Finding My Roots

If I were a tree, I would be standing with branches bare after experiencing a fierce windstorm which blew all my brown leaves down to the ground and far away. Shivering and feeling vulnerable, my twigs and trunk have long been wondering, “Why am I here?” followed close behind with, “What do I do now?”

This last winter has been a challenging one for me with loss wrapped up in some of the gifts, a darker time when I haven’t had the energy for myself, creative art, and deeper thinking. With my self-care long since gone, cast away while work intensified on publishing my own book and then in my freelance work where I manage other authors and their books, I’ve been running at break-neck speed for nearly a year. I haven’t taken the time to sit and think, to write on my blog or create new poems, and I haven’t spent a lot of time with my friends. You would think after all these years of knowing how much I struggle inside when I don’t write, I would put greater emphasis on making time for it. However, writing means eventually being on a computer and I’ve been looking at a screen so much for work and spending so much time writing about books and publishing for a company’s blog, I haven’t had much time and energy for the spiritual writing my heart longs for.

Andrew LesnieIt’s now the middle of March and my work has slowed down to the point I have the time to update my design portfolio and seek out additional freelance and sub-contracting opportunities. The change and new challenge excites me as I love to learn and grow even while I’m figuring out my finances for the next couple of months. The extra time has also been a wonderful gift in that I now have the energy to write again, update my social media as an author, accept speaking engagements, and finish polishing my website. It’s a time to re-center myself, remember what I love, and work on expanding my reach as a free-lance book designer and spiritual director.

One of the problems I’ve had over the winter is that I have been working so hard on other people’s projects, serving on two boards, and teaching an aerial art class, I have forgotten myself. My tendency is to constantly put others first and drain myself. Knowing my culture, I know I’m not alone in this. I know a lot of people who, like me, constantly go-go-go and don’t stop to settle down and remember who they are. We lose sight of our identity and feel ungrounded. This is where I’ve been at – up to now.

This last week I’ve been focusing on meeting with friends, reading books I love, and, finally, taking up my writing pen once more. Next Sunday I have a speaking engagement in Portland when I get to talk about my passion behind Finding Love’s Way, along with getting to preach at another church in April. These are the things I love to do, this is what feeds my soul.

Through conversations with friends, some whom I’ve known for twenty-five years, others for the last several, I’ve been able to leave that wind-swept, hurried air around me and sink back into my roots. Sitting across from each of them, one by one they have reminded me who I am deep down, the passion running through my veins, the beauty that’s always been there, the gifts we’ve been to each other, and of the powerful light inside me. Through discourse around spiritual ideas, books, relationships, our lives, what we’ve experienced together, and what’s coming up in the future, without meaning to, I’m sure, they’ve each held up a mirror for me when I most needed it, reminding me why I’m here and even giving me some ideas on what to do next.

Looking around me, I can see that sometimes we get so wrapped up in our business, we lose ourselves. The wind comes, our branches shake, and we forget to grip the earth with the roots God gave us. We don’t remember who we are and why we’re here, we feel ungrounded and become blind to what is most important. I know I let go of what grounds me, lost sight of the driving force in my heart, and neglected time with the people I love. One of the beauties of community there are people around us who will help us remember our breath and space, who will walk with us to our roots and hold up the mirror of divine light. Our community helps us find our center.

Now that I’m beginning to feel more centered and grounded, I’m once again flexing my roots, digging into the earth, going further down so I can grow further up. It’s an important process and one I am so grateful to experience. I needed this and I’ve needed each one of you who have reminded me why I’m here and the world of possibilities for what I can do next. Thank you from the bottom of my heart and the tips of my roots for being so loving, so wise, and such a wonderful inspiration of God’s divine face.

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