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Tree Wisdom

magickal tree in high park, toronto

Magickal Tree in High Park, Toronto I found on my visit there in 2013


“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

~Hermann Hesse,  Baume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte (Trees. Reflections and Poems)


Self Discovery Was Never So Simple And Fun – Stories for the Inner Ear by Cliff Durfee

stories for the inner earHaving spent a good portion of my life researching, reading, studying, dissecting, and uncovering, I’ve come to a place where I am more drawn to experiencing, integrating, and practicing the discoveries I’ve come to learn as my truth, as well as being extra present to receiving from within to learn to interpret the messages constantly gifted from the Universe…in essence “walking the walk” and discovering and growing in the moment.

I prefer direct, inner experience and if I do read, it’s through divine guidance I’m drawn, rather than “seeking” and sometimes that is merely to pick up a book I’ve already read to turn to exactly what message would be most powerfully reiterating that day.

And sometimes what I’m drawn to read is to discover other tools that I can share with people that may be supportive with the journey of gentle “beingness.”

I’ve also been known to “simplify” things and to use child-like examples to illustrate the complex in a way that speaks to the heart.

Perhaps it is all of these reasons that I was inspired to read my dear friend, Cliff Durfee’s book, Stories for the Inner Ear, which I’d been reading in a slow pace, when I felt guided to, mostly taking place while at the beach on the weekends relaxing and picnicking (as pictured in the photos of this post).

This is my review of Cliff’s book that I recently posted on Amazon:

This is an enchanting book and simple, flowing read that anyone can enjoy. Whether you read it as a novel or simply flip open to one of the eleven magical stories, you will find exactly what is valuable for you to bring awareness to in your life, while being taken on an adventure that leads to the heart of you. I have always felt that we make things more complex than they need to be and that it really IS simple. Cliff’s book is a perfect example of this. Having been one who has studied and read metaphysical information and books throughout my life, I’ve come to a place of not feeling called to acquire information anymore, but focusing on the current Intuition Age. I prefer direct, inner experience for developing a relationship with The Divine within and Cliff’s book, Stories For the Inner Ear, does just that. It is laced with layered symbolism and will work on your subconscious in more ways than your mind will wrap around, but your heart and soul will be grateful for.

stories for the inner ear at beachIf you feel guided to a fun exploration of you, reminiscent of the days of story-telling, that you can come back to, time and time again, you may enjoy this gentle journey Cliff shares. Whether, adult, child, or simply child-at-heart, you may find resonance with this lovely and loving experience that, as Jack Canfield shares, “is destined to be a movie shot in beautiful Idyllwild.”

You can explore more about Cliff’s book here, including a video and reviews of reader comments, foreword by Jack Canfield, and receive a discount coupon for your first copy of the book here: Stories for the Inner Ear

It’s also available on Amazon here: Stories for the Inner Ear

Author Bio:

Cliff Durfee resides just north of San Diego in Encinitas, California. He received a B.A. in Education from Arizona State University, and worked for over a decade in the area of complex computer software design. It was clear early on that his primary talent and joy was through creativity. He pursued this in a major way by founding Live Love Laugh. This company published his first two books and a gift product he developed, called Sprinkles, which sold to over 2700 stores over a period of seven years. He has used his creativity to develop very innovative websites for clients, including My Referral Club, which assists many business clubs across the nation in networking and business referrals. For over thirty years, he has been devoted to personal and spiritual growth, developing intuition, and supporting people in aliveness, love, and laughter.

Cliff’s first book was called “Feel Alive with Love, Have a Heart Talk” and was published in 1979. It assists friends, couples, and families in having harmonious and loving relationships. The seven-step Heart Talk went on to become a popular communication technique used in youth groups across the nation. In 2005, a chapter of the book “The Success Principles”was devoted to honoring this technique, which Jack Canfield used in many workshops over the years.

His second book was a curriculum for teachers. In addition to receiving a teaching credential in Arizona, Cliff’s affinity for teaching and love for children provided a natural way to expand upon his first book by bringing it into the classroom. This curriculum, “More Teachable Moments,” contains experiential lessons that assist students in developing listening skills, expression of feelings, and mutual support for achieving goals. These materials were endorsed by the world famous psychologist and author, Dr. Carl R. Rogers. All of Cliff’s books were produced out of love, creativity, and the desire for everyone to have a greater experience of life, love, and laughter.

During the last two decades, before publishing “Stories for the Inner Ear,” Cliff practiced listening within. Wonderful words flowed out in the form of allegorical stories. Though he knew it was something he wanted to share, life’s little (and big) distractions kept having him put things on the shelf until it was published in 2011.

You Don’t Need to See Clearly Ahead In Order To Move Forward

crystal cove

Standing at the edge of your truth – Photo I took at the beach this weekend

Another recent theme that has been circling in the ethers and percolating to share briefly about is that of confusion, frustration, and/or the desire to want to know what’s ahead, what you’re here to do, and to have a clear idea of, in order to move forward.

The first common error in this, of which I, too, have fallen captive to in the past, is the “idea” that you can’t do anything unless you can see the end of the road.

Why does this create a challenge? Well, first of all consciousness and life is an eternal evolutionary experience. If you think you need to see and know the end result before you can do ANY-thing, the truth of the matter is you will be sitting in frustration all of your life.

However, frustration perhaps is just the path you need to fuel an unfolding journey of growth, discovery, and learning that will inevitably keep you on the evolutionary road nonetheless. 🙂

This is likely a topic I could expound upon immensely, but for sake of this post I’ll keep it relatively simple.

As mentioned, this theme has been circulating from the collective around me and being that I have been “right there” in the same frustrated place, and because today a heartfelt prompting from someone very close to me had me voicing this experience to share in support, I felt once again it was a prompting that timing was “now” to just share a few words on this.

It was synchronicity like clock-work again that this theme came up today. I love the demonstration of our unity-connection and how one person’s journey is always collectively tied to a bigger picture process and experience.

Here is some of what I shared today, paraphrased for this post:

At one time or another I feel that we all go through the fluctuating increase and decrease in our confidence, see-sawing between feeling very “connected to” then feeling so lost, experiencing the flow and then the discombobulation, or moving between bliss and despair, as we move along our paths. All of this is not weird or means you have some strange mental challenge that no one else has and can’t ever be cured. It is simply part of your process of integration, which will be like that pendulum swinging back and forth to each side of duality, while also at times coming to know the experience of harmony at center.

Life to me seems to be a reminder of how we are all things and can, when we choose, learn to recapture a more sustained experience of that centered balance, while also learning how to move in and out of experiences with greater ease because we come to learn our personal processes and can then do so consciously.

We ALL have innate gifts. Even if we are doing things in a similar vein to others, we are still bringing to the table something unique that can only channel through us. So in that way, it is an individual talent that cannot be duplicated and is equally as valuable. Remembering the times when you have felt most empowered, joyous, in the flow, vibrant, and enlivened, and having gratitude for these confirmations help you to stay in that energy and create more of it. Remember the mirroring of what others have shared about you and what they received from the gift of you. These things are so only because they came through YOU. No other person can mimic what you have to offer. And if they try, see it as a compliment and not a competition.

This calls to mind the post I shared, Celebrate Yourself, Celebrate Each Other – Lifting Humanity to the Next Level of Experience and how important the message and theme of that channeling feels still to be, especially with things I’ve been hearing and feeling swirling around.

I think sometimes we fear moving forward because we can’t see what we think the end result is and yet there never will be an end result, as things are revealed as we move along the journey and come about by us simply deciding to move forward with SOME-thing. Then that “thing” starts to evolve as we go along. It also starts to deepen or prepare us for other things, as some of the tools, skills and confidence we gain in the process are needed to get to the next step. We can’t just jump there prematurely, as either we won’t be prepared, the timing isn’t fully aligned on a Universal, big-picture level, or we may scare/scar ourselves far worse out of making moves at all.

That is why my own journey has evolved so much and continually changes, and I know it will continue to and completely shift altogether in some regards. That may look to some as though I am fickle, unable to commit, blow with the wind…but to me I am simply allowing my heart and Spirit to guide me where the greatest use of my talents and the greatest joy of my heart is needed and leads me. And in doing so, I am continuously supporting evolutionary growth and expanding upon perceived limitations that may otherwise be if I simply attached, anchored and set up camp for life.

While what I do may change in its outward appearance or in terms of the clothing it wears, the things I do in totality are along a similar vein of theme always. It just appears different in how it channels through at any given moment. Just as it has since the beginning.

I’ve been heard as saying over the last 6+ months, that I no longer try to see predictive visions and I have short term memory. 😉 What I mean by that is that I may get a strong feeling on where something is headed, but how and when is unclear and I have no attachment to it either, as what I have found is that in just being present with “what is” right here and now…it really doesn’t matter. The journey may take me there sooner, later, or never. But I’ll sure have fun and explore and grow a lot in between.

I’ve also learned that my strong intuitive hits are usually so far ahead, it has become obsolete to even share them because so much shifts in the process, that it is more important to focus on the journey. And when and if I end up, or someone else I had a very strong intuitive hit on ends up, where I felt we would a few years ago, really doesn’t matter. I think the point here is not to get hung up on fixating on any one thing. It is good to know the essence of what it is you are bringing forth and intending, but to allow for all of the beautiful explorations and experiences to guide you along the way.

Intuition is key and important to keep an eye on, learning to listen to your first instincts with supportive action, but as long as you do so in the very powerful present, the “later” is inconsequential since all things unfold at once and are affected by the now. Continuously, moment to moment, trusting your inner voice will take you exactly where you need to go rather than getting caught up on something intuitive coming in 5 years from now and stressing over how the heck to do the things in the interim leading up to it.

One intuitive step at a time…..

And as far as my very short term memory goes, I feel this is a powerful confirmation that I have been embracing and integrating that power of being present right here and now.

I don’t have full clarity on how things will come together. I only “know,” in my heart of hearts, the essence of why I am here and the particular theme I am assisting by my committed soul choice and responsibility. How that comes through is a journey that I don’t fully need to know (nor could perhaps be capable of processing fully right now anyway) and can enjoy its blossoming as I cultivate each seed.

Besides, some of us are very multi-faceted and living integration lives. So it may seem even more challenging to pinpoint something to choose as the ultimate goal, but the beauty is you can just choose where you’re most drawn to right now and what brings you the greatest joy, moment to moment – sometimes doing many things at once, other times one or two. By taking a step in “some” direction, you open the possibilities for opportunities and more things to unfold. Doors will open. Doors will close. But standing still only creates stagnation, which opposes the very fiber of our existence and the totality of Universal Life Force Energy that is constantly cycling.

I came to see in my process that no one is going to tell us this ultimate answer either. Everything changes moment to moment and while an overall theme and likelihood of where you’re headed based on your trajectory so far may be possible, it all comes down in the end to the big mystery being right before you the whole time, just hidden behind a veil of uncertainty, unsupported need for nurturing, fear, and forgotten dreams.

I, too, have gotten caught up and frustrated in trying to know and see what it all was and felt the confusion and despair, rather than letting my heart just guide me. But please don’t feel discouraged.  There may always be an ebb and flow to the waves of feelings and experiences you come across, but this is natural and set up exactly as your soul knew would be for your highest good to really assist your chosen journey.

And sometimes the more you know and the more you’ve traveled down a spiritual and conscious path, the potentially more ingenious you are at really devising self-sabotaging ways to hold yourself back or even painfully lie to yourself, masked as road blocks, or even masked behind your own spiritual fluff. 😉 I have seen this constantly where we have learned so many big spiritual concepts and words that we can easily talk ourselves in a circle to avoid the very heart and core of the matter, which lies behind all of that and in the very deepest of vulnerable places inside of you. “There” is the real truth. The truth even you hide from yourself for fear of the power that responsibility comes with in opening the lock on that door you’ve kept closed for a reason that no longer has the need to hold power over you… if in fact you can be honest with yourself and live from your heart always.

I know self-sabotage very well and can spot it quite well now in others and learned my personal processes so that I can keep ahead of myself. Sometimes this turns into hitting a wall and not feeling able to move in any direction, but I’m wise on me now (LOL) and wish the same for you. It is possible to understand these deep and sometimes darker shadow parts. It just takes courage, patience, gentleness, and a willingness to really “want” to know the truth of yourself and your own inner demons. For some, it is easier to live on the surface. For me, I choose to get down and dirty whenever the occasion may arise.

There are even times when you will get to a really good place and hit moments of doubt or question. I know I have had those times where I wonder if anything I’m doing makes a difference. I think that is another common experience. But I then quickly realize that that is when I am stepping out of my heart’s essence and flow and being in my mind and in duality separation. Then I get back on track when I realize confirmations are not needed in the way we are taught to think they should come. The confirmation is in how I feel when I’m doing something I believe in and love wholeheartedly and in holding the space of what I know as my truth beyond all else.

The path needn’t be clear…only your heart does.

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