Winter Solstice ~ Spring Equinox 2016 Journey
Winter: A Season of Visioning, Deepening and Imagining
Image credit left: Yvonne Pfeifer
TreeSisters follows the wisdom of the seasons in our organizational planning which means winter was a season of visioning, deepening, and imagining where we want to go in the coming months. After experiencing our most produce quarter ever in autumn, we decided winter would be an intentional time for rest and renewal for the entire team. One of the great ironies of life is that the more we can truly rest, the more productive we become. So we slowed our pace down because we believe the deeper we can rest and renew ourselves during the winter, the greater our summer yield and autumn harvest will be.
Deepening Our Organizational Vision & Roots
We deepened our roots and revisited our vision by assessing where we are in context of the original call to gather women worldwide in order to create a cultural and behavioral shift that will help restore the Tropics at a massive scale within the next ten years. Part of this process included bringing a talented new team member on-board (Amrita) in the role of business development. With her guidance we reassessed our business model and what is necessary to go to the scale required to fulfill our mission.
Planting Trees around the World
Image credit right: our planting partner the Eden Reforestation Projects, Madagascar
We wrapped up The Forest of the Wild Feminine online course and began creating our winter course Woman Embracing the Wild taught by Jennifer Menke. The course enabled us to fund the planting of 31,191 mangrove trees in Madagascar through Eden Projects From January 1st through March 31st we funded 60,000 mangrove of trees in Madagascar through the Eden Project and we funded 3,000 tropical evergreen trees in Southern India through Project Green Hands. In the 2015-2016 fiscal year we funded a total of 78,393 trees through Project Green Hands in India and The Eden Project in Madagascar. That makes over 92,000 trees planted around the world so far.
Creating TreeSisters 2.0
Sophie is the project manager of our new website initiative and the team spent much of the winter creating the framework for the website, identifying what we want to achieve through it, and how it will become an interactive platform for TreeSisters around the world. We researched and interviewed multiple website developers and are pleased to say that we applied to Code & Theory, one of the best website developers in London (with offices in NYC, San Francisco and Manila). Though they usually only take on projects over £200,000 the Creative Director fell in love with us and our vision. He personally agreed to take us on as a client for a drastically reduced rate. We originally wanted to launch the new website along with our first major tree campaign in late spring, however after careful consideration we have decided to launch it in early autumn which will give our team the time and capacity to produce the best possible website and to take the tree campaign to the kind of scale required if we are to help reforest the Tropics within ten years and shift the cultural trend from deforestation to reforestation and forest protection.
Exceeding 100,000 on Facebook & Raising Change
This winter we topped the 100,000 mark on Facebook and were also invited into a strategic partnership with Raising Change, a fundraising organization that has raised over 175 million dollars for local, national, and international NGOS. Raising Change was launched in June 2005 with a simple premise: to help fully unleash the power of women’s philanthropic giving. It is a philanthropy based on connection and community. With their help, we will take TreeSisters to the kind of scale required to achieve our audacious goal of reforesting the Tropics within ten years through the collective synergy and contributions of women around the world.
Nurturing Sisterhood & Nature-based Feminine Leadership
We continued to offer our monthly new and full moon calls as the way in which we nurture a global sisterhood. Edveeje launched the winter new moon series ‘The Sabbath of Women’ which was an invitation to follow and experience the wisdom of winter through the Sabbath practice of rest and renewal. Clare offered a full moon series entitled ‘Embodying River, Earth and Sky’ which was an invitation to drop our edges as we merge with Nature so that Nature’s intelligence can inform us.
Fulfilling Our Promises & Walking our Talk
We dedicated the winter months to fulfilling our gift offerings for those who so generously contributed to our Indiegogo campaign in the autumn. Clare and Edveeje hosted The Roots of a Woman’s Soul retreat and Mary Reynolds Thompson hosted a second retreat entitled Embodying the Wisdom of the Forest.
As part of cultivating nature-based feminine leadership within our core team, we launched a new organizational element based on the work of Miranda Gray’s book The Optimized Woman, which is a 28 day plan designed to empower a woman to use her monthly cycle as the core of her productivity and leadership style within the workplace. We also participated in a Bristol UK based event designed to inspire organizations and companies to create ‘period policies’ as part of their human resource benefits. This Bristol initiative was led by author and menstruality teacher, Alexandra Pope.
As we enter spring, we are focused on planting the seeds that will grow TreeSisters to the kind of scale required to bring balance back to our planet and to shift the collective consciousness. We recognize the audacity and grandeur of our vision and that it will take all of us to achieve our mission. We look forward to a spring season of growing international partnerships with major reforestation organizations and women’s organizations, knowing that when we all join hands with a shared vision, anything and everything becomes possible.