Question: How do you define yourself? As someone with wings, always ready to go for the next thing? Or as someone with deep and stable roots?
For me, after many many years of living abroad and many years spent travelling, I can safely say I’m a home girl at heart who loves to be regularly packing her bag.
This took me many years to figure out during my travels and during my thinking, I couldn’t help but bring it back down into a philosophical life angle of which do I prefer; stability or change. It’s not an easy choice and i’ve often found that the immediate surroundings of my work, relationship, sometimes weather and opportunities played important roles in my choices to hit the road again!
Overall, I feel at my best self when I know I have the luxury of choosing to do either; Life is not black or white and the sooner we come to realise that the gorgeous shades of grey that we live in is pretty sleek, the quicker we find our peace. It is from the tiny and serendipitous choices that we make along the way that lead us from one path to another.
There have been many times – mainly when I was locked down in a corporate career I have to admit – that the indefinable wish to extend my wings and take to the wind was the strongest calls. But there were times where this wasn’t possible; roots were keeping me someplace. Looking back and with some growing wisdom behind me now; I can recognise this is all part of the grand life plan of our own individual destiny.
But there have also been times when my determination to leave was so strong and I knew in my deepest depths that I was going to make it happen. Those levels of determination took an immense amount of energy from me to stay focused, keep my head down and concentrate on my ticket out.
And there have also been times when i’ve felt so at home and loved my routines, my house mates, my yoga practise, going off for retreats and then the return home, meeting friends, cooking on a Friday night with the weekend ahead of me, buying my first home and settling in there with my hundreds of books!
So, what’s better then? The winds of change or the roots of stability?
Who knows? I’n not sure if there is a right answer, only a ‘circumstantial answer’; those pivotal moments in which we choose which path to go forth on; the path that we are on and establish stronger roots to anchor us or to listen to the call of the wind as we prepare for flight. Either way, we are asked to look deep within and answer to that voice that whispers to us and draw our courage.
Which side are you on?
I know people who won’t or can’t stand still; they answer to the open horizons and allow their way to unfold in their searching for their hungry hearts and curious minds. Routines bore them, they advance in their life with many stories to tell and even more ahead. They have friends and homes all over the world. They spread joy with their daring lives, yet there is also sadness in the leaving behind. The life with wings offers plenty of opportunities for new, but there is always the tinge of what you know, far behind.
And those with roots that seek the stability to build upon. Some may say its synonymous with security, belonging and a serene calmness when you can build a life and routines to your own values. Yet without facing the new or unexpected, how will you know what you can be made of?
And who’s happiest? Those who take flight or those with deeply dug trenches? I think that both paths, if taken to the extreme, is not ideal. If we stay where we know, we become complacent and come to think of the world as small. But if were to stay on the road forever; how many goodbye’s must we cry?
That ever delicate balance of both is where life’s true meanings shows itself; when we are able to take flight and still return with a joyful heart. If we are always on the move, we never find peace and anyway, life is too short to answer all one’s questions. On the other hand, a stagnant life that allows for no fresh air and widening perspectives can cause us to sit with what is, rather than go after, what could be.
I once heard a wise traveller say that it’s hard to fall in love with someone with wings, yet its harder still to pull out someones roots. I’ve walked away from great loves whilst seeking the winds of change and i’ve stayed rooted with some rotten lovers afraid to make a move.
I look for stability in relationships, ideally with an adventurous dose of wings. I found out along the way that life involves a series of continuous changes; up and down and around we go. We need to be capable of facing all the windy winds of change and experiencing the strong and stable earth beneath us; Both have something teach us and by experiencing both we are chanced with opportunities of growth, deepening wisdom and to face ourselves with maturity.
Essentially, we are asked to identify our needs versus our wants. (Another post to follow on this at some point!) Developing a bond emerging from self sufficiency is rare; we are not taught this way to relate, to experience freedom within a relationship.
Being able to experience both dimensions with a significant other is where my joy springs from. The stability within a relationship to charter a new course of direction is the greatest love affair and I learn that by keeping the drama out of my relationships, or knowing when to walk away from one when the drama becomes a frequent visitor, serves me well indeed. I believe this goes for anyone who is looking to live a well and meaningful harmonious life, and possibility, more so as I experienced, when our work is related to our mind and heart set. There is a common mythology that ‘artists’ (We are ALL artists) lives need the drama to create the art, yet I certainty find this does not serve us well. In truth, the less drama I face in my day to day life, the more I am able to conjure on page!
To feel deeply, all the things that life offers is where the joy emanates from; When we feel content, plant deep seeds so it will grow and last as long as possible and when grounded, be brave to look upon the gifts of stability and belonging.
And know in your heart of hearts that should the need arise to leave, through suffering or breakdown in communications; gather your courage and take flight with integrity for yourself and for others. That is the maturity of wisdom.
We seek joy in life. It is the essential ingredient for a healthy life. Know that a healthy life requires periods of both wings and roots. The key is finding the balance to allow both at different times.
May your wings open with excitement and joy and may your roots vibrate with magic and meaning.