Nature Doesn't Do Straight Lines.
My gardening method (if I can be said to have an actual “method”) is inspired by the square foot gardening method. Instead of planting in rows, you plant in clusters. This maximizes your growing space and invites your seeds to come up in cute clusters rather than in rows.
In my experience, the rows never end up nearly as row-like as I envisioned. So for a recovering perfectionist like me, the clusters are a happy, messy relief. In this process of not forcing an overlying structure, you allow nature to happen.
As I was thinning my clustery kale, which came up in abundant, teeming clumps, I was reminded that nature doesn’t do straight lines. Even if you organize your garden perfectly, there’s always a squirrel or crop failure or something else that didn’t even occur to you ahead of time, ready and willing to interrupt your master plan.
Life is similar, as is healing. Setbacks may occur. At times your body or your life might feel overrun by sneaky squirrels, and sometimes it's simply hard or confusing to figure out if you’re “progressing” or not.
I’m here to remind you today that healing isn’t (generally) linear and nature doesn’t do razor-straight lines.
Even the bones in your body are curved, with an inner matrix of spirals that maintain the integrity of the structure and resist external force and pressure with more precision exactly because they are NOT straight. It is the irregular and the curved pattern that creates the capacity to resist pressure and force.
This spring, I want to remind you to bend, to bow, to flow with life. The strongest trees are the ones which refuse to resist the wind. They’re willing to work with the direction of the breeze while they continue to grow down into the matrix of the earth and to deeply and readily root.
The more you can root deeply and intentionally into the soil of your own life, the less chance that the surface agitation will carry you away. Take the time to be clear and solid in terms of your core values and then act accordingly while allowing the breeze to do its thing.
I’m not saying to spiritually bypass or to pretend everything is peachy or to ignore systems of oppression that need to be addressed, but I am inviting you to know your own values, to grow into your own matrix of support and to arise with more strength exactly because you’ve made the effort to root.
Many years ago (seven years ago to be exact!), I made this video about healing and how you can check in on how you’re feeling and assess your path forward. It’s available if that sounds useful to you.
I also took the time to post a new chair yoga flow focused on balance for this windy weather, as well as a restorative yoga practice (my very first ever) for those who want some support in deep recovery and rest.
May you find the strength and the stamina to make a stand and deeply take your seat this spring, and for all the seasons to follow.