This morning as I walked my favorite nature path in my beloved home state of Minnesota, I tuned into the changing trees around me. We are nearing the peak of Fall foliage season where every day brings about a different colorful panorama from Mother Nature (MN in MN!) Today’s vision included many trees that were half yellow and half green, portending the coming changes that all Minnesotans annually grieve.
In this gorgeous fall season, these half-n-half trees reminded me of my journey to crystallize my life. These last few weeks as a Minnesotan have had me feeling like I'm half here and half already in my new home state of California. I’m no longer living in a home but in a collection of half-packed boxes surrounded by empty walls. This energetic tug-of-war has been exhausting and emotionally draining. I have endless to-do lists that now have the codes of “MN” and “CA” next to them so I can keep my life (or lives) straight, all during the busy Fall speaking season.
I’m living in a cyclone of my own making.
All of us at one time or another have occupied the painful half here/half there purgatory that accompanies all big transitions, from new hometowns to new relationships to new careers. We tend to acutely notice this razor’s edge of half here/half there. When we get closer to the end of a major transition, however, there's a gravitational pull toward the end zone that fuels us to keep moving forward despite the fatigue, overwhelm, and loss. We've received enough direction, support, and validation that makes us prepared, if not excited, for the new reality we are creating, even in the face of pain.
However, in the half here/half there space, it’s as if we’re straddling a fence. As with every difficult thing I've gone through in my life, I seek out nature to help heal me and put context around my journey. Crystallizing my life — reinventing myself in California with nothing but what fits in my car — is one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced. As I looked at these beautiful trees that were, on the surface, half here and half there, half in Summer and half in Fall, I realized that it’s not the truth at all.
These trees — these beautiful standing uprights that silently support us — are more than their leaves. The crystallized essence that makes up these trees is their LIFE FORCE ENERGY. That life force energy takes on form, at the most essential of levels, in their roots. The tree builds itself around those roots, growing a trunk of physical energy then branching off in a myriad different expressions of itself known as branches. Some are straight, some gnarled, some twisted, and some broken, just like the paths we take in our own lives. And on those branches, there are leaves that change depending on the external circumstances they face. They blow in the wind. They flower in Spring. They fade as the temperatures dip. And they fall to their death at the emergence of the cold winter. However, the tree’s ESSENCE is always still there, year over year, lifetime over lifetime, and it's absolutely perfect, no matter the season.
When we crystallize our lives, we examine all that makes us US in order to make intentional choices about keeping only that which we truly LOVE. We get crystal clear about our mission, letting go of everything else that no longer serves us.
Our homes and our possessions are the leaves of our lives. When we intentionally crystallize our lives, we let go of “here and there”, good and bad, in order to reclaim our commitment to what we truly value, staying firmly present in every moment we are blessed to live.
These beautiful trees remind me that I am not insufficient or inadequate or less-than because I have less leaves and branches right now. I’m just moving through the natural stages of my life while remembering that I have all I truly need: my energetic roots. They are omnipresent whether I am “here” or “there”.
If you find yourself stuck on the fence between what is and what will be (or what was and what is), I invite you to join me in seeing beyond the changing leaves and broken branches of our lives and into the crystallized roots of who we REALLY are. They will keep us grounded when the inevitable winds of change blow.