Roots Before branches
“The path of awakening is not about becoming who you are. Rather it is about unbecoming who you are not.” -Albert Schweitzer
Sometimes, we confuse our life situation with who we are as unique individuals. A life situation may include your job, relationships, hobbies, finances, temporary feelings and so much more. But just like a tree, these things are merely the flowers, leaves or branches that can change, evolve and even disappear over time. Instead, who we are at the core is more like the roots and foundation that lies beneath the surface. This is where the TRUTH lies as to who we are as rare and special beings. However, we often get so caught up on those things that we see on a daily basis, that we forget what has been underneath the surface the whole time.
So instead of getting distracted with the changing colors of the leaves, outreaching and growing branches, blooming flowers and visitor insects just on the surface, we must choose to free ourselves from these temporary pieces and focus on watering the roots. The more we focus on our foundation, the more our singular trees at the surface level begins to represent our inner TRUTH.
Connect to your roots with this simple exercise:
- Ask a close friend, co worker or your partner to complete this exercise with you.
- On a piece of paper, each of you should write 8-15 words that best describes the other person from your point of view and do the same for yourself.
- Once you have completed the exercise, read it out loud to one another and compare notes.
Keep in mind that each person has her/his own way of describing things. So if you are unsure what something means, just talk about it. This exercise is meant to reveal not only how others view you and how you view yourself, but also if your true self or roots are actually visible to others. If you notice that the other person completing the exercise with you is able to replicate similar words or feelings in description, then you may feel like you are living from a place of truth. However, if you notice that this person is describing just the surface you, then maybe it is time for some work.
So if you are struggling to reveal your true self to others (or even yourself), there are many helpful actions to feed your roots and bring your truth up to the surface. activities can also enhance the existence of those of you who already feel like you are living authentically by helping maintaining balance and nourishment in your life.
Meditate: Find an app. Join a class. Turn on the tube. There are numerous ways to take time to connect and meditate. You just have to find what works best for you!
In an eight week study of new meditators in 2011, researchers found that brain volume enhanced in regions involved in mind wandering, self relevance, learning, memory, emotional regulation, compassion, empathy, perspective and more. Additionally the study revealed that the region involved in fear, stress and anxiety actually decreased. Source.
Journal: Taking time to reflect, visualize and write down your innermost thoughts and feelings can be extremely therapeutic and revealing. So grab pen and paper and make it tangible.
Nature: Medical professionals, psychotherapists and scientists world-wide support that mental and emotional health can be greatly improved by simply taking time outdoors in nature. So strap on some comfortable shoes and join mother nature for a special experience for just you.
Writer Florence Williams discusses the need for nature and how it impacts the brain and thus the body based on scientific evidence and experience in her article, The Nature Cure.
Go Solo: Being alone allows one to disconnect from the continual stimulation of the world around in order to reconnect to what is within. Whether you go for a walk, take a long bath or just sit down to drink some coffee-take time to just be.
There are so many ways to water your roots. What works for you?
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey