In this podcast, Geneva Robins and Rita Reddy talk about change! Ugh, sometimes it’s the actual worst. There can be some real gross parts of change, but some delicious bits too. Rita shares a lesson from her work in Trilotherapy, the Apple Tree Cycle.
The metaphor of the apple tree cycle is a simple yet profound way of understanding change as an organic and natural part of learning and growth. You get a gentle way of looking at each stage of the cycle of life without fear or resistance. It’s a really supportive and transformational Trilotherapy tool.
What is Trilotherapy?
Created by Zen Master Nissim Amon, Trilotherapy is based on his own training in Zen Buddhism and meditation plus elements of his learnings in Western psychology and Eastern philosophies. It’s a retreat-based program with a series of workshops that can be taught individually or in a group setting.
The main philosophy of Trilotherapy is that you have a Center self that you’re born with and come into every life with, and two inner children, your rational mind and emotional mind. And our job in Trilotherapy is to help you figure out what place you’re making decisions from; to help you make decisions from the Center, which is always your true self.
Your two inner children, we call them your rational mind and your emotional mind; they create your personality. They take in all the information and process it, and then you’re the one who’s going to be making the decisions. Sometimes we’re allowing these children to make the decisions for us. But the idea is to parent ourselves and these inner children to help us make the best life decisions. Trilotherapy helps us figure out where we’re coming from and why we decide certain things.
How do you deal with change?
At times we all have to deal with enormous amounts of change and the feelings that come along with it, like grief and loss. Big changes can really challenge our ability to let go.
Nobody likes change… unless it’s the good parts of change! When the bad parts come around, which are always going to come around, that’s when things get really hard. We sometimes misname change to be only the gross parts we don’t like, but there is beauty in the whole cycle.
Embrace Change with the Apple Tree Cycle
The Apple Tree Cycle is a Trilotherapy tool to explore the natural cycles of change in our lives, so it’s not so scary. The stages of change are represented by the metaphor of the life cycle of the apple tree:
- seed and gestation, which is the new idea or start of something new;
- plant and growth stage; where your new creation is expanding;
- fruiting and enjoying the creation;
- death, where the creation is complete, the fruit falls, and the tree dies; it involves letting go;
- rotting, which is the disintegration and complete release of the creation back to fertilizer; and
- back to gestation, the cycle always returns to the start.
Everything goes through the apple tree cycle, even tiny little mini ones. You might go through 10 of them a day. It’s basically the beginning, the middle, and the end of anything that’s going on, whether it be a relationship or going to the store and getting groceries.
We tend to like the beginning parts of the cycle when the little sprout is happening. There’s forward progress like things could change; that’ll be amazing. Then the growth part, you see things take form, and everything is expanding. And then, in the fruiting stage, you’re starting to enjoy some of the things you’ve created and put into motion.
But then there’s the rotting and death stages, where in the apple tree cycle, the apple’s fallen off of the branch and is now in the process of letting go and returning to the earth. It’s when things degrade and turn into fertilizer. And so that’s usually when we feel like poop!
But it’s also so beautiful because you know that poop is nourishing. It’s food for the seed. And that’s what we need. And there’s beauty in it, even though it’s the stinky gross part of change.
Gratitude helps us Embrace Change
The Signs of Spring is a process from Geneva’s book “The Secret Art of Happiness: Change Your Life with the Reiki Ideals.” It’s a gratitude process that you use daily. It is especially helpful when you’re in an uncomfortable place, and you’re the in the turmoil of change. But even in those places, there’s forward movement and progression, tiny sprouts and signs of spring. And when you start noticing them, tiny little signs that things are turning in your favour, then it can be the fuel that pulls you through the rough parts.
Even at the lowest point, there’s some little thing you can look to that says, “This is a temporary state. And it’s going to get better.”
Life is a Cycle, just like the Apple Tree
Our western world thinks after the end is nothing. It is a very linear view; the start and the end never link back up with each other. The end is final, and there’s nothing but the abyss of loneliness and terror on the other side of death and rotting.
But with the apple tree cycle, what’s on the other side of that death and rotting is more life. This is the life-death-life cycle, which comes up in one of Geneva’s favourite books, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. The book deconstructs fairy tales in a Jungian and poetic analysis. It turns out that many ancient stories exist to help us so that we don’t need to fear the death and loss stages of our lives.
Because it is in the death and rotting stages where we get our strength and courage. Sometimes in times of hardship and struggle, we come together as a community. We reach out to other people and start learning and connecting with our inner and outer resources in new ways that maybe we wouldn’t have before the change happened.
The Wilderness of Change
Where do you find that comfortable place with the uncomfortable?
Having an understanding of what stage you are in helps you to release fear. You can spot when you leave the cycle or cut things off before they grow. By reflecting on the apple tree cycle, you can see where you may self-sabotage. You get an opportunity to notice your patterns in the cycle and what part of the cycle gives you the most trouble. Seeing things from a different angle can make all the difference.
Your Center might know more than the emotional or rational mind. But when we choose from the Center self, it might make you stand out, which puts you out into the wilderness. This is incredibly uncomfortable but is also often very necessary. We have to be willing to find our own way to our own Center.
Even the people that love you the most aren’t able to know the core of your own heart. And when they make kind suggestions, they can only recommend what has worked for them. It’s not a replacement for following your own guidance.
Only you can know your own heart.
Sometimes people do what they think they should do rather than what is calling their own heart forward. They end up living a life that doesn’t fit them. They’re fitting in rather than really belonging. The book Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown is really helpful if this sounds familiar. In order to truly belong, you have to first belong to yourself completely. That is where choosing from the Center self can lead you to that wholehearted life.
Reiki supports people through change.
Reiki is very gentle and supportive. It helps connect you with this eternal, everlasting energy that supports all things. Reiki is connected to the energy within the fabric of life itself and the continuity of the cycles. It taps us into this eternal yet timeless frequency. And in that frequency, there’s this moment of real peace and grace. And with great loss, sometimes it’s only that which heals. There’s a moment where we go into the infinite.
We get comfort and peace with that transition stage so we can honour the love underneath the pain. Reiki helps set the grief to rest and let go with respect, love, and grace. We get to a place of peace, comfort, and acceptance.
We’re always here to help you no matter what part of the apple tree cycle you are in. We can cheer you on when things are going amazing and let things those roots deepen and ripen. And we can also help you process any pain that might pop up. You can get a bit of help, soothing, and support no matter where you are. You’re doing great.
You can send us your question in the comments below or record your question here: https://www.lunaholistic.com/podcast/
We are also very happy to share the gift of Reiki through our Giving Back Program! Every month we give away free Reiki sessions to exceptional people.
Learn more here: https://www.lunaholistic.com/giving-back-program/
Join us on an unforgettable self-healing and meditation retreat in Kananaskis – July 28 to 30, 2023