Lately, the thought of “bloom where I am planted,” keeps coming to mind. When seeds are planted in the soil, they bloom where they are period. They do not think about being somewhere else, instead they simply bloom creating beauty all around them.

Why is it so hard for us humans to bloom where we are? To be happy now, not when I _______ [fill-in-the-blank]. It’s such a simple concept isn’t it? Expand and grow where you are—knowing—you are right where you are supposed to be. Can you breathe that in? …that knowing … you are right where you are supposed to be.How does it feel in your body reading those words? Expanded or contracted?

In T'ai Chi, there is a saying we often repeat, “sink and root.” When we look at nature the strongest trees have the deepest roots. Borrowing their strength from the ground, trees are able to be upright for hundreds of years. Developing our root is very important in Tai Chi because it is our root that enables all movement. It is at the core of our practice and it effects everything we do.

Sinking is that connection to rooting. We sink our mind and breath to the lower dantien, [two fingers below the navel] we physically sink our body as we feel the earth below our feet.

T'ai Chi continues to teach me in every area of my life. When, I am not physically practicing the form, rooting represents being present, being right where I am at any given moment. Not wishing I was somewhere else.

“The definition of stress is being here and wanting to be there.”
~Echkart Tolle

Sinking is my breath… that connection to being present. I know when I can pause and feel my breath, I immediately feel relaxation in my body and my mind begins to release in thought and expand in perspective.

Maybe this writing is more for me than you today. I have been noticing how I have been comparing myself lately, whether it is where I am in my career at this stage in my life, navigating parenthood with my beautiful teenager, and realizing I am single—no longer married. I find myself beginning again and again—in so many different ways. It’s scary, wonderful, terrifying, beautiful, expansive and contracted. [Yin-Yang]

Sink and root, I remind myself daily, and some days it’s many times within one single day. Deep roots, I tell myself. Be strong and soft, enjoy this moment, where you are now. And, as I remind my students often, and as my Sifu reminds me, “If your life is great now, give thanks because it will change. If your life is challenging [or sucks] right now, give thanks because it will change.” Life ebbs and flows and it is constantly changing. When practicing the T'ai Chi form, I do my best to ebb with each transition and flow into the next posture. Yes life is T'ai Chi.

May I bloom where I am planted, and may you do the same.

photo: Vicki Overfelt