The roots of safety.

According to the Vedas, an ancient text, each human has a system of chakras. Chakra means wheel in Sanskrit and each wheel corresponds to an energy center in the body, with there being 7 main ones. The root chakra or muladhara is located at the base of the spine. It is the chakra of safety and security, asks the question of “do I belong here?” and its focus is staying grounded. The symbol for the root chakra is the four-petalled lotus flower.

For years, I thought my feeling of safety was dependent on external factors. It depended on the environment, people, or my surroundings. The house I lived in as a child was so tightly wound with security; with everything from a security guard to panic buttons yet it was not a place that provided me with a feeling of safety. Every sound at night would wake me up or wouldn’t let me fall asleep. This was probably the first time I came across this idea of anxiety. For university, going to a city which was considered one of the safest in the country, didn’t make me feel more secure. All of this was quite frustrating. I was in a supposedly safe place, with safe people but couldn’t identify with the feeling. How many more changes could I make to my external world to get that feeling?

It was only, years later, when I started understanding and learning about “being grounded” did I start working on feeling safe from within. Admittedly, when I was introduced to this idea and was told to work on being grounded, I rolled my eyes (many times). What a ridiculous notion. My anxiety won’t disappear if I work on a root-something and yet live in a province considered as the one of the most dangerous in the world, possibly. How on Earth does that work (insert several eye rolls round about here).

I still did the work though. I was probably at a stage of my life where my skepticism was worn down by my anxiety. I never thought of myself as overly anxious but this was definitely a feeling coming from being an adult could bring (insert a million reasons on why adulthood is overrated here).

And for a long time, I didn’t feel any different. I didn’t pay attention to it. But as time went on, and the work became more of a habit, I started feeling a little less anxious. I stopped focusing on the external factors, or on the feelings, the factors would normally have given me. It was almost like I had a bubble around me that I had created.

It’s taken hindsight, I mean reflection, for me to see this. The challenge comes in because it’s a daily habit and daily work. And even during the day, there are moments where some external factor tries to pop the bubble, and it’s these moments that test whether I really believe if I’m in control of my own feeling of safety. Do I win? I’d like to believe so. I like to believe that we all have roots (figuratively) that are connected to the center, and the more we work on being grounded, the deeper the roots become. If we are grounded, then we are strong in our feelings of belonging and safety.

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