Many people are leaving their physical bodies at this challenging time. Personally I have lost family members, dear friends and treasured colleagues this year.

While it can be extremely difficult to experience such losses, I always counsel my clients that death brings an open portal and if we are receptive, great gifts are available as the veils between the dimensions seem very thin during this transmutation from form to spirit.

I had a similar opportunity to apply this teaching to my own life when my beautiful mom passed. My grieving drove me into my garden. There are now significant studies how gardening and earthing reduce stress and depression, support immune function and many other health benefits. Instinctively, I also know it connects me to the cycle of life, death and rebirth, and creates a sense of being part of the oneness of all life.

Directly after my mother’s death, I experienced an increase of my intuitive abilities and also a deepening connection with nature – especially plant communications. Just like communicating telepathically with animals, it is also possible to send telepathic messages to plants and trees as well.

Sounds crazy, I know. But in an article in the New Yorker magazine, “The Intelligent Plant”, new research is showing that plants have astounding abilities to sense and react to the world.

For example, I was trying to move a clump of curly fern that was encroaching into the pavement. I couldn’t even get the shovel in the soil as the roots were so entangled. Frustrated at making no progress, I took a moment to contemplate what I might do differently.  I then remembered that I had not stopped to share my vision with the fern to explain why I was digging it up.  

Share the Vision and the “Why”

I excitedly shared my vision that this fern would be a lovely addition to a new garden I was creating, and would be a central and unique plant there, with plenty of room to grow and divide and have as many “”babies” as it wanted to. Further I explained that I would like to split the current clump into two sections. Not only did my shovel go instantly into the ground, the tightly root-bound fern came apart into two sections so easily in my hands I didn’t even have to cut it or apply force!

This plant receptivity wasn’t a one-time phenomenon either.

The week following my mom’s memorial. I needed time to regroup emotionally, so I took some time off and dove into my garden. I figured out a new theme for a problem area that had long “stumped” me. At the base of an old pine tree, nothing would grow and it always looked shabby and unkempt. Furthermore I could barely plant anything because the roots of these native Florida sand pines are very sensitive and you can kill the whole tree with an ill-placed shovel cut.

A few years before I tried an iris that is native to Florida and they seemed to be the first plant doing well there, so I found a few more varieties and some native lilies and planned to put them around the sand pine. I was always nervous to mess with this area. In addition, it was the hardest place to dig with so many huge old roots.

Slowing Down and Entering the Silence

But this time was totally different. I was taking my time; not rushing. Exhausted from all the funeral arrangements, I took a break from returning the hundreds of well-wishing phone calls and spent hours a day outside in silence. This helped me be present with my mom’s spirit a lot as she shared her ecstatic release from a body that “was no longer fun anymore”. And the miracles in nature unfolded.

Now I always thought of myself as pretty connected to all of life, as I teach this ability to heal and communicate not only with the animal kingdom, but plants, trees and minerals as well. However, this was a whole new level. I approached the pine bed, and began to lay out the new plants where I thought they would go.

Once again sharing my lovely vision, I then waited patiently to proceed.

I felt an opening, and like the parting of the red sea; the innumerable tree roots and hard ground was giving way like soft butter to the intrusion of my shovel and spade. Now I could totally hear and feel exactly where the flowers were meant to be, and sometimes my shovel would be adjusted a millimeter one way or another, making all the difference between getting the plants in easily versus not at all.

Collaboration Trumps Domination

This is a plot I have worked on for five years now, and it was always a nightmare to get even an inch or two down without hitting roots. Unyielding would be an accurate description. Perhaps you know someone like this too?  Yet this time, my shovel glided to exactly the sweet spot, but often not where I originally planned.

As I listened deeply, the shovel felt guided, often weaving its way among myriad thick existing roots without harming any. Navigating seamlessly around the tangled webs I was able to tuck each plant in with great ease. I could feel the pine tree was not just allowing me to plant, but totally happy about it and assisting me.

At one point I actually received the strong emotion that the pine tree was thrilled with all the added attention and the extra hand watering I was giving it, as it felt like it was fully cooperating with my planting.

I contemplated how many times I formulated my own ideas about the best way to do something, and then tried to “push” my agenda or point of view onto someone or something, assuming that was the only way to be heard, or the best way to succeed and accomplish my goals. The sand pine was showing me a better way.


I dared to dream how different our whole existence would be if we slowed down a bit, and shifted our energies to listening, appreciation and cooperation. In lieu of pushing forward with our goals, instead we created a vision, relished in the beauty of the possibilities, felt appreciation for diverse points of view and alternate ways to accomplish things.

How rarified a world we could create if we acknowledged the underlying intelligence of all life, and courteously expressed our intention for inclusion and consideration of all life in our plans.

From this awareness, we would offer suggestions and paint pictures of possibilities, while appreciating opposing views or new ideas entirely.  Releasing our attachments to the “how”, we would willing to adjust and stay flexible, enjoying the journey. And all of life would Celebrate, Collaborate and perhaps chide us with a friendly “what took you so long??”

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