The economic, social, and political events happening all over the world today have triggered changes that come at us so quickly that we run in circles trying to figure out how our lives will be affected in the next six months to a year. There is negative noise from around the world bombarding us daily from news to social media. And let us not forget the craziness of our everyday lives—coping with aging parent, moody teens, angry young men, and navigating workplace politics.
We can go anywhere in the world, but don’t even know our own neighbors. We are constantly plugged in, but not rooted. No one feels like they belong, and we’re never satisfied. We keep searching and searching for that elusive…feeling. Could it simply be that we are not rooted? This may be one of the biggest challenges of our times.
Here is how I have become rooted:
1. Eat Locally. It is virtually impossible in this day and age to be completely self-sustaining. However, community agriculture is a great idea. It brings you a close relationship with your neighbors and community at large. You’ll know where your food comes from and get to meet the local farmers and ranchers. Farmer’s markets are a great source for produce and meat raised by your friends and neighbors.
2. Grow Your Own Food. Getting your hands in the soil at your feet not only connects you to the land but gives you a boost of happiness. Research has found that having your hands in the soil gives you the same boost of happiness as Prozac. Which would you rather do to root where you’re planted? Not only are you becoming happier, but you’re helping other creatures. Life is no longer just about you. The bonus…you get healthy food that tastes a thousand times better than produce from the grocery store that was picked too early and shipped in from Mexico. It’s doesn’t get much more local than your own backyard.
3. Get Involved. Show up in your community! Pick something in your neighborhood, local school, or community that you’re passionate about. Then, look to carve out the time and resources to do it. You’ll meet likeminded people and feel a sense of connection to the place that you live.
4. Trace Your Actual Roots. Family is one of the few things that really grounds us. It’s fun to follow the wild and twisting adventures of your ancestors. Talk to your relatives and get to know the ones you rarely, if ever, see. Aside from discovering where you came from—you’ll hear stories about people who survived and thrived through war, disease, famine, migration, and even ocean voyages. How does where you ancestors came from relate to where you are right now (climate, food, culture)? Knowing your heritage will help you root in the here and now.
5. Connect With The Elders. The older women in a community have been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt. They have a wisdom that younger women would dearly love to have, but no one is willing to ask the older generation. Think about it—they’ve raised their children, nurtured their families, and supported their friends through anything and everything you can possibly think of. They have survived and changed our world.
Sit down to a cup of tea. Listen to their stories flow, challenges they’ve faced, advice that is oozing with wisdom, you’ll feel uplifted and ready to solve the world’s problems, too. And best of all, you’ll feel rooted in something bigger than yourself.
You may not be in exactly the place that you want to be but know that you are exactly where you need to be. Cultivate your Soul Soil (whatever energizes your soul). Practice gratitude. It keeps you from bouncing from one crisis to another. Gratitude will help you root in today. Best of all, it puts your feet on solid ground where you can root and grow.