Focusing your Will
The last two weeks were about setting your root by connecting with the ground. This is a metaphor for being in your body. This creates a sense of belonging. By belonging to the earth itself, being grounded, you feel more centered and balanced. This is the foundation for having balanced Earth energy.
The physiology of water in our bodies has a complexity that we overlook in the West. Most of us in the Western United States have a relationship with water that relates more to dryness than dampness. But, if you can consider the flooding banks of the creek, the spongy grass, and pools of standing muddy water that you typically see in spring, you can understand the quality of dampness that is significant this time of year.
Focus Your Will
An importance of being rooted in your body is to withstand the great rain and floods of spring. You have set your root, you are living in your body not just your mind, and now you are ready for the water of the spring floods to come.
Consider the deluge of water from spring rains. How the rising water rushes down the streams. If you were standing in the water you would feel the force of it against your “roots” – you must set your will to withstand the force. Curling your toes, digging deep into the earth, tightening your core, furrowing your brow, and even balling your hands into fists in order to stay upright. This is will.
Focusing your will in water is the metaphor for setting an intention to lay the foundation for your path. The path leads you on your journey of health and healing. It requires being present in your body (being grounded, being rooted) and setting an intention to begin the journey.
Set Your Intention
Intention has always been a tricky thing for me. When asked to “set my intention” I always questioned if I had chosen correctly. Is it a wish? A command? A meme?
What was missing in the instruction was the application of will: Setting an intention is examining your priorities. It is replacing unexamined assumptions and unconsciously held beliefs with consciously held intention to forage ahead on your path according to your priorities.
The priority of the tree in spring is to hang on and manage the water. Your priorities are what you can put your will behind. What is your priority? What is your priority as an ever-evolving conscious human being?
Use the following Tree pose to develop the powers of mental concentration, single-minded thought, and balance. Once you are in the pose, send your root down and hold your intention with single-minded focus and begin your journey.
- Stand up straight, balancing on the right foot.
- Bend the left knee and, helping with your hand, place the foot against the opposite thigh with the knee pointing outward.
- Focus on a point in front of you.
- Release your hold on the foot and bring both hands together at the chest in Prayer position.
- Find your balance.
- Keeping palms together, slowly extend the arms above the head.
- Hold and breathe gently. Send your root down and hold your intention with single-minded focus.
- Release, and repeat on the other side.