Here in the UK this weekend we’ve had fierce storms with winds of up to 100 mph.
While out on my near daily power walk around my beloved tree encircled back garden/yard, I saw that one of the trees had been wrenched out of the ground and lay fallen on its side, a majestic trunk now like a sleeping Buddha on the grass.
My curiosity brought me closer, to pay my respects to a tree which had stood its ground and witnessed much life for goodness knows how long.
While inspecting the roots, I was surprised to see that they were short and not as widespread as I’d always imagined. Perhaps with a wider and deeper root system, that sleeping Buddha of a tree would have withstood the storms. It got me thinking.
I thought about how we humans also need to grow deep roots and spread them wide beneath us if we are to cope with events that threaten to wrench our own lives out of stable ground.
In my work within psychiatric and mental health, I often see that those without a good root system struggle to cope and can be easily toppled.
A human root system for a stable life could be made up of many things, depending on the individual, such as:
- a social network with truly caring and meaningful relationships
- knowing what’s important to you — your values
- hobbies and interests that fuel curiosity and a life-long interest in learning
- the initiative to plan for things that bring joy or are fun
- regular physical activity of some kind — yoga or power walking anyone?!
- the ability to say no to unsuitable people and situations without fear of offending and possible consequences
- opportunities to do some good for others and make a community-minded contribution
- planning enough pauses and stillness to recharge in today’s fast and furious pace of life — I’ve heard that mindfulness can help!
- a sense of purpose, utilising one’s skills and abilities or pursuing genuine interests
- accepting yourself with unique likes and dislikes so you’re hardy and less likely to succumb to external
- pressures to do or have what you don’t truly need or want
- asking for help and support from trustworthy sources when needed — friends, family, colleagues, counsellor/therapist etc.
- expressing feelings in a healthy, mature way rather than waiting for a health emergency, a ‘situation’ or the stress of an emotional explosion
When life’s storms hit with lashing rains and vicious winds, it may just be that bit easier to weather if you’ve built a wide and deep root system beneath your life.
If you haven’t already, then today is your lucky day and you can begin right now!
It’s never too late be what you want, do what you feel like and go where you’ve always wanted to.
Meanwhile, if storms continue to lash you, here’s a practice
I recorded straight after this morning’s power walk, to help soothe and calm the inner storm. I hope it helps.
Keep it kind,