• Jesse Williams, LPC-MHSP

Lessons from a Smoky Mountain Rock

Any one who hikes, walks, or even drives through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is sure to see plenty of one thing: Rocks. Lots of rocks. Rocks of all shapes and sizes.


And sure, while it's not the Rocky Mountains, it's safe to say that the Smokies have their fair share of rocks.



The rocks are everywhere. Bordering walkways. On roads. Creating cascades. Giving form to the creeks and rivers and streams and trails. They are the homes of mosses, insects, algae, fish, salamanders, and the like. They provide shelter to critters and anchors for plants.


And they are an archetypal energy.


For those unfamiliar with archetypes, an archetype can be defined as universal pattern/idea/energy that anyone can relate to and understand. Like the idea of "Superhero" or "Harvest" or "Death." Just like Romeo and Juliet embody "The Star-Crossed Lovers" archetype. They are universal aspects of human nature that often extend far beyond culture, race, upbringing, etc. They are ideas that are greater than our sense of self and reality, and they are familiar and ancient. For more discussion on archetypes, feel free to check out this blogpost.


And that's what rocks are: an archetype.

The archetype of The Rock brings up ideas of stability, strength, foundation, building block, stillness, weight, and the eternal. Rocks remind us of stability and stillness and strength. They beckon us to center ourselves in the quiet and peace of the present. To settle into the pure existence of the now. Into the possibility of the moment.


Rocks call to us to be still. To listen. To appreciate just being silent in the moment. To be committed to the present. And they call us to be grounded.


Their presence encourages us to asks ourselves:


What grounds you?

What balances you?

What anchors you into the stillness and peaceful side of life? For some, that's yoga.

For others, it's sitting outside and watching the traffic go past.

Or painting.

Singing.

Driving.

Working out.

Sports.

Meditation.

Acting.

Hiking.

Photographing. What grounds you in the moment? What grounds you in the ability to just exist in the moment? And are you doing this? Are you allowing yourself to just be in the moment? Are you allowing yourself to be grounded in the now?


I challenge you to try this week to channel some of that Rock archetypal energy.


Ground yourself in your present self. Allow yourself to feel the balance of the now. Just exist. Like a stone.


Like a Smoky Mountain Rock.

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