Radical Service: Uprooting

As I move into this year of Radical Kindness, I’ve been thinking about roots.  It turns out the origin, or “root” word for radical is “root.”  Gotta love it!  So I’ve been working with images of watering my own roots and engaging my clients in noticing when they’re nurturing their own roots so that they can serve others effectively.

So it’s ironic that I’m honoring National Service Day by helping a team pull up some roots. English ivy is so well-suited to the Oregon climate that it has invaded natural areas for years.  Its tough and widespread root system takes away nutrition from the more fragile native species.  The best way to get rid of it for good, short of serious nuking, is to pull like crazy. It’s an enormous job in some areas, a worthy project for local service.

This work is so like the work I do every day as I work with clients.  Every thought, such as “I’m not good enough,” has an enormous root system, supporting a whole world of other thoughts: “And this means I can’t be happy, get a job, be a good dad, take care of myself.”  On and on.

I love finding the roots and uprooting them with some really good questions.  There’s such freedom for newer, kinder thoughts when they have space to grow. So today as I pull, I’ll be imagining some of my old core beliefs coming up, too.  And in my mind I’ll be clearing a place for all of the people I care about.

Do your own mind a service today. Begin a list of any thoughts that you notice would keep you from being at peace. Find the root systems and begin unearth the root beliefs. Allow yourself the Radical Kindness that would clear the soil for fragile and kind new thoughts.

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