Love Your Tree

An arts-based program for people of all ages focused on cultivating self-compassion, body acceptance and mental well-being.

The Who, What, When & Where

Who Can Participate?
Anyone and everyone. You can choose to participate as an individual or host an event for community. Love Your Tree (LYT) is a great way for individuals, families, schools, colleges, social organizations, or professional groups to cultivate mental wellbeing through creativity, community connection and self-reflection.

How Much Time Do I Need? 
Love Your Tree activities can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2+ hours. The length is up to you: if you’d like to go through all the prompts, or just some, and how much time you want to dedicate to your art.

Does ERC Pathlight Facilitate Love Your Tree? 
This program is designed for anyone to use, anywhere at any time. We want to empower you and/or your community to use this independently. With that, we’re here to support if needed! Contact us at [email protected] with questions.

What Tools Do I Need?
An open mind and your favorite art supplies (pencil, paint, collage materials, etc.). Everything else can be downloaded here at no-cost.

Step By Step

Ready to get started? Follow our guide to get involved with Love Your Tree.


Email us at [email protected]. We want to hear from you! Whether you’re an individual artist with questions about a submission or you’re a teacher or group leader looking to implement a LYT Workshop. You can also download our FAQs.

  • Step 1: Download the program pack

    The Program Packs contain resources and activities to help you learn about the Love Your Tree themes and provide you with important information about participating. Complete the activities on your own or host a Love Your Tree workshop for your school or organization to get involved. Love Your Tree is flexible and adaptable to almost any setting or situation.

  • Step 2: Have fun creating an original piece of art that celebrates who you are.

    Use the activity sheets and other Love Your Tree resources to inspire your answer to the phrase, “Like a tree, I am…” and then start creating! You might choose to paint, sing, write, build, draw or film your creation – all forms of art are welcome. Artwork can be created individually or during group workshops, classes or other gatherings.

  • Step 3: Submit your art and have a positive impact!

    Love Your Tree entries will be added to the virtual gallery and showcased for all to enjoy. Remember…Artwork is a broad term that includes ANY application of your creativity and imagination! Entries may include art in all its forms. Download the FAQ sheet for details about how to submit different types of art. Submissions are featured in the Love Your Tree Gallery!

  • Step 4: Share the Love.

    The most important part of Love Your Tree is that the message can be shared with others. Be sure to share about your artwork and the gallery on social media using the hashtag #LoveYourTree!

    Individuals can also spread their own and Leaves of Inspiration messages directly with these shareable cards.  

Downloadable Materials

Find everything you need to get involved here.

Sharing Your Art

Like trees in a forest: we are strong, resilient and unique. We are always growing. We are interconnected.  
How will you express this metaphor through your art? We can’t wait to see!

Love your tree submission

The Roots of the Love Your Tree Program

Trees are a universal symbol for growth, resilience, strength and the beauty of individual differences. Just like humans, every tree a forest is unique. Yet, trees remain connected to one another and the world around them in powerful ways. Through participation in the Love Your Tree (LYT) Program, people of all ages are encouraged to explore this metaphor of trees to self and community, and to share their creative interpretations of it.

In the past, LYT has focused on highlighting body diversity and has helped thousands of participants use art to embrace body acceptance for themselves and others. However, LYT is growing in new and wonderful ways We now extend beyond body image to overall individual and community mental wellness making room for more inclusion and diversity of all mental health journeys.

Love Your Tree encourages themes of acceptance and gratitude for human diversity, and the many ways in which we heal and grow stronger through connection with others.

Ready to Share Your Art?

Get involved and share your artwork with our community!

Sharing your finished artwork to the Virtual LYT Gallery can inspire or encourage someone else. We empower you to share your art when you are ready! 

There are two ways to submit your art for display.

Love Your Tree Submission Form

  • 1 Information
  • 2 Upload
  • 3 Complete

Resources + Further Reading

  • Articles
  • Books + Podcasts
  • Poems
    • "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer begins: "I think that I shall never see, A poem lovely as a tree."
    • “Advice from a tree” by Ilan Shamir

    Dear Friend,
    Stand Tall and Proud
    Sink your roots deeply into the Earth
    Reflect the light of a greater source
    Think long term
    Go out on a limb
    Remember your place among all living beings
    Embrace with joy the changing seasons
    For each yields its own abundance
    The Energy and Birth of Spring
    The Growth and Contentment of Summer
    The Wisdom to let go of leaves in the Fall
    The Rest and Quiet Renewal of Winter
    Feel the wind and the sun
    And delight in their presence
    Look up at the moon that shines down upon you
    And the mystery of the stars at night.
    Seek nourishment from the good things in life
    Simple pleasures
    Earth, fresh air, light
    Be content with your natural beauty
    Drink plenty of water
    Let your limbs sway and dance in the breezes
    Be flexible
    Remember your roots
    Enjoy the view

  • Songs
  • Quotes

    “… when you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”  — Ram Dass, On Self Judgment

    “Storms make trees take deeper roots.” -Dolly Parton

    “One day when you wake up, you will find that you have become a forest. You have grown roots and found strength in them that no one thought you had. You have become stronger and more beautiful, full of life giving qualities. You have learned to take all the negativity around you and turn it into oxygen for easy breathing. A host of wild creatures live inside you and you call them stories. A variety of beautiful birds rest inside your mind and you call them memories. You have become an incredible self sustaining thing of epic proportions. And you should be so proud of yourself, of how far you have come from the seeds of who you used to be.” – Nikita Gill, You Have Become a Forest

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