I often like to think of us humans as trees. Moving trees with a brain.
If you consider the wisdom of the tree with its far-reaching, nourishment-attaining, stabilizing roots; heart-centered, strengthening trunk; and expanding, generative branches with life-giving leaves, shade, beauty and fruits or flowers, you can consider in what ways we all have these qualities and how we develop from seed to our fullest potential as a matter of course.
Of course along with the trees and plants, there are the other kingdoms of minerals and animals, of which our body contains as well. Innately. Each living in their wisdom and be-ing just as they are.
As humans we have this additional aspect that is our brain. Beyond the animal survival instincts of what's known as our "old brain", we have a "new brain" evolved for higher cognitive functioning.
But consider this: the kingdoms of mineral, plant and animal have existed before the evolution into human. The first humans learned to live amongst nature, with nature. Grounding, surviving, creating to survive and to understand the nature of creation and our life in it. As humans evolved further using "big brain", as my 11-year old likes to call it, we've brought ingenuity and innovation into existence and marveled at our own capacities. Indeed, it is a marvel! This "big brain" however is the least evolved of our entire existence.
As we use this advanced function of mind to discover and unlock through science all the mysteries of nature, we become so enamored by what we can prove and what we can experience with our 5 physical senses that we lose sight of our inner nature--the parts with the most wisdom. It's like we've pulled our deep roots (connected to the truth of our relation to all) out of the Earth and walked too far, shortsightedly allowing our connections to shrivel up to the soles of our feet.
We need to root down regularly and be in touch with our deepest wisdoms. High-speed advancement in place of our innate, inner wisdoms destroy our life-supporting connection with earth, minerals, plants, animals, fellow humans and the Universe which we so desperately need. Advancements in pace with and rooted to the deep connections we have with all existence is not only a responsibility but a means for survival. This means we would be advancing with consciousness and integrity, in alignment with our natural world. Indeed, evolving our "big brains" to understand this deep-rooted, tree-like connection to all life is THE marvel.
Like a pendulum having swung so far from the start of human existence, it's time to come back to a more balanced and rooted connection and understanding of life. All life.
Where are you on this pendulum? How conscientiously connected are you with your inner world that aligns with the rest of the natural world?
AWARENESS: Our "big brains" are the least evolved aspect of our existence in this world of mineral, plant, animal and human. Honor the magic of our mind's clever workings without losing sight of and connection with our more evolved and wise inner wisdoms. Check your roots.
When you're ready, you're ready.
When you're not, you're just not.
There's an idea from child development that helps me illustrate this in a similar way. We offer young children stories that help them learn right from wrong, good and evil, usually in the form of fairy tales. Like some of the classic Grimm's fairy tales (not the watered-down Disney version), it can be somewhat graphic or vicious. But the child, in her infinite wisdom, will process such stories only to the amount she can handle and with her own imagination. What we might envision from a matter-of-fact slicing off a toe (Cinderella) could be bloody, painful and gruesome. What a child pictures in her mind from her own experience will not be so extreme yet impactful all the same. NOTE: showing a child the visual representations so that she cannot control her own imagination and threshold is NOT the same. Read aloud these stories without so much dramatic effect and she'll take in what she wants to take in.
She'll take in what she's ready for.
How many helpful health tips have you heard that truly rang true to you? How many of them have you implemented sustainably? I accept that I have heard and wholeheartedly agreed with concepts from Ayurvedic lifestyles which make sense. When the daily practice of such health tips feel foreign to you or simply are so opposite of what you're used to, making change can be hard. And when it makes sense from a point of study but you haven't yet internalized the concept, it becomes simply an exercise that takes work because you must think it through each time.
Well, you have to start somewhere. Sometimes it is this way and you must hear it over and over or try it over and over. And then it fades away. Then makes a comeback a month, a year, or many years later.
Just be aware, challenge yourself (for growth!) and have self-compassion. When you are ready, you are ready. And then, it'll stick.
NOTICE: every attempt, even failed ones, are steps needed in the process.
Indeed, some of us don't know how to let go and let loose. It is very uncomfortable. But just as the polarity is, we mull in the dismal or constraint and we lose balance in life. We teeter into, dare I say, darkness.
So for those of you who are on the proverbial "dark side" of fun, let's start by acknowledging this. Awareness is the first step to all healing. Let's start to breathe-- l o o o o o o o o o n g, deeeeeeeeep breaths. Inhaling and exhaling through our nostrils. Feeling the breath press the diaphragm muscle down with each inhale, bringing that air deep into our bellies and then up to our chest and shoulders. With each exhale, allowing the chest to fall, drawing our navel towards the spine, pulling that diaphragm up for a complete breath out. And continue with this breath until you feel calm.
Now keep breathing and ask yourself what's bugging you? Let's call whatever holds you back "fear". Be it actual fear of something or someone or an idea or negative self-talk or shame or guilt or anger or frustration, confusion, neediness or depression or some trauma or trigger that perhaps you cannot even pinpoint-- or maybe you can. Let's call it all "fear" for now.
After that beautiful, calming breathing you've done (which you can continue for as long as you like), think about this "fear" from this safe space. Do be sure you are in a safe space! Keep breathing, bring the fear to your awareness and begin to notice the sensations and feelings that come up. What does it feel like? Where do you feel it? Can you name this feeling? Is it stress? Is it grief? Low self-worth? Imposter syndrome? Stay with this until you can get a good sense of what it is you're feeling. Ask this feeling, why are you here? What do you need me to know? What are you trying to protect me from? What happens if I don't listen to you?
I know this doesn't sound like having fun but stay with me here.....
Now, consider what the opposite of this feeling would be? The opposite of the negative feeling. What would it look like? Allow yourself to feel it as if it is happening. What sensations arise? Where do you feel it in your body? Cherish it. Believe in it. Hold on to this feeling. Stay here until you've embodied the feeling-- meaning you are getting all those juicy, positive vibes from this feeling you created with your thoughts.
This is a little more fun, right?
Now ask yourself, what do I need to do to get to here? Listen in the silent space for your answer. Allow it to come from your gut, your heart, your feelings..... in other words your Soul. The language of your Soul is emotions. If it feels like you are in your headspace (the realm of the logical ego), go back to your feelings and then ask again. What do I need to do? Oftentimes these answers will come instantly. And oftentimes your logical mind might voice its opposing opinion. Try to stay with those initial, instinctual responses. The ones from your depth of heart and soul.
Alot of times, you are already starting to feel better and lighter, even before the solutions step. You may need to stay with these first steps for a bit or revisit them again before you can continue. The important healing has started: you are stopping to take notice. Your Soul needed you to listen and, feeling heard, you will begin to feel better. But let's finish this..... (If you need to do this multiple times to get past certain steps, it's totally alright!)
Now, your beautiful mind gets to help with this last step. Take action. Heed the answers your Soul brought to light and figure out how to make it happen. Have compassion for yourself. Know that sometimes you might not take your Soul's advice but, if you do that, acknowledge that you are purposely choosing not to do that. Again, awareness is key. You might act against your answers because a) you're not ready, you're feeling fear again--maybe another aspect of fear or b) you feel better just from the earlier steps and so you no longer feel the need to act. Either way, know that this "fear" voice will persistently come to you until you listen and act. It may take another form, in another situation, at a different time, but heed its needs you must, at some point. You want to not only feel better at the moment; you want to completely heal.
Now we're having fun.
It's from this space of self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-healing that you build a strong sense of self-love. And from self-love --true love of yourself-- you can let go and have fun! You can strike the right balance in life because you don't actually want extreme highs and extreme lows. In your self-aware state, you can enjoy life on your terms, for your whole Self.
And isn't that fun?
Yes. It is.
I am the Essential Soul Mama. I am a mama, a soulful-spiritual teacher, an intentional storyteller, and a lover of stories of all kinds, in all forms. I write about parenting, natural health options, mind-body-soul connections, and anything that elevates our lives.