Last night I dreamt I was looking up into one of the marvelous redwood trees I photographed while visiting northern California in 2015, and I wished I could fly to the top and see the world from that height. Although I do sometimes fly in my dreams, I didn’t last night. When I awoke, though, I thought of one of the final poses I hold when I follow the YouTube posts of Qi Gong master, Lee Holden. It’s called Embracing the Tree, and requires only that I stand with my arms encircling an imaginary tree as I rock gently to the energies moving within. I love this pose, not only because it centers and calms me, but because it reminds me that if I face my life with a tree’s seeming composure, I will have a good day.

New Age teacher, Carolyn Myss, often uses the analogy of a many-storied building to point out how different are the experiences of living on the first, tenth, twentieth, and thirtieth floors. A Manhattanite who lives at ground level hears and smells and even tastes the city in a palpably different way than those on higher floors. Similarly, Myss argues, when we live from our highest selves—from a place of acceptance, compassion, and wisdom—our experience of life transforms. Today I will try to see from the canopy, and I hope you do too.

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