It is safe for me to be here.

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The Grounding Tree

“…Come to the root of the root of yourself. Molded of clay, yet kneaded from the substance of certainty, a guard at the Treasury of Holy Light—come, return to the root of the root of your Self.

Once you get hold of selflessness, you’ll be dragged from your ego and freed from many traps. Come, return to the root of the root of your Self…”

Rumi

MY MIND PLAYING TRICKS ON ME

For years, I interpreted the feelings of being grounded as sadness.  Naturally,  I avoided them as much as possible.  I ran from them, chased them away with anything I could get my hands on.

Eventually, I began to see trees spinning around in meditation.  I tried to make myself believe that it was there to teach me a lesson about symmetry and the non-duality of existence, but deep, deep inside, there was a panic.  I knew that a tree couldn’t grow, let alone produce fruit, if it didn’t have soil to sink its roots into.  It must be grounded.

I had a sense of panic because I didn’t know how to fix it.  I couldn’t be in my body. So many many bad things had happened there.  I couldn’t go inside.  Its like there was a band around my throat that kept me in my head and away from the place where I could be hurt so deeply.   Away from the place that made me so particularly vulnerable. I wanted out of my body. Off of this ride. Away from this planet where there was so much pain and suffering.

This thinking took me in to a depression that almost killed me.  Strange how running from groundedness filled my blood with lead…

Its like my body was doing everything in its power to lead me to water and push me to drink.  The more my head tried to find a way to jettison me out of my existence, the heavier my blood became.

Caring for the Inner Child

LIFTING OUT OF THE PIT

The things I used to get myself out of the pit I was in are the things I use with my clients now: inner child work, grounding in daily life, sending small, perpetual messages to my self/body/being that I’m glad I’m here and I’m worth caring for.

Simple things like:

Making my bed when I wake up in the morning.

Getting dressed in the morning, even if I’m not going anywhere.

Keeping my house tidy even when there’s no one coming over.

Cooking healthy meals for myself even if no one is eating with me.

Taking 5 minutes to straighten up before I go to bed at night so that when I come down in the morning the house looks nice.

Using baby oil after my shower to keep my skin soft.

Getting outside every day.

They’re small things.  Physical things.  Many things a mother does for a small child.  They ground me in my body and my world by demonstrating that I care.  Saying I love my self and my body isn’t good enough.  I have to show it. Daily.

In writing this morning to further process what we covered in last night’s Mood Management Monday class on the root chakra, I realized just how important these practices are- how closely aligned they are to the affirmations for the root chakra:

  • It is safe for me to be here.
  • The Earth supports me and meets my needs.
  • I love my body and trust its wisdom.
  • I am interested in abundance.
  • I am here and I am real.
  • I trust my Higher Power fulfills all my needs.
  • My life is full of prosperity.

ROOTING IN THE BODY

Imbalances in the root chakra show up as anxiety and fear, disorganization, financial difficulties, trouble in your career, greed, fear of change, clinging to security, weight issues.   Physical neglect or abuse can cause issues.  It undermines our feeling of safety in the world and our bodies and we disconnect.

Disconnecting is a very natural response to abuse and neglect.   Yet, staying disconnected makes us miserable.  The body, in its wisdom, tries to get us to connect again.  We, in our folly, don’t always recognize the signs.

Eating is a root chakra activity.   Its one of the first ways we bond with our mothers when we’re born.  If that bonding didn’t happen fully, it makes sense that we would turn to eating in an attempt to get the Mother’s Milk we’re craving.  When we convince ourselves that what we need is outside of ourselves, it makes sense that our bodies would hold on to food and metabolize it as slowly as possible to make it last.  Maybe we won’t find anymore for a while! We better make this last!

Clinging to the past, clinging to memories as if we won’t have anymore– it gets in the way of our present relationships.   Likewise, the body clings to calories and gets in the way of being able to do that yoga pose or whatever else it is that we’re beating up our body for when its actually our head fixing the game.

“FEEL THE CHAIR SUPPORTING YOU…”

During last night’s meditation with Tibetan singing bowls to get connected with our root chakras, I felt tension melting away from my jaw area.  Then I felt it dripping away from my shoulders.  Just this weekend, J had remarked about tight my shoulders were.  “I’m worrying a lot about money.” I told him.  I’m just starting the second year of my business.  Stability is not yet the name of my banking game.  At ecstatic dance Sunday morning, Cheri set the intention on forgiveness, and my body took me to surrender over and over again.  Showed me how much I fight gravity– how much I fight What Is.  Sitting in my chair as the sound of the bowls washed over me, I wondered how many of my fears and resentments, worries and frustrations stem from feeling unsupported.   The addictions that occur when the root chakra is imbalanced are all tied to feeling supported: food, gambling, shopping, work.  They’re all ways to try to gain support and security.

I have all these stories about being unsupported.  Stories about why I wasn’t supported.  Stories about why I’m not supported.  Stories about whether I’m worthy of support.  Stories about what support costs.  Stories about what support means.

So there I am, with my body supporting my life, and the chair beneath me supporting my body, and my house supporting the chair, and the earth supporting my house, watching all these stories about being unsupported run through my head.

The problem is not lack of support, the problem is not seeing the support.  The problem is being afraid to receive the support all around.  The problem is the way these stories drip their poison over the soul over the years, and how our eyes, ears, and heart closes as a result.

I’d spent the height of Sunday morning’s dance wave spiritually wretching.  Leaned over heaving with all I had to get out the poison I’d been fed.  I realize now what it was I was purging.  How my body knows before I do what it is I need!

To close out last night’s work with the root chakra, it seemed natural to do a fire ceremony to echo the root’s fire energy.  We tossed our physical and monetary fears into the flames to transform them into the acceptance and abundance that comes when we connect to how our bodies, the Earth, and the Universe are supporting our every need.

How much resistance do you have to the root chakra affirmations listed above?   Why not journal a little bit about each one and see what you discover?

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About "Rites O'Passage Ceremony & Coaching

Sheherezade using stories to transform the wounded and vengeful Sultan in 1001 Nights is my inspiration to fold stories and folktales into my coaching practice at Rites O'Passage I taught writing, literature, and women's studies for 13 years and got my start coaching as an academic coach at a medical school. "Women Who Run With the Wolves" stayed on my reading list pretty much the entire time I taught, and coaching gives me the opportunity to hold the classes and workshops I always dreamed of-- using archetypes for emotional alchemy

2 responses »

  1. I can really relate to what you said about the need to come back to the body- and how it is the little things in the physical world that can help ground us in addition to the inner work— putting us in physical place. I’ve been playing with some of the actions you mentioned in my own life and musing on how although they are deceptively simple and (one would think) seemingly obvious they are actually quite radical acts of self-care in a world where people often put that last. I love what you said about how we sometimes feel like we aren’t being supported when it fact we just have to learn to receive the support that is there for us.

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