Sometimes I feel like a tumbleweed blowing in the wind — being blown this way and that, dictated by the wind patterns, never fully feeling that I have sure footing.
I consider myself to be a pretty well-rounded, self-assured individual, so feeling like a tumbleweed is not a lovely feeling for me. However, being a tumbleweed isn’t due to my lack of roots. Life does not currently hold any solid ground, as we continue to face this world-wide pandemic, constantly hearing about disastrous acts of racism and gun violence. We are faced with existential worry as too many people in power vote unequal and unfair laws into office. This, unfortunately, is only a small collection of the issues that prevail today that may make finding solid ground more difficult.
But as I tumble and tumble, I have found myself asking: ‘what’s wrong with me that I can’t get a grasp and feel secure?’.
While of course I have my (many) flaws that make grounding myself (or remembering to ground myself) more challenging, it is crucial to remember to talk kindly to myself and remind myself that I am but a small piece of a very complex, grander universe that is playing an active role in my constant tumbling.
While this is all true, we are also the center of our universe — we have to be. And we all deserve to feel stable and secure, even while the winds of the universe at large continue to blow.
Spring time is a time of renewal, re-birth, and uncovering ourselves after the long, cold winter. We may feel timid or unsure — just like the tentative now-blooming bulbs — but we won’t let this unsureness hold us back.
We deserve to step out and feel the sun warming our cheeks, the smell of hope as it wafts off the lilacs, the winter daphnes, and the daffodils. Springtime brings mud — a visual reminder that it’s okay to get messy. Mud is a part of growth and it’s a sign of recent rain, which only brings nutrients to our ever-growing flowers. We may slip and fall — but a fall can be seen as just another opportunity to reflect on one’s self, and to understand how to get back up.
With severe winds, trees and other plants hold strong due to their deeply established roots. We only see what is above the soil but their sense of strength and resilience lies below the dirtline. We need to tend to our roots so that the gusts of unexpected wind or the constant billowing coastal wind patterns don’t uproot us.
So, how do you fortify your own roots?
Instilling daily practices (no matter what size) can help ground us in our body, our present moment and can make the ever changing weather patterns seem more manageable. We need to work towards not being our own biggest enemies but instead work to be our biggest cheerleaders.
Perspective helps me recognize that I am not a tumbleweed by nature but rather I easily get caught in the bustle of society. I don’t like being a tumbleweed, so I have had to reorganize my thoughts and daily routines to be able to feel more grounded even as emotional events are overwhelming me. Taking myself out of my immediate headspace offers an outlet to look into my thoughts with a fresh mindset.
For instance I may be like: “I am a disappointment, I am lazy and unproductive”, but if I can hit pause and think for instance ‘What actual benefit am I bringing myself or others by talking so nasty to myself?’ I can see a clear answer: none. This line of questioning makes it easier to stop, therefore halting the negative bombardment of thoughts I throw at myself.
While this may seem wacky, stay with me: if I am being particularly hard to myself and unable to recognize my successes (therefore only seeing my weaknesses), I try to get into the perspective of one of my indoor plants or my dog, knowing that they wouldn’t be thriving as well as they do without my constant presence, love, support and attention. This is a clear visual of my purpose and personal success: I am bringing health and prosperity to the living beings that are very important to me. Woohoo! Allowing micro-moments to quiet your mind helps one recognize daily successes rather than the ongoing list of unnecessary losses.
These simple perspective exercises help me reground, recognize my strength and worth and bring more positivity into my life and headspace. It helps me to be sure of my capabilities in staying grounded as the unknown forces come my way.
I mentioned earlier, take micro-moments to quiet your mind. What I mean by this is taking even just 2-3 minutes in your morning, for example, to be with your mind, body and spirit. Try sitting with your coffee, hands around the mug and feeling the heat moving through the ceramic into your hands, or noticing the dark, shimmery depth of the drink. In this brief moment, you are aware of your space, your actions, conscious of your existence through the heat and sights the coffee brings. You are finding peace and stillness before the busyness of the day rolls in. These little check-ins help make us feel more grounded and able to tend to our roots, feeling more sure-footed.
The winds bring changes, carrying with it dust and dirt from our past but also disperses seeds of flowers to bloom in the future. Grow your roots strong, deep and healthy in the nutrient-rich ground and let your beautiful branches reach up and dance with the wind.