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Mindfulness Garden Games
by Joann Calabrese
author of Growing Mindful
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Humble Beets & Balance

Full Moon Greetings – November 27, 2023
A Symbol of Balance 

Beets (Beta Vulgaris) are a perfect symbol of balance. These earthy vegetables hold the energy of equilibrium both symbolically and in reality.

At the dinner table the roots and leaves (all edible) represent a balanced and healthy choice. Beets are helpful in balancing both blood sugar and blood pressure. The roots are hearty and can be roasted, steamed, grated raw into salads, and even baked into brownies. They are high in B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium. Young beet stems and leaves can be added to salads or smoothies, and more mature leaves can be cooked like spinach. They are a good source of vitamins C and A.  

But that’s not all. Beets exhibit balance in the garden as well. Their garden footprint is in the Goldilocks “just-right” category – tall enough that the weeds don’t overrun them, but not so tall to need staking. They don’t have many insect pests and yield a lot of produce in a small space.

The Energetic Signature of Beets

On an energetic level, beets hold a vibration of balance. They are of the earth and of the air. And while this concept is true for all plants, it holds especially true for beets. There is a strong contrast between the parts of the plant. The roots are substantial and solid, usually round or sometimes heart shaped. The stems and leaves are light and airy. They symbolize a way to achieve balance in our lives – being deeply rooted, yet comfortable with reaching out and exploring the world. 

Maintaining Equilibrium

Life constantly shifts in and out of balance. That is the nature of the world. On a planetary level, as we head toward winter solstice, the earth is arcing out to its farthest distance from the sun and then will head back to equilibrium at spring equinox. At a cellular level, our body’s work to maintain homeostasis – constantly adjusting temperature, oxygen, and hormones to optimal levels.

And in our personal lives, we balance movement and stillness, engagement with the world and solitude, work and family life. When the rebalancing happens easily, we hardly notice. However when there is a dramatic shift, we can be knocked off course.

For example, the holiday season can be joyful, but it can also add a new layer of stressors to our lives. That can be enough to create imbalance. And of course, our equilibrium is affected by the world around us. It is hard to tell if there is more chaos in the world right now, or the constant bombardment of bad news from the media makes it appear that way. However, when the world feels seriously off kilter, we may need to work harder to achieve our own equanimity. And working toward equanimity is not a selfish act. It enables us to stay centered so that we can respond  in the most positive way for ourselves and those around us.

Working with the Energy of Beets 

We can embrace the energy of beets as we move through the world. Mindfulness practices of any kind can help us to maintain balance. With practice, they direct us to pause between a stimulus and a response, allowing time to react from a place of rootedness.

Another way to work with this energy is to pay attention to where balance is happening in and around our world. Are there ways to nurture and align with that energy? Often just stopping to focus on where there is balance can assist us in realigning our own energy.

Lastly, another way to embrace rootedness is to be clear of our own values and use them to anchor us as we face challenges. Even if there is chaos nearby, we can make choices to be rooted like the energy of beets. Rootedness can keep us from being knocked, dragged, or blown off course.

As an experiment this week, make yourself some roasted beets or brownies and contemplate the energy of the humble beet. Set an intention to explore and nurture the practice of maintaining balance by being deeply rooted.

Lunar Blog Post Series
Luna in the grapevines

This post is part of my lunar blog series.  Each full moon I write about one plant, many of them are plants featured in my book, Growing Mindful.  Each new moon I write about a topic related to gardens, mindfulness, and spirituality. For more details and a list of past lunar blog posts, click here. 

 

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