I breathe deeply, sitting in a vast room, with a huge window looking at a garden. Around me a group of life-students, course participants just like me, imaging their future self and unspoken dreams. In front of my closed eyes a tree starts to emerge – robust and brown, with small branches and leaves all around.
Sparkling gold as the light dances on the leaves, the picture vibrates with life and joy. I see myself by the tree, sitting and creating. The tree is me and my home in the same time.
A feeling of safety takes hold of me, a feeling that is usually distant and that I am always after. Feeling safe and connected are fundamental struggles in my life. I am missing them most of the time, gasping for air, trying to find a way out.
Now this tree in front of my eyes is bringing so clearly what I am searching for: me feeling safe and connected. Even beyond that, to be able to create that safety and connection for myself, in- and outside of me.
As I rise from the deep breathing, my eyes just opening, my hands are already crawling for the pen, to draw what I saw, what I felt – here is the treedream, my place in the world.
The whole room rises as others also awake, with their dreams in front of their eyes. We all make a promise and write it into a letter to ourselves that will be sent to us. I write my letter to me and feel the power of the dream coming true, of being able to create the place for me to be. I take the feeling home and nurture it little by little, taking steps in the weeks to follow – moving a table, readjusting a chair, bringing a lamp from upstairs. Slowly my place starts to unfold, getting closer with every step.
The place untaken
I know in my heart where I would like my tree to be. When I ask myself where I feel the most creative, where the most mystical place is in the room, I get an instant answer – there by the wall, opposite to the door. It surprises me how I have an answer so fast and so clearly. And how the place is not my usual spot where I sit and write… no, it is the place where an unused table is, full of papers and occassionally a snoozing cat.
‘If that is the place’ I tell myself ‘where stories are to be born, that holds such a potential, how can I neglect and mistreat it this way? What am I missing by not sitting there? By not being where I am meant to be?’
Magic on the wall
When I imagine the tree in the deep breathing, it manifests itself at that untaken, unused place, as a literal writing on the wall – here my tree will grow, here I will make space for myself. During days and weeks I work to get the papers away and take the heavy table apart. Then I pause before the big step. Something else knocks on my door and I let myself being carried away by another opportunity… I take up a volunteering position that soon grows from a couple of hours a week to a full time occupation.
When I am still contemplating this opportunity and hesitating to say yes, I hear my innner voice saying, ‘Oh, please, do not abandon your tree!’. I shrug myself and go for what promises faster, instant gratification – being involved in activities, with a group of people, immersed in a new challenge. My hope that I can continue to create the tree somehow, is fading – the demanding work pulls me away. It is after a few weeks of struggling that I realize that I abandoned what I truly wanted and take the courage to face myself. I round up the work and see that my project is waiting for me, there, by the wall. I am now ready to dedicate myself to it.
Today I make the first pencil stroke on the wall, a long line representing the earth, where the tree will be seated. With the convinction that I have a job to do, I let my heart and mind play with my imagination and create what I am truly after – safety and connection in me.