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Can't see the trees for the woods?

Updated: Feb 5, 2020

This morning the conditions on Mother Earth in this part of the world could only be described as sublime. A silvery, sparkly sheen covered every surface and the sun shone through the mist as a hazy glow. It is often difficult to find words that sum up the drama, love and connection that nature can provoke, but today sublime does it. The environment was as the dictionary describes supreme - outstanding and awe inspiring.

It set me off into dreaming mode. I'm a big dreamer. According to family I was always off somewhere else as a child and not a lot has changed. Big ideas started to enter my head about my business. My mind was awash with ideas and I wished I had brought a notebook so I could capture those strands of imagination on paper before they drifted away into the abyss. I haven't felt so motivated in years. And I supposed this was yet another sign from the universe that I was following the right path.

It's exciting and nerve wracking in equal measure. I still have anxiety since I left my corporate job, but the worry is completely different - it's less about whether I will achieve my set objectives, keep up appearances and get to work on time (which I never really managed) and more about where to start. What should I do next? Write the blog, make the phone call, contact the paper, finish my website?

Having big ideas can be overwhelming. Instead of promotion at a at a local community event I dream of being at Womad in a congregation of other healers and musicians doing a mass mind-blowing meditation which raises the consciousness of the planet! For Instagram I was immediately focused on thousands of followers and whether that could happen overnight.

Perhaps you think I have delusions of grandeur?

But dreaming big is helpful. My career in marketing and PR depended on it. I definitely wouldn't have climbed the corporate ladder without it - although it nearly ruined me in the process (under-active thyroid, gum issues, bouts of depression and exhaustion to name but a few concerns). Big picture got me to where I am now, in a position to share my voice and help others to do the same. And now it helps me to form an ambition that motivates me to keep on creating.

Back to my point. I was in the woods on this beautiful crisp winter morning, wandering around trying to take in mindfully the magnificent tall trees, when the phrase 'can't see the wood for the trees' occurred to me and I decided, conversely, that I 'can't see the trees for the wood'!

It's the detail I struggle with. The list of tasks that guide a person day-to-day, making small changes and choices that move things forward. I guess I see it as a bit boring. But what if I didn't? What if I really got into those trees? Took the time to focus on the patterns in the bark, the intricate root structure and buds forming on the branches? What would I experience and feel?

So that's what I did - I went over and examined the tree near me. And it didn't disappoint - I saw moss and fungi and lots of lovely bits of nature. It's not like I haven't done this before - I love taking pictures so I am always after nice close-up nature shots.

It was more the symbolism of the revised proverb to living mindfully that had me thinking. Common expressions are so rooted in our shared consciousness

that we take them for granted. I am not proposing that 'can't see the wood for the trees (or forest if you are American) does not contain good advice for those wrapped up in detail, but for people like me the phrase 'can't see the trees for the wood' is much more useful.

It reminds me that I don't have to be constantly driven by big goals. I can use my feminine wisdom to be led gently into growth. Without the big picture constantly looming perhaps I can enjoy the ride a little more? I can celebrate small successes but put more emphasis on the daily small victories. I can surrender, take time to look at the trees and let things develop intuitively.

Take this blog, my first for Heron Moon. I hope some people read it. And if and when they do, I will celebrate each and every one mindfully and with gratitude.

After all, without those small steps I am never going to make Womad am I?

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