Passion for Plants & Lessons for Life
Via LinkedIn : Spring is upon us, the sun has been shining for the past three days, the air has lost its cold chill and the snow has melted away. As the death of winter comes to a close, spring brings the opportunity for renewal and rebirth.
Today marks the 7th anniversary of my cousin’s death. Katherine loved nature and in her memory I was drawn to and found comfort in my own garden that I am so blessed to have. As I cleared away the winter debris of fallen branches and sticks, I tuned into the bird song and began to feel at one with nature. I realized nature has some valuable lessons to teach us about death, stillness, clearing away the debris, birth, renewal, growth and development.
Whist I gathered, I pondered over Katherine’s passion for gardening and felt the desire to share a part of her special life. Although she lived in a back to back terrace home with a small concrete yard, she surrounded herself with planted pots that she tenderly cared for; she definitely had green fingers and a connection with nature. With love and passion she would diligently prepare the pots prior to planting the seeds and bulbs. Katherine had a vision and knew what the outcome would be, but she also knew that the first step to success was clearing out the old debris and preparing for the new. In planting the seeds, what would appear like a random add-hock fashion to the none-gardener was planned to precision. She knew what seeds and bulbs would work together, how deep to place them in the soil also how much space they needed to develop and grow.
Katherine then waited with patience. While she waited she continued to nurture the miracle that was taking place just below the surface, placing the pots in the right sun light and feeding them just the right amount of water. She knew that unbeknown to the naked eye, in their stillness, the seeds and bulbs were preparing themselves for their journey and their most glorious creative expression. She also trusted that they would wait for nature to give them their cue to begin to grow and develop; she knew that she couldn’t force the process to happen.
After 2 to 3 months the magic would begin, quite literally the shoots of her hard labor began to pay off as the fresh green tips began to peep through the soil into the sunlight. This would bring her great joy and even now I can see the smile painted across her face and the sparkle in her eyes. Although this was not the start of their journey, to Katherine it felt like a new beginning because she could see the shoots, they were tangible and real. This was an exciting moment, she could see the life of something new and she had been the instigator, the creator of that life, and it made her feel alive. With the energy this gave her, it continued to motivate her capacity to keep engaged with the plants and flowers, with their continued growth and development. She spent hours kneeling , bent over pots of various sizes, textures and colors while she cleaned, pruned, clipped and yes talked to them, whispering gentle words of encouragement to be the best that they could be.
Eventually Katherine’s hard work paid off and during spring and summer time the entrance to her home was a rich tapestry of vibrant colors, with plants and flowers of different shapes and sizes sharing their sweet floral aromas. Either through nature or the nurture of my cousin’s fair hand, or both they had blossomed into their greatest creation, ensuing life and presenting themselves to the world with astonishing glory.
The story of Katherine’s passion for plants is a two-fold approach to life learning. It can be related to one’s own personal or professional life by identifying with the natural process the seeds and bulbs undertook through their growth, development and ultimate blossoming. Or one can draw comparisons and learn from the process Katherine undertook to achieve an ultimate goal.
Beginning or completing a task or project takes commitment, time and energy. Having a thought or idea and conceptualizing it into reality is possible. Allowing yourself space to visualize your final goal is valuable time spent. It will allow you to gain insight and begin the process of putting small achievable steps in place to help you accomplish your desired outcome.
Tend and prepare the soil, get rid of the debris.
Take the time to look at what is outmoded in your life. Are there things on your agenda that you have allowed to procrastinate? How important are they?Do you have to complete them? If the answer is yes, then set a goal.
Ask yourself;How am I going to complete this task? And when am I going to complete it by? If the answer is no. Can the idea be binned or neatly shelved for a rainy day.
What else can you de-clutter in your life? It may be emotional, something or someone you have an attachment to that you need to let go of. Or it may be a practical task, like clearing out the garage or shredding papers. Whatever it is, don’t put it off, Spring clean yourself, your environment and prepare the soil.
Plant the seeds.
Know that it is okay to stop for a while. The where, the how and the length of time you give yourself to do this is up to you? Quiet, stillness and rest allow to connect to your true self and navigate your way to higher thoughts. In this place you can bring forth your subconscious ideas to the conscious mind. These are the ideas that can begin to motivate and push you forward in your current or in a new direction. Like the seeds and bulbs in Katherine’s story, don’t force it to happen, trust the process.
Allow the seeds to grow.
Once you have a thought or an idea you can begin to put it into action. You can use visualization to help you gain clarity. You can also make a plan, looking at the bigger picture. What do you need to do to make this happen? Can you do it alone or do you need some support, an extra pair of hands to help you nurture your idea? Identify small achievable goals and commit to completing them by a certain time, day or date. Completing them and holding yourself accountable will make you feel good about yourself.
During this time it is also important to nurture yourself, mark or celebrate your accomplishments, it doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive, just something you enjoy. Each mile stone is bringing you closer to your bigger plan, celebrating these or at the least acknowledging them (pat yourself on the back) can help you stay motivated. Just like Katherine seeing the shoots appear in spring, acknowledgement can keep you on point and motivated.
This phase may take some time and require you to be patient at times, remember you can’t tug on the shoots to make them grow quicker.
Deal with the weeds.
There are nearly always some weeds that appear that need to be dealt with. If you come across an obstacle try not to get demoralized. Think about a time when you may have come across a similar situation, how did you overcome it? What skills or knowledge did you use? If you haven’t come across such a hurdle before, think about how you can get help. May be you can do some research or ask a friend or colleague for advice? Also changing your mind set and seeing the lesson in what appears to be adversity or a difficult situation can assist you to feel more upbeat and positive.
You can also put the task to one side and go to the next step on your to do list or create another goal completely unrelated to the problem. Alternatively, take some time out or change your environment. If you have a lap top, go sit on top of a hill in the country side or take a walk in nature. Whatever you decide to do, remember to try and think outside of the box.
Enjoy the flowers in bloom.
Eventually just like Katherine’s hard work and dedication to her gardening project, you will reap the rewards of your hard labor and see the areas you have spent focused and dedicated time on blossom. This may be your first season in bloom or it may be a continuation of many, either way this is a time of celebration. It also marks a time of maintenance, of pruning, feeding and nurturing both the project and yourself. Whilst hard work is inevitable at the beginning of and throughout the process of a project, if you wish to achieve a successful and meaningful outcome the payoff can be incredible. So don’t delay the process, begin with one small step today and see where it takes you, this could be the beginning of an exciting hobby, career or adventure.
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