I went to a yoga workshop today which started with the following quote:
‘For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it looks like complete destruction’. Cynthia Occeli
No wonder change is so terrifying. I was interviewed recently for the dossier section of Pyschologies Magazine about bravery and change and one of the reasons I think change is so hard is that when we change, we shift all that surrounds us. We risk wobbling other people, our finances, our work, our status, how people see us. A seed is so different from the flower and that change can not happen whilst retaining both, one must burst so the other is born.
I used to think that I had to decide when to make changes, when to leave that relationship or change jobs, but as I have got older I see that this decision-making is just a mirage which obfuscates the truth. For the truth is that I have left every job or person either by pulling towards something I desired or moving away from pain, moving from dark to light.
I have learned not to look for a decision point, I no longer think that I’ll give things six months and then decide, for as a wise friend said to me, ‘If you are trying to make a decision, then it is the wrong time to decide, for when the time is right, the decision makes itself’. And so it is.
The seed doesn’t decide when to split and reach outside of itself, it is drawn to do so by internal and external conditions; the sun, the rain, the nutrition in the earth and the cramped space restricting its blooming, its need to flourish and grow. It changes when the time is right.
So whilst I use the GROW model in my coaching, where we set goals and move towards them, there is the counter balance of coming out of our heads and listening to something calling us within. What is our intuition telling us, what about our dreams, our hopes, our energy, the tension in our body, our tone, our eye contact, our posture, our sleep, how we eat? All of these are part of the guidance we need. Our head can only tell us more of what we already know, is bound by social expectations and familial behavioural codes, but our body is a free thing, feeding back directly to use where we are holding on to tightness and where we need to relax and let go.
Bursting from our seed pod requires the right conditions and these are things we can nurture: taking time to turn within ourselves, exercise, rest, the right food, friends who listen without the need to control.
There is a reason flowers bud in spring, because the sun has warmed the earth enough for them to thrive. Yet also have they had the winter’s hibernation to draw their energies inwards and hunker down, letting go of the ties that bound them before the snow came.
So, seed-like, take your time to change, prepare your soil and wait until you are fit to burst, towards freedom or away from confinement and then slowly stretch out and unfurl, rooting down deeply before you reach to flower and grow.
If you want to read more about the importance of the seasons you might like this.