I have never considered myself to have a “green thumb.” My mother, however, could grow anything. As a child I remember my mother’s huge garden when we lived in New Mexico. We had a half-acre back yard, so it was a nice sized garden, to say the least, and a total pain, too. Mom used to make us kids pull out all the weeds to improve the health of the flowers or vegetables she was growing.
While some people profess to have learned all they need to know, most of us realize that we are far from knowing everything. We are always learning and growing. If you have learned all there is to know, then you are not truly living or evolving. Some of us are more self aware than others, knowing practically from birth what our lives will be like, what we want to be when we grow up, how many kids we will have or not have, sexual preference, our favorite color, flower, food, and etc. Others take a little longer to figure things out. For them it’s a lifelong journey to self-discovery.
It’s great to learn both the little and big things about ourselves. It can almost be like the movie Runaway Bride starring Julia Roberts, who plays Maggie Carpenter, a woman who is commitment phobic. Carpenter always leaves her men standing at the altar, as she literally escapes her nuptials time after time. It isn’t until she is single once again, that she realizes that she has never truly figured out what it is that she enjoys. In nearly all of her previous relationships, Maggie became what each man wanted her to be. Her favorite sport, food, color, likes and dislikes reflected exactly what her partner’s interests were. It didn’t dawn on her until she took some time to better know herself that she didn’t even know how she liked her eggs cooked.
Just a year or so ago, I had no idea that I would enjoy cooking, for example, or that I didn’t really like roses. I found out that I actually love orchids, and they are officially now my favorite flower. And I also realized that in everything, if you search for it, there can be found a hidden moral to be treasured. When I learned that orchids can live quite lengthy lives, I was thrilled. However, they can and do die if not properly cared for, just like plants, careers or relationships. I had three separate sets of orchids. I repotted the very first orchid that I was given, placing it in a larger pot in order to allow its roots to stretch out and grow stronger. I used orchid potting soil and a specialized orchid pot, which contains holes because orchids grow best when water is allowed to completely drain away from the soil. Too much water that is allowed to stand can flood an orchid, rot the roots and kill the plant. The second and third orchids I did not repot. I meant to go to the store to purchase larger pots and to get more orchid fertilizer, but I kept putting it off and putting it off.
Well, I am sure you know where I am going with this. Yes, both of those orchids that were not repotted ended up dying, although I followed all of the other instructions, such as to water them once a week or so, allow all the water to drain away and set the plants in doors but facing indirect sunlight. Orchids also need a lot of humidity. Still, their roots were confined to the smaller pot that it lived in for too long. As a direct result, the flowers only lived a few months, their lifespan cut short by captivity of the roots. The orchids could have lived much longer had they simply been repotted. The oldest and repotted orchid is now going to be a year old soon. It’s already forming new budding orchids set to bloom soon.
We can be like orchids. Too much food, alcohol, tobacco, sunlight – you name it – can lead to disease, cancer and death. We need moderation as well as to not lead too sedentary of a life. We need room to stretch, not just our bodies through exercise but also our minds. We need to continuously challenge ourselves personally and professionally. We can’t allow ourselves to be confined to a “small pot.”
Is there part of your livelihood that is suffocating because you’ve confined it? Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen if you repot yourself into something bigger? Regardless if you succeed or fail at a new endeavor, the exercise will help you strengthen your “roots,” otherwise known as your values, experiences, family or business ties, etc., basically anything that defines you and allows for personal growth. While the unknown can be scary, you’d be surprised how the quality of your life can improve by simply taking a chance.
For inspiration to take the leap into a new, larger pot, read “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers.
Don’t stay confined in the small pot you’ve otherwise outgrown. You’ll never grow stronger, healthier or happier if you stay put. Repotting ourselves with fresh fertilized soil can be just what the doctor ordered. We can definitely learn from nature if we choose to absorb its invaluable life lesson.