I know I am not alone in this – I have a “thing” for trees. I can often be found hugging a tree or touching tree trunks, when walking in the woods. When I’m in a meeting, at a conference, listening to a lecture, I doodle trees. They are the only thing that have “worked” in my exploration with Ink Bleeds.
Way back on 2018 I did a mediation on Insight Timer where the facilitator said something like this: “This tree holds all the information in the world. I got to sit next to it and absorb its energy and it unblocked all my stagnant energies and desires. The tree contains unlimited possibilities. Sit under it or hug it often“.
I’d read about doing a Tree of Life (Nathan B. Weller) and the meditation just spurred me on to represent the energies I wanted in my life. And so my Thrive Tree was born.
Again, in 2018, I wrote a lot about wanting to thrive in my life, rather than simply survive. 2018 was a tough year for me (read more at the end of the post).
If I stand on my self-made island, I will get more of the same.Debbie Stott October 2018
All I will do is survive.
I’m tired of doing that.
I’ve done that my whole life.
Time to switch the mindset and think, do, be different.
To tell a new story.
To find my tribe.
I’d like that.
Prosper, flourish, bloom, blossom.
When people spoke of values, I had no idea what mine were and I felt ashamed of myself. How could I get to my mid fifties without being able to articulate what was important to me in my life? As a result, I set some intentions (you can see them at the bottom of this post, as well as some more backstory).
Drawing my Thrive Tree
After drawing my tree, I added the intentions to the drawing as the branches and then added the key words all around in the leaves. The tree on the left is the first one I drew in October 2018. The one on the right, updated in January 2019.
Now, finally, thanks to my dabblings with ink art, I have managed to create a colourful, vibrant Thrive Tree. You can hear more about I created this in the video I shared on Instragram.
Have you ever tried anything like this? Using art, visual metaphors or symbolisms to try and represent how you want your life to be? What do you think of my efforts?
2018. It began with an unravelling. I’d been like a hard ball of old wool, tightly bound, threads strained to almost breaking point. As all of us do, as I’d moved through life, I’d “learnt” a whole bunch of stuff through cultural conditioning, opinions, religious perspectives and schooling. As I vaguely chased success, money and happiness, I become buried under it all. Even though the unravelling took me out of my comfort zone into places I’d kept hidden for decades, in some way the uncoiling was liberating.
Imagine a mischievous kitten playing with the tightly wound ball of wool. The kitten taps the ball with her paws and her claws get caught in the threads. The more the kitten pats the ball, the more it rolls around; the threads come undone, end up as a pile of fluff. In much the same way, I unravelled, rolling around aimlessly. But slowly my threads regained their flexibility, there was air and light between them. Suddenly the soft pile of loose threads represented possibilities and choices. They could be remade into something wholly new. Or I could rewind the ball of wool and return to my previous state. I chose to use the threads to weave a tapestry of a life well-lived, a whole life. And to take ownership of how that tapestry was going to look.
Values and Intentions
JOIE DE VIVRE – SPARKLE! I have my sparkle back. I have energy to live with enthusiasm, joy, optimism and spontaneity. I play, I have fun, laugh and I am adventurous. I appreciate everything around me with awe and wonder.
My SPIRITUAL JOURNEY continues. I continue to know myself on a deeper level. I use my tools to find serenity and contentment. I am finding greater love and connection with people of all kinds.
I draw on my skills, talents and knowledge to earn a living and make a CONTRIBUTION. I practice fairness, tolerance, compassion and generosity. My income comes from many sources.
My BEGINNERS MIND and LOVE OF LEARNING drives my personal growth with curiosity, openness and wonder as foundations. This sparks my creativity.
I am building INNER STRENGTH through courage, trust and honesty, I am more confident and flexible. I am accountable for my actions, decisions and choices.