Keep a Green Tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. -Chinese Proverb

A tree is nourished by the sun, by nutrients in the soil and the air and the refreshing rain, among other ideal conditions for its growth. So is our being nourished in different ways. We are nourished by external factors such as movement, fresh air, nutrituous food and so on. There are also internal factors that give us nourishment such as healthy thoughts and beliefs, receiving and expressing love and a life of purpose and contribution. To me, 'the green tree in your heart' refers to keeping your heart and mind and body open and nourished.

Yet, when the tree has poor access to the nourishing conditions, it becomes ill and eventually dies off. This pattern shows up in humans too. How to create then, internal nourishing factors for our green heart? One way is to know that it is we who need to change and not so much the rest of the world. We need to do the "work" to clean up and clear up the toxic thoughts and beliefs that lie within us. Cleaning up does not mean here that we judge ourselves and make ourselves "wrong". However, it does mean that we need to take active steps to resolve and release the guck and the muck that is sticking to our consciousness. Think about what filth keeps your window opaque? Which dirt blocks you from a crystal clear vision? Take a mop and wipe it. Take a vacuum cleaner and suck it. Clean it up. Clean it up. If this sounds too difficult a task, then break it down. For example, first begin with a little corner of your external life such as your home which has been gathering dust or is sitting cluttered. Next, bring this idea to your inner world. Well, this is exactly what I am currently taking up.

One of the results of this process might be that one can become more open by cleaning up the residue in their consciousness. This is then the 'singing bird' in the proverb: the result or the positive change that comes from keeping a 'green heart'. Once we embark on the ongoing process of nurturing our 'green heart', then the appearance of a songbird become real. In other words, the experience of joy, love, freedom and peace become real.

The 'perhaps' in this proverb throws me off as it calls us to be detached. It seems to mean that we can clean up the toxic elements in our being and maybe we find the peace and joy. There seems to be a fine line here: between expectation and detachment. This is a dilemma that I am currently pouring my mind over: How do I lead a life of expectation of only the best, of peace on Earth, of joy for all and simultaneously detach myself from the results? Detachment would mean that I do not care about the results and the outcome, right? What frame of mind or what state of consciousness do I need to be in in order to navigate this with ease?

For now I cleanse the muck and then as a second step engage with the challenge of detachment!

I welcome your insight if you like to share it with me.

With love,

-Sophia Ojha