Ep.24 - The 'Nature' of Self-Care + Pruning 101 | Monica Maggio — What on earth does pruning plants have to do with self-care? More than you might expect. Candice talks with ‘plant nerd’ and pruning coach, Monica Maggio, about her experience working as a plant care specialist. Monica explains how consciously carrying for perennial plants fosters self-awareness, empathy, and accountability. Monica gets personal, sharing a watershed moment in high school that inspired her to pursue environmental studies and horticulture. Now, after over a decade of working intimately with clients and their plants, she has uncovered a fascinating overlap between pruning methodologies and how we care for ourselves. Candice is all-in on this topic, admitting how her own 'stuff' has long been reflected in how she goes about pruning her rose bushes. The two discuss what plants have to teach us about trauma and resilience, and Monica walks us through a handful of helpful pruning techniques. Together, they marvel at how each approach provides a useful metaphor for self-development and our place in the natural order of things. Monica continually invites us to turn our attention toward indigenous cultures who have long embodied an interdependent relationship with nature. She references Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass, who writes: "Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal... as we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us.”

Monica Maggio is a fruit growing expert and pruning coach based in Portland, OR. Monica believes good pruning combines science, art, nature, and nurture in powerful ways that help plants (and the people that care for them) thrive. Her business Core Home Fruit, and newest membership project The Pruning Portal, offer a variety of practical resources to help anyone learn to prune with skill and success one snip at a time!

corehomefruit.com | IG @corehomefruit | youtube.com/c/corehomefruit

Ep.24 - The Nature of Self-Care | Monica Maggio

Welcome back, friends. This is The Deeper Pulse. And I'm Candice Schutter. If you've been listening for a while, you already know that I am an avid nature lover. And not just the poke around a national park once a year type of nature lover. I mean, I've become one of those people who finds it sort of difficult to do life if I don't get a certain amount of outside time. And so I guess it's a good thing that I moved from the rainy Pacific Northwest to the sun baked land of Arizona. Yet, now that spring has sprung, I definitely miss the green and lush colors this time of year, which is something that this week's guest knows all about. Monica and I met in Portland many years ago when I was still teaching dance fitness classes. She was one of many regulars at my Monday noon Zumba dance class at 24 hour fitness. I always loved looking out and seeing her. Monica is a force and her energy is infectious, as you'll soon learn. Eventually, we realized we had a lot more in common than a love of cheesy pop songs and shoulder shimmies. Monica Maggio is an advocate and a fellow seeker. She's a plant specialist and pruning coach, and she brings a holistic approach to her work that I find fascinating. Listen in and I think you'll be likewise transfixed as she describes how plant pruning practices can teach us self-awareness and a more nuanced approach to self-care. We're kicking off the first week of spring with this informative and rather timely topic. And get ready because Monica's passion is contagious and her observations will change the way you look at plants for good. Hello.

Monica Maggio: 2:03

Candice Schutter: 2:04
It's so good to see you.

Monica Maggio: 2:06
It is super good to see you.

Candice Schutter: 2:08
I love how you're surrounded by greenery.

Monica Maggio: 2:11
Oh my goodness. Yeah. I think I did an inventory once, and I have over 50 houseplants, I think.

Candice Schutter: 2:18
Wow. That's so cool. Now the question becomes, do they have names?

Monica Maggio: 2:24
They don't actually. There's kind of too many, but they definitely get talked to like their own, you know, unique entities. So yeah.

Candice Schutter: 2:31
I love it. Well, thank you so much for agreeing to do this. And actually you reached out, which was fun.

Monica Maggio: 2:40
My own development with my own business at the moment is really coming to understand how heart-centered the work I do is both on behalf of the plants that I care for and also on behalf of clients, people who are learning how to care for plants. For years and years and years, I have been taking notes about how plants teach us self care. We're all living things and we all have basic needs, but that there is even a more specific and nuanced thing that can happen with plants that I think we miss sometimes, but if we can slow down really kind of understand what's going on, they teach us so much about how to care for ourselves.

Candice Schutter: 3:16
I'm a sucker for a metaphor, to be honest, and so for you to reach out and draw a direct line from nature, which is one of my great loves, particularly now that I'm able to be outside every day and commune with the desert and the critters and all that stuff. It just really spoke to me. And also, as somebody, quite honestly, who's never been that good at taking care of plants. There was a selfish motive of like, wow, there's a lot for me to learn here. And, and, and that becomes its own story, right? I think that we easily categorize ourselves like green thumb or not. And it's like, no, let's get curious and let's have a conversation and learn how to do this. I think we can have a lot of fun with this and I'm going to learn so much about not only plants, but about you, my dear friend, Monica. Um, but before we go there, how would you describe what you do?

Monica Maggio: 4:13
So, I'm definitely both a plant nerd and a teacher. Currently what I would say is that I'm a plant growing expert and pruning coach and I help people grow ornamental and fruiting plants at home. And I've very recently pivoted to just focusing on pruning. I used to do a lot of things where I was helping people understand how to choose plants, and how to plant them, where to put them, how to care for them, water, fertilizer. I've known this has been my love for years, but I'm going ahead to just claim that what I'm most passionate and interested in, is teaching people how to prune their ornamental plants, plants that live for many, many years, you know? Cause you, you do want to be mindful selecting plants, particularly perennial plants because they live for so long. You know, they live for 7, 20, 80 years or longer, uh, hundreds of years. And so picking the right plant for your location, for your needs, I'd work with a lot of fruiting plants. So it's like, do you even like the fruit that this plant is going to make? The blueberry, for example, is just getting to its maturity at 30 and it will make fruit for up to 80 years. And they hate, hate getting transplanted. They don't want to get moved. And they have very specific soil needs. Once you get all that dialed in, they can be very straightforward. So there's this thing of like, you want to pick the plant carefully, but you only need to pick it once and you only need to put it in the ground once. And once that's done, you don't have to think about that again. But the harvesting of the fruit happens every year and the pruning of this plant to keep it healthy, happy, and abundant happens every single year. So it's this ongoing relationship with the plants and pruning them is also, for me, this really awesome mixture of like art and science, because it's horticulture, I need to understand the plant, but it's also sculpture. It's like, I get to shape this creature and have this ongoing... Like vegetable gardening stresses me out. It is too fast. You know, one day or one week can make a difference. It's just so much more urgent. And for a lot of people, that's good because they get this immediate feedback and they get this, you know, you eat a carrot within months after planting it.

Candice Schutter: 6:24

Monica Maggio: 6:25
But that blueberry bush, you put it in the ground as a wee thing, and you don't want it to fruit for the first few years. You want it to invest in its roots and its branches. And it's going to be three to five years later that you're starting to eat those blueberries. But again, you're building this 30 to 80 year relationship with this plant. And I dig that. I've realized I like that slower, longer intimacy with these plants.

Candice Schutter: 6:50
Long-term relationships, versus flings. Garden flings.

Monica Maggio: 6:54
Ain't nothing wrong with flings. I just, I've had them. Um, it's not as satisfying and nourishing to me. Um, and I get attached. Like, let's be real. Like it's, it's my own, like, I get attached to stuff and to plants. And, so my work now is, like, I kinda just want to be that person that's available to you to teach you about these plants, because what happens for the person that isn't doing this every day is you prune that blueberry in the winter when it's dormant. And then you don't do that again for 12 months. And that's a long time for people to retain and remember these care instructions and these protocols. So I'm here to be that touchstone, you know, whenever the client needs it. And pruning, stresses people out. I love it, but it is a huge, overwhelming, stressful pain point. And so, people will very happily buy the plant, put the plant in the ground, like look at it, wave at it, you know, water it, but then they freak out when you have to get out this, you know, pretty hardcore tool and like cut things off this plant.

Candice Schutter: 8:00
Yeah, I really don't think it's much of a stretch to say that it's inherently an emotional thing to do. So it's like, every way we interact with the world around us is sort of reflective of our psychology in a way, right? So this house we just moved into has about a dozen rose bushes in the front. And, the house we lived in, in Oregon, we had this ongoing thing where at the end of every winter, we would talk about trimming down the rose bushes. And it was like, it took us a few years to get to the point where we could actually trim them to the place they were properly meant to be trimmed. It was, it was like we had to ease into it. We were like, we can't cut off four feet. Like, it's crazy. We had to ease into it year by year. And now we moved into this house, and we followed some pruning instructions that we found online. And they're already, it's only been like three weeks and they're already more alive than when we didn't, when we didn't take the risk. This is the reason why I said yes, when you reached out. And some people might say, you know, Candice, your podcast is about depth psychology and self-expression and what does this have to do with any of that? It's like, it has everything to do with it because it is an emotional act, and it says so much about us and our ability to take risks. So I could see how you would have a lot of people reaching out to you who were afraid to even pick up the clippers. It's sort of like, you're cutting it down to the vulnerable space where something new is going to grow. if that isn't a metaphor for what we do emotionally...

Monica Maggio: 9:25
Every day.

Candice Schutter: 9:26
I don't know what it is.

Monica Maggio: 9:27
Yeah. And the things that you're naming that I would say are spot on in this is.... part of it is that we have lost a connection to nature. You know, I don't think that's a stretch to say that most of us have to, even if we like nature, you were likely not.... I mean, if you were lucky, someone taught you about how the living plant world works. Clearly we want to garden, or we care about what we see out our window, but we don't have any like actual practical knowledge or skills about it. So there's also just this very real, like, I don't know what I'm doing. So, there's that unknowing and kind of like, question mark.

Candice Schutter: 10:00
And we don't want to harm it.

Monica Maggio: 10:02
We don't want to cause harm. And it actually has been hard to find resources that speak to how to do this that isn't like at a commercial level, or you're not a professional. I'm just an everyday person, and I care about these plants and maybe I care about them simply because I want them to look good, but I want to make sure I'm doing something that won't cause harm. So there's the lack of knowledge, but then there's also this acknowledgement, like that is a living thing. And there's a relationship there. It's, it's an emotional thing. It's a relational thing. Like this is another living thing. And for me, my ethic is that I want to work with this plant, not against it because there's a lot of pruning out there that is just like, I have an idea, and I'm just going to hack at you until you have this shape that I think is right. But it's actually incredibly aggressive, damaging to the plant, but it's either all I know, because that's all I see around me or that's as much intimacy as I'm willing to get. Like I just kind of did something at you instead of with you.

Candice Schutter: 11:04
I have to interrupt you here just to comment on what you just said, because you just described, if we took out a couple of key words in terms of plant, you just described societal conditioning and what we do to one another. I have a shape that I want you to become, and I am going to force it upon you and strong arm it until you adhere to it. And, in fact, I'm doing harm to you in the process. I just, I just had to underscore that because I think it's so... I think I'm not going to be alone. I think some of the listeners out there are going to be able to feel like, yeah, I've been there. I've been that plant.

Monica Maggio: 11:41
Oh, I just got goose... full body, full body chills hearing you describe it that way. And that it comes from this idea of, I have this expectation of what you should be, whatever the you is, right. The human, the plant. I have a limited set of skills with which to go about expressing myself, and I am going to just force them upon you, and I might not even have the skills to recognize whether or not that was harmful to you or not, whether that was beneficial to you or not. But I feel compelled, right? I feel compelled. Most people either leave the plant completely alone or they hack at it. And my clients are the people that've realized there's another way. There's another more intimate way. You know, and I really don't want to throw anybody under the bus. Like, it's very normal. I would not have a career in this line of work if it wasn't a need that many people had, and that wasn't deeply compelling. You know, I've worked with clients for over 15 years, and we basically do the same thing every year. It's a developing of skills. It's like emotional intelligence, right? It's plant intelligence. I call it getting your tree eyes on. Like, can you even see this thing? Have you even paused and observed what's going on with this plant enough to be able to understand this is the fruit bud, this is the vegetative bud, this branch is actually dead, this branch is alive. So that, that information then informs how you go about pruning this plant. Because most of the time, once you learn some of those key visual elements, you're not actually making decisions. The plant is telling you exactly how to prune it.

Candice Schutter: 13:24
I love that.

Monica Maggio: 13:25
So again, instead of me imposing and superimposing my human ideals on this plant, cause I do have needs. I would like the plant to look good. I would like the plant to thrive. I would like the plant to make fruit. It's okay that I have needs in this plant-human relationship, but it is so much more effective and powerful to take the time to be like, well, what's this plant's name? Like literally, what kind of rose is it? You got to know that it's a rose and not a camelia, right? And then like, taking a moment to check in and be like, how do you like to be pruned? We agree that, that I'm here to prune you. How do you like to be pruned though? Because every plant has a time of year that's good for pruning. It has, I call it a budget. You talked about, you had to learn that the pruning budget for those roses. Like maybe you started with pruning off maybe like 10% and then you're like, no, it needs 15%. And now, you know, that it needs like 70 to 90% of that plant needs to get pruned off every year for it to really thrive and have a lot of flowers. Oh, rose plant. You actually like really aggressive, hard pruning, like noted; and you've developed the confidence to do that. But if you were to prune your Japanese maple, that way... death, right, you would kill the Japanese maple. It still benefits from pruning, but it's worth pausing and checking in. What is your amount of pruning that is good for you? What is your budget and when? What are the conditions of this pruning relationship that are going to help you thrive? That are basically going to get us both what we need and want. Lifting just that and being like, wow, can I apply that to my relationship with my parents? You know, can I apply that to my relationship with my partner or my housemates or my clients? You know, did I take a minute, or a lifetime, to like, pause and say, I would like to do this with you, how would you like it to be done? You know, you tell me what you need and then let's do this together.

Candice Schutter: 15:24
I love this so much. The passion that you have for this is so palpable, I know it's coming through in your voice and that listeners are hearing that. And I'm so curious, if you could give us sort of the abridged diversion of, you growing up and like what led you toward this passion and where did it come from? Would you be willing to share that with us?

Monica Maggio: 15:46
Absolutely. Yeah. It's also a gift to revisit it, you know, to kind of just like, have a moment of reflection about, like, what has led to this point. Um, in general, I think I've always been a fairly like, expressive slash deeply feeling human, and it's not actually something that is shared within my immediate family. It's supported, but it's not necessarily shared. And so, there's elements to that passion that are in the genetics somewhere. You know what I mean? Like, I just came into this world of visceral... like, I would love to hug you if you're down, no matter who you are, right? It's like, let's just like, get big about it. But I think that the pieces that might've helped develop or even kind of nurture it is, I was raised with a family that loved to camp. We were outside a lot. I was a girl scout, you know, it's like being outside was preferred. To this day, I am better mentally, physically, and emotionally if I spend time outside. And that was very much allowed, encouraged. There would be times when I was in junior high where I would just disappear into the forest behind our house and just hang out and there wasn't like, there was some focus to it. It was just like, let's go see what's out there. And then as a young adult, right towards the end of my high school years, I would spend a lot of time in the front yard. Here in Portland. I grew up in Portland, amongst other places, but this particular story took place in Portland where I'm sitting out front of our house at the time, just sunning myself on the grass and we have trees and all kinds of stuff. And I remember looking down at the sidewalk in front of our house and seeing, you know, grass or some other type of weeds poking through the cracks in the sidewalk. And I remember thinking, "oh, I bet dad would appreciate if I pulled those out, if I helped a little bit pull those out." And man, oh man, Candice, at that moment, something literally just like, changed in my brain. And instead of seeing a sidewalk with pesky little weeds coming through it, I saw nature, mother earth, with this suffocating wrap of concrete pushing... like almost like fishnet tights that are too tight, I just saw it differently, and saw it as this living thing trying to push its way through this really constrictive, negative thing. And I saw the sidewalk and the driveway, and the road and these little parking strips and this, you know, there's like these chosen places where nature was allowed to peek through. And I was like, whut? And then I kind of, my vision expanded to all the roads and houses and things that are stamped on top of nature for Portland. And then almost like a light map of the United States, but instead it was this roadmap of like, oh my God, this is every city and this is every highway and we're just smothering all of these plants, and I just lost it. I bawled my eyes out. I might even start crying now thinking about it. It was so vivid; and it was such a complete shift of perspective that I would end up studying environmental studies in college. I would end up apprenticing with a landscaper to learn about how plants grow. I interned as a assistant children's garden educator. Cause at that point, I just became so hungry to understand how... maybe if I can't reverse this crazy trend that our civilization has of restricting and smothering nature, can I at least help? Like, can I at least learn? And so it, that moment really was a fork in the road. I couldn't even tell you what I was going to do instead, but it was like, well, I'm going to learn about environment and plants. And it was through college that how to be good to nature, got really funneled into how to grow food. Because I really understood that of all the environmental issues that faced us 20 years ago when I was in college and face us now still, food was a very intimate thing, right? Like, we eat everyday, everybody eats, but not everybody is going to see the Amazon rainforest. Not everybody can wrap their head around plastic trash in the ocean. You know, it's hard to wrap your head around climate change even. Like, it's hard to wrap your head around that, but you eat. We eat. So that food, you know, where did it come from? Who grew it? What was put on it? Are their chemicals being put in the soil? Are, they're not like, what are the practices? How did it get shipped to you? Who is selling it? Like our food system is a crazy mixture of environmental and social justice issues, but if that's too big and too hard for your heart and mind to really comprehend, you can start with, I eat food and I might be interested in food that tastes better and is better for me. Cause often if you get tuned into the food that is better for your body, you're going to then be purchasing probably food that has been grown in a way that is more environmentally and socially responsible. So for me, that was what college brought forth is, I didn't want to be a guilt-driven activist or an armchair activist where I just read about what other people were doing. I was like, I need this to make sense to me in my everyday life. I'm also, half Sicilian. So there's like this wanting to feed myself and feed the world, you know, there's this desire for that. So that really resonated for me in terms of the work that I wanted to do and the things that drove my curiosity. And so that's what college did is college kind of funneled that and brought out that passion. And then I would spend the beginning parts of my professional, post-college career, getting even more refined into not only how do we grow and take care of fruiting plants. But like I mentioned, I realized I wasn't hugely interested in vegetables, but very interested in these perennial fruiting, longterm plants. And then now 10, 20 years after that, I'm even more into the pruning. I've had a lot of really wonderful mentors that have really emphasized the importance of following your joy. And that... I'm going to be focused and disciplined, no matter what I do, that's just kind of my type a personality, but in order not to burn out or in order to take care of myself in the process, cause I want to still be doing this work in 5, 10, 20 years, that it was really important for me to check in with what actually gave me joy in this work. It's heart driven, but it's also just fun. Like where can the fun be found? There's so much work to do. There's no end to the need. But what can I do with joy and a certain amount of ease, you know?

Candice Schutter: 22:23
I'm appreciating how so much of what you're saying, a sense of, of trust that's implied. We've seen the cultural pruning, if you will, happen in that way that you described where things are being forced into certain shapes that aren't organic and that aren't natural. And defying the nature of something in order to make it better. And you keep coming back to this.... if we trust and we really tune into that in an honest way, not according to someone else's formula, but in an honest way, that is actually best for that which we're nurturing... the nature that we're nurturing. Nature itself is nourished when we nourish ourselves properly. When we actually, again, pause and take time to get into a relationship with our body and ask, like, are these fruit loops really serving me? Is this Red Bull really working in accordance with my nature, like...

Monica Maggio: 23:13
Is this working for me?

Candice Schutter: 23:14
If we start to ask those questions. Yeah. We create this relationship with the nature of our self that then informs our relationship with the nature around us, or vice versa.

Monica Maggio: 23:23
Well, and some of this is that, um, when I was in school, I did environmental studies. We called it ecological studies at the time. I just started school in 2000 and like, you either had to be like an eco terrorist or you had to be this martyr, right? Where there was this, like, in order to serve nature, like the answer to curing our environmental crisis was half jokingly that like all the humans just needed to disappear. And, what that does is it just ignores the fact that we are being invited and nature wants us to be in relation. And, this is something that's much more eloquently put in the book, Braiding Sweetgrass, and I am, gosh, forgetting the author's name, but she is amazing. And she asks her students, you know, how many people love nature, and they all raise their hands. You know, she teaches environmental classes. So there's like, I love nature. And then she asks, well, how many of you think nature loves you? And they all put their hands down. And there's this idea that we can only serve the role as the villain in this relationship with nature. And there are so many stories that if we look in different places and if we look to a lot of the indigenous voices that are so often left out, ignored, stamped down, there is a pattern that you see that we are allowed to be here, but we want to be here in a co-creative, not aggressive relationship with the world around us, and that we can actually play an incredibly nurturing and nourishing role. So part of what I think is hard sometimes is to understand that us as the human, we matter. And so like you as the individual, like your needs matter, your body matters, your self care matters, but it doesn't get to overwhelm or dominate. It can be in communication and in balance with the needs of whoever the other is, right? Is the other, a person... this is where the self-awareness that caring for plants can offer you, again, is directly applicable to our relationship with people, which is, many of us have realized the trap that is completely ignoring our own needs to serve others, right? A lot of us have experienced that, where you think that to be a caring and supportive partner, parent, whatever that you need to just ignore your needs and only focus on the needs of those around you. And that that is being a good, supportive person. But you will burn out, but you will get sick. And so acknowledging that it is okay, it is necessary, and it is completely possible to have your own needs met simultaneously while serving and meeting the needs of the other. So that's a lesson I need to keep learning myself, but....

Candice Schutter: 26:14

Monica Maggio: 26:15

Candice Schutter: 26:16
It's that symbiotic relationship where there's sort of, I'm getting the image of an infinity symbol in my mind where the energy's moving in both directions and is being supported in that way. And I'm sure everyone listening out there has had the experience of a functional relationship in their life where they feel that reciprocity, and they feel that sense of there's room for me here, and also I make room. And in the making room, as I am holding myself as sovereign, I'm able to be that much more supportive. This is something I've talked about in many episodes of this podcast, that ability to be self-expressed fully, and in our fullness, is actually the thing that enables us to become a container and to hold that which is coming at us without confusing ourselves with it. Suddenly we have this sense of differentiation, and we can listen because we're not identifying with every little thing that happens and comes into our field. And I love what you said, I want to repeat it because I think it's so important, that taking care of plants that we develop a self-awareness and an ability to do just that, to differentiate and understand the needs of the plant are its own. And my responsibility is to be open enough and differentiated enough to be able to be responsive to that and to listen and to create a relationship. And, I love that you mentioned the piece around the environmental culture. This is why this is such an important conversation and how it relates to personal development, which is what this podcast is about. We are by nature parasitic when we're not self-aware.

Monica Maggio: 27:46
Absolutely. Well, what isn't? What isn't?

Candice Schutter: 27:49
Exactly. That's like the nature of development. I mean, an infant actually that is growing inside of a body, the way it functions is parasitic by nature because that's how we begin. And then ideally, we evolve and we develop and we grow and we begin to understand that we can have a different kind of relationship. There's a tendency to also over-correct, if humans don't just disappear, then we can at least get out of the way and let nature do its thing. And it's like, well, there's some truth to that, but also why not nourish? Why not support? Why not become a positive force.

Monica Maggio: 28:24
Absolutely. And it's not just this pie in the sky thing. There are so many examples that if we want to find them, we can of where ecosystems thrive with human interaction, certain informed careful human interaction. There are moments where nature will thrive more than if we weren't there at all. And that's where there's a lot of, again, indigenous practices and wisdom there that we don't even... it's even new on my radar in the last 10 years, and I've been actively, you know, seeking out this kind of information and guidance. And so, you know, and I'm just really struck by like, we talk about this parasitic relationship, right? And it's like, what comes to mind is things like, there's nothing wrong with masculinity, but there is something wrong with toxic masculinity, right? There's nothing wrong with feminism, but there is something wrong with toxic feminism, right? There's nothing wrong with money, but there is very harmful ways to use it. Right. And so, again, there's nothing wrong with being a human being. There's nothing wrong with the idea that we have social and cultural norms. What is wrong though is there are versions of that that are incredibly harmful and you know, not everything we do is bad, but not everything we do is good. And are we willing to look deeper and check in and kind of analyze and audit our own impact and behaviors and really listen and take in the feedback. If the answer is no, actually this is quite harmful, it doesn't mean complete rejection. And have felt that way as a human being where I'm like, oh my gosh, I messed up, so I'm just going to go away. Like, I'm so sorry. I hurt you. I'll just leave. I'll leave now.

Candice Schutter: 30:08
Well that's what shame does it shuts the door.

Monica Maggio: 30:12
Shuts the door. It's like polarized or oversimplified and you used the word, you know, we over-correct and again, there's nothing wrong with that, but let's continue until we, like, actually get to this more co-creative place about whatever it is we're talking about, right? And I think the trust piece, I am so delighted and grateful to have you pull that out because that trust piece also is something that, I just want to be transparent, that it hasn't always been there. Um, and that it comes and goes, and there are periods in my life where I can lean in and trust more deeply. And there are times where it feels really scary because so much of it is still unknown, you know, about how do we care for plants? What is my career? Who am I like? There's still plenty of unanswered questions, you know? There's actually this video of me crying in front of a 700 year old tree in the Hoh Rainforest, that's actually part of somebody's promotional footage, but I was just so moved when I stood in front of his tree because 700 years, Candice, like 700 years, this thing was here living during the Renaissance. So, I felt in awe of this amazing living thing that has survived wars and climates that have changed. And I was like, oh my God, like, literally, this is God to me. This is, this tree is a beautiful creature in and of itself, but it's also food and home and shelter to countless thousands of other creatures. And just this idea of here's this living thing that has the capacity and endurance. And that, to me, that just relaxes me, this idea that there is something that can be that steady, that can work with change and deal with change. And so I was deeply moved. And this only happened a couple years ago, this is another place of sort of a spiritual, passionate moment, because then what happened is after that first wave of awe and gratitude was this realization that a chainsaw could bring that tree down in less than 10 minutes.

Candice Schutter: 32:28

Monica Maggio: 32:29
And then I got freaked out. And then the emotional response to that was one of feeling this deeply, like on the one hand, very strong and on the other hand, incredibly vulnerable that us as human beings, or like a giant Pacific Northwest earthquake, it could like really disturb this amazing, beautiful thing. And so, gosh, I still am processing and unpacking that experience of the dichotomy of strength and longevity with just real, tangible vulnerability, you know, and our power as human beings to wield both. It's like, so what am I going to choose then? So as the human being with a lot of choice and power, what am I going to choose?

Candice Schutter: 33:09
Yeah. Yeah. That paradox of resilience and vulnerability is something that comes up in a lot of these episodes. And that interesting relationship between embracing vulnerability and how it informs our path forward and creates this strength and resilience and fortitude down the road. And it makes me want to lean into the idea we had about you sharing how the actual methods of pruning overlap with human needs and care. Because your average gal when it comes to pruning, I think about the feelings that I have in my body when I first approached the rose bush and took off 10 to 20% because it was all I could stand. And what is that? Like, why? Because, when I trim, I'm mirroring and reflecting this sense of vulnerability. I'm creating a vulnerability in the plant, and I'm aware that I'm doing that. I'm creating a vulnerability, on purpose, to create strength and resilience and more growth down the road. And that is fascinating to me. And I'm curious to hear, when you reached out and said, let's have this conversation, you said, there's these pruning methodologies that I see overlap with self-care in such an important way. And let's look at some of those. I'm so curious.

Monica Maggio: 34:29
I am curious to have an tag team approach to that, because I feel like I'd be curious for what if I described something with the plant, what it might, you know, ignite or like noodle in you, in terms of your experience with sort of the more human side of things.

Candice Schutter: 34:43
Yeah. So fun.

Monica Maggio: 34:44
So when encountering a new plant or, you know, when you're going to try to prune something, you've never pruned before, again, it's that first bit of like, do we know what it is? You know, can we pause and at least like, say hello. And just one of the major parts of the pruning methodology that I support is make observations, not assumptions. So...

Candice Schutter: 35:08
Say that again, that's important.

Monica Maggio: 35:10
Make observations, not assumptions. It's great that you might come to this moment of pruning this plant with past experience or whatever, but like, really stop and look at this plant. Take this plant in, and before you do anything before you even pick up the tool, it's like, give it a look. Like, look at it, you know. How do the leaves look? Are there broken branches in there? Is there any dead wood in there? Get into the present moment, right? You're about to have a fairly substantial impact on this plant. Are you even present? Like, do you even know its name? So it's like slow down. Make observations, not assumptions. Be in the present moment when you prune this plant and just like any other meditation practice, the more you do it, the easier it is to like sink into that place, right?

Candice Schutter: 36:04
And I think it's worth just pausing here and saying like, what drives assumptions? Like if I'm looking at the parallel between this and human self care.

Monica Maggio: 36:14
Yeah. The assumption may be, I saw my neighbor do it this way, so I'm going to do it this way or...

Candice Schutter: 36:20
And that's, that's exactly right. So assumption is driven by story. So if you come to the plant, or yourself, and you bring a story and a narrative and you make choices based on that narrative, which is not of the moment, the narrative is about the past or your neighbor's rosebush or whatever. Again, as far as offering this as a tool, if we apply it to our own choices around how we respond to ourselves or the plant, making observations rather than assumptions, I'm looking at what I see and I'm doing everything I can to become so mindful that I'm not attaching a story to what I see.

Monica Maggio: 36:58
Yeah. I'm not letting the past totally narrate the present without actually checking in with the present, right? It's like, we're on autopilot because of some story we have, right. I'm going to prune this plant this way, because this is what I did with my grandma 40 years ago, or I'm going to do this to this plant because this is what the neighbor did, but I didn't stop and actually ask if the neighbor knew what they were doing, or I didn't ask somebody else if that was actually a good idea. I haven't observed this plant through a couple years to see if it even grew well or flowered or fruited. Like there was no connection between cause and effect, right? Action and reaction. And then understanding how do you test whether the branches are alive or not, right? Because one of the first things you're going to want to do is prune out any deadwood, because those dead branches not only are no longer serving the plant, they're no longer photosynthesizing with leaves. That deadwood is actually a place where pests and diseases could get into your plant. Like it's, it's a risk. Those are, those branches are done. Their time has come and gone. And as the human, we can actually help this plant. It's one thing if it's like a standing snag in the middle of the forest and it's decomposing and feeding insects and bugs and micro-org... That's a different thing.

Candice Schutter: 38:17
A larger ecosystem.

Monica Maggio: 38:18
That's a different thing. If this is your living rosebush or rhododendron or blueberry, that dead wood is not great. It doesn't serve the plant anymore. And so us as the humans can help by coming in and, carefully, you don't just like start tearing things off, but you want to get the dead wood out first. So, learning how to even identify what's dead versus what's still alive is a skill that most people can master. You know, you just snip the tip of the branches. If it's brown inside that part's dead. So snip a little further down. Is it green or brown? If it's green, that part's alive. Pause. If it's brown, keep snipping.

Candice Schutter: 38:55

Monica Maggio: 38:55
Right? There are ways to carefully test by making observations about the color of the branch instead of assumptions. Well, this looks dead, snip, and then you look at it and you're like, Ooh, oops.

Candice Schutter: 39:07
Yeah, been there.

Monica Maggio: 39:08
It was brown on the outside, but it's green on the inside, like, uh oh. So again, slow down, be in the present moment, make observations. And that's the first priority. Let's get rid of the things that are truly dead in our world. Like where are you still carrying around relationships, stories, self judgment, whatever it is that is just completely dead. It is not serving you. And it is actually potentially a vector for, like, negative shit to come into your world. Right? Like,

Candice Schutter: 39:37

Monica Maggio: 39:38
And some plants, man oh man, especially here in Portland, some of these Japanese Maples and some of these rhododendrons that have never been pruned or they were pruned really poorly, like 10 years ago. A lot of branches died because of the bad pruning, but no one went in and got the dead branches out. That Deadwood is blocking sunlight. It's clogging airflow. It's holding onto moisture for too long. It doesn't look good by the way, really. So that may take somebody hours to actually test and get all the deadwood out. But the awesome thing is that once it's done, it's done. It can be incredibly time consuming at the beginning, but then it's something you may never have to do again, because now you're not going to be actively harming this plant. Yeah, it's a lot of work for us to audit and excavate our emotional, relational world, but like so worth it, in that it's so freeing and beautiful and that it can serve us so well. And it, but it also, isn't going to take three minutes. It's probably going to take hours to do.

Candice Schutter: 40:44
The removing of the deadwood feels so much to me like the ongoing process of therapy, particularly if we have let's say deadwood that's related to trauma in our life. Particularly if things are all tangled and gnarled, because they've been there for so long and we have to take the time to, again, I appreciate too that the metaphor invites collaboration with individuals who have the skillsets to help us not just rip out the deadwood, but to slowly remove it and then create a new experience moving forward. And this is really, sort of, a pivotal understanding on my path and personal growth, if we do that deeper healing, and we are consciously willing to look at the dark, ugly, not so pretty deadwood pieces in us, and we, slowly and conscientiously remove them, there's this sense of... our own nature knows how to heal itself. Just like a plant knows how to grow properly and to fill in the space that we've created. And if we can just get that mucky intra-psychic energy out, if we can just clear it, that our nature will kick in and that we actually can't create the same outcome again, if we do that work. If you don't do that work and you just superficially clear that...

Monica Maggio: 42:04
Just start cutting stuff.

Candice Schutter: 42:05
But you don't really. Yeah, exactly. You can end up with the same mess of growth. I'm such an advocate for qualified trauma informed therapists and the way that they can actually change a life and how we innately, just like the plant, know what's best for us and know what nurtures us. And when we get in the way of that, it's usually because of the deadwood inside of us, asking for these toxic things that don't actually feed.

Monica Maggio: 42:32
Yes, I love that you use the term trauma because it's, it's true. Often a ton of deadwood in a plant is because of an ice storm or we had this incredibly high heat for three days here in the Pacific Northwest. And stuffed died. Like, that was trauma. That was a traumatic specific event. Or we, the human being pruned that plant in an incredibly traumatic way. So this idea that trauma leads to deadwood is, like, 100% accurate, right? And the plant does have, like we have, we do have resiliency and the ability to respond, but for example, on every single branch on every single perennial plant where two branches come together, there's this wrinkly little part called the collar, which is, we've all seen this where if that branch gets cut off right at the collar, there's this donut like growth that closes the cut. And if you make the cut in the right place, then the tree will do that as quickly as possible. But like, if there's a piece of deadwood, the collar can't close over it because it has to grow to the edge of the dead branch before it can close. So removing the dead branch is incredibly helpful to the plant because now it can just quickly start closing and protect itself from this vulnerable opening and bring closure.

Candice Schutter: 43:48
So that's the power of the observation and the skilled guidance. Yeah, why it's so important to slow down when it comes to healing and pruning. And particularly when you're dealing with trauma and the aftermath of trauma, how do I want to approach this? I need to really slow down. I need to get really curious, really present, and I need to take my time, and I need to collaborate so that I have more than one set of eyes on this, because I'm so close to it...

Monica Maggio: 44:16
Well, and again, we all learn in phases. So phase one, whenever approaching a plant is like, get all the deadwood out, and prune it out with those skilled cuts that come back to this collar, right? And there's a whole other side note of like, how do you hold your tool? Is your tool sharp? Cause if your tool is dull, it's gonna snap instead of cut, which isn't great. And is it clean? Cause you don't want to pass bacteria and fungus. You need to wash your tool with 70% rubbing alcohol before starting your pruning to make sure that you're not accidentally infecting this plant. You know, there's some care involved, right? Just best practices. And so again, it's like, well, what are the tools being used for my own personal growth? Are they in good shape?

Candice Schutter: 44:58

Monica Maggio: 44:59
And it's, again, it's not rocket science though. Like I don't want to scare anybody away where it's like, oh my God, I have to do all these things. Cause that's just going to feed the overwhelm and the stress.

Candice Schutter: 45:08
A lot of what I hear you describing really parallels with what I know to be true about emotional intelligence and how it develops. And this thing that we often call intuition, that when we develop a more informed relationship with we understand it's actually another way that our emotional intelligence shows up. And emotional intelligence is part of our human nature. Again, that's why I keep coming back to this word trust, when we learn how to listen to that and we trust it and become responsive to ourselves from that place, then it isn't rocket science anymore. It's, you have the tools to do this and your tools might be dirty because maybe they've been maligned by conditioning, or maybe your tools are dirty because you grew up in a house where people dealt with anger in an unhealthy way, or, you know, there's all these different things, but the tools live within us. And I think it's true in terms of our relationship with nature as well, and your work, just like my work. I mean, there's a big parallel in what we do is to remind people of the tools that, that already exist inside of them and in nature, and that we can learn to dialogue and get all the other crap out of the way. Being loving and present enough to allow the nature of the living thing itself to do what it needs to do in order to heal. I mean, it's just so... the parallels are uncanny.

Monica Maggio: 46:30
There are times where I would, you know, you asked me earlier, what do you do? How would you describe it? My goal, I'm going to create this container for you because I want it to be very clear that there are a few things that you always want to do. There are some things that you never want to do. And then there is a gigantic spectrum in between that's going to be defined by, what is your relationship to the plant? You know, what is your interest? How much time do you have? But I am, I am here to hold those boundaries of like, these are distinctly harmful, do not do them. But then, yes, then there's this relational middle where it can be custom or unique, or it needs to be informed by the two beings or the many beings that are sharing that space together. So I take that responsibility very seriously. I don't want to helicopter parent your experience, but I am here to say these things do not do them. Like if you were to make that pruning cut and you were to cut that collar off because you got too close or you were too fast and you ripped into that collar. You've done some damage that the plant will not recover from. That will forever be a torn, vulnerable opening. And we're going to have to make a bigger cut somewhere else to take that cut out. Even if you didn't mean it, that was a harmful thing that just happened and it has its consequences. So I love when I get my own guidance and support, you know, people that I learn horticulture from, or my therapist, or my mentors, I can relax so much when they hold that boundary of like, always, never, and then play in this middle space, like explore this middle space. But the way I do not teach is do this, then do this, then do this, and then repeat everywhere you go. That's that doesn't allow for the nuances and individuality of different plants. And you know, this blueberry bush might even be different from this blueberry bush, you still want to stop and observe.

Candice Schutter: 48:32
That's the tricky part. Yeah. That's the tricky part. I wish that the parallel was so strong that there were a list of five nevers, and a list of five always that apply to personal development in really predictable way.

Monica Maggio: 48:46

Candice Schutter: 48:47
And that's, I'm really glad you brought that up because as I'm moving in the direction I'm moving in, away from conventional coaching to this more nuanced relationship with the complexity of what we're dealing with when it comes to human choice and human behavior and all the systemic variables and just there's so many factors and that we live in a culture that wants to be able to apply, you know, the top five things to do, the top five things not to do, and that somehow it's going to land us in this easy-peasy place. When in fact those five things change all the time for us as humans. The nevers and the always that worked 10 years ago for me don't work at all now. And yet they are helpful. You're right. Like it reminds me a little bit of those buffers they put in the lanes of bowling alleys...

Monica Maggio: 49:35
Yeah, bumper bowling.

Candice Schutter: 49:35
so the bowling ball doesn't go... yeah, bumper bowling. So that the ball doesn't go in the gutter. It's really helpful to have those and like training wheels, they're like floaties in the swimming pool. And this is where I think the arena of self-help can be really wonderful because it provides the training wheels and it provides the floaties so that people can get a breath. They can get themselves up above water. And so when we're first reaching for guidance that we need these parameters in order to help us play in that middle ground, otherwise it just feels like this nebulous, like where do I even start kind of thing. And in a way, I guess I'm envisioning, and this is probably true in the work that you do too, we have the list of always do and the list of never dos, and then we have this space in the middle and as we grow in our relationship to ourself and our relationship to the life around us that we're supporting, that middle ground gets larger and larger and larger. I'm really struck by one of the points you had on the list: "Most trees have a budget of how much pruning is healthy for them in a year and too much can be very destructive." I want you to speak to this and then I want to circle back to how it parallels with when we're on a path of self-development and growth, how there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I know that there's a lot there that I could say. And I'm so curious to hear what nature has to say about it first.

Monica Maggio: 50:57
What nature has to say. Yeah. I mean, there's a lot of times where I have found there's the like horticultural academic way of talking about stuff. And then I create these Monica-isms that are, for me, honestly, just easier and more...

Candice Schutter: 51:11
Way more fun, too.

Monica Maggio: 51:13
Way more fun, well and frankly, just more memorable, right? And at this point I'm not the only person at all that uses this term budget. There's this reality that different plants need and want different amounts of pruning every year. And we've talked a little bit about this in the sense that, you know, your rosebush thrives when you prune it back hard, when you cut off 70 to 90%. So whatever you started with, you're cutting it way, way back. Grapevines or Kiwi vines, those are other plants where they do really well when you prune a whole bunch off of them, every year. Not just once, it wants it every year. But then there are plants, that if you prune more than 10% off them in a year, it's a traumatic experience. I'll use a fruit tree as an example. So if you have an apple tree and if you prune off more than 30%, what's going to happen is that you kind of send this message that you're trying to kill the plant. And the plant is going to respond by trying to survive. And the way that trees survive is through photosynthesis. They have leaves that photosynthesize and that creates energy so that they can grow. And if say, you've cut 50% off this apple tree, it's literally like, oh my God, I'm going to die. It is going to stop putting energy into reproduction. It's going to stop putting energy into apples, right? Because apples are the reproductive part of the plant, their seeds inside those apples. Just like any other creature, if it is just trying to survive, it is not time to reproduce. That energy needs to go into keeping the parent plant alive. So what you've done by pruning 50% off that apple tree is you're going to stimulate a bunch of brand new branches so that that tree can replace all of those solar panels, all of those leaves so that it can create enough energy to survive. So if we prune too much off the apple tree, it's going to grow a bunch of crazy growth back. And then often what people will do is prune it all off again, and then it'll grow a bunch right back. And so we get into this fistfight with the apple tree, right? We prune, it grows, we prune it grows and both the human and the tree are completely stressed out because neither of them are getting what they want. The person isn't getting apples, probably because they're cutting off too many branches. And it's this stressful ongoing cycle. If you left it completely alone though, and you didn't prune it at all, then branches might grow really long and they might be weak and they might crack or snap under the weight of the fruit. The fruit might be tiny and not very well formed. Like the, again, this is a way in which there's this beautiful symbiotic relationship where I can help the tree by pruning it so that it has strong fruitful branches with lots of good sunlight and airflow, but not so much that I stress it out. That's not just trees, that's apple tree, right. There's a uniqueness to each plant.

Candice Schutter: 54:12
Exactly. Which is true of each human. And what is problematic about so many formulaic approaches... when you sign up for that program or that course, or that whatever and, you know, there's 150 other people in it, and it doesn't work for you the same way it worked for your neighbor. You're a different plant. You're a different organism. You have different needs and desires. And it's the reason why, in future episodes, I'm going to be exploring toxic social environments in sort of a personal growth arenas and how certain outcomes are created in certain environments. And how, one of the things that can be so maddening about exploring these types of environments is how two people or a group of people can all be in the same environment, and it's toxic for one person and not so much for another. And I feel that what you just described in terms of this budget, in terms of how we each have a different makeup in terms of how we grow and what serves us, a hard prune might work for so-and-so and not so much for this other person. And when you apply systematic ideologies to individuals, you often get a bunch of different outcomes and one individual might thrive and another one might have a traumatic experience. And we need to be mindful of that, not just in terms of our social environments, but in terms of how we care for ourselves and understand, you know, it may be true that my friend Sally gets up every morning and does Ashtanga yoga for an hour and a half at five o'clock. And that it really serves her. And that might in fact, completely blast my body in a way that doesn't serve me. It just, it might not be right for me that there's no... there is no formula. It's about having these informed relationships and that beautiful and tricky middle ground between being curious and getting the right information and then having an intuitive interaction with something that is living, breathing, growing. And I think, if I looked at the rose bush, for example, and how I barely cut anything off for a while until I really get, you could probably lay out my relationship with my rose bushes over the last 10 years and my path of therapy, and you could find all of these through lines and how I did it and what ended up eventually working. But we have to be willing to experiment with ourselves to even learn who we are and how we respond as an organism to these different approaches and listen and trust the feedback that we get instead of second-guessing it and saying, but this is what works. I call bullshit on that. If it's not working for you, it doesn't work.

Monica Maggio: 56:54
May I circle us back observations instead of assumptions, like that is what I hear you describing.

Candice Schutter: 57:00

Monica Maggio: 57:00
Not to oversimplify, but to just be like, what, what the constant invitation is, even about yourself: are you making observations or assumptions, right? If you're assuming that, because this works for somebody else, it should be working for you or, and we're also, we pass through ages and stages of our life, right? So it's like, you may need a lighter touch...

Candice Schutter: 57:21

Monica Maggio: 57:22
where in the past you needed a much heavier hand, or vice versa, it might be because something was so new, you needed just the smallest change was the biggest thing to respond to. Whereas now you might be more attuned to those, and so you can handle that 20, 30, 50% of change in your world. Because that's what it is. When you're pruning a plant, you have just completely changed its physical body. Are we surprised that it might have some feelings about it? You know, like you have radically changed this plant's shape, and did you have the plant's permission? For me, the budget is, do you consent? Does this sound good to you? And do you consent to this change? Like I agree that there's for humans, there's a little less maybe of this always and never, but I personally feel like one of my always's that I try to really honor is always ask, right? Ask. Ask myself, ask person, like, don't just go. You know, can I give you a hug right now? Like you could probably hug me anytime and I would be fine, but I do appreciate when somebody is like, Hey, would it be okay to hug? Or would you like a hug right now? Because then not only do I get the hug, but I get the autonomy of saying yes. For me, if I can really try to commit to the always ask. And then also there's certain things, you know, physical violence feels like that's mostly, always a never. And again, I know they're buzzwords. I know, like along with should that always and never and shoulds are very, like, red flags.

Candice Schutter: 58:55
There's also the limitations of human language. Well, it's funny that we're using the words never and always because people who listen to my podcast know that one of my personal mantras is never always. I string them together because I've really learned in my life, you know, when I get dogmatic about something, then life sweeps in and says, oh yeah, you think so, huh? Here's an exception for you. So with that withstanding, like there's an asterisk next to what we're saying. And at the same time, the always ask, never force in terms of guardrails, pretty damn important. I'm just going to always ask, I'm going to simplify this. And also when there's a resistance to change always ask why not get curious and say, why not?

Monica Maggio: 59:40
Tell me more.

Candice Schutter: 59:41
Why not? Tell me more. And that, to me, is just another way of saying never force. If we're willing to ask then we're not forcing. In every moment, to stay really curious and to trust the feedback that we're getting and to be responsive to it. It's like a muscle, when we care for a plant in the ways that you're describing, we are engaging a muscle that we can then use when we care for our child, or our aging mother-in-law, or ourselves, and that you teach people how to work that muscle in a way that's really accessible and is less scary than, hey, let's sit down and talk about your self-care practice. This is a really wonderful doorway in, using the relationship with a living, breathing plant to help people to learn this language.

Monica Maggio: 1:00:35
And I love that description. You describing it as this muscle, like this muscle memory that you build up over time that, you think it's about caring for the plant, right? What you're doing though, meanwhile, is building those skills, building that muscle memory that you may not even be conscious of when it pops up in other places, in your personal world. Right? Again, is it your relationship with self and self-awareness? Is it your relationship with others? And that active listening, that slowing down. Have I been curious enough about the other to understand what things are helpful versus harmful to them? Like, am I observing those cues? And the thing is you don't have to be Sherlock. You can ask, right. Is this helpful? Is this working? How does this feel when I do this or say this? That's where it's kind of nice to work with humans that can talk to you back. But like the plants over time do tell you. They will show you, right. You said, at the very beginning of this conversation, that within three weeks of your hard pruning, you can see without a doubt that this plant is like, hell yeah, thank you. Right? You don't have to guess, because now you have the observation skills for that particular plant where there isn't a question anymore. You're just like, I got the immediate feedback and that will build my confidence, not to an egoic level where now we're just going to force things. But in a like, ah!

Candice Schutter: 1:02:02

Monica Maggio: 1:02:05
And that's what I love, after a day of working with the plants, I can look around and just be like this. This is what I did. There's a sense of groundedness and a sense of impact and then to come back year after year and to hear from the client, oh, best grape harvest we've had in the 10 years we've lived here. At the end of the day, it's not about what I tell you to do. It's about, is there obvious thriving? What I do doesn't matter unless it has actually helped. And what I love is that, unlike human beings, where sometimes we will never know the impact that we have, I can revisit this plant every day, every month, every year. And I can visually confirm whether my efforts have had a negative or positive impact on this plant. And it is so grounding, and it is so magical. And it is also incredibly humbling that you can help make wonderful things happen. That's where the passion is. I can trust that what I am doing is having the positive impact and the heart centered impact that I hope it would.

Candice Schutter: 1:03:14
How beautiful that you get to see literal life emerge. I mean, how cool is that? And what I brought to this relationship helped to create this outcome. And I matter, an opportunity to matter and make a measurable difference. Again, as we circle back to the indigenous traditions and... talk about paving over something that is holy... This real sense of... you're looking for meaning in all the wrong places, my dear. You're looking to matter in all these ways, and it's right there underneath your thumb. Stick your hands in the dirt and I'll show you what you're capable of being a part of. If you humble yourself, you can understand how powerful you really are.

Monica Maggio: 1:03:55
Powerful. It is a very embodied, empowering thing. I need it. There's so many things that we feel powerless. Whether you want to pick environmental issues, social, emotional traumas that are happening as we speak. There are a lot of ways to feel disempowered, small, and meaningless. And what I love is that, there's a window over here and literally four inches outside that window is a place where I can have a positive, meaningful impact on living things.

Candice Schutter: 1:04:22
The elemental truths that are revealed through nature around what the sensation of that is. I mean, you know, I've been a body practitioner for years. It's like, if we can't feel it in our bodies, then it's not real. It's just an idea. And so when we have this tangible experience of everything we've just talked about and it's super granular. I didn't even mean that literally, but it is literally granular. I mean, what better medicine is that? So I'm just beyond grateful that you came here and it's really powerful work that you're doing it. Your clients are so blessed to have you as a resource. Not only because of all your knowledge, but because of the way you understand how this serves the whole ecosystem, including them.

Monica Maggio: 1:05:10
Including them.

Candice Schutter: 1:05:11
It's just so beautiful.

Monica Maggio: 1:05:13
Thank you. It's wonderful to hear that. To find other colleagues that know that that is important, that this heart-centered, body-centered relationship, connection-centered approach has meaning and is valuable, it's incredibly nourishing to me because you can kind of feel like this completely, somewhat bonkers person out there being like, but this matters. So it is... I am so grateful to chat with you as well. And to just be like, ah, Candice, Candice can see it. I'm not crazy. She can see it, too.

Candice Schutter: 1:05:48
Yeah. If you are, it's the best kind of crazy. That's my kind of crazy. I'm all about it. Thank you so much for doing this.

Monica Maggio: 1:05:58
Thank you so much, Candice. Have a wonderful day.

Candice Schutter: 1:06:01
You too. Bye-bye. A big shoutout to Monica for educating all of us and, frankly, for showing me such a good time. I so appreciate her remarkable ability to translate a deep love of nature into a relational language that we can all understand. If you wanna reach Monica directly, you can find her at corehomefruit.com and join me in following her on Instagram @corehomefruit. Alright, my loves. That's it for us. Thanks, as always, for tuning in and I'll see you next time on The Deeper Pulse. If you can get your hands in the dirt today and keep on moving toward what moves you. Big love, as always. Caio.

© The Deeper Pulse, Candice Schutter