Guest Blog from Oulakin Jamie Kirby
Hi, I’m Jamie and I looooooovve trees and Oula. These two worlds fit together more than you may realize. They are both revered networks of magic, growth, and community. In these spaces, I feel safe. I am allowed to breathe, and exhale.
In my current profession, I am a professional tree lover, or more technically, a state urban forester and arborist. I interact with fellow tree lovers across Montana’s Big Sky Country. I have the opportunity to work with our First Nations and over 75 communities. I truly believe that humans all have a shared connection to music, movement, and nature. I feel honored to be able to create connections through trees and communities. Planting trees is a celebrated community activity. Often, there is music and socializing. In special ceremonies, there is even dance.
Often I'm asked about my favorite tree, and I love answering this question. Without a doubt it is the ginkgo, which represents resilience, hope, and peace. The ginkgo tree is in a class of its own – literally. There are all kinds of pine trees, maples, and oaks. There is only one ginkgo biloba. Known as the living fossil, this tree has evolved and adapted for over 200 million years on this earth. It has a connection to the ancient history of our planet. Throughout ages of existence, the ginkgo developed an incredibly evolved biology to withstand insects, disease, pollution, drought. I could go on, but I think you get it. A-MAZ-ING. You may notice in the photo above that I have a gingko tattoo on my shoulder. It reminds me of my own resilience and personal growth.
Like many, I discovered Oula during the darkest parts of my life. Some of my story includes a bit of trauma and Oula became my therapy for moving through the big feelings. Through Oula, I slowly lowered my walls and allowed myself to be present, to be vulnerable, and to show my feelings. I attended the Oula 'Armor to Amour' workshop and I realized the importance of connecting to myself and my body. It was there that I had an “ah-ha” moment. Oula is considered a judgment free zone, and so is nature.
The human connection surpasses the physical and enters the realm of metaphysical energy. This happens throughout all of nature. Beneath the forest ground, tree roots are integrated in a mystical network. When one tree is in distress, others can sense this and send nutrients and resources to help it thrive. My loves, we have this same gift in our own community. We have beautifully connected souls rooted through a network of energy and love.
“When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent... you sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this or I’m too this.’ That judgement mind comes in. And so, I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.” - Ram Dass
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