“Rooting Down” So You Can Thrive

Life Work and Family BalanceIN YOGA

In yoga, they teach that you have to root down with your feet (or hands or any part of your body that’s touching the ground), to give yourself the strength, stability, and FOUNDATION to reach higher, hold a pose longer, to go past what you thought was possible for yourself.

You spread your toes. You feel the earth below you. That connection is powerful!

It’s also… necessary.

Without it, you fall down. You come apart. (Hopefully only to pick yourself back up and go for it again, a little wiser this time. Ya know… thinking about the root connection this go-round.)

IN SINGING

Want to hit those higher notes? It’s the same deal. Root down.

You’ve gotta support with your breath, and breathe deep into your lower abdomen, so those lower tummy muscles can support you. Yeah, foundation again. A common mistake of the untrained singer is to try stretching their neck up to reach a high note. This doesn’t work. It sounds strained and not good. Relax the neck. That’s just the space that air should easily flow through.

The real power comes from the opposite direction. From below.

IN LIFE

2013 was an amazing year for me in many ways. I did cool new things that I never dreamed possible a year earlier.  I broke through my comfort zone in many ways that are so meaningful to me.

But it was also a thoroughly distracting year in other ways. To do the “new”, I (unknowingly) let key foundational areas of my life get too outta whack (such as family, work). I did manage to correct course along the way. But not enough in all areas. There’s more to do.

Now I’m in a period of stabilizing by rooting down to the key priorities for me which are:

  1. Self (Basic Needs)
  2. Spouse
  3. Kids
  4. Extended Family
  5. Financial Stability & Work

Note that the priority level of these doesn’t mean that they are where I spend most of my time. It just means that I have to have them handled. For instance, “Self” being #1 does not mean being a self-centered jerk. It just means that I gotta take care of my basic needs (like sleep and decent nutrition and a reasonable amount of “down-time”) because this is my foundation for the rest. If I’m not taking care of my basic needs, my relationships, my work, everything else will suffer.

#2 – Spouse – My relationship here is the foundation for my family and for being successful in all other parts of my life.

#3 – Kids – I go to work during the day and my kids are in school or daycare. But, there are family things that are just higher priority. Figuring out what those are and making time to fit them is very important.

Etc.

My goal for 2014, is to restore my foundation. Then my hope is that I can figure out how to fit some of the best pieces of 2013’s amazing things (or else new amazing things that integrate the foundational stuff) into this year while still keeping the foundation strong.

Please notice that it’s not enough for me to say that I don’t want to lose the foundation. I want better than that. I want it to be STRONG.

Rooting down now. It’s good.

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