March 27, 2017

How to Cure Overwhelm & Turn it into a Blessing.

There used to be an apple tree in our backyard. 

For years, it produced fruit that was a wonderful balance of tart and sweet. Then, over a period of weeks, the leaves shriveled. One morning, I found the tree toppled over on the ground.

Gophers had chewed through the roots.

No roots equals no fruits—because the fruit of life comes from being rooted. It’s true for a tree, and it’s true for you and me.

When we’re not rooted, our life loses its juice, and eventually, we topple over—into overwhelm, cynicism, and despair.

But what does it mean to be rooted?

Being rooted means we’re connected to the ground of “Being.”

To know and feel in your bones that you are part of life and not apart from life in any way. This feeling of your fundamental “life-ness” infuses every moment with meaning and energy.

It’s not that you’re jumping up and down with glee—though that can happen. It’s that you’re whole-heartedly open to the innate holiness of each moment, including the hard and harsh ones.

Being whole-hearted doesn’t deny the hard and harsh moments of life.

There’s a difference between being rooted in the ground of Being versus burying your head in the sand. You don’t deny the challenges of your situation when you’re rooted—however, you’re not buried in them either.

Even in challenging circumstances, you’re rooted—able to open and feel energy and inspiration from the ground of Being moving through you and into the world.

You become an agent of awakening.

You embody the energies of love, wisdom, beauty, truth (and the list goes on) in the midst of your daily, nitty-gritty life. Being rooted doesn’t teleport you to some insulated spiritual plane. It brings you fully into this moment with all its complexity and simplicity.

You’re right here, right now, awake and available.

When you’re rooted, your life becomes what it is meant to be—a blessing that heals the world.

But what happens when you’re un-rooted?

Life becomes…um…lifeless. The meaning, purpose, energy, and juice drain away. The challenges of daily life—not to mention the world situation—are too much to handle. You topple over.

It’s easy to blame the gophers.

You know the gophers, right? We all have gophers.

So, who are your gophers?

Gophers are the parents, partners, and people in your life.

The ones who did it to you. Gophers are the government. The corporations. That person you obsessively can’t stand. The other. Them.

Here’s the thing—when you topple over, it’s not the gophers’ fault.

When you’re un-rooted it looks like they’re the ones who are chewing through your roots—toppling your tree. Uh-uh.

You are your own gopher.

I am too. It’s not the world that is undermining us; it’s our own disconnection from the ground of Being. The world isn’t gnawing away at our soul—we are. And it’s exhausting.

It’s time to get rooted.

The Equinox is the time for renewal—for getting rooted again in the nourishing, sustaining, ground of Being. Now is the classical time to re-boot, renew, and re-energize your spiritual practice.


Author: Eric Klein

Image: Flickr/Moosealope; author’s original illustration 

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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Larissa Domingues Mar 30, 2017 2:06am

Amazing text!

Jane King Andrews Mar 28, 2017 6:38pm

"Overwhelm" is a verb. Leave it that way.

Janie Laviolette Mar 28, 2017 5:15pm

Wonderful, loved it. Thank you

Paulette Lucas Mar 28, 2017 4:21pm

As I feel completely overwhelmed doing a Valium withdrawal, I am immensely grateful for your words. At a time when I feel completely uprooted by bouts of severe depression and long moments when unable to think clearly, not even recognizing myself, I am reminded to let my roots sink back deeply into myself. Remembering who I am. The purpose of why I am doing this, even though it has been life threatening. A quote from the article I wrote in my journal. It just might become my mantra for awhile. Deeply grateful. Gasho

Jamie Serran Mar 28, 2017 3:37pm

So wonderful! I needed to read this today - thank you!

Allison W. Cone Mar 28, 2017 2:12pm

This is great. Thank you for sharing this with us! I'm passing your wisdom and insight on. I look forward to reading and learning more from you.

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Eric Klein

Eric Klein is one of the few people on the planet to be both a bestselling leadership author and lineage holder in a 5,000 year old yoga tradition. His work translates the wisdom traditions into practices and principles for people who want to bring greater spirit, meaning, and authenticity to their work and lives. His award-winning books include You are the Leader You’ve Been Waiting For, Awakening Corporate Soul: Four Paths to Unleash the Power of People at Workand To Do or Not To Do: How Successful Leaders Make Better Decisions. His signature online program The Meditation Habit integrates neuroscience, behavior change technology, and spiritual practice. Learn more at his website.