We're on Skype talking about chakras and finding language for our brand. It's how our conversations typically flow: one subject spilling into another spilling into another. I tell her about the rash that's returned after steroids and my yellow nail polish to strengthen my solar plexus chakra.
"I don't need the sun, though. I go out in the sun and the heat makes my skin flare." I shrug.
She tilts her head and tells me to consider the root.
"You speak often of wanting to feel rooted. So maybe it's a thing?"
I nod my head and write down some notes.
"Maybe." I reply, fighting against the urge to reach down and scratch the itchy-spots on my legs.
It's said that in order to heal your root chakra, you need to take off your shoes and touch the earth.
Remind yourself that you are supported—rooted—loved.
I hear this and I tremble. I hate walking through the grass with my bare feet.
I have pictures of me as a young girl, arms and legs splayed out and reaching toward an unseen figure. I'm crying, eyes pinched and face red.
I'm sitting in the grass.
My parents have talked about this with a slice of mirth, their own eyes crinkled from laughter.
"Remember how you hated the grass, Elora? Remember how upset it would make you?"
I don't remember. But I feel the memory.
It comes back with itchy skin and bug-bit legs and a feeling of anxious breath I can't control.
I wonder how you heal something so deeply broken. It's no surprise one of my core desires is feeling rooted. It's been the driving force behind much of my decision-making. For about a year, I've been drawn toward trees. The big ones with roots inching deep into the earth. I want to know what that feels like, I think.
I need to know I can touch the earth and still see the sky.
When I'm angry, I want to pound the cement with my feet.
I walk it out or throw my arms sideways in punching motions, the ball of fire inching closer and closer from my pelvic area to my throat.
"I just want you to fucking see me, dammit!" I yell to no one and everyone in particular, the flames lapping dangerously close to my heart, the seat of my dreams.
No wonder it burns when I try not to cry.
"Stomp your feet furiously against the ground, feel the earth beneath you and try to push as far as you can go." She says. I'm watching her on a video and feeling the familiar tickle of flame against my chest.
There's something here, I think.
I close the window and swallow the tears.
I can let them flow tomorrow.
It's later, hours have passed since the text asking for a five minute brainstorming session.
It's how our conversations typically flow.
"There was something I wanted to say at the beginning of the call and I forgot—you had a hard summer last year too. And if there's one thing I remember from seminary it's that our bodies can hold on to memories of difficult times. Things started getting a little haywire around June right? The anniversary of the adoption?"
I scrape my teeth on my bottom lip and stare out the window.
"Mother's Day." I reply. I turn and look at her. "Everything starting getting hard around Mother's Day."
I reach and scratch at a spot on my neck.
Sadness gives you the chance to be still with the most tender place of your being - Danielle LaPorte
I am not a chakra healer. I do not know the hidden secrets behind pieces of us that are open or shut or locked-behind-steel-cages. But I know what I crave.
I know the burning I feel on my forehead usually happens when I'm not listening to my intuition.
I know the closest thing I can come to bare-feet-in-the-grass is succulents lining my windowsill and yoga poses where I'm reaching toward the sky, taking the shape of trees.
I know the tears that threatened to spill when I watched the woman stomp her feet reveals a part of me that needs the attentive care of one who is not afraid of anger or the rhythm of the haka warrior, blood and purpose pulsing in their veins.
And I know the lure of breath—the subtle nod toward going soft and falling into the embrace of a Divine Mother—often looks like days spent not hustling to get stuff done, but allowing myself to remember the flow.
Because love, the tears may not come tomorrow. And in their absence, you'll feel the heat of a creativity stuck in motion, a cemented piece of time lodged right in the middle of your gut and stretching to your throat, where your words used to rest.
So find the Root or She'll find you. It's beautiful either way, but there's one in which the cement must be broken before growth can occur. And no one ever really enjoys a breaking.