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The Healing Power of Trees by Fay Johnstone

by Fay Johnstone


I felt like one of the lucky ones during lockdown. The advice to stay at home brought a sense of relief and an opportunity to rest. More importantly, with minimal external distractions and nowhere to run to, I felt my garden beckoning me to come and sit. To find some healing in the nature all around me.

At first, I wasn’t very still. I threw myself into all the spring gardening jobs, delighting in the sense of
purpose and connection with my garden plants. It was a joy to watch nature in action and spot the daily changes in the plants, as buds turned to blossoms. The birds too seemed to play an essential part in the rich tapestry that also satisfied my internal need for stimulation and connection.

My Reiki practice, which has been part of my life for 20 years, took on a new dimension. I have always enjoyed connecting with plants and nature either in meditation, mindful gardening or through the energy practice of Reiki.

The call of the garden

This spring it felt like the garden was calling for something else, a deeper involvement in my personal meditation and healing practice. Together with a group of four other practitioners, we set up a distance healing circle to help soothe anxiety and bring a sense of peace for those who requested it. We each agreed to anchor our individual practices with a tree in nature so that the strength and power of the earth and trees could hold this powerful healing.

© Photo by: Brodie Vissers

Each day I visited a group of eucalyptus trees in the garden and, as the days passed, I began to feel an increased sense of connection to the trees and a strong sense of feeling held and witnessed. After completing the distance healing, I lingered more in the space, giving space for my feelings, needs and desires.

My partner found an enormous tree stump which he placed in amongst the trees for me to sit on. Some days I felt that simply by showing up and acknowledging the trees, sitting with a cup of tea in the stillness, I was receiving a transmission of healing and connection. It felt as if the trees were holding me automatically, together with the Reiki healing circle, without me even needing to ask.

A new doorway

I have always felt nature to be powerful, vibrant and supportive but this experience over the summer opened a new doorway of appreciation and connection. While our distance Reiki project has morphed into something else, my connection with these trees still remains.

This grove of eucalyptus has become a power spot in my garden with a palpable sense of magic that feels different to other areas of the property. It has become a place in which I hold ceremony, meditate and send Reiki, to myself and others. I also carry my laptop there and link up online to clients requesting a healing session so that they too can feel held and supported by the trees and nature beings that call this space home.

When I feel a little anxious or uncertain, my mind and heart reach out to those trees, even when I am not there. They are a quiet and constant comfort existing in the physical, yes, but also in my heart.

Learn to connect with trees

When was the last time that you sat with a tree, felt its bark or marvelled at its form and beauty? Have you ever told a tree your story so that you can feel witnessed, held and comforted? With roots that reach deep down into the earth and branches that reach higher into the air than we could hope to, trees bridge both the heavens and earth. They hold a high vibration that we can easily connect to, to feel comfort in our body, mind and soul – a simple hug will do the trick!

Perhaps like me, you have a tree friend, an ally to lean on and connect with. Perhaps there is one out there waiting for you, to give you the support you need. I can’t think of a greater unconditional ally to lean on in these unusual times!

Fay Johnstone is a Shamanic Herbalist, Usui Reiki Master Teacher and the author of Plant Spirit Reiki and Plants that Speak Souls that Sing. Fay offers treatments and training online and from her home in Scotland. 

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