Facing the sun and filling the sky
I've found myself writing these words to people this week and finding that they make me cry. 'Please, please can you help me reach those who can get the roots of this tree deep enough for our branches to fill the sky.'
It's not taking much to bring on the tears since we launched the growtreesisters.com IndieGoGo last week. All I have to do is start writing thank you letters and I'm off...
It's quite a thing to hold a dream. It's another thing to then actually try to make it real when you have no experience what so ever of doing any facet of it. Yet another to then reach out and ask everyone you know to both believe in your capacity to deliver, and then to help you fund it.
I'm at stage three - the reaching out stage and it's many things. Humbling, moving, vulnerable, amazing, exposing and, and, and....boy does it require growing new muscles and discovering a whole new way of standing up tall. One whole month of asking for money every day and I and the whole team will be a different shape by the end of it, regardless of what we manage to raise. Herein lies the real gift if I can keep my sane head on straight - it's all about the journey, not the destination.
It is a strange thing to be a front person for something that deeply touches many people and really challenges many others. It's a fast track in letting go of the need for approval, in staying to true to oneself instead of twisting to become what might make it easier or safer, in taking hard feedback and not collapsing, and in being open to perceived success or failure and not taking either personally - although, quite honestly I don't know which of those would be easier.
Given that I am out here at the front going through this particular alchemy on behalf of the whole system, I thought I'd share some of my awarenesses as I have my first real experience of crowd-funding through IndieGoGo.
Firstly - timing is everything. If you want to be comfortable doing something big - wait till you feel ready! Finally (and it has taken years) I feel utterly congruent and ready for the ask because of the ground that is laid within the organisation. We almost did the IndieGoGo last November and I am sooo glad that we didn't because integrity is everything to me when it comes to asking for money, and there were too many holes in the hull of this boat back then.
Right now, we're ready for what comes next so I can stand and ask in my full pride about what we've achieved, instead of feeling undercut by the fear, shame or inadequacy that have been biting my heels for so long. Secondly - how I use my mind is the difference between sanity and insanity! I've created two new verbs to help me stay awake to how and who I'm being moment to moment - to Positize and to Negatize.
If you are positizing, you are simply focusing on everything that is going well, and letting in to your body the shows of love and support of every kind that life is bringing.
If you are negatizing, then you are focusing on everything that is missing, or only on things that have 'gone wrong' and doing your own head in without any external help! Negatizing is when 10 people give you compliments, but all you can think about is the one person who's facial expression might have read that they didn't mean what they said. Or you write to 10 close friends, but instead of delighting in the eight that right back, worry about the two that don't. It's the process of giving your shadow ego full reign over your internal realm - so that it can block out all the beauty that nourishes you and run moment to moment presentations about everything that you should be worrying about, so that you can feel bereft, hollow, negated and unsupported inside of world of gorgeous abundance - and feel sorry for yourself.
Personally, I've had an addiction to negatizing for most of my life. I was born into stress and so finding ways to perpetuate it created a sense of belonging and safety for me - but BOY am I done. Now I'm discovering that there is a way to literally train myself to focus on everything that is growing, beautiful, supportive and loving.
I can choose to find real time proof that life is fully aware of what I am, need, can do, am all about and am ready for, and in doing so I can literally reverse the negative momentum and instead create a landscape of ease out of which miracles can emerge.
So here's my landscape. Positize about on the 12% funding that has come in, or negatize about the 88% that has yet to materialize.
Positize with all those generous souls who believe in this enough to have reached into their pockets and put money towards the mission, or negatize about all those who I've asked who have stayed silent - for what ever reason.
Positize about all the reasons that people don't show up financially - fully accepting everyone where they are - or negatize about how many people just don't see the environment as being something worth funding even when it is the very air that they breathe.
I can do an absolute number on myself on a moment to moment basis. I can thrash or embrace myself with two opposing realities depending upon how I use my mind - contribute to health or create stress - trust or freeze - sit in gratitude for what is or freak out about what isn't. Talk about Earth School!!
So I want to fill the sky with branches and birdsong, with the cool mists of the rain forest and the sounds of running water. I want to properly build the mechanism needed to deliver my dream and I need to face the sun to do it. I need to positize. I need to believe, trust and sit in gratitude - outcome irrelevant, because whatever it takes - somehow - this dream will come true.
And - I can do what it takes to stand out front and call and call, but I can't build this without you. Please, please can you make a gift that helps the roots of this tree get deep enough for our branches to fill the sky.
Every gesture counts - www.growtreesisters.com - with all our gratitude.
Sun in trees photo by Gabriel Pangilian
Clare Dubois is the founder of TreeSisters. Clare is an Earth loving social entrepreneur and inspirational speaker who worked internationally for 18 years facilitating groups, coaching business leaders and creating behaviour change processes within the personal growth sector. 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.