My conscious efforts to identify the core of contentment didn’t come from nowhere. During the past year I ‘ve been forced to face some serious personal issues around eating, confidence, motivation, and relationships. Things had become too much for me and the people around me to bear. I had been shirking responsibility for the volatility borne of my foundational insecurities for far too long. Just as rock bottom breached the horizon, a chance encounter with the practice of yoga hinted promise. It started, I’ll admit, as an attempt to find a tolerable exercise routine, but something about its potential intrigued me. The thought that perhaps exploring my physical self could help me more deeply understand my mental self was, well, seductive. And nothing else had worked thus far. I had nothing to lose and a lot to learn.
Turns out that yoga was just what I needed. Rooting mindfulness in a physical routine that made me comfortable with my body allowed me to explore the habits that were plaguing me without being bogged down by silly (but all to real) fears about losing control of my weight and appearance. Surrounded by a community of wonderful people of all shapes and sizes united by a desire for contentment, I started to reflect a lot more on my true self. And I came to some stark realizations. I saw that despite my nearly-cemented-facade of sociability and self-confidence, I was lost – and had been since high school. I didn’t really know who I was or where I belonged, and I was beginning to lash out because of it. I had no roots.
Since that moment, I’ve set an intention for myself. It’s time that I learn to love me – yes, me – and do everything in my power to help others love themselves. I’ve begun to reconnect with the roots of my past that I had left for dead. Picking up old threads and seeing if they fit into my new quilt, old friends and old pastimes are proving that roots know no time limits. It turns out that even while I wallowed in mindless stagnancy, the roots I did have stayed strong. Trustworthy, they are.
And now it’s time to add some new roots to the mix. As I work to leave behind a life plagued by disordered eating and injured relationships, one of the most important foundations to establish is a new way of thinking about what I eat and what I drink. Less about industry driven pre-established notions from my youth educated by advertisements and magazine shorts, and more about truths. Truths like: processed foods kill. I’m sure I’ll find time to talk more about that one later.
For now, I’m going to try to write about the growth of my two root roots. The two things without which all other roots will suffer:
A commitment to and appreciation for whole foods and where they come from,
And, cultivating mindfulness.
Growing these foundational roots is going to be a lifelong endeavor, that’s for sure. But the beauty of it is that the journey in and of itself is the end. By following these paths, I’m hoping to find the resources to grow old roots stronger and muster the courage to lean some weight onto new roots.
If it works, or if it doesn’t, I’ll try to remember to write about it here.