Tap Into Your Spiritual Roots

Written by Pat Sullivan

tap root in to happinessFrom country music to tap dancing, the things that make you happy are important to your spiritual life.

A kind and ethical attorney swears he's not spiritual because he doesn't meditate or pray. He also says he doesn't know how he taps the wisdom he needs to live kindly and ethically.

Then he told me he loves country music. Immediately, he lit up and I got it: For him, country music is like a taproot. It gets him out of his head, and into his body and emotions. Through the music, parts of him come alive that are typically dormant.

The more you live from your taproot, the easier it is to deal effectively and gracefully with challenge.
Prayer, meditation and other spiritual disciplines are the best-known taproots. But anything that most enlivens you can be a taproot to your soul.
If you don't know what your taproot is, try looking at the things that really touch and move you, particularly those things about which you are shy telling others.
When you touch these hidden gifts and dreams, you touch the core of your soul.

Taproots are trees' longest roots. They go down deeply enough to tap underground water even during drought. When you're in tune with your spiritual taproot, you can draw on reserve strength and find fresh insight quickly.

To my attorney friend, listening to country music is a vital practice; the effects of which run deep. The music enables him to be more compassionate, wise and confident, yet more humble, at the same time.

Patsy Attwood, a rapid-transit station agent, prays throughout her workday. When frustrated and furious customers head her way, she prays, "God help me" and means it. Instantly, she feels supported by her taproot and can listen until the angry customer runs out of steam. Once, a man sought her out the day after she had helped him. "I don't know what you did to me," he said, "but after I left you, my day was great."

Dance can be a taproot. A nun who works hard for the poor comes uniquely alive when she tap dances. My sister taps special wisdom in the garden while wrestling with weeds or hard clay.

My husband, John, is a kind man whose lifetime of spiritual practices from many traditions helped shape him into the man I married 17 years ago. One of his taproots is the music of Louis Armstrong. Though John can quote many facts about Louis, there's no explaining the wondrous mysteries the musician stirs in him. It's little wonder then that John's mother honors the man who sets her son's soul to dancing with the title, "St. Louis."

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