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The Bareness of the Tree

This year's theme, passion, evoked in me the question, "Where does passion reside?" In what hidden place within our Self does the Muse, the curator of passion, harbor this precious gift until she (and it is most definitely a she) decides to encourage us to bring this spirit forth?

As I pondered this question, I appealed to my Muse in hopes that she would take from that secret space, that force inside me. So we did what we both love - we went for a run. In unity with nature, she often fills me with inspiration and insight.

I became acutely aware that we were deep in the season of winter by the complete bareness of the trees along my route. There were no leaves, no bountiful color, simply their slender branches, fully exposing their innate strength and beauty.

This brought forth a dichotomy, while we bundle up in turtleneck shirts, sweaters, hats, etc., covering ourselves from the cold and snow, the trees shed all their outer protection and lay themselves naked to the elements. As the chilliness of winter approaches, trees shed their beautiful creations of red and gold and orange and reveal to us their Self in their simplest form.

It is said that winter is a time of dying and death, an ending. Is it? Trees are not ending, not dying. They have gone deep within themselves and in the quiet still of winter they nurture the beginnings, the passion, of their next masterpiece.

Winter is a tree's time of preparation for the coming spring, where once again each tree will create a new masterpiece, a new invention of themselves that will frame their unchanging inner beauty.

This is where passion lives, in the between time. Here in the quiet, the stillness, in the willingness to patiently lie in our own vulnerability, passion germinates to emerge in its own time, in its own way.

We see ending in our lives as a death and we bundle up, guarding ourselves against the cold of loss, rejection, loneliness, suffocating our passion. What if, like the trees, we were to dare to bare ourselves in our essential form to the time between endings and beginnings? Not to die, rather to explore our own depths and to nurture the sparks of our passion.

What if we were to let our Muse energize the passion that resides within us and guide us to work that is fulfilling, relationships that are nurturing and insights that strengthen? We can create and present to this world the outer creations of our passion, layering the branches of our Soul with a profession that brings success, an undertaking that brings value, a product of our efforts that brings reward.

Our passion's home is in the recesses of our innermost form. It is in the between of our endings and beginnings, in the patience and perseverance to expose ourselves to our Self and to wait until the Muse shepherds us toward what we are meant to share with this world.

Illustrations Published Courtesy of Maggie French:

Tree in Hand - Image courtesy of Idea Go at

Autumn Tree - Image courtesy of porbital at

A whole life is about finding your balance.

Living Whole Coaching has individual and workshop offerings for the exploration of the answers to these and other questions that will bring harmony into your living and the means to live whole.

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Maggie French

Maggie French is a certified, ICF-credentialed coach. She specializes in work/life coaching, because “If you want to makes improvements in one, there will be effects in the other.”

Maggie collaborates with several organizations on the Cape including WE CAN, the Harwich Chamber of Commerce and the Cape Cod Chapter of ABWA.

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