January is traditionally the time to reflect on where we are, and it can often be the time we set goals and resolutions for the next year. This short but wholesome reflection on ourselves and our life can ease the often felt pressure of resolution setting and keeping. It can help you to understand yourself and whether your goals and resolutions really match your values and where you are in your life; whether ultimately the goals you thought you wanted to set are helpful and productive, or just more stress.
Your Tree of Life for 2018
Choose a tree and stand next to it
Think of the roots going deep into the ground anchoring the tree into the earth to help it withstand the winter winds, and those that are the feeder roots, seeking nutrients and water, which are needed on a daily basis. Think of all the things that give you your ‘roots’, your anchoring roots that give you the strength to withstand ‘winter winds’, and those that ‘feed’ you on a daily basis. Write them down or draw them.
The tree stands solid in the ground. It is ‘here’, and many trees serve as landmarks and way finders. Where are you at the moment? Are you ‘here’? Describe this in a few sentences.
The trunk and its branches stretch up and out in all directions, shaped by both its genetics and its environment. Does this reflect your own growth? The branches reach out into the air towards the light. The thinnest and youngest twigs carry the leaves and the fruit, but need supporting by the older branch’s achievements and growth. What are the fruits of your life? What things have you been pleased to have ‘produced’? What achievements are those new productive branches built on?
Think of the new leaves that will grow in the spring, the flowers and fruit it will produce, and how that depends on its roots and its environment. What new leaves and fruit do you want to produce this year? Do you need to put some effort into strengthening your ‘roots’ so that you can grow stronger and withstand more ‘winter winds’ or do you need more daily ‘nutrition’? Do you need to grow new branches in a different direction, towards a better environment? Or do you need to fill in a gap in your ‘canopy’?
If you want to share your reflections, please feel free to do so in the comments below. And please Note that this is not intended to replace professional help and support, and if this exercise brings up any difficult and hard to manage emotions or thoughts, please seek the advice of a medical professional.
Copyright Hannah Hobbs 2018