Several years ago, my son was given some advice that has stuck with me and seems as applicable to my life as his.
The advice was offered as his Senior year of high school began. This wise person suggested that in order to avoid being blown around like a fallen, dry leaf in a heavy wind, my son needed to deliberately look towards a destination slightly higher than he currently thought he could reach.
I am a huge advocate of New Year’s Resolutions and goal setting (you can read a little about this here). I traditionally do not write my goals until February as I try to avoid making any BIG changes while I am feeling the effects of the busy holiday season. So I allow myself time to recover and renew before looking ahead and slightly higher than I currently think I can grow.
I was recently invited to participate with a group of gals in a self improvement/goal making program. These gals are from across the world and are motivated in their own unique ways to grow and push themselves up and beyond. However, they are starting in on their goals now, so I have spent the past week pondering on what I need most. I have been feeling a lot like a dry leaf being tossed about by the heavy winds of change in my family’s life and my own changing roles as my children transition through their own lives.
In order to break free of feeling like a tossed about leaf, I concentrated my yoga practice last week to Vrksasana- Tree Pose!
I grow and learn and become renewed with strength EVERY time I prepare for tree, whether I am teaching it or in my own practice. This is a powerful posture with strength that comes from, and is created for, the body, mind, and spirit.
Tree is usually one of the first balance postures learned; encouraging being grounded, finding our center, focus and a steady mind- tree is the foundation in more advanced balancing postures.
I love incorporating Tree posture into my classes for the application to life that this posture represents:
The BALANCE in tree comes from a peaceful and fluid mind rather than a stiff and rigid body & spirit;
A GROUNDED base might sway in the wind, but the tree stays upright, steady and strong;
We GROW our trees, when we are ready- and where we are in tree is right where we need to be;
We might need to modify our tree or find something to HOLD ON TO for a little extra stability, but when we are READY, we can pull away, standing tall because we took the time to follow our own natural growth process;
And my favorite lesson from tree…
We might fall over, but falling is fun! Just enjoy the fall, and get back up again!
For some strange reason, our world equates falling with failing! These words are not synonyms! They might look alike on paper, but I assure you THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!
Falling, and trying again… sometimes over and over- makes us strong, enhances our will power and eventually leads to the accomplishment of great and mighty things.
Falling, and trying again helps develop patience, persistence, humility, and good humor.
Falling, and trying again accepts that no one CUT us down- no lumberjack got in our way! WE own our trees- our growth, our sway, our reach for the sky.
I always start tree from Tadasana (remember why I love Mountain here)
There are days that I know my tree might be a little twisted and unique
and there are days that I know my tree will be a sun loving palm-
and other days, days where I feel strong and full of hope & faith, that I know my tree will reach for the sky…
Find your tree- each day, it might be something new, something different! Accept YOUR TREE for what it is, and than play with it, no matter what the wind or the storms or the sun suggest-
Daily Journal Challenge:
Check in on your goals, hopes, and dreams. Are you living the life that is rooted to those things or have you found yourself tossed about the winds of change and uncertainty. Acknowledge what kind of tree you need to be today, and go forward growing that tree.