“The physical process of rooting involves aligning the skeletal structure with gravity. The resulting connection with the earth allows for a free exchange of force down through the skeletal structure into the earth and back up from the earth through the structure.” – Mantak Chia
“Storms make trees take deeper roots.” – Dolly Parton
Last November and December, I studied a form of spiral qi gong focused on “firming one’s roots”. Legs solidly planted on the ground, the upper body was free to twist and wring out impurities. It is an incredibly fun and spirited form. The more I learn about tai chi and qi gong, the more I find that the practice of building a stronger and more balanced body is building a stronger and more balanced mind.
I have been having one too many stressful moments with my daughter as she adjusts to being back in school after winter break. Meltdowns. Attitude. Heightened emotions across the board. I told her that her parents were like trees in the wind, swaying back and forth between things that we did for our children. But when something bent us (like a child hovering over the shoulder yelling “NOOOOO!” before any lunchables were even reached for), we would occasionally snap. A tree snapping is loud and dramatic. She got the point quickly. Her role is to bend the tree less and Mom and Dad’s job is to root themselves even more firmly.
Firming my roots in parenting is an ever-present challenge, one that started from the beginning of this parenting journey. While taking a yoga-based birthing class, the teacher shared that a vital part of labor was to mind the synergy between partners. In every relationship (regardless of orientation) there’s a mix of feminine and masculine energies; in labor it was essential for each to sink into that energy entirely. Energetically, my partner is a Protector and I am a Visionary. He would feel the need to keep me safe in a situation that would try me physically and emotionally. I would see the wisdom and the beauty in it all, but would float away when things got intense. On the day of the last class, I was in my bathroom breathing through strong contractions. My feet arched off the floor and my sounds were high-pitched. On the break between contractions, Husband held my shoulders down, had me return my feet to the ground, held my gaze, and told me to moan low deep sounds. He brought me back down to earth.
- Roots of Empathy: a non-profit devoted to building more compassionate and emotionally aware children
- World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day
Altered Flickr Image “Tree Trunk Stock PNG”