Photograph by Tyson Mowarin

Let’s look back over our tree and see what particular actions we want to take against the Storms in our lives. Our Leaves are about changes we want to make and the actions we want to take from here on. Think about some of the Storms you or family face that you might want to get out of your life, or at least to make them into little willy willys (whirlwinds) instead.

If there has been a common theme, this can become the focus for the Group conversations and actions people are going to take can be placed on the leaves of the Group Tree. If there is no common theme, then group members talk about their Personal Trees first; creating Leaves for their Personal Tree and then transferring this information onto the Group Tree.

If there is a relatively common problem:

In the large or small groups, we discuss the actions that could be taken by members of the group to address the problem (Storm) that has been identified. Questions to be asked will depend on the topic but can include:
• How does the problem operate? When? Where? Who with?
• What supports it? How are you tricked by the problem into thinking you need it in your life?
• Is there a pattern? When and where does it happen?
• When is it better? We need to do more of this.
• When is it worse? We need to change this pattern.
• Who can help? How can they help?
• Is there anything on your trees that can help?

Actions to tackle this problem will be placed onto the leaves of the Group Tree. If it is a shared concern that everyone is going to work on, then the Leaves on people’s Personal Trees will represent the steps they personally will take to help tackle this Storm.

Often, individuals in the group may see that there are common problems, but the one/s they want to tackle first may be different. They can take action against more than one Storm, but not against many major Storms all at the same time! They might place other positive actions that they wish to take on the leaves of their Tree, actions that will support them in making changes.

You may have little groups of two or more people who have similar Storms. If so, those people can work together, but mention that the way they are going to tackle these Storms could well be different. During this process, the facilitator may need to offer support with spelling/writing. You may need paper beside each person so they can write down the words they will need. People working on separate Storms may still work in a supportive group of others who are working on separate problems. There is often a similarity in actions, e.g. giving up the grog (alcohol), or giving up playing cards (gambling) on school nights.

Think about the Storms you want to stand up to, the Storms you want to cut down to size, and then decide what will you do if the going gets tough, or you slip back:
• How will you get yourself up again?
• How will you keep yourself going when there are setbacks?
• What will you say to people who want you to go back to the old way?
• Look back over your Trees to see what is on there that could help with your Storm.

On your Leaves put your plans for taking actions. Put the steps on paper and then draw leaves around these action plans. You can also put the ways you will keep yourself going when the Storm brings in others to push you off track; or when you get tired and it all seems too much. How will you overcome that? Put enough onto the Tree for you to remember what it is you are going to do. If there is a sequence of steps, these can be on a cluster of leaves or a large leaf!

If people are working on their Leaves on their Personal Trees, then at the end of the process return to the Group Tree and transfer the information from Personal Trees onto the Group Tree.

Home Yarning for leaves:

Talk about family Storms and how a stand might be taken against them. You might want to add these ideas to your Tree! Tell them what you have put on the Leaves of your Tree and the actions you are going to take. Ask them for their support. If the time is suitable, ask some of them to the celebrations next week.

An example of what can come from home yarning

The week after the discussion about culture, one group member’s adult son came in. He was passionate about something being done to revive and maintain culture and came to the group to say this was a time for action, not talking! This raised the possibility that guests might be brought into the group to develop action plans in particular areas of concern. Participants might be able to recommend appropriate people.