From a Seed to a Tree
A lot of us are afraid of change. Sometimes we think that life would be more fulfilling if things remain the same. We even refer to previous times in our lives as the “good” old times. Yet, wherever there is life, there is change. If we are alive, change is unavoidable. An example I love to give is that for a seed to become a tree, it needs to go through thousands of changes. If there were no changes for seeds, we would most likely not have flowers, shade, shelter, fruits, nourishment, oxygen or trees among other things. Yet, change is sometimes a delicate topic for human beings; perhaps because underneath the idea of change there is an underlying fear that we might lose something we value in the process. For example, when we think about the possibility of changing our language and the way we communicate, we might fear losing acceptance from others or our own way of being. When we think about making a change in our diets, deep inside we might be scared of losing our family’s love because we are not eating the dishes that once brought connection and a sense of belonging. When we change our routines (say, skipping happy hour to go for a run), we might worry we will lose some of our friends; if we change our habits, we might wonder if we might lose our sense of ease and comfort. So, what would it be like to experience life as a continuum and embrace change rather than resist it? I think it could be a great adventure if we follow the seed’s example by…
1. Following the rhythms of nature (expansion, contraction, growth, death) instead of making changes because we think there is something wrong with us;
2. Going deep into the dark nutritious soil and absorb the nourishment; really getting to know ourselves and tapping into our inner wisdom;
3. Growing strong roots that connect to other roots to get the support we need so that we can grow healthy shoots when the time comes to expand out;
4. Experiencing discomfort as our shells break to give birth to something bigger than the seed itself;
5. Developing habits of being outdoors and following the sun, the light, the life energy;
6. Communicating to others when we need help in our growth and allowing them the gift of contribution to us;
7. Providing shelter, food, comfort and support when we become a tree and see that other seeds need us.
As someone who has had changes in almost every aspect of my life, I make it a practice to notice the changing nature of plants, flowers and trees. This awareness lets me understand that repeating behaviors −such as eating the same foods I ate when I was a child or communicating in the same way I did when I was a teenager− are now unhelpful. Noticing the habits that no longer serve me help me tend to the currents needs of my body, mind and language so that I can have full choice to become a healthy human being, who like a strong tree can provide comfort to those who need me.