What plants can teach us

When I started propagating plants I was always so eager to move them from water into soil. Watching their roots grow and get strong was so interesting but I wanted to put them in soil and get them to start popping out new leaves ASAP! I remember a few plants I wanted to just throw them right into soil without rooting them first (and yes you can root plants in soil but its not always successful) and I had to take a step back and remember that without roots nothing can grow. In our lives if we don’t have a foundation we wont have anything to build on. Yes, it takes time to create your foundation and usually it’s not interesting or fun because theres nothing above the surface to really show for but when you create a strong foundation in your life everything that you build off of that is unshakeable. Sometimes, like with plants, you might have to trim away parts of your roots later in life but those parts will be replaced with new and continued growth.

On the topic of growth, why don’t we treat our growth with the same way we would a plants growth. Instead of beating ourselves up when our new growth doesn’t look the way we want it to why don’t we treat it the way we would when our plants unveil a new leaf? Amazed at the newness and as a way to see what is needed? I don’t know about you but i spend a bit of time checking over my plants, seeing what they need, marvelling at their beauty. Its been both a humbling and empowering process for me. Taking on all sorts of plants, learning about each species and learning to love them the way they need to be loved. In the process its taught me so much about how we treat each other as humans and how we treat ourselves too.

You know that feeling when your plant unveils a new leaf and you’re just giddy with anticipation? So excited to see it, to watch it unfurl, to marvel in it’s beauty? Why don’t we treat new experiences like a new leaf? Instead of sitting anxious about what could happen why don’t we enjoy the experience of something new? Being patient as it unfurls, pouring love into it, making sure its needs are met so it can grow to its full potential. This is how we should be treating all aspects of ourselves and our lives.

You know when you go into a garden centre or an arboretum and you walk through in awe at the beauty thats all around you, content to just admire each individual plant for its beauty never comparing it to another? Why is it that it’s so easy for us to do that but as soon as we look at the beauty in others we’re so quick to diminish our own beauty? Why do we so quickly judge ourselves if our needs differ from another but we’ll happily accommodate the needs of another person even if it doesn’t align with our own? Im not saying that we shouldn’t be accommodating of others needs but we should also not be judgemental of our own. Knowing and understanding that our needs can be different from others and being accepting of that is so key to our growth in life.

Without knowing our needs we wont be able to give ourselves proper care during each of our cycles. The same way we have to learn to accept that our needs may differ from others needs we must also learn that our needs at one phase in our life may differ from our needs in a new phase of our life. We’re constantly changing, growing, learning, expanding and assuming that we would always need the same things would be like keeping a plant in a pot that its clearly outgrown and then being confused when it begins to wither. We have to adjust the amount of space and water a plant needs as it grows the same way we have to adjust to our personal needs as we grow.

With this you can also look at the cycles of growth vs dormancy. You wouldn’t want to fertilize a plant in the winter when its gone dormant the same way we have to be patient with ourselves and know when to give ourselves time to rest and prepare for a new growth cycle. We cant expect ourselves to be constantly putting out tons of new growth, honour your cycles.

When we begin to understand the cycles inside of ourselves we can also begin to understand the cycles outside of ourselves. The biggest of which is the cycle of life and death. This is a cycle that we all at times in our life will experience. When you own plants you get very familiar with this cycle. On a micro level it can be the death of a bloom, the death of a leaf, or the death of an entire plant. Learning that it’s all just a cycle of life and just because it’s gone doesn’t mean it wasn’t beautiful is such a liberating experience. You can mourn the ending of anything but it doesn’t take away from the beauty of having that experience in the first place.

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