What we can learn from trees

about stories art of hosting makingadifference people in practice Aug 20, 2022

Last week at the Art of Hosting Practitioner's Gathering in Slovenia we talked a lot about what it takes to host others in their conversations that matter during turbulent times.

In the end, it doesn't matter if you have the most sophisticated tools in the world. These days, people are looking for authentic connection. They long for relationships that are real and can stand the test of time. They want to know whether they can bring all of themselves -- even those parts they feel might be "broken" or unacceptable -- to the circle. They are asking: "Can I trust you?"

One of the best role models I can find for a great human being isn't actually a human being at all -- it's a tree.

For starters, trees are not individualistic -- they are community beings. Scientists now tell us there are "mother trees" who nourish smaller seedlings, and not only their own species. Trees share nutrients and information through their root systems and the mycelia that connect them. It's what helps them withstand changes in the weather and be warned when predators attack.

If you ask me what functions as mycelia between human beings, I'd say it is STORIES. That's how we share information and nourish each other. The question is always, though, what kind of information and nourishment are we sharing -- Is it depleting or life-giving?

Most trees have a root system that is at least as large as the crown of the tree. It grounds them, feeds them and keeps them rooted and upright -- it also helps them move flexibly in the wind.

Whatever growth and fruiting you see -- and it's apple season here in Denmark where I'm posting this, so I experience this right outside the front door -- depends on the roots feeding the trunk and exchanging with what the leaves pull in through photosynthesis. It is a giving and receiving system par excellence.

Trees show us we need to have BOTH structure and flexibility to meet the challenges of life.

The stories that form the core of your being and how you present yourself in the world are especially important. These SIGNIFICANT STORIES are the root system you need to have both STRUCTURE -- to know who you are -- and FLEXIBILITY -- to be able to meet whatever life throws at you.

I think there are 5 SIGNIFICANT STORIES you need to be able to tell to meet your call in life. My upcoming online workshop with Amy Lenzo is designed to help you find and shape these stories. See more about it here: https://www.getsoaring.com/significant-stories 

And there are at least 5 INNER Significant Stories you need to work with. I talked with storyteller Mark Jenkins about those and we give you a practical way to work with them. Listen to our conversation here: https://vimeo.com/732776204 

We'll be talking and working with SIGNIFICANT STORIES starting in September. Will you be there?

Isn't it time to have a brilliant ally on your side?

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