Lessons from A Tiny Tree for 2022


Bonsai Trees have always fascinated me. This little guy (gal??) is a Juniper species, if you're curious - just captivated me for some reason.... With the roots exposed, it just looks like it will step right out of its container and come and say Hello. Such deep detail in a tiny, fragile package. Such care is needed to help them survive and thrive....


Bonsai have always been a symbol of careful care-taking - and I think they are steeped in ideas that we all need to navigate the challenging times we (still) find ourselves in.


Each bonsai species has specific needs. What works for one may not work for another. But all of them need healthy roots - regular and attentive care - patience and diligence. As do we all....


So like the bonsai:

  • Our needs must be assessed daily. Water, good food, meditation, venting, writing, walking - anything you can do to build up health (physical, emotional and mental) is essential.

  • We grow and change slowly - you may not see each incremental shift - but growth is there.

  • We must trim away what we do not need and what does not serve us - poor choices, drama, passive aggressiveness, old clothes - clear your space, inner and outer. It will lighten your load.

  • Do you need some time to yourself? Read a book? Call/Zoom a friend? Stretch? Watch the sunset? OK, bonsai don't need a break - but you might... or you can just Google amazing pictures of bonsai and revel in their simple complexity.

Where I am it's been quite dreary! So I also recommend brightening your space. I have used holiday lights, candles and other baubles to lighten my spirit. Salt lamps, antique lamps, whatever is shiny and pretty and makes you smile. Or favorite pictures - stuffed animals - what speaks to your heart.


I know these things are basics - and we know all of this, I suspect - but it bears repeating that simple things still work and are vital to our balance as we navigate 2022.


Time continues to be a very strange companion.... I was completely off my calendar and the holidays snuck right up on me! I could have sworn Xmas and New Years were a week later - and then they were over! Oops - but the bonsai reminds me that a single day or week is a blip to beings that can live hundreds of years.


Finally, bonsai require re-potting, shaping and reworking - as do our own journeys. Life happens - and we must adjust - learn - grow - reshape and navigate new landscapes. Throughout Covid, other losses and changes have happened and we have to ride those waves, too. But we can do this, my friends


Take a look at this - this is probably the world's oldest Bonsai - over 1000 years, they say. Think of the care and patience it has taken over generations to keep this glorious being alive and thriving....


And we all have, deep within us, the wisdom and the wherewithal to make it through. The journey is lumpy - and we emerge changed. And that is ok.


This isn't where any of us wanted to be this year! And yet here we are, entering another year dominated by Covid - and a particularly infectious variant. I know it feels like we can't bear this any longer - but we can. And we must. And we will.


You are never alone.


#mentalhealth #wellness #bonsaihealing #fearlessgrieving #clairemschwartz



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