A root is a vital organ of a plant. It’s main purposes are to absorb water, nutrients, anchor the plant to the ground, store food, and help with the reproductive process.
Roots essentially keep the plant stable so it can stay alive, grow, and reproduce.
One thing I notice a lot in my journey in music and life is that we often lack roots. There seems to be an energy in the air that has created a society and multiple generations that lack roots.
What I mean by this is that people don’t seem to be stable. People seem to lack any sort of anchor or consistency in their life.. they don’t want to be held down, they don’t want to be labeled one thing or another, they don’t want to be right or wrong, they just want to “be”. While I think there are plenty of things that may not have a universal answer to them, when you never land anywhere you are living in a place that is alway shifting, inconsistent, and unstable.
This type of environment creates a state of being that is always wondering, always questioning but never answering, always thinking but never progressing, always consuming, looking, exploring but never feeling content. I know this because I have spent years in this state of being and it’s exhausting.
In life, you have to eventually take a stand on something or have some sort of stability otherwise your will spend years pleasing everyone else and neglecting yourself. It’s ok to have an opinion that differs from others. It’s ok to believe in something, be it spiritual or not, but at least believe in something and stand firm in it. Almost every artist I work with has one main problem, they have no idea who they are. Part of my job is to help guide them into discovering who they are or affirming who they are. This doesn’t mean I try to make them like me or believe what I believe, but it means that I help them land somewhere to create some stability to then create and share their story.
Reflecting on my own journey, having roots requires you to actually take responsibility for something. This can feel restrictive, but I have found that discipline and believing in certain things, taking opinions on social and political topics helps create roots. These roots give stability to then do the work necessary in life. It’s a starting place that allows you take in nutrients, thrive, and create and grow. It allows you to survive the seasons, make it thru winter, even when it looks like nothing is happening or that the plant is dead… the roots are still thriving and releasing the nutrients necessary for a rebirth.
This does not mean you can never change your mind on important issues in life, but it does mean that you have some sort of foundation to do this from. Taking a stand on an issue lends itself to responsibility. It is a weighty thing, but it is necessary in life in order to figure out who you are as a person. I don’t think think that we like responsibility. At least my generation and below. I think this is part of the reason why we have so much discontent, consumption of online content and aimless scrolling on social media. Laying down roots, be it in a job, in a relationship, spiritual, mentally, physically all require lots of work. It requires commitment and nurturing. It requires making it thru the storms and not just running away, quitting, or switching sides on a team when it gets hard.
Forming roots can look like a routine or doing something consistent. I have been practicing meditation for about a year now consistently. When I started it was almost impossible to sit in silence for five minutes and not do anything. Now I love sitting in silence. At first I had zero faith in the process. I had zero faith in just showing up to be silent and reflective, but after a few months of doing it, I literally noticed a difference in myself. I thought more clearly, I was less stressed, I was more self aware, I began to make choices that were more logical and less emotional, I began to have space in my life and thinking. Things I feared became less intense. Looking back now, I was forming roots. Now that I have the roots, I have been able to work thru all sorts of things in life. Having a foundation or roots has allowed me to become a better husband, son, friend, and give a better end product to my client.
If you don’t have roots you will be blown about, weak, unstable, and lack the nutrients to grow in life. As much as it may seem like laying roots is boring or uneventful, I can tell you that there is nothing more life giving then learning more and more about yourself and the world around you. When you start to see the growth in your life and how it impacts others it’s contagious. I can testify to that.
So this week try and lay down some roots. Plant some seeds and watch them grow.