Friday, June 19, 2015

Always Stay Rooted

I went to a meditation class earlier this week.

I've never been much for meditation, because....well the long and short of it is that my attention span is dismal, and my body doesn't like to sit still. These are actually the exact reasons my mama homeschooled me for kindergarten and half of first grade. Ha. Some things never change. (But really, those homeschool days of reading books, practicing math, learning to write and watching Shining Time Station may have been the best semesters of my life. I also think I went through a phase where I built villages out of mud in the backyard? Did I dream this? It feels real.)

Wow I rambled way off track. Which I guess proves my point about the dismal attention span. I'M JUST LIVING MY TRUTH

So this meditation thing I attended. It was different than other meditation, because it was less about being still and quieting the mind, and more about love/kindness. I actually think it is technically called "loving kindness meditation." The instructor talked us through various things, from learning to love ourselves by looking at ourselves the way someone who loves us looks at us, to taking positive feelings toward someone we love and directing them at someone we have difficulty with. I liked those parts.

At one point, the instructor said something that stuck with me...

"Always stay rooted."

Honestly, I couldn't tell you what the context of that statement was for her. But it stuck out to me and got me thinking about roots. And planting myself.

I think we all know how it feels to wander a bit. We all know how it feels to lose our footing sometimes, whether it's because we stumble or because the rug gets ripped out from under us. These things happen.

So how do we stay rooted? For me, it means a few things. The people I care about are my anchors, for starters. My constants when nothing else feels permanent or constant. Then I have some basic principles/beliefs that I can stay rooted in, also, like "be kind" and "be honest" and "be dependable" and stuff like that. The simple truths.

I don't think your roots have to be a physical thing. I don't think they have to apply to one specific age range, either. For some people, those childhood years in their town/city of choice are great roots. For other people, the very best thing you could possibly do for yourself is forget that plot of land and start fresh.

It reminds me of Forrest Gump (oh how I love that movie) and how his friend Jenny grew up in an abusive home. Jenny didn't need those roots. Jenny needed to bulldoze that mother effer to the ground. Which, she eventually (literally) did. You see what I mean?

I also think you can pick and choose pieces of memories to be part of your roots, and abandon others. There are some places/times/relationships in my life that feed my soul in some ways and simultaneously cripple me in other ways. I'm always working on how to hang on to the good without letting the bad sour those experiences for me.

Whatever your roots are.....wherever your roots are, if it's a where....dig 'em deep. Hang on to something. And like little plants that outgrow their plastic starter containers, never forget that it's ok to uproot yourself if necessary and move on to a better environment. (See here.) You can settle in tightly and grow from there.

But the point is, do some settling. Invest yourself. Anchor yourself down into something and make it clear to yourself, and the people around you, that you're staying put for the things that matter most. I think there's real power in that.

...these pretties are from my kitchen. All but one are dead now. Aren't succulents supposed to be the sturdiest plants of all? Chronic gray thumb over here...

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