To Grow You Must Take Root

If asked a year or two ago, what do I think of when I hear the word “foundation,” I would have said make up. Now, I would say yoga and chakras. It seems like a pretty big leap, but these associations are actually closely linked in terms of coming out and spiritual development.

When I was acting as straight, I wore foundation on my face, along with a dozen other products. I associated make up with heterosexuality and I wanted to pass within that sphere. My layer of foundation was covering up my actual foundation.

I wanted to cover up my true face because I had not developed sufficiently in my root chakra. At the base of the spine, the root chakra is where the energy of one’s security flows. This chakra is the foundation for the other principal energies–relationship, power, love, expression, wisdom, and faith–that develop in the course of a lifetime. Everything that makes a person an individual flows up from the root chakra to the rest and back down through it.

Security is established by a child’s experience of her tribe. If a child’s identity reveals itself to be in opposition to the tribal values, for example a sexual minority in a conservative religious culture, insecurity is a natural course of development.

 


In all things, a solid foundation is necessary for growth. In yoga, we begin by learning the basic poses that we build upon and return to as we develop our practice. Child’s pose, Mountain pose, Warrior 1, Downward-facing dog… These poses are the gateway to all the gravity-defying, pretzel-looking yoga poses.

And yet every yogin always returns to down dog. We never grow out of it. In fact, I’ve noticed that the more adept I become at yoga, the more difficult the foundational poses can be. As I grow, I become more aware of my body and breath in the poses. Then I discover that I still have work to do in them, more expansion to find in each stretch.

Foundation isn’t easy. To know and to be your authentic self is never easy. But it’s why we’re here.

The way we best contribute to the world is by doing the work that is authentically ours to do. Each of us has a design, and our design reveals our destiny.

In order to live our happiest, most fulfilling life, we must always be in touch with our foundation. If we are not, life will tell us. If we are in a job, relationship, environment, lifestyle that does not nurture our design, we feel it. The only way out is to “get back to basics.”

It sounds simple, but it’s not easy.

It’s not easy to admit that we already have all the answers we seek. It’s not easy to admit that we have always known what we truly want. It’s not easy to be who we are and live up to our potential.

It is easy to act like we’re lost and need something else to guide us. It’s easy to throw our hands up and say “I don’t know.” It’s easy to conform to the mold that’s more convenient for everyone else and keep ourselves small.

Each and every one of us has something special to offer the world. We have so much love to give, so much talent to share… We owe it to ourselves and to the world to let our foundation show.

When we’re living authentically, we feel secure. We know we are building our lives on solid foundation. Even though challenges will never stop, we know we can handle them. And when blessings come our way, we can happily accept them, because we know they are meant for us. We feel confident experiencing the fullness of life and giving all of ourselves to the world.

We are not meant to cover ourselves up.

We are meant to grow from our roots.

 

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