It’s a Sunday morning in London, the weather is not great (surprise) and I’ve got to get myself out to Epping Forest (literally the end of central train line). My mind is foggy, partially from too much Prosecco on the green the day before but mainly from mental exhaustion due to life commitments. I always underestimate the time it takes to get anywhere on the tube and am running late well before I meet my connecting train. There is a moment where I consider ‘calling in sick’ but I can’t let Maria down and besides, my subconscious is telling me I need this.
Determined to show up with my best self, I whack on a big grin and greet the rest of the group at the local supermarket (slightly breathless from running). Today we are embarking on a tree healing course, the first of it’s kind for Maria, and I implicitly trust her intuition. This course is an extended version of the guided healing energy walk that will last for 4 hours and allow for different activities in order to interact with the trees.
Our first destination is a church garden and cemetery with a magical mood. I have not yet warmed myself up though and have to work hard to disconnect from mind and plug-in to the experience. The large oak tree we connect with is warm and welcoming but I wrestle with my ego to resist the vibrations. I tell you this because I need to remind myself as much as others that there is no instant cure to ‘being asleep’ in the energy sense, it requires constant practice and dedication in order to experience ongoing peace and enlightenment.
As we leave the cemetery and walk along in single-file next to a busy road, I chatter along with Ivelina, Maria’s manifestation assistant (cool job right!) and author of these photos. We talk about healing with sound and I am now determined to have her on an episode of the podcast to talk about all she knows! It is only now that I am remembering why I am here and how beneficial it is to persevere with this work on all days, not just the light ones.
We reach our workshop ‘studio’ under a canopy of enchanting trees and Maria takes us through a guided meditation to connect with the environment and essentially ask the tress for permission to connect with them. After this, we are released with our first task; to connect with at least two different trees and see what we can gather from them. There are no guidelines for exactly what should occur, we are simply reassured that everything is valid.
I walk confidently up to ‘Straight Arrow’ as I come to call him and place my hands and forehead against him. Immediately and intensely I glimpse a portal that appears as an intertwining tunnel of darkness and light. I soak in this feeling of ‘otherworldliness’ and breath. My fogginess begins to lift and I am inspired to write. Turning myself to lean up against his trunk, I slide to the ground and open my sparkly journal.
“There is a portal to another dimension that sits within us. It is not how you imagine it. It is a network that belongs underground. It can be accessed through heart energy. I am healing your back as you sit against me. I am giving you strength, through your rib cage, opening your lungs; our heart chakra. Harness the vibrations for inner peace.”
Straight Arrow is very cool, masculine and strong; a healer. There is energy literally swirling before my eyes and I am reminded how very alive this magic forest is.
I stand and look towards other trees that call to me. Up ahead, reminiscent of the greek three-headed dog Cerberus, a multi-trunked elm wants to play hide and seek.
“Come and tell us a story. we love to listen and we’ve got plenty to tell you too. We are excited and nervous. We co-exist together as a happy little community. We invite you to be part of us…join us”
I climb into the centre of the tree and sit among the trunks, I touch each one in turn and am surprised by the different personalities. Trunk one is cold and makes my hand burn, I retract in alarm.
“Don’t mind him, he’s cold with everyone, just leave him be”, the first voice whispers playfully.
I reach out to the next trunk.
“I soothe you and connect to your third-eye. I carry the wisdom”.
I touch the biggest trunk.
“I am excited and chatty, I called you over in the first place. I talk a lot!”
My hand glides to the final broken and withered trunk.
” I am cold and sharp as I look. I lost my way a long time ago”.
As I sit within the cosy bark basket, I am encouraged to tell a story. It seems incredibly strange that this kind of request would come from nature but I choose to let go of logic and charm these spirits with a tale conjured straight from the moment. I recorded the story but will leave it for another post, perhaps a tree-tales series…
After my experience with the trees I am revived with energy and wonder. As we sit and share some food in a group, I am encouraged by the experiences of others. That we may be crazy or empowered together in this moment is somewhat profound. For the remainder of the workshop, Maria shares some other exercises with us and we take turns to heal each other amongst the trees.
I have found that there is real magic on this earth that we need to rediscover in order to awaken our selves and break-free from the suffocating shackles we think we deserve. In my short journey the only thing that we can be truly sure of is that we are supposed to live a life of light and joy, just ask the trees (and Maria).
Find out more about healing energy walks here.