Shayism: John Muir Woods and Touched by the Fire

Today’s Shayism is inspired by a hike in the beautiful John Muir Woods. The 560 acre park is 256 feet above sea level and is a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

The Coastal Redwoods are the tallest trees on Earth, reaching heights of over 368 feet (112 meters). They are one of the widest trees on earth, reaching diameters at their base of over 30 feet (9.3 meters) and one of the oldest trees in existence, the oldest on record having lived 2,200 years when it was cut down.

These trees have been through a lot throughout the years. Weather changes, human and animals influences and yet they stand tall. The earth hits them with fire and yet they stand tall.

Sometimes we get hit, sometimes we get touched by the fire but the lesson and the take away is you’re still strong, you are still standing, you are still rooted and you still have everybody connected to you. The trees next to you are your support.  It develops who you are, sets you apart from the tree next to you yet not so much that you are alone. The root system in these trees help lift each other up when one may get struck by lightening sending reinforcement to fellow neighboring trees. How else can you explain living for 2,200 years! They certainly didn’t do it all on their own.

This is the lesson I took from these magnificent trees. They didn’t do it alone. They didn’t grow up to be the tallest trees on Earth without support. Same goes for us. There is no way we can “Reach the Top” without help from those around us. This help can be so many things from friends, family, coaches, instructors, books, workshops, co-workers, bosses, and even acquaintances.

We are all connected like the roots of a tree. The difference between us and the trees is they are always in constant communication with one another and we as humans are not. I have seen many people “stuff down” feelings, thoughts, etc when they are “hit by lightening” in their life vs reaching out to their support system. That is the best time to reach out.

You never know what other people have already experienced in their life that may offer you the key thing that will help you heal from that lightening strike. Release the pride and ego. Ask for help. Ask for guidance. Ask for assistance. Ask your support system with what you require and I’m sure you will be surprised at the response you will receive.

Don’t have one you feel comfortable reaching out to? Ask me.

Have a great story or experience? Share it here and lets create a support system for those who are building one to use. Your stories are important, they are meaningful and they do make a difference in others lives. We can support and learn from each other just like these trees.

I look forward to hearing how you remain strong and move forward after being touched by the fire.

Many Blessings,


John Muir Woods