Tree Of Life

Like best friends and many partners do, my students and I tend to finish each other’s sentences by the end of the year.  They are used to my expressions and idioms (as I am theirs) and while sometimes rolling their eyes, I know they are secretly excited to be able to use some of them in their own lives.  Go with the flow is one of these expressions.  When we find ourselves situated in a challenge of some sort, or we have to be flexible with the ever changing scenario that a school day brings, we go with the flow.  In fact, our class ‘deal’ for a positive climate, (not classroom rules), does not list a series of “do not….” and “no doing…” and “never…,” but, instead focuses on the positive.  Number three on this list, (I bet you can guess by now), is go with the flow.

Life really is better when we are in ~ the ~ flow.  

As I write this, I can picture my students making their little hand wave, as they do, when they so automatically use this expression in a self-identified situation now.

When in ~ the ~ flow, your awareness is heightened, you notice things that you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed, your creativity excels, your curiosity is piqued, your actions and intentions are effortless and positive and the universe grants your wishes.  If these things aren’t happening, the universe is at least giving you some signs that you are on the right track and that you are getting there!

When you’re relaxed and in ~ flow ~ with ~ life, the universe responds by showing you synchronicities.  I love synchronicities and I love the way in which they are delivered – always in new and surprising ways.  This happened to me a few weekends ago.

In my last post, I told you all about the mindfulness journey I took on a surprise road trip up north.  In that blog, I spoke about stopping in a little town, and I let you know that I would share with you next time, how it brought me to one of the most magical moments of the weekend.

We had not planned on stopping in on this little town on the way back, but I had told my partner about it several times before.  I had described how quaint, cute and lovely it was, lined by forests and streams and little ice cream shops.  I had only visited once before and many years ago, but it stood out in my mind.

We navigated our way there, sightseeing along the way.  When we arrived, we couldn’t find parking right away, until we pulled a little ways up the road and parked along the edge of it.  We stepped out of the car and immediately saw a for sale sign.  The sign decorated the front lawn of a very cute little bungalow.  Next to the house, was a smaller house.  A magical house.  A house with a sign that said, “Tree Of Life Center For Creativity.”  For anyone who knows me, it is not a secret that the Tree of Life is my absolute favourite symbol; I resonate in every way with it.  The Tree represents every facet of life and can be looked at to understand the interconnectedness of all parts of life.  I believe that all living things are connected, and when we lose sight of this and feel above it, under it, or separated from it, the Tree of Life can remind us of this connectedness that exists between all that is.  We are never alone on this journey and what we do each day matters.

The Tree of Life often shows up for me when I am in ~ the ~ flow (imagine student hand gesture here).

The Tree of Life has presented itself to me numerous times.  Like the time I was driving back from Tree Of Life ItemsKingston and I saw a beautiful sparkly tree that stood out against all the others and beckoned me
with its magic, and the several times people have surprised me with Tree of Life jewellery (earrings, necklaces, rings), all unique in their own right.  I have reminders of the Tree of Life from the
drawing in my daily agenda, to the wall decoration above my writing desk and the bulletin board we have created in my classroom.  The list can go on.  The Tree of Life always seems to pop up in the most unexpected, but awesome times.
The synchronicity of this studio and its name was not just for that moment; it just seemed to expand.  I had to take a picture of this woman’s work studio and of her for sale sign.  No, this was not because I was going to quit my job teaching, sell my place in the city tomorrow and move to this quaint little town into her home.  But, because something inside of me said to explore this a bit further.  So, I looked up the real estate site, found the listing and admired the photos of this woman’s house and studio.  With it, there was a link to the woman’s business.  The woman’s name is Caroline Butson.  What she is contributing to the world is truly remarkable.

It turns out, Caroline Butson’s passion is to help educate and encourage healing in children through an understanding of self-development and everyone’s innate creative and artistic abilities.  Caroline Butson had herself, experienced healing through the Arts to overcome a form of Autism (Autism being an extensive area of her work with children).  Fireworks went off when I read this.  The study of Autism has been a passion of mine since my first co-op teaching placement in Grade 12, where I grew an instant connection with a little boy named Chase.  Chase was non-verbal by traditional means, but it never stopped communication between the two of us.  We were like two peas in a pod.  From there, I did much of my research in university on the study of Autism in children and youth and have since found myself very drawn to these students in my own work within the classroom, having made many special connections with children on the spectrum over the years.

As I continued to read, I grew more and more impressed with Caroline Butson’s work and more excited about how much we share in our passion for educating children in this unique manner.  She integrates a variety of modalities (including meditation and mindfulness) to inspire and educate kids.  I feel so aligned with the work that she is doing and inspired to further my own work in the field as a result of reading her intentions and journey.  I was excited to read on that her house and studio are for sale as she is expanding her work into the Muskoka region.  That region is blessed that she will be able to reach so many more children and continue expanding consciousness in our world.

So why does all of this information mean that I am in ~ the ~ flow?  Well, they’re like little whispers from the universe.  It’s really just the universe saying, “You’re right on track Nicole.”  “Keep doing what you’re doing.”  If you’re able to become aware of these little messages and synchronicities (and I really believe they are synchronicities, not coincidences), then the universe will continue to present you with these magical moments and your flow of creativity will surely soar.

So although I just ‘happened’ to end up in this little town unexpectedly, ‘happened’ to find parking where I did and then just ‘happened’ to stumble across the Tree Of Life Center For Creativity, I am so blessed that the universe just ‘happened’ to place these things in my path 😉

As this school year comes to a close, I hope that my students will continue to pause in moments of distress, confusion and chaos and remember to just go ~ with ~ the ~ flow, for if they do, magic is waiting for them on the other side.

Tree Of Life Bulletin Board


Although Caroline Butson and I have never actually crossed paths, I hope that I have done her work justice in the words that I have provided.  It is my intent to share the wonderful works of others with what I hope is an accurate assessment of an individual’s craft.  Caroline, if you ever just ‘happen’ upon this post, please know my intentions and please continue to share your beautiful gifts with the world.

To see Caroline Butson’s work, please visit:

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