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If I Were a Tree...

By: Kathy Poodiack, Executive Director in Israel, Thrivacious

On Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, Emly Kay facilitated a wonderful workshop for the Thrivacious community. Emly is a nature therapist and chose “Trees” as her theme for the day. We began by each of us becoming intimately connected with a tree in the park using all our senses other than sight, quite an intensive experience. Next, Emly guided us through a wonderful visualization, “If I were a tree….” and we recorded our thoughts.

Throughout the afternoon, we shared our experiences while connecting, empathizing and supporting one another. It was a beautiful day with a bright blue sky overhead and the winter sun shining down on us as we spread out on the blanket on the grass and munched on healthy nuts and figs.

The workshop culminated with a tree planting where we each picked out a sapling and planted it in a beautiful garden. It was wonderful to feel the rich soil in my hands, digging deep so that my sapling would have a place to call home, to grow and thrive. Before placing our trees in the hole, we deposited personal notes listing the things in our lives we wanted to both “bury” and those we wanted to “nurture”. It was a small act, but extremely meaningful.

We ended the day with a hot cup of nana tea, then hugs all around, anxiously looking forward to the next time we meet.

Below is what I visualized and recorded for the “If I were a tree..” exercise. I surprised myself by the optimism and contentment I felt and can only attribute it to the strength I’ve gained from being involved with the women of Thrivacious:

If I were a tree, I would be a young birch – my white bark shining, my leaves shimmering in the light as they flutter to and fro in the soft, warm breeze. My boughs bend easily in the wind and are not bothered by it. My roots are firm and strong. I’m in a grove with other birches and we’re happy and content together, sharing the same soil.

A bird makes its nest on one of my branches and I welcome her. I am happy to offer her babies protection. I give forth berries that help keep her and her babies strong so they can leave the nest when it’s their time.

I bathe in the sunlight as I watch the clouds above slowly sail by. A bear comes over to me and finds relief by scratching on my trunk and I’m happy I can be of service.

I love listening to the rustle of my leaves and of the trees next to me. It comforts me to know they are there. I know when the storms come, we will face them together.

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