Happy Earth Day Nature lovers!
Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22nd since 1970 in America, and by the 1990s had become a global movement. As we move towards the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, one of the aims of the Earth Day Network (www.earthday.org) is to plant a further 7.8 billion trees by 2020!
But why? Well, you only have to think about the benefits that trees bring to the environment understand. Trees can help us to:-
- Combat climate change (by absorbing carbon dioxide)
- Breathe clean air (by absorbing pollutants)
- Help communities (by providing food, energy and income)
And of course there are more subtle and personal ways that trees can benefit us too. For a start, they are beautiful. Have you been to a forest or woodland, and just stood and listened to the sound of the gently rustling canopy above your head? Or stood underneath a tree and looked up and seen the sun shining through it’s leaves as it shelters you? Or stood underneath a tree in the rain, feeling grateful for its protection from the elements?
What is your relationship with trees?
I remember a particular tree near my grandmother’s house when I was a child. It was a huge oak tree situated on the edge of an open field. It’s huge roots were partially exposed above ground, and being only small, I would make a seat on the ground and snuggle up between two of the roots, and just sit there reading my book The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. It was absolute bliss.
I was undisturbed, and I felt quietly held and protected by the oak tree. I used to lie there in the sun and try to guess how many hundreds of years it had been there, how many different generations of people had sat under its branches just like me, how many wars it had witnessed and how many changes in its environment it had experienced. And all this time, no matter what, it had not only survived, but it had continued to grow and transform and change, roots extending and deepening .
Stable, connected, wise.
What if your relationship was like an oak tree – rooted, stable and connected, and yet ever growing and evolving?
In my Four Seasons Relationship Course, in the Spring Module, I talk about creating your Relationship Vision. This is a way to stop focussing on what isn’t going well in your relationship and getting hung up on all the negatives, and focussing your energy instead on the type of relationship you both want. What wishes, hopes and dreams do you have for the future? It doesn’t really matter at this stage how you are going to get there. What is important that you have a shared dream to move towards.
So for Earth Day 2016 I am going to suggest an activity that you and your partner can do together, that will not only benefit the environment, but will enable you to create something beautiful for your relationship.
1) Sit down together and answer the following questions – if your relationship was the best it could possibly be in one year from now:-
- What would it look like?
- How would you both feel?
- How would you be communicating together?
- What would you be doing?
- Where would you be?
2) Then write it all down on a piece of paper in one paragraph that you both agree reflects both of your wishes, hopes and dreams for the relationship. Now you have created your Relationship Vision. Take a photograph of the vision so that you can remember it whenever you like, to serve as a reminder if ever you feel that your relationship is veering off course from your Vision.
3) Choose a tree sapling together that you think will best represent your Relationship Vision. Do some research on the type of tree that you want. Think about how it will look when it blossoms, the type of fruit or leaves it will bear. Think about where you would plant it – either in your own garden, or somewhere else in nature. Wherever you plant it, choose a spot that you can come back to and visit on a regular basis. When you have chosen the tree sapling that you want, dig a hole and prepare the earth for planting. And before you plant the sapling, together, fold up the piece of paper containing your Relationship Vision, and bury it deep into the soil. Then plant your sapling on top if it.
Once created and planted, watch your Relationship Vision grow and transform, all the while deepening its roots and foundations. TWEET THIS
Visit your tree together often. Tend to it. Nurture it. Enjoy it and celebrate every new limb, each new bud and each new leaf.
For advice on how to select and plant a tree, visit http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/help-and-support/choosing-trees/
Take care for now and enjoy Earth Day 2016!
P.S. For more guidance like this, sign up for my FREE course – The Four Seasons Relationship Course – a 6 week coaching course for couples.