I chose the Banyan Tree to represent our practice because it's a tree that has always fascinated me, with it's prolific roots and sacred distinction in the eastern part of the world. The Banyan represents growth, strength, and self-awareness through reflection. meditation, and a quieting of one’s mind. It is said that Buddha found enlightenment after sitting under the banyan tree for 7 days. Since my early 20's Buddhism has remained an important spiritual philosophy that has guided my entire adult life. (More on my background here).
But I think the simplest reason I chose the banyan is-- I just really like trees. Growing up as an only child in a broken home in the mountains of NC, I experienced domestic abuse at an early age. I spent a lot of time in the forest, making tree forts, lying beneath the canopy, escaping to far away places in books, climbing tall branches and contemplating the world around me.
It was there I discovered a world within me, too.
In the trees I feel safe, at home, and connected to the natural world around me. My hope is that this is how you feel when you arrive at Banyan Tree Counseling.
When I'm amongst the trees, I feel most like myself. I have cried under trees, hugged them, prayed, asked them all the unanswerable questions. They are constant-- standing still and strong and tall. Trees embody a quiet peace, one I have always hoped to attain. They weather great storms because they grow deep roots.
The Banyan is an icon of what our practice represents. We help our clients learn to be still and strong, no matter what life brings. We give people tools to weather the inevitable storms of life; to grow deep roots so they may stand tall. We help people change with grace as the years pass. Develop new branches of themselves through the seasons of life. Find meaning in the things that matter, and learn to cast aside what doesn't. We help our clients attain inner peace and wisdom, even amongst chaos.
The story of the Banyan is the story of one's life-- continually growing stronger roots and reaching new heights, expanding wide into the world and taking up all the space it was meant to.
Building this practice has never been just a job to me. It is my calling; my life's work. Helping people heal, connect, create authentic meaning, become more fully themselves, find joy; I like to think we are creating a small but mighty ripple effect of positive change throughout the world.
My hope is that when you enter our doors you feel welcome, heard, safe, at ease.
My hope is that it is the ideal setting for you to grow into exactly who you were meant to be.
Whoever you are, and whatever storms you have weathered, it is not too much and it is never too late to begin a new chapter.