All of nature moves in cycles. There is a time to rest, a time to invest, a time to harvest, and a time to enjoy. Each season uses what is available at the moment in nature, to accomplish a specific set of tasks that can only be completed during a unique period of time, under a certain set of conditions.
We never get angry or disappointed with the peony bush when it does not give us gorgeous flowers during the winter months, filled with icy freeze. We do not blame the sapling, in its years of infancy, for failing to provide us with tasty fruit in the harvest months, still growing and unable to support the weight of growing produce. Rarely do we long for crispy leaves to roll around in, while we are enjoying the shade they provide overhead, instead.
Why are humans any different?
We allow everything in nature to follow its rhythmic cycles, why do we not allow ourselves the same freedom in structure?
Our brains have been trained to expect constant fruit-bearing
In our modern Western world, we have grown to value convenience, speed, production, and consumption. With the advancements of agriculture, the Industrial Revolution, and the Internet, we have created a society where everything we could possibly desire is basically at our fingertips all year-round. Produce is usually available whether it is in-season or not. While animals hibernate and contract inward during the winter months, we humans keep to our rigorous schedules; businesses keep the same hours, we force our bodies to keep the same scheduled rhythms we have asked them to adapt, even though what is happening outside with the daylight hours would call for our natural circadian rhythms to change with fewer daylight hours. We usually do not give ourselves permission to ebb and flow with nature, but rather force ourselves to maintain the requirements of the life we have designed for ourselves around-the-clock.
The Root Chakra is about gravity
The Root Chakra calls us to be undivided. To be here. To be whole. This foundational energy that gathers at the very base of the spine, is responsible for how we take physical shape in this world: how we actually make it happen, the act of becoming alive and embodied, and making our mark on this world.
Root Chakra energy asks us to DECIDE. To manifest and co-create with reality in every moment. To decide to be exactly where we are at any given moment in time, fully. The Chief Operating Force, or primary driver of the Root Chakra is GRAVITY. (Anodea Judith, Wheels of Life, 1987) It pulls us deeply into the here-and-now of where we are and asks us to decide to be here fully and completely, with undivided intention, focus, and energy.
So, what does this mean for us, right here and now, in this unprecedented time in our individual lives and in history?
Perhaps it means something like this:
Stop MULTITASKING!!!! It is confusing and oftentimes inefficient for our systems to attempt to complete many tasks at once. Notice your need and desire and pride when it comes to multitasking. Can you re-train yourself to rather be fully and completely in the one task directly before you?
Stop wishing you were THERE already, instead of being HERE to GET THERE!!! Why do we think that we should constantly be producing fruit? Why do we expect ourselves to instantly be good at every new thing we attempt or try? Just like the sapling that needs time to grow and strengthen, we need time to prepare and grow. So often we do not allow ourselves time to evolve into the person we must be in order to get where we are going. We expect ourselves to just arrive, without having taken in the fertilizer and the nourishment from the soil that exists for us now. We need it in order to evolve.
Realize and ACCEPT that some seasons SUCK and some seasons are BEAUTIFUL. Have you ever considered that life is 50/50? A coach of mine proposed that to me once, and it shifted everything. About half the time in life, things feel pretty good, like they’re going my way. And about half the time in life, things feel challenging. What if we just accepted that sometimes life is good and sometimes life is bad? (I don’t even really believe in good or bad, and neither does the yoga, but let’s just go with it for a sec). Not every single season is meant to be flourishing, with an abundant harvest with kiddos playing on the tree-swing. Sometimes, life feels like a desert; isolating, bare, and like the drought will never end. Sometimes, it’s like a raging tsunami that upends everything. Everything in nature is cyclical. What if we allowed our lives to be as well?
The process of one season equips us for the process of the next season
Here is the part that is difficult for our brains to understand: we don’t get to the next season by ending the one we are in as quickly as possible. The season we are in is meant to give us the lessons and prepare us for what we do next. The roots you are growing, the weeds you are pulling, the shrubs you are trimming, will lead you to the next wave of your landscaping. But if you fail to tend to them now, you either won’t receive the harvest that is coming next, or it will be tainted by the fact that you didn’t do the work required of you in this moment in order to be fully prepared for the next one. We must stay fully undivided in each season we are in, so that when the next one is upon us, we have all the skills and nutrients and wisdom for the next layer of the harvest.
We must re-train our minds and bodies. We must un-learn our expectations for convenience and year-round production so that we might free ourselves to move as nature intended. May we all ground down fully into whatever season we happen to be in, and may the seasons to come be particularly blessed because we chose to be fully HERE.
Where in your life would it be refreshing to stop multitasking?
Where in your life are you putting unreasonable/persistent expectations upon yourself or others?
What would your life be like if you could just enjoy where you are right now, without looking forward or backward?
How can you soften the elements of your daily life to become more in-tune with nature’s cycles and rhythms?