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"I never met any of my friends, of course, in a usual way - they were strangers, and lived only in their writings. But if they were only shadow-companions, still they were constant, and powerful, and amazing. That is, they said amazing things, and for me it changed the world."

-mary oliver

foraged + rooted: what's in the name?

There is a famous quote in physics, one many of you (if you are British) may be in close contact to daily. Printed around the edge of some £2 coins is the inscription:

 

"standing on the shoulders of giants"

 

it is a quote of Sir Issac Newton relating to his work on the theory of gravity. Thought to be a modest reference to the fact that he only managed what he did by working upon the ideas of those great minds who came before him.

And is that not true for us all. So many of the wonderful insights and offerings I wish to share with you here do not come from me but have been foraged from that which I have encountered in life and they now may be the seedlings you too need to forage in the work you are doing.

I am supposing that in you reading this there is a reason you are here: maybe you wish to find out more about yoga and what wonderful things it may reveal to you, maybe you are well on your spiritual path and hope to gain some more insight or even a different perspective as challenge can help deepen understanding, maybe you were just hoping for a holiday yoga class, or maybe you have a love for nature and herbs, and exploring into how this weaves into your life. Whichever reason, even if you find that you do not resonate with what I am sharing, perhaps a seed will be watered in you. For above all else I believe in community, not competition. I write as a form of gratitude towards all the teachers (knowingly or not) who have helped shape and grow me, and where I can I will share with you these sources and the wonderful people around me, all that I have foraged from life.

Above reads a quote from the American poet, Mary Oliver, of her childhood in Ohio in the 1950's. This quote reminds me, reassures me, that our growth sometimes needs nourishment from further afield than those who are around us, and that is ok. When at times I question the online interactions I engage in, when it feels frustrating and faceless, this quote reminds me that it is not there to replace our physical interactions but to add to them. Just as a books and their authors were used then (and hopefully still now!) we seek out online communities to help soothe our discombobulated soul in knowledge that more out there do see things as we do.

 

However I do not wish to neglect the inner work. The work we sometimes need to shut out the world to hear. To understand that sometimes we look around us too much for answers, for inspiration when in actual fact we need to root down deep within ourselves and remember, actually just remember. Root in to who we are in this world, and what your own internal voice tells you to be true, beyond the layers of ignorance and (mis)perception the world around us lays upon it.

This is an ongoing practice of trust, of resilience and of slowing way down so that we don't miss what is being said. It is probably the harder asspect of the two. There is so much out there and google will give us any answer we wish to hear, but rooting down asks, 'why was it that answer that I wanted to hear?'.

Rooting down is taking all that you have collected and sitting with it, letting it settle and seeing what your interpretations are, then asking why on top of that. You may grow without roots, but as soon as a strong wind comes you're swayed and tossed around until you are stopped from growing completely.