Dorisse Traces Her Roots
Dorisse showed up in jeans and a shirt that seemed to match the landscape. She wanted to me to get some photographs of her with the trees she used to play in as a child. “Beech, Birch, Walnut, Oak, Holly, and Pine.” she rattled off. “Oh, wait, and there are more!”
Large, old trees from a time when there were no computers or cell phones. Large old trees in a big yard overlooking miles of wide open space. An expanse to run free in. Back when “earthing” was done automatically!
It was a late summer’s eve. We were at the house where Dorisse grew up and where her father had recently passed. Time had moved along, but there were still signs of child’s play. “See that colorful stake over there? We put that in when were kids.”
Signs of ritual. Of claiming your turf. Of the land that calls you beloved.
Dorisse: In Her Own Words
I have had a love affair with these trees my entire life. Every one of them was planted by my father when he built our home in 1956. As a blissfully, happy child despite severe asthma — bliss was a disconnect pattern I developed early on to deal with suffering — I knew that I could go to nature and those trees anytime and find peace from my dramatic family and constant motion in life. The beech was a favorite; at one point when I was about 8, I could easily climb up into her branches, which I knew were really her arms, and be held, quietly, peacefully, safe. Aaahhh, I could breathe so easily; bliss and flourishing returned.
In my 20’s, returning home for a visit, I realized I could no longer get up in her arms, she had grown. Heavy heart, part of loving and loosing as the cycle of life continues.
In my 30’s, with my 2 daughters, ceremoniously setting prayer arrows we had made at her and a few other tree bases and making wishes; they’re all still there today, weathered by years of fierceness of the elements.
Lots of stories with many of the other trees as well...all of that beautiful abundant nature in Virginia certainly made a lover out of me! (Our state motto is, “Virginia is for Lovers.”) It gave me, early on, the absolute knowing that I could find calmness and easy breathing when I needed, and I tucked that little precious piece of info away safely in my brain.
Decades, steroids, weekly allergy shots, frequent hospitalizations and a life of struggles to breathe later, the asthma was still with me. I had become a registered nurse, trained in multiple therapeutic healing modalities, always searching, determined to rid myself of this burden. It took lots of serendipity and multiple coincidences in my life to find myself where I am today, a respiratory educator. It never ceases to amaze me that wow, Me? I teach people how to breathe? Who woulda’ thought, Me, who wanted so desperately to be done with this beast, could get rid of it forever and always? Yes, Aha! The magic arrived when I finally realized this was my Destiny, and I embraced it.
When I work with folks today who have respiratory issues, I am able to deeply emphasize. I teach them to spend time in nature, take their shoes off and walk or just stand and be silent, lay on the ground, hug or climb a tree. Children especially are in deep need of nature these days, and it is estimated that 90% of humans on this planet do not breathe correctly. A fast paced life needs fast breath; healing and wellness happen when we are breathing smaller, lower and slower.
All those years spent with the trees gave me the confidence to fully, easily, and perfectly step into my Destiny. I’m still figuring out the perfect part.
~ Dorisse, October 2018 www.breathdance.org
(Beech is the tree featured in the first image.)