I’ve just published a new What’s Possible? Newsletter. You can read the full newsletter or enjoy the main article below.
I’d like to share with you an experience I had during a recent yoga class. It has become a potent metaphor for me in regards to how we shape nourishing and inviting environments where people can relax, feel connected, learn and grow.
During this yoga class I’m resting in child’s pose. My body is curled into a ball, relaxed and releasing into the ground. My torso, chest, back and head are folded over the bottom half of my body. My shins, knees, the tops of my feet, my forehead and arms are resting on the floor. I am relaxed. Breathing in and out. I sink deeper and deeper into the pose. My brain is calm and at rest.
The instructor invites us to imagine that we are a seed. To feel ourselves as a seed resting deep in the earth. I feel myself let go even more fully. My seed is so light, practically weightless, as if it is floating. And yet paradoxically I can also feel pressure all around me. An encompassing sensation of gravity pulling at me and pressing against me from all directions. In a comforting way, I am engulfed by the moist soil that is holding me in the earth, holding me close. And yet I also feel totally free. I am peacefully a seed. Everything feels right. There is no stress. I let go and fall into my surroundings. I feel open, trusting and free.
And then the instructor invites us to imagine that our seed is getting ready to sprout. I start to feel the initial inner stirrings, the impulse to grow. Something inside me is awakening. Sparks are firing. Energy is stirring. Every part of my insides begin to tingle, in all directions, 360 degrees, three dimensionally, all my cells are humming with potential. I feel a tension pulsing against the edges of my seed coating. While this frenetic energy is growing inside me, I still feel gracefully held in the utterly calm stillness and nourishing surroundings of the earth. My surroundings continue to support me. I trust this ground to hold me and I keep relaxing into it, feeling safe and letting go. I don’t have to do anything but be a seed. The creative energy continues to purr inside me.
I feel an aliveness of beauty and potential growing inside of me. I know that when the time is right, my seed will break open into the vast unknown, moving beyond the protective boundary and allowing all this potent energy to unfold. I can feel that my seed wants to grow and it will do just that. It does not need to be forced. It simply needs a nourishing environment in which to rest. The earth is holding and nourishing me in such a comforting way, and thus I am free to let myself expand and grow.
As a seed held in the grace of the moment, my only task was to relax into myself. The more I did that, the stronger the inner stirrings of potential and creative force became inside of me. Where have you or your child felt so held in the grace of the moment that it was safe to relax deeper into yourself? How can we create more places like that? What opportunities might you provide for yourself and others to experience and give life to the potent creative force within?
As adults we have much influence and power over the environments in which children live and interact. We can create places where children feel welcomed to be themselves, where they are contained in ways that allow them to be open and free — this is our response-ability. This makes room for them to connect with their deep inner stirrings and relate to the nutrient-rich world around them. This is not about over-protecting and shielding them from bad weather. This is about mindfully attending to the spaces in which they are living and growing, supporting them as they connect with their own interior landscape and impulses to learn.
How can we create more places where people recognize that they are held in the grace of the moment, feel safe to relax deeper into themselves, and thus are able to give life to that potent creative force within? Where have you experienced being held in such a way? What makes a place feel welcoming, inclusive, and safe for you to let yourself be and grow? In what environments do you notice your child feeling such freedom and creative expression? I would love to hear your reflections.
Bulb paintings are by KaraBrownLovesArt.
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