Happy Monday, Friends.
- I am grateful for a beautiful and truly magical day off, at Disney World
- I am grateful for friends who teach me more about the world, compassion, and myself, every day
- I am grateful to be launching into a big and bold new adventure:
Nearly a year ago I wrote a post called Little Bits of Seed Planting. The basic concept I was turning around in my brain is this idea that at any given moment we have infinite choices about the kinds of “seeds we are planting” – what we leave behind when we engage with any person or situation. Trying to own for myself the fact that we have serious decision-making power here, and have the ability to live with intention so that we plant things like compassion, empathy, and empowerment.
“… I think that in every moment we have a choice about what we are planting. Our choice to add aggression or peace to each moment. It might manifest as a smile or frown, our decision to leave a tip, cause a ruckus, create something new, thank someone or scold them, etc. – but we leave the seed behind, after we’ve gone. That seed is planted in the person’s day, and may grow or wither accordingly depending on how they water it. But we plant the seed, first.”
I’ve been thinking about this a lot again lately, and wanted to dig a few inches deeper. Get beneath the soil a bit, if you will. Get my hands a little dirty.
I think our lives feel complicated to us, much of the time. Our brains are constantly buzzing with our “stuff” – our worries, hopes, fears, insecurities, dreams, drama…there’s a LOT going on up there. And when we feel consumed by all that buzzing and are in a totally tunnel-visioned, self-focused headspace, I think it can be dangerously easy to overlook/miss how our actions affect the people around us. And not only our actions. Our words, our attitude – all of it.
And I guess what I’ve been thinking about lately is that YES, I want to work harder to make sure the seeds I’m planting are seeds of service, seeds that are contributing positively to the world and the people around me…but of even more dire importance I think, is the fact that I remember that I’m planting seeds at all.
It can be so deeply and richly that we impact another person’s day. Week. Life. And so easy to forget. And just because we’ve gotten in the habit of reacting to a situation in a particular way doesn’t mean we can’t make a different choice at any moment. What I want to remind myself of this week in a renewed way (and I hope you’ll join me if you’d like), is that we can do an incredible amount of good for one another just by CARING. Actually caring. Wanting to know. Asking the questions, and responding in a way that reminds each other that we are not alone.
I want to remind myself that I always have the opportunity to exercise a heart of service or a heart of selfishness. A mind of consideration and thoughtfulness, or a mind of carelessness. That I can plant seeds of compassion or judgment, but the fact is that I AM in fact, planting. Always. All the time. When I have a great day and incredible luck, and equally when I have an awful day and feel like I’m failing at all of the things. And that those hard days don’t give me a special free pass to be a jerk-face. Or at least, I don’t want to give myself that pass. I want to challenge myself with the idea that it’s the times we are at our lowest might provide the greatest opportunity to reach out. It can be so easy to turn inward, and think the answer is there…I think it hardly ever is. As the most wonderful Pema Chodron says, “We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kinder.”
I want to be accountable. I want to plant good things. I want to take care of each other. We’re beautifully flawed humans, so it’ll be a struggle – we’ll mess up for sure. But want to join me, and try?
Also, enjoy this delicious wall of sound, if you like – just seems appropriate : ) Make Our Garden Grow
Have a great week, Celebrationists. *HUG*