T hough there was fresh snow on the ground this week, Mother Nature is also showing proof that we are edging our way to spring. Literally overnight, bright green leaves from the bulbs I planted in October are beginning to burst forth into the world.
Winter has been challenging here in the Midwest. The abundance of snow has also meant an abundance of grey skies. Though we may not love the cold, personally, I can manage the cold better when the sun is shining. Logically, I know that warmer and sunnier days are ahead, but the proof sure has been heartwarming.
Transition and transformation is challenging to most of us. Yes, even those of us that have sought growth and change. One of the reasons I so often share snippets of nature related tales is that it’s an easily understandable example of what happens to us as humans.
For me, a transformation begins like Autumn.
Back in October as the leaves were turning from green to gold, I planted dozens of tulip, daffodil and hyacinth bulbs. I had a vision of greeting the early days of spring with beautiful flowers. I planned where everything would go based on sunshine, bloom time, color and height. I did the work of digging deep holes, conditioning the soil with bone meal and then watering them.
We humans are like that. We get a vision of what we really desire to be. We create a plan on how to get there and then we begin doing the work. We plant our own seeds of desire and thought and growth and change. And then we wait to grow and bloom.
Then comes Winter.
Though we can’t see what’s going on with all those little bulbs I planted, in the Winter, we are reminded that we have no true control on the outcome. Is the winter too harsh for the bulbs to bloom? Will it be cold enough for them?
It can feel more than a little cold and bleak when we plant the seeds of change. It’s easy to get discouraged or feel as if nothing is moving fast enough. It’s easier to just give up on the whole thing and medicate ourselves with things that numb us: food, shopping, alcohol, staying busy.
However, if we keep our faith, we know that though we can’t see evidence yet, things are happening. During this stage of growth, we find we need more sleep. We may burrow into our comforts: good books, good foods, or good friends. But this isn’t a hibernation to escape, it is a necessary piece.
It may also be incredibly painful to experience. As we shed old ideas and old ways of being, we know that we are losing old ways, old identities, and sometimes old friends.
We are grateful when Spring arrives.
My bulbs have begun the hard work of pushing through the dirt. Little edges of leaves are poking through the snow and black earth. This is the stage of growth that’s finally visible, and, in time, flowers will bloom.
It’s such a relief when we are able to see evidence of our own growth, isn’t it? Maybe someone comments on an inner glow. Maybe we notice that our attitude is more positive. Maybe there is really clear evidence: words written, muscle gained, more stamina or a smaller size of pants needed. Maybe it’s simply a gut feeling.
During this time of transition, we may experience more pain and resistance as we push aside the dirt in our lives. Yes, like the tulips, we have to push whatever dirt is blocking us out of the way. We also need to give ourselves encouragement during this stage: good rest, positive company, nourishing food for our bodies, minds and souls.
Though it has taken two full seasons, it almost feels as if the switch flips overnight. We feel gratitude. We may also feel frustrated that it “seems” to have happened overnight because our soul knows we’ve been hard at work.
After Spring, we move into the Summer.
My tulips will mature and begin to fade and other areas of the yard will begin to shine. Behind the scenes, the daffodils are taking the nutrients they need for the next season of growth.
We have grown in leaps and bounds. What a difference from when we first had that vision. We get to enjoy a period of leveling off. We find a new normal. We bathe in the beauty of our own sunshine. This season may last a few months or it may last years. Know that even in our seeming comfort of stability, behind the scenes we’re preparing for the next round of seasons.
We are ever evolving creatures.
Through all the stages of evolution into who we are becoming, we need our own kind of seeds and bulbs, rain and sunshine, fertilizer and fresh soil. This is why we need rituals and routines to nourish and support our growth.
It’s why we need support structures, like coaches and friends and partners.
What season of growth are you at in your own life? Are you feeling frustrated or are you moving into a period of leveling off? Can you remind yourself that the dirt does come up?
What can you do to step towards the next season? What do you need to help you get there?
Though I would never promise you that you’ll get overnight results, I can tell you that you’ll get there faster with some help. No, you don’t need fixing or to be rescued, but hiring a coach will help you find your answers.
Consider My 30 Days to Clarity Family of Courses, like Clearing Soul Clutter – Creating Your Vision . 30 Days to create your vision, turn that into a step-by-step plan and check in with yourself. It’s a budget friendly way to fuel that next stage of growth.