So for my Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training I have a selection of books to read, one of which being “Birthing From Within” by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. In the book she spends a lot of time describing the need and effect of creating birth art, and what each piece from a prompt can revile about the inner state of a mother to be. I began to think that even though I am not a mother to be, I am about to create a whole new business, why not give these prompts a try and see what my unconscious has to tell me.
I had at first thought that I would create mandalas and use prompts that were seemingly shallow looking back. Ideas like “draw a mandala about how you feel about you business” etc. However when I sat down with my sketch book and box of pastels, the prompt that came out was, “how do you feel about support?” Again I intended to draw a mandala but what came out was a lake, a beach with a single apple tree (with fruit on the branches), grass far behind the tree, and a dark midnight sky.
Sitting back and looking at my finished picture, I noticed a few things right away. First of all, I am on the other side of the lake, and although there was a way to walk to the tree, it was a distance; and there was no boat. I was also not depicted, but it was fairly obvious that the observer was the subject of the drawing. The observer was trying to reach the tree. It was the middle of the night, the darkest part of the month. There were no stars, no moon, no light what so ever. There was nothing guiding to the tree, just the instinct that it was there across the lake. The tree was planted in a beach, not super fertile ground for an apple tree. Although there was grass further off, it would have been a stretch for the tree to reach that soil. Although the tree was bearing fruit, only one apple was within reach, the rest were high in the branches; and there were only seven apples. Most importantly, there was only one tree. One tree on barren soil, still growing strong, far away, in the darkest night, without even a cloud.
Here is the other interesting thing about the drawing, it was a clear night. There was not a storm, the water was clear, beautiful, and calm. When I had began to form the image in my head, I was sure there would be a nasty storm. It would be crazy water, dark clouds, lightning, rain, flooding; but what came out was calm. Almost as if the support was there, it was difficult to reach, but it was healthy; and it was possible.
So I asked myself; “How do I plant and nurture more trees?”
Support and the root chakra has been a heavy theme on my mind lately. With winter transitioning into spring, I often begin to shift my focus to grounding, and connecting with the earth. Even in my yoga classes, I use March as a chance for my students to slowly come out of that solo period of winter, delving deep internally; to a more social and external, connected existence needed to fully live in spring and summer months. This year I chose to focus March with beginning to become aware of the connection to the earth, then connecting, then moving to Mulaha Bundha, locking the energy within. No surprise with all this talk that the root chakra would spring to mind, and become a centralized focus.
Root chakra, or Muladhara Chakra, is responsible for connection, family, close friendships or “tribe” mentality. It also rules over our ideas and ability to survive and thrive. Further it connects us to our support systems. When Muladhara Chakra is working properly, we will feel connected, supported, and loved. This support, in our modern culture, also encompasses our financial stability. For when we feel financially supported, we feel grounded and stable.
The more that Muladhara came up within my meditations, and musings over my classes; the more I began to look deeper into my ideas of support. Over the winter months, I felt very disconnected, isolated, alone, and rocky. Financially we were struggling, my clients and students were dwindling, and I was feeling very hopeless in growing into the beautiful vision that I saw as my business. However during the transition period of mid February began to take hold, something shifted. I began to feel tingling at my base chakra during meditations, a warm dandelion colored energy growing there spreading out though my body. I started to feel myself hammocked or swaddled in a cocoon when in the presence of family. I also started making and strengthening connections with many people, mainly surprisingly women, whom I actually wanted to hug or talk to when I felt a little confused or stressed. (It is not a normal thing for me to be open about emotions as they come; more often they will explode at the breaking point if they get shared at all. Nor do I often connect with women.)
Bringing all this back to the picture I drew, the astounding realization I had was that I was still holding on to the fact that support was something difficult to reach. Support was something that I was unable to attain, and over the course of my life – except in extreme cases – have mostly navigated on my own, relaying on my own strength and inner courage. However the expenditure that I am looking to undertake, I can not do alone. Becoming an integrated part of a holistic community, and a business owner, I need a strong community. I need a community that would recognize my strengths, hold my value, help me when I was feeling rocky, and elders to guide me when I did not know what to do. Although I still was holding on to some old ideas, support was changing for me. I no longer saw it as unattainable; but I still saw it as a singular source, and one that needed a journey to achieve.
Within all my work I saw that my next phase was to learn how to plant and nurture more trees. I can easily make connections; but often I would allow those connections to remain weak. I had no idea how to continue to nurture them. What was the correct time frame? Should I work on being friends with these connections, using mindless small talk for a while before diving in deep? Do I invite them out for coffee for no reason other than to hang out? Or do I wait for them to make that move into friendship? Do colleagues and friends mix? And on and on the questions go. I am by no means an expert yet; but at least now I know what is the block, what is holding me back; and it is not that support is not there for me, it is that I am still learning how to nurture it.
I highly suggest looking into art as a way to allow your subconscious to connect with you. If you decided to use the same prompt, what did you draw? What did it tell you? Do you have one or two or three tress? Do you have a barren waste land in a storm, or a lush tropical jungle with plenty of life? Feel free to let me know what you discover!
Practice in Peace and Love ❤