A Letter From Clare
‘.......Ensure the shelves of your heart never fall bare,
That your soul seeds new sprouts
And the wings of your imagination
May you realize what matters, who matters,
The rock that you can be,
When the world is shaking.
Stockpile only what is limitless,
And can be shared with all.’
Excerpt from "The Appropriate Response" by Mary Reynolds Thompson
I hope this finds you well, or as well as can be expected amidst such uncertainty. My goodness what a time to be alive. The story of our species is changing right now, and I’m actually hugely grateful that the story includes all of us here, together. Togetherness has never felt more important, and nor has the feminine response to crisis.
Love is the medicine, and thankfully love is a river that keeps on flowing…
I wanted to write to send love to each and every one of you - all of us in our different situations and responses to what’s going on. Seemingly, we are all about to discover how we collectively and individually deal with radical uncertainty and being pushed into free fall, faster than many of us ever imagined. I choose to believe that we have what it takes, or we wouldn’t be here right now.
It’s at times like this I am beyond grateful for our global sisterhood, and the fact that no matter what time of day or night it is where you are, someone is awake and can respond to you in our online community, The Nest.
I want to thank the team, the volunteers and all of you who tend each other so beautifully in our online communities, and invite us all to reach out to each other and dare to go deeper into our togetherness. Why? Because something unprecedented is happening as our world grinds to a halt and is forced to take stock of ‘what is’, and just maybe it’s time to earnestly start dreaming our new world into being.
I also wanted to remind us of the gift of my husband Mark’s wonderful river metaphors about facing real challenge (If you didn’t hear the interview Voice of River, it’s seriously worth a listen - especially right now). He spoke about it from the perspective of collectively navigating a class five rapid in white water rafting; the most dangerous class one can face.
Here’s his wisdom: "Upon entering that rapid, what you must not do, is focus on all the different obstacles that could tip, shred or otherwise demolish your boat - because focusing on what frightens you, magnetises you to them like magic. You manifest your fears. Instead, he said, you look for the ‘through line’ - the apparent pathway through the rapid that brings you to the other side, and all of you focus on that as a team."
He then went on to say that humanity is in a class five rapid, and that we are all in the same boat, and that how we face this, how we find our path through it and what we focus on will determine everything. He was speaking about climate change. Add COVID 19 and we now have a crucible for radical awakening on and in our hands.
So what is our ‘through line’? It’s going to be different for each of us, and this is something I‘m going to invite us all to bring into our online communities to explore, because I think it could be a huge support right now, especially for anyone in high fear.
For me, the destination on the other side of this rapid is a world that has started to value life and future generations above money. It’s a world that has remembered what the word sacred means, and that uses it as much to describe the sky, the ocean, forests, mountains, birds and bees, as it does people of every colour, creed and gender.
The primary obstacles in my rapids are fear of the unknown, scarcity and loss of trust, although again these will differ for each of us. What I do know though, is that when I focus on my fears, I hit rocks and I panic; everything becomes a reaction. When I can focus on what I trust, when I can stay slow and connected to something greater than my small self then I can lean back into the river and let it guide me. I respond, rather than reacting and my actions are much more coherent.
At some point, we will hopefully make it to the other side. What none of us can control is our dance with the unknown. What we can decide is how we dance.
So how do we want to dance? How can we support each other to stay connected and slow, to listen deeply, to feel what is asking to be felt, to dare to dream, to sit in the unknown and let it have its way with us? How can we be as loving, as compassionate, gentle, inclusive and generous as we can - as Mary so beautifully says ‘ensuring that the shelves of your heart never fall bare and that we stockpile only what is limitless, and can be shared with all.’
Well, we’re going to find out, and my prayer is simply that we find out together.
Letting go of the old while extremely uncomfortable for many of us, also makes space for something radically new and better and when I can stop being freaked out, that is actually hugely exciting! Major change is rarely easy, especially when the destination is unknown, but what we can do is surround ourselves with loving support and hold hands.
I’m going to add some useful tools at the end of this letter (including Kristin Flyntz’s astonishing letter from COVID-19 because she wrote what I hadn’t found the courage to express) I hope these are useful for you.
Lastly, as treesisters and brothers I ask you from my heart, PLEASE can we not let this human crisis blind us from the greater reality of our imperiled natural world and the trees that we are collectively planting to help Gaia cool herself down. We cannot afford to retract from the great work of restoration, indeed it underpins everything. Let’s see if we can make this our collective awakening to the intersection of personal and planetary care as one and the same thing, and hold both as vital, sacred action.
May we focus on the world that we want to see birthed, and may we lovingly and patiently breathe it into being.
I send you all so much love,
~ To join our online community, you can explore the Nest (our online sisterhood) here.
~ This Facebook live ‘The Swimming Pool’ addresses collective momentum in a way that could really help you feel more normal amidst the crazy!
~ This blog I wrote about the power cuts from the fires in CA last year, speaks to the reality of dealing with extreme change and addiction to the old normal
~ The Courage to Shine course is coming up, and it includes tools to help alchemise fear and consciously lean into your own evolution, if you would like more support amidst all this, it is a strong offering.
~You may also want to join us for our Full Moon call, a wonderful monthly opportunity to gather and meditate with other treesisters online. Led by Clare each month at the full moon, the next call is April 7th and open to all who wish to gather. Learn more by visiting our Full Moon page here.
~A passionate interview that was done for IONS - LA. Watch it here.
~ Here is Kristins Flyntz’s gift: An Imagined Letter from Covid-19 to Humans.
Stop. Just stop.
It is no longer a request. It is a mandate.
We will help you.
We will bring the supersonic, high speed merry-go-round to a halt.
We will stop
the frenetic, furied rush of illusions and “obligations” that keep you from hearing our
single and shared beating heart,
the way we breathe together, in unison.
Our obligation is to each other,
As it has always been, even if, even though, you have forgotten.
We will interrupt this broadcast, the endless cacophonous broadcast of divisions and distractions,
to bring you this long-breaking news:
We are not well
None of us; all of us are suffering.
Last year, the firestorms that scorched the lungs of the Earth
did not give you pause.
Nor the typhoons in Africa,China, Japan.
Nor the fevered climates in Japan and India.
You have not been listening.
It is hard to listen when you are so busy all the time, hustling to uphold the comforts and conveniences that scaffold your lives.
But the foundation is giving way,
buckling under the weight of your needs and desires.
We will help you.
We will bring the firestorms to your body
We will bring the fever to your body
We will bring the burning, searing, and flooding to your lungs
that you might hear:
We are not well.
Despite what you might think or feel, we are not the enemy.
We are Messenger. We are Ally. We are a balancing force.
We are asking you:
To stop, to be still, to listen;
To move beyond your individual concerns and consider the concerns of all;
To be with your ignorance, to find your humility, to relinquish your thinking minds and travel deep into the mind of the heart;
To look up into the sky, streaked with fewer planes, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, smoky, smoggy, rainy? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy?
To look at a tree, and see it, to notice its condition: how does its health contribute to the health of the sky, to the air you need to be healthy?
To visit a river, and see it, to notice its condition: clear, clean, murky, polluted? How much do you need it to be healthy so that you may also be healthy? How does its health contribute to the health of the tree, who contributes to the health of the sky, so that you may also be healthy?
Many are afraid now.
Do not demonize your fear, and also, do not let it rule you. Instead, let it speak to you—in your stillness,
listen for its wisdom.
What might it be telling you about what is at work, at issue, at risk, beyond the threats of personal inconvenience and illness?
As the health of a tree, a river, the sky tells you about quality of your own health, what might the quality of your health tell you about the health of the rivers, the trees, the sky, and all of us who share this planet with you?
Notice if you are resisting.
Notice what you are resisting.
Stop. Just stop.
Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well.
We will help you, if you listen.
Clare Dubois, founder of TreeSisters is an Earth loving social entrepreneur and inspirational speaker. Clare is leading the TreeSisters campaign; focusing on network development and the empowerment of women. She has been developing the ethos and principles, the team and organisational culture, the campaign strategy, the framework of the Maps and behaviour change materials. She is committed to the creation of an evolving system that learns as it goes and continually models itself upon the flows and forms of living systems.
Mark Dubois has long been a voice for Nature and a champion for the rivers. After a decade of trying to stop his beloved Stanislaus river being damned, Mark chained himself to the canyon floor, threw away the key and prepared to be drowned along with 9 million years worth of evolution. Anyone that knows Mark, knows the power of his incredible heart - a canyon of love cleaned out by the grief of losing his river. That love still flows in acts of pure service to all that see this world as sacred and are given to humanities awakening.