~ Share Your Story
Life Lessons from A Kin’s Domain. The People’s Book Newsletter featured Gaz Shambala and his family on their Kin’s Domain last November. It is a great joy for me to get to share about it again. This time, I get to help tell one of the living stories. I was thrilled when Gaz sent me this story and wanted to share it with the whole community. I am so excited to help Gaz’s Olive tree spread her message..
~Elizabeth Erkel, Community Outreach Coordinator
A short story of how the Olive held out its branch on our Space of Love this Thanksgiving
Written by Gaz Shambala
I learnt something today I would like to share with this marvelous community. It was really a lesson for me in getting out of the productivity mindset and into the connectedness/ gratitude mindset when harvesting what is growing in our domain. And I am deeply grateful to the Olive tree that gently held out its branch and spoke to me.
To explain further, today I was on my family domain (farm in old terminology) harvesting olives. My ‘normal’ mindset when doing this task would have been in ‘ getting the job done’. In other words, focused on the end result- a nice crate full of delicious juicy olives! Nothing wrong with that I hear you say and indeed the end result was wonderful.
OK so on to the lesson of connecting with the tree. Here’s what it showed me.
Instead of trying to get as many olives in the shortest time possible, the tree told me to slow down and pay attention , to be more ‘present’ or ‘mindful’ would be a more Buddhist or New-Age way of saying it.
As I picked , I found myself thanking the tree, encouraging the new shoots and being protective of them , and I realized, or rather the tree told me, that this is8 what it means to ‘connect with nature’. It told me to think of its branches as if they were my own and asked me how my branches would like to feel if someone was picking my olives?
When I did this, I began to pay much closer attention to the way the olive branches formed, where the olives were positioned, the thickness and thinness of each stem. I really started to notice how tender and ‘new’ the youngest shoots were.
I then found myself adapting my picking style to each individual branch. I realized that the younger stems were really very delicate, particularly at the tips.
In the past, my rush to get on with the job would have led to considerable careless damage. But now, by adjusting my picking, holding the young stem to prevent it breaking as I collected the olives, I was ensuring that the tip of the stem would stay strong and healthy, ready to grow and bear more fruit next year.
Without realizing it, I myself had become less of an invasive, harmful predator and more of a symbiotic species, and all it took was a subtle shift in perspective- from consumer to co-creator… from taker to care-taker…. from farmer to father!
Without doubt, Anastasia’s ideas and outlook on life influence us daily here on our Space of Love. We feel an ever-deepening connection with our domain and increasingly protective of the life that is so generously growing and constantly giving around us. I’m pretty sure that if we treat all our trees with the same care that we would want to receive they will want to grow the best ,most health-giving olives they can and as abundantly as they can in the coming year.
This year we invested in our own olive press (hand cranked ,proper old school). The decision to press our own oil, even though it is messy and time consuming, was made because we want to honour the trees that are giving for us. We want our connection to our domain to be as close as possible , and we know from the chapters on Divine Nutrition that trees prepare their fruits specifically for Man. The oil is delicious and the whole process brings the family together – it is such fun too!
Thanks again my beautiful olive tree for holding out your branch and sharing your wisdom with me – I’m starting to see what co-creating a Space of Love really looks , feels and, yes …even tastes like ….in living reality.
Thank you too for reading my short story to the end.
Abundant heart-felt blessings to everyone 🌱💚🌄
We have made a short video of our olive picking and pressing which you watch below
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Story Compiled by Elizabeth Erkel, Community Outreach Coordinator