Do you remember a time when life was magical to you? When anything was possible and the belief of fairy-tale beings was not so far fetched. Why do many individuals lose their childlike wonder? Numerous reasons can be attributed to this based on each person’s life experiences. But what would you say if I told you that you could connect back to that imagination and creativity? This is the story of a girl who found her magic again by reconnecting to the trees, and in doing so, passionately advocates this for all children over the world.
The power of childhood memories
Camping in the mountains as a child were some of my happiest memories. The escape and freedom that the trees and wilderness provided offered a refuge from the suffocating monotony of daily home-life, school and church. The childlike wonder, imagination and creativity that were awakened in this organic environment gave me the strength to get through the loneliness of my early years. And although camping was such a sacred piece to my existence, I had strayed from that regular excursion.
Now, as an adult it has been over a decade since I have been camping.
The years of convention and indoctrination bombarding me in the forms of religious practices, being enclosed in brick and mortar schools and shrinking my energy to survive in a competitive family had left me bruised, battered and drained of joy.
Healing through parenting
After following the societal conventions and responsibilities ingrained in me, I seemed to have lost all parts of myself that were once me. The little girl who ran free among the towering oak trees, to climbing on the sturdy rocks that imbued her with support and strength, to the rushing water in the streams and gusting winds that soothed the anxiety and fears within. This was all me. And I had abandoned that spark of life. I had instead chosen the empty aspect of existence in the repetitiveness of society. It is the ache of not only betraying the trees, but also of betraying my true self.
Through raising my children and observing their wonder and innocence, it unlocked forgotten painful childhood memories that were brought to the surface. The things I had chosen to not look at as a coping mechanism now faced me through my daily routine. A roller-coaster had been set in motion with trying to heal my inner child at the same time as raising my children and vehemently protecting their inner child.
Nurturing childlike wonder in your children
This overwhelming situation I had found myself in led me to having a private session with Jen Ward, helping me to reveal and release many heavy weights. Feeling profound shifts within myself, as well as, the circumstances in my life, particularly in the raising of my children led me to seeking further into my spirituality and higher consciousness parenting. I then signed up for a workshop being held by Jen on the topic of The Druid Brigade and connecting with trees. Although the memory of camping had grown faint over time, I still felt immense comfort and peace while walking in nature and being around trees.
The workshop included coloring a picture of a tree and Jen advised completing the task while sitting in nature for inspiration. I sat crisscrossed on the grass in my backyard, under the tree that was planted there since I was five years old. I asked it, “Can you please help me with my coloring assignment?” Instantly the image of a tree appeared in my mind. One half of the tree’s branches were covered in green leaves that you would see with your physical vision, and the other half showed the energy of the tree flowing around it in many colors. It was beautiful to behold.
Soon after this experience I began feeling the nudge of the trees I had camped around as a child calling me back to them. I hadn’t thought of them in years. My friends that I had forgotten were connecting back to me. And although this communication brought me happiness, I ignored it. I thought it would be so nice to go back and see them but I made many excuses: it wasn’t the right time, I was so busy with my life and the thought of camping with young children was overwhelming. Maybe it was also the fear and embarrassment of facing the trees when I had neglected their connection. But still, the nudges continued. “Come home,” they would say. In retrospect, I realized by reconnecting back with the trees, I would be coming back to my true self.
The journey to higher consciousness parenting
I began taking my children out in nature hikes around our home and showed them the special connection humanity has with all life. We would talk to the trees, hug them and also blow them kisses (this last technique was taught to me by Jen).
I began the routine of singing sweet songs to my children on themes focused on nature, love and innocence of life. Our imagination was ignited with bedtime stories of fairies, dragons, magical gardens and whimsical forests. We sought our adventures in nature around us. In encouraging this childlike wonder and creativity in my children, I realized I was also infusing it within myself. That spark that was lost so many years ago was being healed while I played.
From my own experiences of losing myself through conformity, I seek to protect my children from what I went through. In doing so, I have chosen to home school them and create our religion in the wisdom of the trees. Encouraging their passions, interests and individual ways of understanding the world through play has helped them to learn while still maintaining their unique essence. We frequently incorporate nature into our learning and immerse ourselves in wilderness hikes, too.
One such week, I took our home school into nature through a camping trip. I was ready for a reunion with the trees, and this time I was bringing my children to nurture and grow their connection with the earth. It has taken years of continued dedication of mindfulness, reflection and SFT tapping to help heal the experiences from this life and past lives. The work has been worth it. The strength required of higher consciousness parenting of balancing your own healing and empowerment, as well as, the healing and empowerment of your children is an endeavor not for the faint of heart. But if you choose to step up to the plate you will be amazed at the potential growth for yourself and loved ones.