Month: July 2019

The tree factor for a good life

Low angle view beautiful green Bamboo grove forest

I’ve always been connected to trees.

As a child I spent a lot of time with my great aunt, Tante Liesbeth. She lived in what was then called “the Transvaal,” a former province just north of the Vaal River in South Africa. She had a country store in a forestry reserve near the town of Sabie.

An incredible pine forest surrounded my great aunt’s house. I loved walking in those trees — and I loved the smell. At the bottom of her garden stood a cork tree. (Aptly named as we get our wine corks from its bark.) I would spend hours playing under that tree. I always felt safe and protected by it.

My real fascination with trees came when I met a 2,000-year-old baobab tree in the northern part of Southern Africa. It was the most massive, incredible tree I had ever seen. I still dream of sitting in it — surrounded by its’ roots and feeling completely invisible to the world.

wild dogs and baobab tree

Wild dogs and Baobab Tree in Luangwa National Park Zambia | FreePik

Thinking back, it seems like we often talked about trees. One discussion that followed me throughout my life occurred while we were camping in Millwood Forest in the Western Cape. In that setting, a guide explained to me how these ancient trees, living around our campsite, survived the harsh conditions of winter and fire. It was because the older established trees would send nutrients to the younger trees that needed help surviving. I thought this was amazing.

The science

In his 2017 book, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate–Discoveries from A Secret World, German Forester Peter Wohlleben describes the science behind that explanation of older trees nurturing their young. I highly recommend the book to open your eyes up to a whole other life of trees.

Book Cover: The hidden life of trees

As you might have guessed, my love of trees continued into my adulthood. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein remains one of my all-time favorite books. Silverstein wrote it in 1964 and it is based on the same premise as the science behind Wohlleben’s book. I must admit that The Giving Tree moved me every time I read it to my children and grandchildren.

Book cover: The Giving Tree

A couple of years ago when my grandson was 6 or 7, he began telling me how connected he felt to trees. One day when I was picking him up from school, he came out bent over clutching his stomach. When I asked him what was wrong, he told me that the tree in the school yard let him know how it felt when the kids kicked it!!! Wow. I like to think he gets his affinity for trees from me.

Trees for Health

For years we’ve heard about the benefits of “green space” for our health and the environment. In urban planning, green space includes public parks and gardens. Often city planners include cemeteries when counting the acres of green space in city environments.

The non-profit organization, Project Evergreen, does a good job documenting the economic, environmental, and lifestyle benefits of green space on their website. They are thorough in sourcing the research that supports these listed benefits. Personally, I have experienced many of those lifestyle benefits – hiking through a forest, gazing across a meadow, and playing with my grandsons in the park.

What I had not considered, was the importance of trees to our health.

After reading Why Trees Can Make You Happier by Jill Suttie in the April 26, 2019 edition of Greater Good Magazine, I was surprised about how much trees factor into our mental and social wellbeing. It’s more than green space – it’s also “tree space.”

Tree Space

In study after study, Suttie presents evidence of how living and working around trees help us feel less stressful in our lives and more restored. A study conducted in Toronto that she shared with us, Neighborhood greenspace and health in a large urban center, concluded that:

“…having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger.”

“Clearly,” Suttie wrote, “there’s something healing about trees.” I whole heartedly agree.

Tree Consciousness

Being more conscious of trees is good for our health. Trees are the lifeblood of the earth — including us. Because of trees, we have clean air. Trees take the bad and make it good for all living things. For example most people understand that trees take in poisonous carbon dioxide and release clean oxygen.

This healing source from trees obviously goes beyond the physical. Trees help us spiritually too as evidenced in the Greater Good article above.
In a 2018 article by Conscious Reminder, Amazing Tree Energy: How Trees Help Us Heal, they remind us that trees help us open our spiritual channels. They also remind us that we need to reciprocate to help the trees unblock their energy channels.

I encourage all of us to spend more time with the trees around us and to plant more trees when and where we can. My inner self may ask me – “have you hugged a tree today?” I want that answer to be “yes.”

It’s time to enjoy nature’s canopy — trees

I want to close the article by sharing with you the source that got me to thinking about trees. My inspiration comes from Beth Moon. Moon spent 14 years photographing ancient trees. Her photos are amazing.

Book Cover: Beth Moon's Ancient Trees

Check out some of her tree photos in the BoredPanda article Ancient Trees: Woman Spends 14 Years Photographing World’s Oldest Trees. You can find additional photo subjects at Beth Moon Photography. Her 2014 photo book, Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time, is available through multiple booksellers.

May trees surround you in work and in play for better health in your body, mind, and spirit as well as lifting the spirits in the trees you touch.

Ellen Lewinberg
Bioenergy Therapist
Instructor in Healing Transformation
+1 416 203 2744
Toronto, Canada

P.S. I hope this article inspires you to venture out into nature and to hug a tree.

Heart Intelligence: A book review

Book cover of Heart Intelligence

Heart Intelligence

Connecting with the intuitive guidance of the heart

By Doc Childre, Howard Martin, Deborah Rozman, and Rollin McCraty
Waterfront Press (February 14, 2016)

What an uplifting and optimistic book!

I found Heart Intelligence: Connecting with the intuitive guidance of the heart a joy to read. Throughout this book the authors — Doc Childre, Howard Martin, Deborah Rozman, and Rollin McCraty – walk us through today’s cutting-edge research to show us just how powerful our hearts can be. This book helps you understand the science behind the age-old wisdom to “follow your heart.”

Book cover of Heart Intelligence

The science is mind blowing

The authors describe the love, magic, and intuitive guidance that we receive from our hearts — constantly. These authors want us to listen to our hearts more. They explain how our hearts create a heart/brain interaction through energy. In fact, in the research cited, the heart generates the strongest magnetic field in the body – approximately 100 times stronger than our brains. In other words, our hearts send more messages to the brain than the brain sends to the heart.

The authors use random number generating machines to help us understand just how connected we are to other people and everything on earth. They also offer profound insights and guidance for us to better access the intuitive intelligence of our hearts. This can help us through our life’s journey feeling better about ourselves and the world around us.

Heart Math Institute

Doc Childre founded Heart Math Institute in 1991. Heart Math’s mission is “to help people bring their physical, mental, and emotional systems into balanced alignment with their heart’s intuitive guidance.” This book supports that mission. It also gives us a wonderful, scientific basis for listening to our hearts. Their systems and recommendations for connecting with our inner guidance can help us navigate through these changing times. I am adapting some into my life and practice.

The Heart Math Institute has also developed an app called Inner Balance. It can help us get our hearts, minds, and emotions together. Over 4.26k people have rated the app a 4.8 in the Apple Store. It’s rated 4+ years which means it’s easy and safe. To use it fully, you wear a sensor on your ear which requires a purchase. I have one and use it.

You can also download Heart Math’s free Heart Quotes app for inspiration on demand. There you will find quotes from around the world and throughout time like this inspiring quote from Aristotle:

“The heart is the perfection of the whole organism. Therefore, the principles of the power of perception and the soul’s ability to nourish itself must lie in the heart.”

The Heart

Even Aristotle understood the importance of the heart. This book explores the intelligence of the heart to the fullest. You’ll learn what it is, the science behind it, and what will happen as more and more of us awaken to this powerful resource that lives within us all.

Heart Intelligence should be required reading for everyone. It makes a wonderful gift for persons interested in living a heart loving state of mind. You can purchase Heart Intelligence from Heart Math Institute store and other booksellers.

For more information

Find more at For additional inspiration, listen to the co-authors of Heart Intelligence as they talk about living in a Heart Connected world on YouTube.

Howard Martin: 2-minute video

Rollin McCraty, Ph.D: 3.5-minute video

Take care of yourself and have a wonderful week.