School of Movement Medicine - Mindfulness in Motion

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Issue: December Newsletter
Tree of Life

By Elisabeth Schrag
I want to share an experience I had during the second module of Hollow Bones with Caroline in Cae Mabon this autumn. In waves we went deeper and deeper to the lower world during a drum session. I had this feeling I am a very old beach tree, strong and deeply rooted with branches and roots making connection with other trees.

May be you meet your allies or wise elder there”, she said.

I first met my father who died in 1978. He had been badly wounded during World War II, and as a child I was affected of his conditions.

I saw myself leading a whole army of soldiers while he watched me. I felt very strong and exactly at the right place.

And there suddenly the question came up: Could it be, that his fighting in the war was not in vain and his suffering might be holding a deeper meaning for me? I got the whole power he counted there.

Then I saw a very short movie of my mothers life and the way she suffered and found solutions to deal with. At the end stood the question: Was her pain necessary to give me the strength I hold now?

I then felt the power of both melting together in my body as one. Wow I had never felt something similar.

Then, we had to think about our offering for the world.


Later in the week:

We were to find a theatre role we always have dreamt of but never had the courage to act in reality, like singing an Aria in an opera or being very strong as we felt always so shy and weak.

We visited the upper world during a drumming journey to find this character:

I stood there and took the rhythm of the drumbeat into my body. First, I saw the head of an owl, beaked and with big eyes. Then I grew wings to fly with. My mind told me this is not really possible, but they were there. So I surrendered. The space around me started to shake and I heard shouts and primal screams. With my pinions I poised over the scenery. Suddenly the energy in the room was so strong that it took me down to catch a mouse. I started to hunt and in that moment I got it, I knew: “Elisabeth it is not the time to hunt any more!” So I let it go, raised myself into the air and on top of a huge tree standing close by.

I overlooked the whole scenery and all of a sudden my body started to thud the way I had seen the San dancing around the fire the day before in a film about Africa. Allowing the rhythm to bring the movement down to a still point. Nothing else: Stillness!

And then a very strange feeling came up. Every single cell became solid but remained fluid at the same time.

And there I stood, myself manifested, in this huge, big, magnificent very old beach tree. With a size I had never seen in my life before.


In this moment Caroline asked: Can you find a name for what you have found now?

Am I an old beach tree or tree beach? It took me a moment to realize:

I am the TREE of LIFE.

That’s it. Tears emerged. Yes, I am the TREE of LIFE myself and here I am with a heart full of LOVE to all life.

In my trunk lives and rises new life and I am here to hold others in stormy times with thunder and blizzards, may it be rainy or sunny. I am just here!

You can come to me whenever you need it. You can hug me, lean on me or cry, tell me about your worries, or fill up with new energy. I am here!

Nourished, held, carried, flushed, always renewed. I am going through all seasons and accepting what ever it is. Connected with all other trees on this planet.

I am just here!

And I felt this big fire emerging from the centre of the earth, to heat and melt together with all fluids and nourish my roots, trunk, branches and leaves. I felt the support of the earth and the wind was blowing through my crown.


First, I was almost overwhelmed but full of joy, until suddenly sadness came up and I realised what I really need.

Accept fully who you are. There is nothing wrong with you. Nothing!”

My body has exactly the right shape for me, nothing has to be different. Too many years telling myself stories of not being right are gone.


Accept and relax! Accept and relax!”

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the School of Movement Medicine. Roland Wilkinson, Nappers Crossing, Staverton, Devon TQ9 6PD, UK Tel & Fax +44 (0)1803 762255 http://www.