From the Root Up…
I have always loved spring time. It is the light at the end of a dark, cold winter. Winter feels to be the time of hibernation. But now that spring has sprung- people are outside running and biking, barbeques and get togethers are happening, restaurant patios are full. It stays light later. The energy is uplifting and full.
This is my first year with a garden and yard to landscape. I have literally never planted a flower in my life. And although I’m excited for the end result- for it to look beautiful, radiant, colorful, and manicured- I have found myself overwhelmed on where to start.
The idea of planting flowers is a beautiful metaphor for a very important process in life and something we can’t avoid- change.
It is so easy, and incredibly reinforced in our society to attach ourselves to external things to fix internal problems. Buy a bigger house, new car, new outfit, get into a new relationship, use sex, drugs or alcohol, get a new haircut- all of these can make us temporarily feel better, like we got life figured out and it’s all going to be ok. Immediate gratification.
Which works, until you come down off the high- the drugs or alcohol lead to hangover, there is no money left, you get a divorce, you lose someone close to you. Life is full of unexpected turns, and in a matter of an instant, all that you know now could change.
And that’s scary. When you gain security from external (and ultimately) fleeting things- appearances, image, materials, schedules, roles- once that changes, it can pull the rug right out from under you.
This is a huge source of anxiety, and why we all desperately work to “stay in control”. If we can follow the straight line of the “shoulds,” we can decrease the likelihood of change or devastation. So we believe. And often from this very fear based approach, our world gets more and more limited. You take less risks, stay in an unhealthy or unhappy relationship, don’t pursue the job of your dreams- ultimately give up on life, because life is full of unknown.
This is where depression and anxiety manifest from. A state of living in fear. We tune out the childlike responses- joy, connection, love, excitement, spontaneity- because those don’t fit.
We want the beautiful garden, but we just want to place the bulbs into the dirt and have them grow non-stop; never withering or dying. That’s comfortable.
But we can’t have blossoming flowers without digging in the dirt and planting the roots. You must get a little dirty to see the beauty.
We only see half of the picture when looking at a flower. We see the beautiful petals- but we miss the roots underneath- without which, it would not exist.
Flowers get beat down by the elements- wind, rain, hail, snow (in Colorado that is)- and only the ones with the strongest foundation and roots may weather the storm.
If you are unhappy with your current situation, you must go beyond the surface level and commit to uprooting your old thoughts and reseed with thoughts and beliefs that help you live your best, most fulfilling life.
Although there is a place for external joys and attachment- it is not the whole picture. Do not forget to nurture, water and maintain a positive root system– honoring your physical and emotional well-being.
Commit to your passions and don’t let fear get in the way. Bring gratitude into every day. Choose love not fear, openness instead of resistance, and acceptance instead of control.
What you reap is based on the seeds you sow.
Deep, strong roots help you to find emotional resilience and not be weighed down or held back by the demanding challenges life presents.