Lessons from Uprooting

Change is hard for most people. And understandably so because it means uncertainty, unknown and loss of control. But many times, it’s exactly what we need.

We may have to uproot ourselves sometimes to get rid of our limiting beliefs, old bad habits, undesirable behaviours or recurrent negative thoughts; so that we can move to a better spot. 

I uprooted a curry leaf tree recently and it reminded me of the valuable lessons that come from change when we embrace it.

  1. A lot of ‘sand’ gets blown up in your face

OK, so maybe I ate a little bit of dirt today. When we are uprooting and digging that much dirt up from our past, it is bound to get a little yucky. You have to face some long buried emotions and skeletons that you don’t want to face. But guess what? That icky stuff on your face is what you will learn from, it will make you stronger, allow you to make better decisions and most importantly allow you to let go of the dirt that you no longer need. Then, you can move to a spot that serves you better and one that you truly deserve.

  1. Our roots go deeper than we think

Often we dismiss our experiences in childhood. It’s merely a memory, we think. This is so far from the truth. Our behaviours and habits are crafted by what we see as children and the beliefs we forged when we were young. Perhaps you were fed chocolate as a treat or ice cream was used to make you feel better. These mean that you head to that Choc bar or Ben and Jerry’s tub when you want to feel better or reward yourself (even if you had decided to eat healthy today). There is a lot of digging we need to do in order to get to the root of it all. And most times, the roots go deeper than we think, or in most cases, want to admit. So be honest with yourself and get to the root cause of the habits and beliefs you want to improve.

  1. A stretch is often required

When I got closer to the bottom of the roots, I had one leg below in a deeply dug hole and one leg above the hole to keep my balance. I had to keep doing that and other stretches to maintain balance and keep going. Sounds just like life huh? A stretch could mean a leap of faith, making a call you don’t want to, taking up that course you keep saying you want to or telling someone how you really feel. Whatever the stretch is, making that stretch is needed to embrace change. Making that stretch is what will help to navigate the change positively for a more positive outcome.

  1. You need a ‘why’ that’s bigger than you.

We pick reasons as to why we want to do something, get something or change something in our lives. Many times the reasons may be about about our own self. For example, “I want a promotion so that I can make more money”. When we limit our reasons to just ourselves, we can lose our motivation. Today, although I had been gardening for hours and was super tired halfway through it, I did not stop.  Because it was not about me, it was about another life, a tree that needed to be saved. Finding a bigger why means a bigger motivation to keep you going. So examine your motivation on goals where you think you are falling short. Perhaps a bigger driver is needed rather than one that only benefits you.

  1. Breaking a root is sometimes the best option

At some points, the tree’s roots broke or I had to break some to uproot the tree fully. Our personal roots are our belief systems. They form the basis of why we do what we do on a daily basis, in every area of our lives. However, sometimes our beliefs do not support where we what to go. I believed for a long time that I put on weight easily. A moment on the lips, forever on the hips right? Wrong! When I broke that belief, I got to my preferred weight so fast. Go on and break a root. PS: The most common limiting belief I hear is, “I am not good enough for/to _______________” (fill in the blanks). Break that one.

  1. You will need help

I had to get help to move the tree. Very frequently this will be the case. We need help to move to a better place. This is where most people stop digging. They don’t want to move forward anymore because it is perceived to be weak or having to share a skeleton, a painful memory, or an admittance of an emotion that makes you feel less than you want to. So we stop. We pretend it is unnecessary. This, my friends is a root that we have to break. Ask for help. You will find that it most often works better that you thought.

  1. Maintenance will be needed.

Just because the problem has been uprooted, dealt with and dusted doesn’t mean that it’s over. You have to maintain you new behaviour or habit or new way of thinking in order to see the benefits in the long run just like how I have to water the tree every day from now.

All that digging around and getting to the root of a problem, at the end of the day, will bear fruit. The satisfaction of knowing that you are in a better place mentally and emotionally makes the journey all worthwhile.

Wishing you clarity and joy.

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