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What are you clinging to, grasping at and holding on to?

This tree has stood as the gateway between my sanctuary and the world. It bids me farewell as I leave and welcomes me upon my return. I touch its smooth trunk as I pass it in gratitude and acknowledgment. I love this tree.

One rare, clear winter day, I gazed up as I touched its trunk and saw the blue sky through its branches. However, it was the slightly green leaves that caught my eye. It isn't a new leaf, as spring is still weeks away, but it looks like it has been there for a while. I know this tree weathered the season's storms full of freezing cold, hard rains, and strong wind gusts, and yet, in midwinter, this tree is holding on to its leaves.

It reminded me of a story my teacher once told me about trees releasing their leaves in preparation for winter and how, as humans, this is our cue to begin to slow down, get quiet, and go within. It is a time of reflection.

As I gazed at the tree, it felt like it was communicating with me, imparting deep knowledge. It showed me that I was holding on to things that no longer served me. So I closed my eyes and stood in stillness, listening to the tree's wisdom. It whispered, "The storms in your life weren't meant to destroy you. They were a catalyst for change, to release the limiting beliefs, to heal what is ready to be healed, and to help you surrender so that you can emerge with deep knowledge and understanding in the spring. So I ask you, what are you clinging to, grasping at and holding on to for dear life?" I thanked the tree and went inside.

Those words have stayed with me as I sat with complex feelings, expressing what needs to be expressed and sometimes failing to do so constructively. I also recognize that the answers are not always straightforward; some are generational, some are societal, but all are layered and intertwined.

So why bother releasing my sticky leaves when keeping them feels much more comfortable? For me, inner work has led to an inner shift. My relationships improved, and I started to see the synchronicities in life; closed doors were now open. It also helped me connect with my soul, my authentic self.

Inner work and the practice of releasing are never done; there are always more layers and more unraveling, but we were not meant to stay static. We are ever-evolving, and practicing inner work creates a more harmonious and joyous life. Inner work is hard but remember, you aren't alone on your journey. You are held, supported, and treasured...always.

As Always, Be Radiant, Be Well, and Be You!

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