Last weekend, I hiked through a redwood forest inhaling the fresh scent of wet leaves and new life. The valley allowed for streaks of sunshine to illuminate the many beautiful scenes of the forest floor. I stopped by a babbling creek at a point where a tree had fallen, creating a waterfall. Many times during high rains, trees will fall down, blocking the creek until the water pools and rises up and over the fallen tree, continuing to cascade down to the sea. Sometimes the earth falls away with the tree, exposing the roots of other tree neighbors near by. Walking a bit further, the trail led me under the exposed tree roots. I was able to observe the sacred giant towering above me from the very bottom up.
Underneath the tree, the exposed and broken roots were starting to show signs of new growth. Green bumps speckled the broken root, bulging out, slowly making their way down and back into the earth to set a new foundation for the tree. At some point in the future, perhaps even after my life is over, these tree roots will make it back into contact with the earth and ground down the tree in a new way.
Patterns are like roots in our lives. They are beliefs, behaviors and actions we use to handle the various situations that life brings to us. Whether it’s a childhood circumstance, a traumatic teenage situation or another various affair that came up at some point in our life, we create patterns on how to deal with it in the future. The process of the tree roots re-growing down into the earth is just like the idea of creating new patterns in our lives.
One way is to take time to explore and recognize the patterns we carry around in our behaviors, actions and routines. Once we recognize these patterns, we can identify which of them no longer serve us in a positive way, and we can go about changing them, changing the way we are “rooting down” into our own life. Much like the tree, by redirecting the energy from an old or broken root, to growing a new root (a new pattern of thinking, acting, believing) we can create a different foundation for our whole life.
Sometimes a healthy storm comes and destroys part of our foundation—whether a family crisis, losing a loved one, or job, or house—whatever the storm is, we are left with a shaky unstable foundation. A blessing in disguise, we are relieved of the need to consciously remove energy from an old root (pattern) and send it to a new root (pattern). The old root is gone and now there is no choice. A new root is going to grow and we can choose the direction that’s right for us.
During this process, it’s important to remember that it takes time to grow a new root. Combining energy, time and a healthy dose of patience results in a new pattern foundation in our life. And in my experience, the more patient we are, the sooner the results happen.
However the situation comes to us, whether by a storm knocking out an old pattern or a conscious decision to move in a different direction, a new pattern begins to emerge. Time is the simplest and closest companion to growth. Practicing patience with ourselves during times of transition, helps us to consciously grow new roots, new patterns of foundation in our human experience.
“When we observe nature, we can learn the secrets of life. And they are not a secret after all.”