This New Year has me more focused than ever.
I was in conversation with a close friend yesterday, and she mentioned that there seemed to be a new energy in the air this New Year: everyone seems to be in really high spirits around this 2016 new year. The sense of optimism is high in the air, and it is infectious!
Lately when I have been meditating and teaching/practicing yoga, the image of an oak tree has been coming to mind. Growing up in Minnesota, oak trees in the north are very sacred (they are in Florida, too, where they are protected here).
I recall my parents teaching me about oak trees when I was young. I was mesmerized by their towering height and the breadth of their branches. I was also very disappointed, being an avid tree climber, that they always had the most enticing branches, but they were always inaccessible to my monkey ways without the aid of a ladder or climbing rope.
I LOVED trees as a kid, and still have a soft spot in my heart for them, and I was in awe when my dad taught me that as high as the northern oak tree grows into the sky is also as deep and grows into the earth.
That dichotomy of growth is what I love most about oak trees. They are a reminder that the more rooted we are with our selves: our values, our work ethics, our positive habits, the greater ability we have to grow as human beings. The deeper our roots grow, the greater our stability, and the more access our branches have to spread out and grow extra high without fear of falling over.
It’s this sense of focus that inspires me from the image of an oak tree. Focus on your work, in the tree’s case, the 50 gallons per day those deeps roots soak up, and the yummy sunlight the high leaves absorb. Focus on the attributes that truly make you grow, that give you life and feed your spirit, and you will never stop growing, you will never stop expanding.
No matter what happens to an oak tree, they are known for firmly standing their ground. Their deep roots support their high branches. No tiny wind or fierce rain storm will deter them from their mission of growth.
We are all like oak trees.
Take time today to recall what it is that lights you up the most. Maybe it’s spending time with your loved ones, getting artful and creative, doing the work you love, going to the beach or on a nature walk and connected with the earth, reading, swimming, exercising, etc. Whatever it is, connect. Light up from the inside out. Get rooted in your body so you can give yourself access to take flight and soar to new heights.
The more focused you are on your intention for this day, for this moment, the more fulfilled you will feel in your body and with your time.
Focus on the things that make you happy and make your life feel like it matters. Take time for you: drink your figurative 50 gallons of water and soak up the sun. In order to empty your cup for others, you must first fill yours!
Unwavering thoughts, actions, and feelings will help you take off.
Soar to the heights you are meant to go. Align all of your thoughts with purpose like the purpose of an oak tree, and with fearlessness see where your intentionally focused action can take you.
By rooting down, and focusing your eyes and your heart and your mind, you will take flight into heights you never knew were possible.