I love this image of this tree. The beautiful colors, at first, captured my attention. I love the vibrant cool purple in the trunk and roots, contrasted with the warm autumn colors of the leaves. Upon deeper reflection, I also noticed the mirror image of the roots and the foliage – the roots actually go deeper and spread farther into the ground than the tree grows tall and the foliage spreads out. The deep roots allow this tree to withstand the changing seasons and display such colorful leaves. It occurred to me that a tree with shallow roots, probably produces brittle, dull brown leaves that fall to the ground early in the season. Deep roots indicate grounded-ness. Grounded trees produce stable textured trunks and colorful fall foliage, one of the best gifts of this season.
How's the pace of your life this Fall? Are you zipping along, hardly even noticing the changing leaves because of the busyness? Like trees, there is a lot more to who we are that is hidden, not visible to others and even hidden from us as well. What kinds of practices help ground you and feel your feet firmly meeting the earth? Taking space to explore our inner life reveals who we are in mind, body and spirit. Mind-body practices like yoga, contemplation, centering prayer and meditation cultivate a deep sense of grounded-ness – giving us space to renew our energy, know who we are, what we are called to say yes and no to and pace our lives accordingly. Like trees with deep healthy roots, we gain a sense of stability and ease. We can let go of stress, become clearer in our mind, and more available to ourselves and the people we love.
We tend to think that such practices as yoga or meditation are optional or a luxury, something to add in to our lives if we can find the time. We tend to believe and act like we can only discover ourselves through doing as if we will find ourselves out there in the world somewhere. But, I believe that contemplative practices are actually essential to the health of our lives. I am reading The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery by David Benner. A tree becomes more fully a tree when it's roots grow deeply into the ground. Benner looks to Jesus as an example to follow. In the gospels, Jesus demonstrated a rhythm of solitude and active life. As a result, Benner says, "Jesus knew he was loved whether or not he felt it. His identity was grounded in God". It is also Jesus who says, "Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest".
Do you have any regular practices of slowing down in your life? How's it going? Looking for support to develop a practice that helps you be grounded and cultivate deep nurturing roots that produce stability and beauty in your life? Schedule a session and I'll meet you on the mat!