Plant the Seed.
Planting the seeds of self for spring.
Last month we explored using watercolor to paint to the heart of who we are by asking questions and letting answers float to the surface. This month I want to let you decide who you are and who you want to be. We are going to plant the seed, if you will, (since it is spring here in the US) and see if it takes hold.
Sometimes who we think we want to be, want to have or do doesn’t actually fit once we try it for ourselves. This doesn’t mean there is something wrong with us. We all have our skills, talents, personality traits and preferences. We don’t have to be all things to all people and that includes ourselves.
If what we think we want doesn’t work there is nothing wrong with you!
You are full of possibility just like the soil from different regions. We don’t expect desert plants to take root in the tundra or the peach trees to thrive in extreme temperature changes. Don’t put undo pressure on yourself to be something that doesn’t suit the true heart of you.
Society puts pressure on us in its various ways to be something different that what we currently are. It shows us the financially successful, the busy, the beautiful, the intellectual and a variety of other things that are portrayed as the best version of humanity. There are so many other options, variations and ways of living available to us all. We can finally take a breath and decide if what is being sold to us is what we really want. There is no hierarchy of humanity until someone makes a judgement on it. So lets suspend our judgement of how we think life should be lived and feel it out to see what fits us best, fills us up and sets our hearts a flutter.
Set aside who you think you should be, sort out what you’ve been told you need to be, and experiment with who you actually want to be. You can recreate yourself at any point. Find the version of you that is excited about your life, comfortable with your pace and inspired to keep growing.
I’ve included a download worksheet to divide out what we want to have, do, be in different areas of our life. Setting some actions and releasing some old habits to start growing into our new version. Narrowing it down to one set of garden seeds that you want to plant for a time period and see what springs forth for you.
Create a visual anchor that is both a reminder of what you are growing towards and a way to track how much action (energy) you are putting into achieving it.
We all have good intentions and hopes for ourselves. We come up with grand visions of who or what we want to be or do and then we get distracted, unmotivated or just pulled back into the well-worn synapsis of our brain. With every habitual action or thought we create deep grooves of patterned firing of the neurons. This basically means our brains go on auto-pilot and we have to conscious stop the thought or behavior by mentally deciding to. This is how we just know how to drive a car and don't have to put as much thought or energy into remembering how to do it.
So if you find yourself off track, do NOT get into a pattern of self blame. You are just doing what you've been programmed to do or think. The real trick is to have that "anchor" or cue that reminds us to take inventory of what we are actually doing or thinking and remember to choose differently.
Our creative activity is a fun practice of monitoring your own progress. This was just a cute little visual aide to keep us on track and keep it somewhere we could look at it. I like to use these types of visual anchors that have meaning to me and yet are just visually appealing to others. They don't reveal to my house guests that I'm doing some deep internal work. It just looks like I enjoy doing plant drawings.
Once you have your pots designed visually, put in a word or symbol that you have assigned to represent one of your goals or new ways of being you.
• Track / draw
Each day or time you take an action or check your thought patterns around that goal you draw a leaf, flower or plant part that shows your own growth.
• See your growth
Keep a growth mindset. This means look at how far you have come rather than how far you have yet to go. A switch in perspective is called for when you get overwhelmed or start getting down on yourself for where you are or what you have. It is all a progression, just don't stop moving.
• Try again
Evaluate how you actually feel as you take action toward these goals you have set. Your feelings are the early clues as to whether this way of being fits or not. You can always do the worksheets again and try on something new.
* Don't let those early resistance feelings block you though! Our ego likes to put up red flags when we feel uncomfortable. Our limbic system in our brains is programmed to keep us safe, even if safe means staying in the same limited and painful version of ourselves.