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Throughout the year, nourishing our roots and staying grounded is important for maintaining balance and overall well-being in our lives, but during the winter we have a natural opportunity to put more focus on strengthening and sustaining our roots.

(Photo by Jeremy Bishop)

As temperatures turn colder in the Northern Hemisphere, many places have already seen snow, while in other places, the trees are still losing their leaves, preparing for the Winter season. The cycle of water and nutrients to the upper parts of the trees are on hold, signaling the roots to take a break, focus on staying grounded, and hang on to their own sustenance for awhile until the weather warms up again.

During this time of year, nature is signaling for us to take a break, focus our energies within, and give time and attention to our roots as well. Nourishing our own roots gives us strong support and a sturdy base from which to go out into the world in whatever ways we desire. Giving outwardly cannot be a constant cycle, as we need time to nourish ourselves and replenish our own "nutrients". With that grounding in place in our own lives, we are able to support others.

There are many ways in which we are "rooted". We're rooted in tradition, family ties, and friendships. We're rooted in the places we live, in stories, and in each other's hearts. Those roots help us stay connected to ourselves when they are formed through love, compassion and understanding. It's not always the case that we are rooted in those supportive ways, though. Sometimes our beginnings are on shaky ground and we have to do everything we can to keep our roots from coming loose and ungrounded. We make due best we can, and often times find people outside of our families and homes with whom we can connect, feel supported and feel secure.

Then there are the times when, even though we have strong, loving, rooted connections, big unexpected changes can throw us off balance. That's when we want to be able to find an internal place, our own personal space of knowing to re-ground, reconnect, and root back into...that space that when well-cultivated, can make a big difference in sustaining our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Photo by Katarzyna Grabowska

The winter season is the perfect time to look inward, slow things down a bit and take stock of our lives. Just like the leaves are let go from the trees to preserve nutrients in the roots and start fresh in the Spring, we too can reflect and let go of anything that is no longer needed in our lives. We can let them go and use what we've learned from them to fuel new growth for ourselves. In this way, we are taking cues from nature and flowing with it's cycles, which can be a very sustainable approach to good overall wellness and happiness.

Who are the people in your life that you feel rooted with? What are the places that make you feel strong and sturdy? How do you cope with change and find that internal place to connect with when you need to feel fully into your roots for balance and stability?

Incorporating a regular practice into our lives to hone in on our internal space and specifically build our personal roots can have a lasting and profound effect on all areas of our lives.

Here's a simple practice you can try right now - First,sit upright in a chair, with your spine straight and neck long in the back. Feel your feet flat on the floor, about hip width apart. Bring awareness to your breath and breathe into your feet. Keep breathing with awareness and feel the energy of your feet touching the floor, tuning into the energy of the earth below the floor's surface. Imagine roots going down from your feet deep into the earth, many, many feet down into the earth. After a minute or so, let the energy of the earth come back up through your feet and fill all the cells of your body through the breath. Notice where you feel more grounded and relaxed in your body, mind, and heart. This practice can take a few minutes or many more depending on the time you have and what you need to connect back in with yourself and your roots. Even a short practice can be a nice reset from which to continue in your day. Happy rooting!

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