Have you been feeling overwhelmed with all that is going on?
Are you seeing people speaking out, and wondering HOW you can add to this moment?
Are you unsure if your voice will even help?
You may be feeling an enormous amount of grief over the loss of lives, the blatant brutality, and exposed violence.
And as you stare at the mountain ahead of you, it can be paralyzing to view the devastation and take a first step.
Because what we are seeing is BIG. And it’s hundreds of years of karma, all coming to a head at once.
We are viewing systems that have been carefully constructed and maintained for a very long time.
And systems are complex. They are not simple, nor are the solutions.
So, how do you meet this?
How do you create change with something so destructive that has been taking life?
“You have a fungus.”
I stared down at the text from my father and I knew he was right.
I recently moved into my dream home, and a large part of why it is my dream is the back yard. Filled with many species of plants, trees and wildlife, I spend as much time out there as I can. As I’ve been on my healing journey, the yard has been a deeply nourishing place of comfort and care.
The yard is actually not that large, but the back half is all wild, and had been kept that way by the former owner to conserve the soil which nourishes the abundant mountain laurel that grows there.
A few weeks ago, while walking among the mountain laurel, I noticed many of the leaves were yellow. In my gut, I knew something was wrong, so I took a picture and reached out to my father, who is a master gardener.
My father recommended a pretty intense protocol to clear up the fungus.
You will need to gather up all the leaves and throw them out.
Cut what you can of the mountain laurel, so the fungus doesn’t spread.
Use this mixture and spray it on all the mountain laurel.
It was going to be a BIG job.
And my dad put things into perspective for me,
“I’ve been dealing with a fungus on the front maple for five years!
Know it may come back. Just repeat the process.”
And I wondered if I would have the energy to do this job. While I was feeling much better in May, the beginning of June was rough. I experienced deep fatigue and was struggling with keeping a positive mindset around my healing.
But we needed to do this while the mountain laurel were blooming, which was NOW.
The time was now.
Last Saturday I woke up feeling really good. It was really muggy outside, but I made sure to take all the measures I knew would help.
Wearing a wide brim hat
Covering my arms and legs
Putting on sunscreen
Having plenty of water handy.
And I set out with my clippers.
I wanted so much to help, but wasn’t even sure WHAT I was doing.
As I began small, by just cutting off individual leaves, I spoke to the tree.
I’m here to help.
This is going to make you well.
And as I saw just how much the fungus had spread, I realized I needed to actually cut off larger sections than just the leaves.
I remembered my mother teaching me to cut at the “elbows” to ensure new growth, and what began as tentative action soon transformed into flow.
My husband came out to join me and started gathering leaves from the ground and helping to trim. He took bucket after bucket of the diseased leaves out to the curb to be picked up.
And it got hot. I was sweating, but I had the energy.
I felt amazed. For all of my life, I would say,
I’m not a gardener.
I would watch my mother and father be so at home in the garden, and just look at all the plants and think they were gorgeous, but deep down I believed,
I can’t take care of that.
I don’t know what I’m doing.
Have you ever felt that?
Last year I watched a documentary of herbs and they went back in history sharing how it was always the women who actually held the knowledge of plants. Men would document it into books, but the knowledge and connection came from the women.
As I trimmed each branch with care, I wondered,
Is this me waking up to my heritage?
What if I’m more capable than I thought?
What if what I’ve been thinking isn’t helping?
And as I continued to cut the fungus, I remembered the phone call I had with my doctor back in January,
“You have fungus in your gut.
“You will need to go on this very extensive protocol to rid this from your system. This could be from your recent mold exposure and it could be also a build up over many years. This will take time.”
I did have experience with this.
And I’ve been clearing my body of fungus for months.
It’s been a process, and it’s working.
Step by step.
Day by day.
And it’s because I wake up each day with the INTENTION to heal.
To stop the spread.
After spending many hours out back, my husband and I came in, took showers, and checked each other for ticks. We were exhausted, but fulfilled. The next day, we had an incredible man come out to help remove brush, create more air flow for the trees, and trim back what else needed to be cut.
We asked for help. It was a team effort. Together we helped to heal the trees.
And this week, as I’ve looked out at the backyard, what used to be a sea of yellow leaves, is all green.
We created change together for life to flourish.
And if the fungus comes back, we know what to do. We know how to face it, and we know this will take time.
The biggest change that allowed me to fully transform my life was when I began to view my life with CARE. Before I lost everything in my divorce, I worked very HARD for what I had. I was very HARD on myself, I didn’t trust myself, and I held myself up to expectations that were impossible to achieve.
So, I walked around believing,
I’m not good enough.
And it didn’t matter what I did, it was never enough.
And then I lost everything, and all my teachers appeared to teach me what had been missing,
And compassion is an inside out job, not the other way around.
We will treat others with care when we have learned how to care for ourselves, and I mean TRULY care. Because if you care, then you want to create the least amount of harm possible.
As I’m a student of examining my whiteness, it has come back to this again and again.
Where is the CARE?
Where is the COMPASSION?
And how can I manifest this in my life, and in every relationship I have?
There has been a fungus growing for millennia, and the gift we are being given right now is we are SEEING it.
As the late great black author James Baldwin said,
“Nothing can be changed without being faced.”
So, as you face the trees, the mountain, the challenge of these times, what are you thinking about it first?
How are you treating yourself during this time?
Can you bring compassion to your thoughts?
What if this is really a call to care?
I’m seeing actions across the board, from active protests, to donations, phone calls to officials and family members, and even having difficult conversations in all white groups.
It may be one leaf at a time you approach, but the collective energy is what will create the real change.
And you are a part of that.
You, in all your magnificent wholeness.
You, who are enough.
So, pick up the clippers and come join me in the garden.
Let’s take care of it together, and create the change that allows life to flourish.