“Life is like a garden, you reap what you sow.” Paulo Coelho
When I was a young girl growing up in Kansas and the month of August arrived, I could always feel a shift in the energy and movements of my family. The small farm house of my grandparents was filled with a mixture of emotions. There was a sense of excitement, laughter (mainly from my grandmother and Mom), and anxiety mixed with doubt (mainly from my grandfather) and hope. Grandpa would begin to make frequent trips to the bank and then to the seed store to buy bags of wheat seeds. Winter wheat planting time was near!!! Grandma and Mom were filled with laughter because- well, they were always laughing. Maybe it was to hide the anxiety they were feeling but I never knew that. Grandpa, on the other hand, was filled with anxiety and doubt and it was apparent. He would sit silently at the kitchen table often with his head in his hands and we all knew not to bother him. Seeds could be planted at the “right” time and in the “right” way and in the “right” climate and he still would not know what the harvest would bring. Would the rains never come, would the locusts eat all of the crop, would the winds destroy what was planted, would a tornado pass through and devastate the crop? It was his livelihood, his survival, his passion. Every year it brought different results. And, he never gave up.
Of course, as a child, I was observing all of this and was impacted in so many ways. As a “1” on the Enneagram, I have been very resistant to change and have wanted to plan very thoroughly so that the outcome could be predicted, and I have also wanted to control every situation. Whew! Doesn’t work very well, does it? Not when you’re planting seeds on a wheat farm in central Kansas. Or, even when planting seeds in life. Uncertainty is a given in both of those situations.
Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa, for teaching me some very important life lessons. One of those lessons is that whenever I feel a surge of anxiety about something in my life, I deal with it by doing one very simple thing: I plant seeds. Let me elaborate about that a bit. Whenever I feel anxious about something in my life (usually because I feel out of control), I take action by making some physical change. I send an email to someone that I’ve been thinking about, I call a friend just to say “Hi”, I contact a person that might be a good alliance for my new project, I research an area on the internet that I want to learn more about, I work in my garden, etc. etc. You get the picture. I turn my anxiety into time spent planting seeds for the life I want to create and lead.
I know it might seem counter to an impulse to withdraw, react, or create stories in my head but I’ve found that it works with a couple of caveats. First of all, seeds take time to grow. So, be patient and enjoy watching them manifest. Not all will bloom but many will if you tend to them. Another caveat is that seeds change as they grow. And, guess what, you can’t always control that change. In order to experience the positive change I want to create, I have to not only let go of the past but let go of the outcome and have confidence that a transformation is about to take place. My job is just to plant the seeds and nurture the seeds with all of my heart. Just like grandpa did.
Other things I learned about planting seeds.
- If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
- If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
- If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
- If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
- If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
- If you plant hard work, you will reap success
- If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation
I hope you are planting seeds in your life; no matter how hard it might seem. With a lot of nurturing, patience, hard work and perseverance, your garden (life) will eventually be filled with new beauty and growth.
Of course, I would love to hear your comments. What seeds have you planted in your life?
Blessings on your journey, Beverly