Root to Rise: Find Stillness to Find More Aliveness in Your Life
The 21st century is busy. And even though I’ve made a commitment to cultivate sanity and simplicity in my life, and in my acupuncture practice, I’ve also known the insanity of rushing full-steam ahead, and the quiet strength of turning inwards and staying still.
Because we are living in a high-octane culture that’s insistent on raging through fossil fuels, going further and faster for the sake of convenience, and because it sometimes feels impossible to slow down, many of us have (unintentionally) cultivated high-alert nervous systems.
This high-alert can arise from within trauma, ancestral anxiety, perfectionism, striving, or simply trying to keep pace with everything buzzing, humming, and otherwise electrifying around us all the time.
Spring is an especially erratic season and a time of year when anxiety can really rush in. This is one of those seasons when you always seem to be caught off guard, without the right coat or shoes, or without an umbrella or scarf on those days you might really want one.
My best advice for learning to stay steady is to cultivate a few simple moments of stability to start your day. This could be a formal meditation practice,qigong, deep breathing, making tea, stroking a cat or dog (or iguana or bird friend or hamster etc,), drinking coffee while really observing the trees out your window, or something else entirely. You know best what brings you back home to yourself and allows you to access that stillpoint that each of us share.
I recently retook beginning meditation instruction from Zen Mountain Monastery on Zoom. I’ve been meditating for many years but I love returning back to the basics periodically as I’ve found that in any practice we often stray or slide off the path we originally started on. In revisiting the basic instructions, we can draw upon our experience to hear them with new perspective as well.
What I took away this time was remembering, and experiencing again, that a still stable body cultivates the ideal conditions for the mind to settle as well. It’s hard to feel awake and alive if you’re slumped or stooped or unable to access your breath and your diaphragm. It’s also hard (at least for me) to access this alert vitality while lying down.
While spring is the season of flexibility, adaptability, and quick thinking–as nature asks us to weather the literal storms of a brand new year–flexibility is most safely and effectively created from within a foundation of stability.
The stability of trusting your senses, of knowing how to drop in, to open up and feel what you’re feeling, and to stay present for whatever life might offer you on a given day.
This cultivation of stability isn’t always easy, but it is always available to you.
If you’re having trouble cultivating this safety and trust within your own experience, acupuncture can help you to re-regulate your nervous system. I’m completely available to you, if you’re interested in working with me.
This spring, my wish for all of us is that we may root like the trees into the soil of our lives, so that our branches might arc and swing towards each other and towards the sun. May you feel solid this spring.