Step up and Shine in Uncertain Times

Jennifer Stevens and Pollyanna Darling
Tuesday, 28th April 2020

As our world changes faster than we ever dreamt possible, Jennifer Stevens and Pollyanna Darling of women-led reforestation charity TreeSisters, suggest seven ways to use this time of uncertainty and change to develop our gifts and strengths.

1. Boost your wellbeing listening to the sounds of Nature: right now they are louder, clearer and more needed than ever before! If you can spend some time in your local park, sitting beside a tree, or just closing your eyes and listening to the birds outside your window, this can help centre your thoughts and calm internal turmoil. In a calmer state, your natural creativity and energy can emerge. Research shows that Nature has a significant benefit to our physical and mental wellbeing (

2. Sit back and listen: slowing down can also be a way to step up! Despite pressure from your social media feeds, it is perfectly okay to come out of self-isolation without having learnt a new language, mastered cookery or built your own empire. However, this time is a good opportunity to listen deeply to yourself and your loved ones. On average we only ‘listen’ to 50% of what is said to us, so using this time to learn to really listen could have a hugely beneficial impact. (Learn about the benefits:

3. Tap into your inner wisdom and power: understand your gifts and build yourself a toolkit to bring them forward …when you listen deeply to yourself, what do you long to offer the world? What are you doing when you feel most yourself and most alive? How could you liberate that energy or activity in service to our planet and all life - and what do you need to do to support yourself in that? If you’re stuck for ideas, try journaling (see point 6). TreeSisters also has many useful free resources for tapping into your inner wisdom here:

4. Build an Earth-friendly legacy: as the saying goes ~ “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is now.” If you have a garden, or access to outside space, why not start your legacy? If you don’t have the ability to plant trees at home, you can donate to a tree planting organisation such as TreeSisters  and fund the planting of tropical trees that grow quickly and benefit the whole world!

5. Volunteer your skills: at this time, many small businesses and charities are in need of a helping hand. Often volunteering can be done online from the comfort of your own home. Volunteering gives you an opportunity to share your skills, support your passions and give back to your community

6. Keep a Journal: Weird things are happening every day and the only certainty we have is uncertainty. Writing things down can help you organise your thoughts and process the events of each day. It can increase empathy, reduce stress and unleash creativity. It is also fascinating to document your own experiences and read them through at a later date 
7. Make a Plan: after all that listening, time in Nature and journaling, create a vision of how you’d love to contribute to a healthy planet and build a plan. Good plans empower, provide structure and help give us a sense of direction. Right now it may feel impossible to plan anything, but that isn't true. Build a plan for one of your days at the weekend or for a new craft project. What do you deeply care about and what would bring you joy to contribute, even in uncertain times? Planning helps us to focus on what really matters and bring that to our lives.

The Courage to Shine online course

At this time of unprecedented change and uncertainty, The Courage to Shine, a ground-breaking online course and 21-day process, has been created to help women develop their gifts and strengths and collectively find ways to contribute to our world.

Created and facilitated by Clare Dubois, founder of women-led reforestation charity TreeSisters, The Courage to Shine will run from Wednesday 13 May to Wednesday 3 June, with a free introductory call on Tuesday 28 April.

Clare Dubois says: “If you’re looking at the state of the world and desperately want to do something but feel held back or have no idea what to do, then this course is for you. The 21-day alchemical process has been designed to help us move beyond our comfort zones and draw more of the emotional and creative brilliance out of us all, as together we look for ways we can make a difference in the world. It will help you move from fear and resistance into loving action, and from overwhelmed complacency into a unique expression of your own activism and creativity.

“Now as the world lurches and cracks appear in the fabric of what was once normal, it’s possibly the most potent moment for personal and collective transformation we will ever witness. If ever there was a time to go deep inside ourselves and unleash the gifts we were born to give, it’s now.” 

TreeSisters is on a mission to rapidly accelerate tropical reforestation by inspiring and channeling women's Nature-based feminine leadership into local and global action. The Courage to Shine offers tools, techniques and personal processes designed to galvanise participants to step into their power and become catalysts for environmental and social evolution. The course has been created and framed for women, but the tools are relevant for all and the course is open to all genders.  

The core course content will be shared in four in-depth weekly online sessions guiding participants to move beyond self-limiting beliefs, release restrictive social and cultural conditioning, transform self-sabotaging patterns of behaviour and reclaim their authority as they step into effective new ways of being. In between these four webinars, participants will receive additional audio tools, shorter practices for ongoing use and the benefit of a supportive online community with which to share the journey.

Jennifer Stevens, Communications Manager for TreeSisters, says: “The Courage to Shine course can shine a light on the parts of us which can feel powerless in the face of our current global crisis. We can join in community and support each other, raise each other up and celebrate our individual gifts. We can bring all of ourselves forward and share our talents. I believe that all of us are needed right now. Our world, our communities, our very beings are calling out for us to step forward and shine out our light. Our world needs empowerment, community, love, bravery, honesty. Right now, the world needs our collective courage.”

If you’d like to find out more about The Courage to Shine, Clare Dubois will be hosting a free introductory webinar on Tuesday 28 April to give an insight into the course and how it can help you. For more information visit:

Ticket prices for the course are on a sliding scale ranging from £160.00 to £80.00 (scholarship options are included for those with limited income). For more info and to book, visit:

Useful links

Sing for the trees - International Women's Day

Top 10 women's networks for supporting environmental and social change

5 natural cures for SAD (seasonal affective disorder)