I collected the Redwood elixir in Northern California where they grow in quiet, majestic circles. Redwood gives us a sense of home + belonging - the kind that engenders warmth, patience, generosity + feeling looked out for. It helps us keep our feet on the ground, dissolving sensations of being lost or unsupported. It heals old father wounds + infuses us with a sense of our own divine masculine. Redwood can even help our physical stability, helping us stand tall and firmly planted. Read more here!
By being intentional when taking our flower essences, we remind ourselves, our guides and the universe what it is we want to embody. Choose one of the phrases below that most resonates, or make up your own! Every time you take your elixir, close your eyes and set your intention:
My heart is open.
I stand firmly planted.
I stand tall within myself.
I belong here. I belong on Earth.
I am fully supported by Mother Earth.
To take it one step further, as you take your elixir and set your intention, visualize everyone else in this program, all around the world, standing firmly planted. By connecting with others in our group, we exponentially multiply the benefit + ripple effect!
What circle of support can I create around myself?
What kinds of things/activities/rituals support me?
What dreams have I not yet materialized and what concrete steps can I make toward them?
In what areas do I have self-discipline?
In what areas could I benefit from more self-discipline?
Which physical activities help me find my balance? (both physically and emotionally)
Where am I supported in life?
Prefer to have a printed sheet with the writing prompts, exquisite practices + a calendar to track your month?
Sit for 15 minutes on the ground with your back leaning against a tree - any tree. Notice how supported you feel.
Do a five-minute meditation with your eyes open, focused on a tree in front of you. See if you can be aware of its strength, rootedness and gracefulness.
Assemble a circle of your best friends or family. Take turns moving into the center of the circle and seeing what it feels like to receive love, smudging, aura misting or prayers from the circle.
(USE FOR 15% OFF YOUR PURCHASE SITE-WIDE ALL THROUGH AUGUST!)
I will help you:
Use me when you feel:
During the first week of working with the Redwood Elixir, you will likely find yourself revisiting support systems - or perceived support systems - based on your relationship with your father, father figures, or lack thereof, could be. So you'll find yourself revisiting patterns; you may notice that a specific situation arises that reminds you or has roots all the way back to when you were a child.
Some of our fathers left at a very young age. Some of our fathers, maybe our parents had a divorce somewhere along the lines of our childhood. Some were fantastic, generous, patient, wise fathers. Some mixed qualities. Some fathers were super harsh and some were strict, some were loose. Some were there not enough times, some were there too much.
We're all humans and everybody's doing the best that they can.And in terms of working with the seeds that were planted when we were young, regarding fatherly or masculine, divine masculine support. This is not about the blame game. So I believe that we choose where we're born into. And so we choose precisely the right combinations in order to learn specific lessons and unwind out certain patterns out of our systems.
So it's not about blaming. It's not about, you know, “I am the way I am because of someone else's fault.” Not at all. It's more like exposing certain pattern behaviors that we engage in today that have a root in the past that can be very tricky because it can be - not hidden, but it's like we're not aware of it- it's outside of the periphery of where we can see. But it has a great effect on how we perceive certain things in our lives and the sense of support or stability that we rest on. Sort of like the foundation that we rest on.
Support is going to be a huge theme this month. You'll want to be noticing when you feel supported and when you feel a lack of support.When you're supporting yourself and when you're not supporting yourself.
Let's say you have a father who abandoned you as a child. So today the pattern behavior to look out for is: when are you supporting yourself and when do you abandon yourself?
Or if for some reason you created a dynamic with when you were a child with father figures that was like, "I'm not enough." Today, when are you perceiving yourself or you know, putting yourself into a little corner or a little box of I'm not enough-ness? Or jumping to conclusions or making assumptions about how other people in your life, projecting onto other people in your life whether or not they feel you're enough or whether or not they're offering support.
So these are just a couple really quick examples, but you'll have a huge range of your own favorite flavors and recipes based on your experiences - both positive and negative. You may also notice that you feel so much more grateful for the support that you are receiving and really sink into the abundance of how lovely it is to have that particular type of support.
This is the first week we're just getting into ... Just getting into it with Redwood Elixir. Take note of the experiences that you have. And take note of how you experience support in your life, both from other people as well as the support that you give to yourself.
There'll be a lot of reflection this month, as usual, but I find that when we go all the way back to these sort of very primal mother or father childhood, beginning of life kind of stage patterning, it's very deep and very elusive and tricky. It's a nice time to sort of begin to see things that in a way that we didn't see them before.
So question for this week is:
When are you supporting yourself and when are you not supporting yourself?And are there any dynamics that stemmed from or were seeded in the past regarding father figures that are playing themselves out now or this week as an example?
This week in working with the Redwood, I would like to talk about receiving and offering. So looking at when you are able to receive help, assistance, support. And when you resist it, feel like you don't deserve it or feel like you could do it yourself.Even if you could do it yourself - if someone's offering you help that would create more ease in your life. But then you kind of reroute that and say, "No, I can do it myself. I am capable. I can do it myself." Looking at that pattern, as well as offering support to others - when do you find yourself offering support to others? When do you find yourself resisting supporting others?
So, let's first talk about receiving. I mean, I can speak from personal experience, being in Singapore and having a family member offer to bring us meals. Like, "Oh, I can just drive here and pick you up food and drop it off." To me that's just like such a huge, such a huge offering. It's like, "Oh no, geez. I don't want to put you out. You must have other things to do. I could do it." We have habits of like, "Oh, I feel bad. Oh, it's your time and your resources."
Then on the other side of things it's like, "Well, have I had the experience where it totally brought me joy to go and get someone food?” Yes, I have. Could I imagine, could it be part of my reality that it actually brings this person joy to bring us food? So when I put myself on the other side of things like, "Oh yeah, actually if I didn't have anything to do and I was retired and I didn't have any engagements, it would really make me happy to do that for someone, especially someone I cared about."
So hopefully that example you can relate to something in your life, where if someone is offering you something and then you kind of skirt around it or you want to avoid it or, "No, no, no, I got it. I got it, I got it."When do we do that? Why do we do that? Why do we feel like we need to do everything ourselves?Can we expand our capacity to receive, even if it just means a little bit more ease in life, a little bit more effortlessness?
Can we allow more ease? Can we allow ourselves to receive more? Can we allow ourselves to receive more support from other people?
Then on the flip side, the joy of supporting others. The joy of making someone a smoothie, or just personally while traveling, Taylor and I exchanging acupressure treatments for each other and how nice that is to be able to offer that to someone, something that makes them feel better physically. Being able to be present for someone when they're having a rough time is another example. What a pure joy it is to support someone in that way and how easy it is to just drop whatever things you've got on your daily schedule, for the more important things of offering someone support.
There's really nothing more important in life than offering another human being support. In some ways, perhaps because we're working with the Redwood elixir, I feel like there is perhaps nothing more important in life than the art of receiving and giving. And that both are necessary. It seems to me, this is a theory, I haven't gotten it all figured out yet, but my theory is that the more we are able to receive, the more we are able to give.
So when we find ourselves resisting receiving, that will limit our capacity to give. That is a really good reminder. That's a really good anchor practice - to notice every time it's hard for us to receive, to notice every time there's resistance. To notice every time we're like, "No, no, no, I got this. I can do this, I can do this myself." And to remind ourselves that the more we can receive, the more we can give. And we're actuallyhindering our ability to offer support or give to others if we refuse help or refuse support.
So - question for this week is:
When do you find yourself refusing help, feeling like you got it - all of it - meaning you don't accept any help, even if it could create a little ease?
When do you have a hard time receiving? Even if you say yes, when is it hard?
Then on the flip side:
When is it an absolute joy to give and support?
Think of a few occasions where you offered help, support, assistance, and it brought you a tremendous amount of joy.
What is your relationship with receiving and giving?
Today, I'd like to talk about stability. And there might be noise off and on in the background because I am doing this recording in Taipei, Taiwan, but I want to talk about stability.
That's one of the main themes of Redwood and one of the things that Redwood helps us do is recognize the stability that is there, and it helps us be more aware of this sort of background level stability that resides within ourselves. One of the ways to catch it, it's basically like you're catching a glimpse of it and it can happen many times during the day, and that is, this is the instruction:
When you notice something ever so slightly bother you, like a very, very subtle blip on the radar, but you just, it's almost like you just kind of notice it, and it could be a stressful event or used to have been a stressful event or it's just kind of something that makes you raise your eyebrows even if just internally or when you take note of something that could potentially disturb you, used to disturb you in the past – like that. Any of the tiniest, subtlest blips on your radar of stability or balance. So what happens is first you notice the blip and then you notice the one who is watching the blip. And that's what gives you the ground of stability.
So let me explain that again. This is kind of wordy, but let's say... Let me give an example. Let's say somebody says something that just could have the potential to sort of irritate you or throw you off guard. Someone says something that has the potential to throw you off guard. And the moment that you notice: oh! That has the potential to throw me off guard, you're more aware of the you that is observing, that it has the potential to throw you off guard. It's like the moment you realize, oh, this could put me out of whack, you notice the awareness. So it's like noticing the noticer, observing the observer. The moment you realize that something could disturb you, you in the very next split second, recognize that there is an observer. So there is this part of you and that's where all the stability is contained. So there's this part of you, your awareness and that, your observer part, your observer, and that comes from the wisest this most expansive, neutral part of you, the observer.
And so as you're working with Redwood, it's like your ability to lean on, to feel into, to perceive your self-arising stability, this stability to that that is in the background of who you are in every moment becomes much more, not solid, but much more clear. You can catch glimpses of it very quickly. Somebody says something, it would usually irritate you. And then you notice the noticer and in the noticing of the noticer, you feel a sense of ground. You feel a sense of stability. You feel like your own best friend, you feel like somebody is right there with you. It's you actually. You are right there with you.
So maybe that sounds odd, but if you've been taking the Redwood elixir for some time, at least a couple of weeks, you may notice that this phenomenon is occurring or that the elixir is having this type of effect on you. And if not, you can have more awareness around it. You can see if you can catch that glimpse, so to speak. And just notice every time that something either throws you off guard, upsets you, irritates you. Or even like you notice, oh, that used to irritate me or that used to have the potential to make me emotional or that is making me emotional, whatever it is. The moment that you notice that, and then the next split second, you turn it back towards yourself. You notice the noticer. And observing the observer, and knowing that there is an observer and sensing the observer in you.
You feel a tremendous sense of stability like this best friend that's been with you all along and suddenly it's just magnified like a.. it's not a weight, but it's like there's some heaviness to it. It's solid. It's something you can lean on. It's something that can support you through rough times. It's reliable, it's always there. It's never failing you. It's not leaving you. It's always there.
So rather than have a question for the week, this is a week to observe the observer. And notice the stability that it gives you. When you notice the noticer, when you observe the observer, when you realize that there is a you that is watching all of that play out, and that's the real you. So the emotions aren't you, the thoughts aren't you. The reactions aren't really you. Things that trigger you aren't really you. Things that irritate you, the irritated you, that's not really the biggest vast just version of you. The biggest version of you is the one that's observing all of that occur.
So this is the week to notice the observer and feel that sense of stability that you offer to yourself.
This week with Redwood we're focusing on community. So noticing the community that surrounds you in any part of any communities that you exist in. This is just a practice in putting your attention on when you feel a sense of being a community. And that can be different groups that you're a part of. That can be work groups, that can be family groups, friend groups. It might even just be a sense of, "I go to the grocery store, I see the same person over and over. They recognize me, we have to chat. I feel a sense of warmth and appreciation that's mutual." Or, "I know this person at the bank, they always help me. I make them laugh," you know the sense of community. It's in your neighborhood, might be your neighbors. It's the person who delivers your mail if you have any relationship with them. Your doorman. Just noticing sense of community.
And you know, some of us have tons of friends and socializing groups, and some of us don't have very many friends at all. And it's more of a stretch in terms of community, but we're all a part of some kind of community and groups. Or even just the sense of comradery that you feel with one other person, it doesn't necessarily have to be in a group.
So this is the week to notice when you feel a sense of intimacy, appreciation, warmth, connection, laughter, joy, engagement between you and another person, or you and the groups ... The people that you move about in. And it doesn't even need to be conversation necessarily, that doesn't need to be words. It can be you're walking to a movie together, and you're walking in silence together, but you feel that sense of community. And you're walking in the subway with someone else, or another group of people walking somewhere and not talking. But you're all going in the same place, it's like you feel that sense of community. Observing your family communities, family can be blood family, it can be not blood family. Your work communities.
Your community that's mother nature. Feeling a sense of community with the trees around you, or the plants, the birds, the animals. Even spaces. Like right now I'm sitting in Taipei, in Taiwan, I'm sitting next to a Chinese temple. Really tiny Chinese temple, but there are probably 100 candles lit, and giant yellow and red lanterns hanging from the roof. And there are lots of trees in this little park. Tiny, the park is a big word for what this is. There's maybe 10 or 12 really big trees.
And other than that, I'm surrounded by very tall apartments. Lots of people. And in this particular tiny park, it's totally silent other than scooters coming and going, I don't see anyone. During the day, it's very busy with the market. But at night, it's really quiet. So it's just me, and this enormous snail sitting next to me. Enormous snail. But even you can feel a sense of community with the place. Like sitting next to this temple. And I'm not even a Taoist practitioner, but I feel a sense of warmth and appreciation. I love the shapes, and the lights, and the colors. And even more than the exterior visual display, I just feel a sense of warmth in this space. Safety, and kind of being looked after. I see these huge trees with big roots, and feel a sense of safety and appreciation, and warmth. And that's also community. Spaces, your own spaces. You can feel a sense of community with a space.
Maybe for you, you live by the ocean or forest, or river. Or you go out on your patio, or a balcony, or deck, or something. You go outside and feel a sense of warmth with this particular space. Even if you're so-called alone, and you don't really necessarily feel alone, because you're surrounded by objects, or living things like trees and flowers. Or spaces where people's energy is ... it's like this space where I am, it's like full of all this lovely energy. And so you can feel a sense of community in that way too. Even in your own home, you feel a sense of warmth and appreciation for a particular space in your own home. Even when no one else is there and you're alone, just feel that warm and fuzzy, yummy like I can rest in this place. Just feel warmth, feel good here. I can lay down and rest my weary bones. I can let it all hang out, I can be myself. That's also a sense of community.
So one of the things that I noticed from being in Asia for so long, almost three months, is that it's virtually impossible to experience loneliness here for some reason. It's just not a part of the ... I mean maybe some people feel it. But it just doesn't seem ... It's like Asia doesn't allow for it. There might be other things that you experience, but loneliness just isn't one of them. And in a place like the United States or in the western countries, I think loneliness is a big deal. And you can experience it even if you live in a house with lots of people. Because everyone is so used to like wanting their own space, or wanting to be alone. Or wanting to give somebody their space, not wanting to interfere. Or everybody going to their own room and being on their phones, or watching movies, or computers. Or engaged in something.
Even sitting at a restaurant, maybe you're sitting with three other people and they're all on their phones. Like everybody is in their own little world, and so it creates a lot of distance. And that leads to loneliness. And so I think this practice of noticing when you feel a sense of warmth and appreciation, and engagement, and ... It's really just placing your awareness on it. So Redwood is helping us place our awareness in a community that's already there.
Whether it's a structure, or it's a sense, or you perceive something, or you feel an energy. It's a simple warmth, or appreciation, or respect for the people, places, environments, trees, animals, family, friends, colleagues, neighborhood folks. If we put our awareness there, there is a warmth. If we are awake to a sense of community, we will see that everywhere. That it's in fact, surrounding us in every moment.
And usually what causes loneliness is isolation. In pulling back and distancing. And sometimes we do that out of habit and we don't even realize we're doing it, because it's such a deeply ingrained cultural habit that it's just something that all of us as Americans do. Just distance ourselves and go into our own little worlds. So the question for this week is, and it's a question and it's a practice, it's an awareness practice. It's a question to keep asking yourself, and that is where do you feel a sense of community with the people, places, environments, plants, and animals around you? When do you experience a sense of warmth, kind gesture, compassion, gentleness, insight, thoughtfulness, some looking out for you, vice versa?
When do you experience that indeed you are a thread in this giant fabric of inseparability and interconnectedness? And when do you experience a sense of community? How can you create a sense of community? Can you host a dinner? Can you invite some friends over? Can you sit outside in a park with a few people? Can you have a picnic? When do you experience community, and how can you create community? If you're waiting in line at the grocery store, maybe instead of burying your head in your phone, which is just going to make you more tired anyway, put your phone in your purse and stand in line and be aware of everyone that's around you. Create community. So those are the two questions, when do you experience community, and how can you create community?