This is a drawing made during my training in the Netherlands ~ back in 2009 / 2010. 

We were invited to draw a tree together, without talking ~ though it could easily have

been another image, such as a wall. Then we were invited to check inside ourselves

to sense anything we felt that was ‘ there ‘ at that moment.

We then took post-its and drew a symbol or handle word on them that encapsulated

something of the heart or essence of each thing we found inside ourselves and then

placed them on the tree wherever we sensed it to be most appropriate. We were

invited to check freshly whether there was still anything ' there ' ~ inside ourselves.

We shared nothing of the ‘ content ‘ of our notes with each other and there was no

analysis of whether each thing was positive or negative.

It was OK to put our wishes on the tree  as well as our difficulties. We were all struck

by how enjoyable this exercise was, with a tangible lifting of our energy throughout.


We are all much more than just a collection of problems !

I have found that it makes an enormous difference how we ' look ' at ourselves and

everything  we find inside ~ if we first start with some ' good stuff '  and our physical

sense of how that feels for us. It is particularly healthy to practice Clearing a Space

in those moments when we actually feel good and there is maybe some brightness

happiness or helpful energy inside. That is a great moment to sense that strongly

and let our ' looking ' and checking for whatever else is there in side ourselves be

coloured by the curiosity, kindness and playfulness ~ that fresh eyes can bring us.


Needless to say, children take very naturally to this form of externalising their inside

world and this is only one example of many ways to practice this wee gem of a skill.

Clearing a Space can reduce stress, free up energy and allow emotional charge

to be processed more quickly and easily while the usual tensions associated with

bottling it all up ‘ are released.


It can be practised very briefly and effectively for no more than 5/10 minutes at the

start of the school day, a particular lesson, activity or at times of increased stress

or difficulty ~ it can also be done more elaborately, taking care to sense the subtle

background feelings or ‘wallpaper’ of our lives, often so quietly ever present, that

we can forget to notice them even a ittle bit at all. 


This is a creative Internal and External activity, using both hemispheres of the

brain, Emotional and Rational and is by definition a ‘ whole-brain ’ skill that

speaks directly to the connections within us all, between body, mind and heart.