Leaves collect energy from the sun and produce nutrients for the tree. When sunlight and water are limited, trees shed their leaves and thrive from the nutrients in their roots to survive. Leaves can also protect the tree from extreme heat by cooling it down through evaporation (similar to sweating).
Now, let's replace "leaves" with "thoughts".
Positive thoughts provide us with the emotional nourishment we need to survive and thrive. When our thoughts are positive, beauty abounds from within. Conversely, negative thoughts wreak havoc on our souls, robbing us of our own vitality. Negative thoughts can impact our internal cooling system by amping up our blood pressure, increasing our heart rate, and sending our bodies into a heated panic. Positive thoughts have the exact opposite effect - slowing our breath and steadying our heart rate.
As the tree releases it's leaves in the fall, so must we release negative thoughts that do not serve us. And as the tree blossoms and welcomes energy through it's leaves in the spring, so must we cultivate and nurture only positivity.