What are you growing?
That’s the theme.
Please notice, I did NOT say, “what are you trying to grow”.
Ourselves, from the inside out- looking at what needs to be grown, what cannot be kept down or in the dark past the germination period. What’s inside of us that simply will NOT be contained, kept down, will scream and yell for attention and then when it’s tired, will put it’s head down and nap lightly to roar even more loudly when reawakened.
Does it feel quieter and more subtle than a whirling deverish? Tapping lightly on your shoulder as you’re falling asleep? Pulling gently on your coat as you ready yourself to leave the house?
Is it a quiet and persistent voice that will simply not go away? Is it a big, loud, “why aren’t you listening to me?” utterance that feels like a headache? Is it the illness that keeps coming back to haunt you and, incidentally, to keep you in bed, giving you time to investigate it?
What does your voice tell you to grow?
Is it completely nonsensical, so easy to ignore, because of sheer silliness? Is it what you will grow next year when you have more time, energy, interest?
Elizabeth Gilbert says, in “Big Magic” that creativity seeks where it will be expressed and that you can miss your chance if you wait too long.
I see her point. That’s happened, right?
I’ve had wonderful, inspirational ideas for the beginning of an essay. I just knew that this one time, finally, I would remember it without writing it down immediately. Except, like so many times before, I did not remember.
And it’s gone. Maybe it will return. Maybe it will visit my next door neighbor, maybe it will float across the ocean as a droplet of moisture to someone far, far away.
What I’m talking about, this growth, is not that which comes to us, through us and if not recognized and acknowledged will find a more suitable home.
Growth, what we need to have emerge from us, is persistent. It’s what we are here to bring forth. Changeable, yes. Can it seemingly disappear? Yes. But only to reemerge in a form that is then more appropriate and actionable.
What we grow, is from a desire so deep that it is primal. It’s not fleeting even if it’s ever changing.
And all growth leads us places we can’t yet imagine.
Enter fear from stage left- Elizabeth Gilbert talks about that too. A favorite line, from Big Magic, “If your goal in life is to become fearless, then I believe you’re already on the wrong path, because the only truly fearless people I’ve ever met were straight-up sociopaths and a few exceptionally reckless three-year olds- and those aren’t good role models for anyone.”
So let’s account for fear and be brave anyway. Let’s notice the fear, take a big breath into every cell in our beings, point our gaze upwards and step forward. Courage will lead the way when fear is hanging around. Let’s decide not to be fearless, let’s decide to notice our fear, and be courageous despite it.
What am I afraid of? That gets in the way of my growth?
What if’s are often the common variety fear of what will happen that is tragic. But what if we reclaimed what if?
What if I grow a big, thorny, vine that climbs all the way to the stars so that I can view the heavens, what then?
What if I grow compassion and become one with the universe, how do I then attend to the everyday of my life (who makes breakfast then?)
What if I grow patience? And I learn the secrets of my heart and the universe and see that they are one, what’s next?
What if I grow out of my house and my life, then what?
What if I grow to discover that everything I’ve thought I knew about myself turns out to be wrong? Or righter than I imagined?
What if my growth blows everything the fuck up?
And there it is.
For me? I have to give up being led by fear (instructed by it, I’ll keep that). I have to give up the illusion that I can ever be safe. I have to give up what is comfy and easy.
I have to give up thinking this all has to be so hard! It’s also playful, fun, pleasurable. Hot. Sexy.
I’m growing me.
I’m growing perspective.
I’m growing stronger.
What are you growing today?