Most things that make me uncomfortable or embarrassed, I inevitably realize are the exact things I must eventually or immediately muster the courage to share with others.

The exact things that when I share, I actually feel seen and loved AS I ACTUALLY AM and in doing so, that openness and vulnerability hopefully inspires others to step courageously into their own awkward sharing that leads to feeling deeply seen and loved too.
SO… last weekend I went for a walk in the woods. I have what I like to consider a love affair with the trees… an evolving relationship with the forest. Hahaha.. I like describing it like that. Sounds so weird. Also, for me, true.


On that walk, I realized I still feel most comfortable hugging and hanging out with a tree when no one else is around.
So here we are. Me sharing that and the column I wrote about it in last month’s Blue Skies Mag too.
Thank you for giving me the gift of seeing me as I actually am.
I see you too.

Blue Skies Magazine, August 2019
Life Coaching Column #109
Issue #115
“Jersey Tree-hugger”
By Melanie Curtis
So I’ve been doing some deeeeeeeep work lately. My life has totally been one big inspirational meme. Yeah, I know it seems like my life is one big inspirational meme all the time, but this is different. Lately it’s gone from one of those Instagram feeds that talks about hustle and hard work to one that talks about healing ancestral traumas and spiritual alignment that’s untouchable because I actually live in the 18thdimension or something like that.
Totally. My point is, there’s been a noticeable shift. Still plenty of ridiculous fuck yeah memes, don’t worry.
So today I went for a hike on a small section of the Appalachian Trail near where I live in Jersey. Yes, I added “in Jersey” to that sentence to brag about living in New Jersey. That’s not sarcasm. I also this week bought myself and my roommate, Sarah, matching I-heart-NJ shirts. This is also not a joke. Anyway, so beautiful Jersey hiking… I’ve been saying the whole spring and summer I wanted to hike more, get in nature, to specifically get into the woods, hang with the trees… and today I finally did it.

Since I can remember, I have absolutely loved the trees. Felt peace in the forest.

I also for a very long time thought the idea of a “tree-hugger” was something from the 60’s or a cliché joke for bad movies. I had no concept of why or how the concept became a concept in the first place. In short, I was ill-informed, I judged it, I thought it was weird (in the not-awesome way) and I thought most definitely it was not for me.
If I have learned anything over the years of my life so far, it’s that anytime I declare anything with certainty, I end up eating my words.
Hahaha WTF. For real though, I have been humbled time and time again in life and this experience has led me to an earnest and open mind, and respect for how little I know at any point… respect for what I always can learn… respect for every single possibility I could never predict.
Back in the day, I was a firm no on tree-hugging. Today, on my hike, I audibly said hi to so many trees… I lovingly touched a bunch as I walked by… I even stopped and sidled up to a few that called me over. We spent some time together, we shared energy and I kept walking.
This was today. I’ve actually been doing this for quite a few years now. I don’t even feel weird doing it anymore. At first though, I felt awkwardAF and oh the horror of someone else walking up on the path catching me and the tree cuddling.
I’ve said it forever.. I love the trees. Now I show them a bit more is all. Because I do, I feel more free and connected with nature having shed the BS belief that blocked me from this experience and energy in the first place.
Just like everything that starts as a hard no for any of us, the transformation begins with one simple willingness to challenge our certainty.
One simple willingness to explore an idea we said was a no-way. An idea we are certain is not possible.
Can’t jump out of a perfectly good airplane.
Just because we feel awkward or scared or weird about whatever thing does NOT mean it won’t be supremely healing or energizing for us to let it in.
Do your research. Think on something more than you have before. Ask questions. Stretch yourself and your mind. Give the no-ways a little more airtime and see what your intuition tells you then. If it’s still a no-way, great. If it turns into an ok-maybe, great.
Minds are like parachutes, right? They only function when open. That’s the old hard-work/hustle Instagram. It’s on-point messaging, and it’s also not that deep. The new even more on-point 18th-dimension Instagram would assert, our minds only function well when open.
I’d say we all can get through life with a closed mind. We can. Plenty of people do it. What we can’t do with a closed mind is live as fully, connect as deeply or heal as profoundly as when we are willing to surrender to new ideas, new experiences and stay truly open to every single possibility we might currently be blocking to for whatever BS reasons.
Can’t hug a tree in Jersey, huh? Watch this. Tizzle 2.0, out.

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