As fall embraces us with it’s colorful arms, I reflect on my gardens in their gradual state of repose. I have been intimately involved with the gardens since February, weeding, pruning, fertilizing, planting. Honestly, they have kept me busy and active and joyful for months now. This time of year always brings to me a bit of sadness but also a bit of relief as I watch the beauties going back to the earth, slowly releasing the life force into the ground, not dying just resting, cultivating a new awareness, just as humans do as the earth changes it’s axis and darkness enfolds us.
I like to reflect on my time over the past few months with a state of gratitude and openness for lessons learned from my time with the bounties of nature. Discipline, patience, awareness, humility and awe are a few of them. I believe I have written before about one particular observation I witness every year. This awareness has been a huge gift to me in terms of my own life and in working with others to find their place in the world, which allows them to bring forth more of their essence and gifts to the garden of their own lives.
In gardening, you learn that some plants only do well in the sun, some only in the shade. Some cannot tolerate heat, others cannot tolerate drought. And still others seem to do okay in a variety of situations. I have learned from trial and error. For instance, I have planted Dahlias in the shade and did not reap many blossoms. Coleus loves the shade and will not do as well in the direct sun. Periwinkle can tolerate both shade and sun.
My reason for sharing this is that people are like flowers. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and colors. Some smell good and some not so good. Some might be considered more beautiful than others but then beauty is in the eye of the beholder just as the sense of smell is to a particular person’s olfactory system. One person may love a particular flower more than another. However, it does not mean that the flower that is not the favorite is any less wonderful just as no one being is any more special than another being. Someone else will absolutely love the flower that was not desired as much by the other person, If one person does not enjoy the pleasure of our company, another person will do everything they can to be with us. This is the nature of life.
People are also very much like flowers in that each of us has a particular place where we can grow and self actualize much better than other environments. Some people I know could never tolerate the rain and clouds of Seattle winters. However, I love cloudy rainy days, they bring me peace and a sense of calm. I love taking naps on a cold rainy day. However, I could never tolerate the extreme heat in California where a good friend of mine lives or the bitter cold in Saskatchewan Canada where another good friend lives.
But even deeper and more meaningful than the weather is the energy a particular space holds. If you are in an environment that doesn’t support you on an energetic level you won’t thrive. You will be like a plant that needs direct sunlight or shade to bloom and grow. You might be in a spot that provides for some of your needs so you don’t die, but you also don’t shine and bloom fully. You would be like a plant that is just about ready to bloom and the bud falls off. And no matter how much you water the plant, if it requires more direct sunlight, no matter what you do, the bloom will not develop,
Humans and plants adapt and change over time and in relation to their environment. However, not all adaptation is for the best. What might have started as amazing circumstances for you at one time, might not be so much now. Perhaps a relationship was wonderful for many years but now you are growing in different directions. Or perhaps, a vibrant city brought you so much joy for quite a while but now you crave the quiet of the countryside or woods. Maybe you were in a job that stimulated you every day but now you have learned everything you can from this particular path and you are craving something that provides you with greater fulfillment.
If we are not paying attention to our needs, to our cravings, to our desires, for a particular situation to change, then this energy will find another way to get our attention. This could be in the form of anxiety, depression, extreme boredom. And if we ignore these signs too long then accidents, illnesses, and severe depression can ensue. If you are experiencing any of these things now, ask yourself, what am I needing right now to grow into the beautiful flower my soul is calling forth from me.
What is it that I need to bloom to my fullest, to shine my color, my light, my aura with the world. It might just be that you are living in a place now that no longer fulfills you. You might be called to move to a new area but you are afraid. You might be called to a new relationship but again you don’t trust the calling. You might be drawn to a new job but the tasks required scare the heck out of you. Just like I am learning to place plants in spots where they will thrive and grow, there is an energy that is guiding you to do the same for yourself.
This energy is called your intuition, perception, divine guidance, universal energy and many other names. It is the energy of a higher power, your soul, wanting you to thrive and shine your beauty on the world. And yes, just like a flower, there will be a time to go inward, to rest, to reflect, to prepare for another season where you will be called forth yet again.
If we are shutting down our intuition by our life’s choices, we will suffer. If we are running ourselves ragged, focusing too much on our physical being and not paying attention to our total wellbeing, including emotional and spiritual needs, we will wilt like most roses in the shade. A little bit of imbalance we can tolerate but too much prevents our color from bursting forth to grace ourselves, our families, the world.
As fall and winter holds us in its embrace, take this time to explore the environments that best allow you to grow, and blossom. Take the time, to rest, to go inward, to prepare for the springtime. Go back into the seed and tuber of who you are and listen, reflect, pray on what it is in this world, be it a person, place, or path or anything else that will allow the divine seed of your soul to leap forward when you are called and to bloom my friend, to bloom your beautiful essence for us all.