I’m a Mother, a Wife, a Daughter, a Best Friend, and a Family Doctor. I sometimes find myself looking like an octopus trying to juggle my roles. Participating in the Healing Tree Project was life-changing for me. I used to think I could multi-task, which left me feeling slightly anxious, annoyed, and very much in the ‘hurry up and wait’ scenario. The Healing Tree project allowed me to give myself permission to attend to one thing at a time, which sounds simple and obvious, but is hard to do when much is competing for your attention. It has been especially helpful to stop and truly enjoy the simple chaos of my life and my beautiful children, that seem to grow up too much at the end of my work day. I have taught them to stop, and listen, and look at the moon as we hurry in to do homework. I have learned that by fully being present in the moment, I can be calm, patient, and thankful. As a doctor and a teacher of young doctors, I can focus my attention on the person in front of me, and truly listen to their questions, and share in their experience. I am truly humbled to share in powerful interactions with patients, who share their worries and illness with me, and being present fully is sometimes the only thing I can offer, and sometimes the only thing they need. I am hopeful my new skills will be an example to the doctors that I train. Mindfulness is certainly a practice, and I am not an expert, but at least I have awareness to recognize that it’s important. Thanks Bethany!
— Sonya

My quest for spiritual growth has been an amazing journey. Along the way, I have met guides and teachers who helped me gain the tools needed to navigate around the next path. I am truly blessed that along my journey, I happened upon The Healing Tree Project. The experience was transformative. 

I have to confess, I have only taken one mindfulness class, but I plan on following the first course with more classes. It did not take long after the first course ended that I realized I needed to continue the work. Still in the just the one class, I learned that I can be a better listener and a better friend by being present. I do not need to add my comments or my ego or my opinion or my judgment when someone is in need of an audience. I can attend to the needs of my loved one by my being. 

A difficult lesson for me has been learning how to welcome experiences that are not necessarily pleasant. I have learned through mindfulness training to be more accepting of the challenges that life offers. I think of myself as being much like Lucy Van Pelt, the Peanuts character. She yelled at Charlie Brown that she did not want her life to be “ups and downs,” she wanted her life to be “ups, ups and more ups.” Had Lucy taken the class, she would had learned that life offers us lessons via the “downs,” and by our allowing ourselves to process…to be present…to let it pass through us, we find peace. 

These two examples only touch the surface of what I gained from the class. I enjoyed meeting with Bethany and the other students on Saturday afternoons. I appreciated the additional lessons, materials, videos, poems, quotes that Bethany sent to us during the week. As I stated earlier, I only have taken one class. I look forward to future classes. Since the class ended, I have found that it is all too easy to fall back into habits. I catch my mind racing from one topic to the next, and I remind myself to stop…do a mindfulness exercise…I know I still have work to do. I am grateful Bethany and The Healing Tree Project will continue to guide me.

- Jill

Learning to practice mindfulness has helped me to be more present more often, allowing a space for clarity of thought and better decision-making in an often hectic and chaotic world.
— Kim White, the LBA Group

My time spent with Bethany has been transformative. The skills I’ve learned have improved my personal and professional relationships. By learning to be present in the moment, I am a better listener and have less stress. Much Gratitude!
— Tammy Wainright, Business Executive

As a busy ER physician, I can too easily become overwhelmed by the rapid pace, acuity and chaos that surrounds me. This pushes me into an unconscious task master, seeing patients, in an algorithm like way, diagnosing and “moving the meat”. Mindfulness practice has taught me to be present in the moment, to focus on the patient, make eye contact and truly listen to their concerns. This has allowed me to connect deeply within minutes to “difficult” patients and hear their call for help and recognize what they truly need. Recently, one morbidly obese patient with multiple medical problems presented via rescue with nothing short of 20 emergency complaints. Through mindfulness training, focusing in on the present moment, I was able to connect with this patient in a profound way. What was revealed to me was that it was not chest pain, vomiting diarrhea dizziness headache or fever that brought her to the ER. But it was suicidal ideation, hopelessness and deep emotional pain. The patient revealed her deep human suffering by way of our mindful connection. This interaction in a harried ER was only possible through mindfulness. I can’t always be mindful in the fast paced ER, but when I can, I believe that not only are my patients better served but my role as a true healer realized.
— Laura, ER physician

I used to spend a lot of time living in the future, daydreaming about what my life would look like. I didn’t even realize that I was not present to life here and now, the only place and time that exists. My mindfulness practice has helped me meet life as it unfolds, without as much need to control or predict the outcome.
— Saranya, educator

As a former police officer, ex-army veteran and now a licensed counselor, I have worked with Bethany for over 4 years on mindfulness. The personal insights that I have gained and the emotional baggage that I have jettisoned are too numerous to write down. As a man, learning what unconditional love means and being able to see my children, family and friends and the world around me through that space, even for the briefest of moments, is priceless.
— Chris Bartkowiak, Licensed counselor & Life Coach, Jacksonville , Florida

Mindfulness practice has helped me move through my day at a more manageable pace. Although from the outside, I move the same, I have learned to take each moment as it comes instead of looking back or ahead. I can approach colleagues and students at work as they are without applying expectations about what I imagine they will be or were. I can more easily distinguish thoughts from feelings. The best part is that I never expect myself to be perfect but instead allow my successes and shortcomings to pass without judgment.
— Lisa, teacher

Since beginning mindfulness practice, I have experienced incredible benefits in all aspects of my life. It has helped tremendously in managing chronic anxiety, creating space, and nurturing self-acceptance and kindness. Not only have I seen my relationships with others improve, but I have a new found relationship with myself. Bethany’s approach to the practice is brilliant. She always presents the material in an accessible, playful and encouraging manner. I highly recommend the practice to any and all.
— Jessica Price

In both my personal and professional life, I have always had the notion to be the hero for everyone’s problems. I had made up an idea that my self-worth consisted of me putting on my ‘hero’ costume and saving the day. There was a big problem there, I had made the whole thing up! I wasn’t aware that the anger I had and the many let downs were not because of someone not listening and following my advice, it had everything to do with myself and the ideas I had about others. Once I began practicing, over time I began to realize how to distinguish between a made up idea and reality. Whatever I do and however I do it life continues to come and go. Being able to now live a life where I can literally watch myself make up stories about how others will react to something I would say helps me view life’s many scenarios differently. I no longer have to write a script for each person in my life to follow. I let life come at me in its own way good or bad!
— Chris, Real Estate Investor/Entrepreneur