Cultivating Roots That Hold!

This article appeared in the March 2005 issue of Spirited Solutions’ E-Newsletter.

Recently, a tree fell in my yard. Yes, a tall, thirty-foot White Pine decided to find its final resting place in my back yard. I had returned from a hard but satisfying day of volunteer work with AIDS and cancer patients, and there it was – – completely uprooted from the earth with its top branches resting precariously in the limbs of another tree.

I was lucky — and grateful — it didn’t smash my house. I was even more grateful for what that tree had to teach me.

You see, I had been going through a major upheaval in my personal life. A relationship that I thought would last forever had suddenly gone sour, and I was trying to salvage some degree of faith in the face of a huge betrayal.

I was trying to salvage my belief that even when we feel hurt and our positive expectations are exploded, each of us still has the Divine Spark within! We are each redeemable, no matter what we have done to others and to ourselves. (And the reality is that anything we do to others we are doing to ourselves. Try that on for a Golden Rule.)

That pine, uprooted, leaning on its neighbor, was a poignant reminder to me that upheaval always brings a blessing in its aftermath. The tree reminded me that when we feel most vulnerable, when the perennial carpet has been pulled out from under us, we need to identify what nourishes us and DO IT! We need to ask ourselves, What and who helps me feel rooted, grounded, and centered? Then we need to take action.

There’s an anonymous saying, “Every flower must grow through dirt..” Where’s the dirt in your life? Perhaps there’s a speck here or there, or perhaps you feel like you’re living in a veritable landfill. The point is, that dirt is just fodder. It’s fertilizer. And it’s necessary to the growth of the bulb that is your authentic self, burgeoning forth.

Thank you, God, for dirt! Thank you, Spirit, for my problems, my pain, my suffering. Thank you, God, for helping me cut away the dead wood in my life.
We, like trees, need nourishment and strong roots to grow. The problem with the pine in my back yard was that only one-half of its roots were strong. Those roots simply couldn’t hold the tree up by themselves.

In which areas are your roots weak? What do you need to strengthen in your life to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled? Take this short self-assessment to determine what needs some pruning or TLC. Be honest about where you are, and check only those statements that apply, or generally apply, to you.
Quick Self Assessment

___ I have a daily spiritual practice of meditation, prayer, journaling, or stillness that helps me listen to my authentic self.

___ I am part of a group or community in which I feel loved, supported, accepted, and appreciated. (This could be a church, a team, a civic organization, a non-profit, etc.)

___ I have at least three dear friends who would visit me in the hospital if I had an emergency, and at least one family member who stands by me through thick and thin.

___ My work relationships with colleagues, clients, and associates are strong and supportive, and I enjoy what I do for a living.

___ I get at least thirty minutes of energetic exercise three times per week.

___ I treat my body to a therapeutic massage, a steaming bath, or a soak in the Jacuzzi, etc. at least every other week. I know my body must feel good or I can’t perform well.

___ Sleeping at least seven hours per night is the norm for me, and I let my body rest when it needs to. I am not afraid to power-nap!

___ I use positive self-talk and affirmations to re-program my mind, and I treat myself like my own best friend and supporter.

___ I take advantage of programs and seminars that enhance my life and put me in touch with the creative genius and natural problem-solver within me.

___ Regular time spent with a coach, counselor, or mentor keeps me moving forward in my life with grace, awareness, and positive results.

Spirited Solutions™ is here to help you grow your roots deep, to know who you are, and to become who you want to be! Together let’s root out any obstacles to your success and peace of mind!

When change and upheaval strike, know that as Claude McDonald wrote, “Storms make trees take deeper roots.”