How to set up a TreeSister group
How to do this, is totally up to you and your friends. Your TreeSister group will be what ever you want it to be. Certainly, it will need to be orientated around fundraising, femininity, nature, trees and related activities, but what you focus on, how you do it, and what your motivations are will be uniquely yours.
The point is that women need to rise; that heart based actions are needed more than ever, and that stepping up and stepping out to help lead change is much easier when you stand with others. In a way, we see the TreeSister network as a support group for feminine leadership, and the groups themselves as your local support. The fact of us gathering our energies together makes everything feel more possible, because together we are far more likely to take risks and make ourselves visible, than we are alone.
TreeSister groups need to come into being everywhere in the world, through women who are no longer willing to simply stand by and watch the unfolding catastrophe; women who are curious about what we can achieve together, who want to have a go, do something meaningful, make a difference, commit to a different future for their children and deepen their friendships along the way.
Life changes when you make a strong commitment to serve the natural world. It can feel as if your energies align with life itself. Synchronicities start happening, your energy starts building and deepening, all sorts of things start coming towards you, your creativity goes wild and your presence develops a different kind of magnetism. It's as if the Mother herself gets behind you, because you are getting behind her. Everything starts to feel more possible.
Our hope, is that you come together because you love to hang out with women, recognize that we are stronger basking within each others encouragement and support, and feel a deep calling to get involved and do something meaningful for the planet. What that translates into, will be as beautifully varied and unexpected as we are!
So, this could begin over coffee, or within an existing womens group, or at the school gate, or after a yoga class! Who would you like to hang out with, share ideas, try things out or make things with? Might there be a latent group of interested women out there among your friends and the networks you have between you?
You could meet around your kitchen table, at a friends home, in a cafe, pub or out on a walk. One starting point for an initial meeting could be to show the TreeSisters video pieces of the talk and the call, or read out any of the relevant blogs that introduce aspects of the project that inspire you. Then you could go round and hear how it lands on each woman and what it stirs in them.
From that you could feel into what sort of a group might actually nourish you all, resource you and serve, rather than add to your overwhelm! Why you would want to be part of it, and what you might like it to do or focus on. This could lead into an exploration of what your new group might do, or for a while all you might want to do is meet up and hang out being women together!
What could we do together?
The point of a TreeSister Group is to gather with like minded women to cook up plans, ideas, adventures, projects, initiatives...anything that expresses your shared gifts and pitches them towards the goal (accelerating global reforestation and the shift towards sustainable living) Yes, we all need to be donating towards the trees. Yes, we can create fundraisers to raise money for the trees....AND, there are so many ways that you and your group of freinds could find to contribute to the shift of consciousness needed to wake us up to our need to give back t and care take the earth, rather than simply take. The creative potential of this project is limitless.
As a TreeSister, your contribution will be utterly unique...you might sell your wares, grow saplings, write and perform a play, work with a school, write a song, tend local trees, launch a local campaign, host a workshop, host a fundraiser, join a Transition Town group....and what ever you do, it will be easier, more fun, and more impactful if you do it with others - if you form a group to explore, get audacious, outrageous, relevant, unstoppable and utterly inspirational together.
The point is this:
- What could you do to empower yourself and your friends to become a more active part of the solution and the emergence of more feminine leadership in this world?
- When you look at this world, what do you see that needs to happen to help accomplish our goal, and what could you all do to support, enable or co-create that happening, together?
- How could you make it fun and something that deepens your feeling of connection to yourself, your friends and to the natural world?
In terms of a helpful framework within which to explore these questions, the TreeSister map lays out a balanced template of invitations. (How to get real about what’s going on in the world, get together in ways that celebrate the feminine and potentially build the network, nourishing yourselves so that you feel full enough to give back through right action, and find ways to break through limitations together in ways that elicit both your courage and your gifts!)
Groups will come up with a rich array of ideas and activities, and as you do we will be creating the means for groups to share your ideas and encourage each other. Meanwhile the Map can lay out various possibilities to try on! For instance...
Consideration (waking up/getting real)
Watch an inspirational movie together or read an article or book that relates to the issues of climate change, feminine leadership or deforestation, and discuss how they related to or impacted you. Go to a talk or event together e.g. a Be-the-Change Symposium, a Transition Town Talk, Soil Association, Schumacher College, Gaia Foundation etc...
Encouragement (getting together/ building the network)
This includes anything done together just for the fun of it that could also be a space into which to invite and introduce other women to the initiative. What would you enjoy doing, that you might like to invite others to share with you? How do you feel about sharing something that you care about and inviting others to be part of it with you? How do you feel about actively growing the network through those closest to you?
Time together is about resourcing yourselves; finding ways that nourish and feed you, so that the possibility of doing something together for TreeSisters is underpinned by your enjoyment of being together. You may want to host a TreeSister night to kick things off....and then find a variety of ways and places to go together to explore your ideas that help make the whole thing feel like a gift in your life, and not another ask.....a girl’s night in or out, a morning at the spa, a hike, a picnic, a sponsored this or that, sharing a new class, hosting a workshop, cooking up a plan, planting an allotment together, sharing soul writing, teaching or learning bread making or raw food specialities, writing a play...
Intimacy (going deep within, reconnecting to nature)
These are activities that allow you personally to slow down and connect more deeply to nature and to yourself. Walking in nature, planting your garden, meditation, dance or yoga sessions would fit here, rituals and initiations for life’s threshold phases, art, poetry, mandala making, meditative activity in nature...invite teachers who specialise in facilitating the capacity for deepening and reconnecting.
Responsibility (right action, reforestation)
This is behaviour change in action and collective activity to give back to the planet, so fundraising events for TreeSisters fit here, as do any and all conservation and tree planting activities, and the bed rock of our own crowd fundraising; our own monthly payments towards trees.
The possibilities for fundraisers are endless, from the obvious (sponsored walks, runs, bike rides, parachute jumps (!) bring and buys, seling your wares etc) to the less obvious (organising a cabaret, an auction, a vagina monologues show, a dessert dinner party, hosting a treesister workshop) This is also where you can get active and out there with your own campaigns..reducing packaging, ending the use of plastic bags, banning toxic additives in children’s food, setting up more food in the sky’s, building a local orchard, or a schools kitchen garden...what do you want to see in the world and how could your group help it happen?
Courage (tapping your gifts, shining your light, feeling your fear and doing it anyway!
The intension here is to find ways to honour and make visible the gifts, talents, skills and achievements of the women around us and to celebrate the lives we have lived. Hold a story telling night, where the stories are real and personal. Hold a soul writing evening with the sentence starting ‘If I knew I could not fail...’ Explore the dreams you have had, the ideas you hold and what has stopped you bringing them into the world. Hold an event where everyone brings something they have created themselves...
You may have a gallant leader, or you may take turns to lead, you may format yourself in a certain way, you may leave it flexible. The point is that this becomes an incubator for the self within you who wants to do more to help turn this world around, and who wants to do it with others.
TreeSisters is a love affair with the Earth and with all things feminine. Start, allow, and see what energes!
images yogawithlove.com, Huffington Post, Gustav Klimt, braveheartwomen.org
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