What are the skills you need to be a Tree Babies Guide?
Tree babies is a safe space for parents and babies to come together to connect. The four principles that underlie it are;
As a Tree Babies teacher, it’s our role to help parents to find the space to connect to themselves and to connect to others in the Tree Babies group. Within the Tree Babies community, everyone agrees on the ground rules of the group so they feel safe to share confidentiality and feel held with compassion, non-judgment and with confidentiality.
At a Tree Babies class, every member meets each other with compassion, kindness and from a place of love. Within the group, each member knows that they are respected as an individual but also welcomed to become one. Everyone has something valuable to offer and contribute to the energy and environment of the group. We are all connected and together as one.
What is holding space and how is it different from facilitating a group?
Holding space is a conscious act of being present, open, allowing, and protective of what another needs in each moment. The main focus of holding space is to simply “be there” for another. Giving someone support is a gift but simply witnessing someone truly and allowing them to just be seen, heard and felt is one of the most powerful practices. This may challenge you as we are so used to having to “DO” something. In the circle, it’s enough to just “BE”.
“Consider the individual words for a moment. To hold means to embrace or encircle someone or something in your grasp. Physically, this might take the form of a hug or the cradling of a hand in yours. But you can also embrace someone non-physically with your intention, attention, and energy. Space refers to the immediate environment you are sharing with another. This, too, may be the physical space of a room, but more frequently refers to the mental and emotional environment you are in with others. Put together, these words embody the principle of surrounding the environment with your awareness in a way that provides comfort and compassion for all”-Deepak Chopra
There are some main principles for holding space for others that we can embody and develop;
A key component of holding space is the quality of safety. For others to open and share, they must feel safe with you and then group. This is based on building up trust and a sense of security. The act of witnessing others share and be vulnerable gives others permission to do the same.
Holding space is not about you. It’s about the other person. It’s very important to leave your ego at the door when you hold space. Part of this is also not overthinking classes and filling space. The idea is to create space. What comes, comes from co-creation in the group. Holding space requires radical humility and the willingness to be a temporary caretaker of the feelings and concerns of another and suspend your own.
This is so simple and yet so powerful. This is about completely being present with someone when they share. The skills to do this require you to keep eye contact, actively listen and simply connect fully. Part of this is to resist the need to give solutions or even speak. Your attention is purely on whatever is happening in the moment. You are the mirror for the other person to see themselves.
Holding space is all about allowing the other person or group to feel whatever comes up for them. There is no control simply witnessing and allowing. Acceptance of what comes up as it is. Practising acceptance gives others a priceless gift—the freedom to be just as they are.
Being non-judgmental is difficult! Holding space is an impartial process where you are there to simply be present. You’re not there to pass judgement or attach your own meaning to what you witness. Just being there is enough. It’s more than enough. Good and bad are labels we add to experiences based on our own stories and beliefs. Your perspective is not relevant when you are holding space.
Compassion is an essential quality for the practice of holding space. It is powerful to have compassion for others. We are all just doing our best. The most powerful question to offer is “How can I help you? What do you need? How can I serve you?” Just your presence is an act of love and compassion to another.
Holding space creates a container for healing and transformation can take place. It’s simply an act of love and connection. You may like to extend your sessions into longer nurture days.
Other celebrations you may be drawn to include are;
- holding special gatherings on the New or Full moon;
- creating a seasonal flow for your circle where you follow the energies as they rise and fall within a year
- celebrating the various equinoxes
- Vernal equinox(about March 21): day and night of equal length, marking the start of spring
- Summer solstice (June 20 or 21): the longest day of the year, marking the start of summer
- Autumnal equinox(about September 23): day and night of equal length, marking the start of autumn
- Winter solstice (December 21 or 22): the shortest day of the year, marking the start of winter
To find out more about becoming a Tree Babies Guide click here.
Tree Babies-Our essential resources list for teaching parents and babies in nature
I thought I would share some of my favourite resources from our Tree Babies Guide course to inspire you.
Our Tree Babies course covers everything you need to know but I always suggest cultivating a daily practice of learning.
You can order some of these books for deeper reading from Red Lion Books to support an amazing family run independent bookshop. Send an email copying this list or any of the titles and Jo at Red Lion will send them out to you, [email protected]
Continuum Concept-Jean Liedoff
Vital Touch-Sharon Heller
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in
Ten Minutes a Day by Andy Puddicombe
Four Agreements-Don Miguel Ruiz
Untethered Soul-Michael Alan Singer
The New Earth-Eckart Tolle
Forest bathing and nature practice
The Healing Nature Trail: Forest Bathing for Recovery and Awakening Book by Tamarack Song
Your Guide to Forest Bathing: Experience the Healing Power of Nature Book by M. Amos Clifford
Forest Therapy: Seasonal Ways to Embrace Nature for a Happier You Book by Sarah Iven
Other useful resources for Tree Babies classes
Calm app-This is a great way to tie up what you do in sessions with home practice for parents
Headspace app-This app offers a grounded way to add mindfulness to your day
Insight Timer-A huge range of mediations, mindfulness exercises and much more
To join us as a Tree Babies Guide and join the Tree Babies Revolution, click here
About Blossom & Berry
Blossom & Berry offers expert training, support & resources on baby massage, yoga and parent and baby wellness for professionals & parents across the world.
Blossom & Berry training is designed to give you everything you need to succeed. It gives you a complete teaching practice and mentorship program in a box.
Our training is the most comprehensive teacher training and business package on the market with no restrictions on what you can do and no ongoing licence fees ever.
“I would love to invite you to join my network of over 1000 teachers across the world sharing the benefits of nurturing touch and connection with parents and babies.” Gayle Berry – Master trainer and international expert on baby massage and yoga, founder of Blossom & Berry.
Your success is our success and having a transformational and nurturing experience is key.