I was mowing the lawn on the weekend and I noticed a single plant growing out of the middle of our retaining wall. Wherever I go, I’m always on the lookout for lessons in the simple things around me. You should do the same. They’re all over the place if you’re open to seeing them. I’m not sure what kind of plant it was, but it resembled a dandelion. It struck me because it was about half way up the wall and looked very healthy and green. We definitely have no shortage of weeds growing in the lawn but this one especially grabbed my attention and I couldn’t get it out of my head. The idea of “Grow Where You’re Planted” became very clear in my mind.
You’ve probably seen a plant like this or even a tree growing out of the rocks before. What we see as a challenging and less than ideal place for the plant to begin its life, turned out to be a great place to grow and flourish.
If these plants had conversations, I bet the other plants would tell this guy to not be different, not be so risky, just follow the formula everyone else follows and to take the path of least resistance. Sound familiar? These people are called border bullies and they are almost always the people closest to us. They mean well, but they can destroy a dream with a single comment.
Here’s what this plant growing in the rocks reminded me of….
1. Health, growth and life are programmed into all living things.
This plant is programmed for health, and it will be healthy as long as it has access to the conditions and nutrients it needs. When a plant wilts, we don’t poke and prod and diagnosis it with wilty leafitis. We simply recognize that it needs some more water – one of its requirements for life to be expressed.
2. Accept challenges as they occur.
If this plant had consciousness and choice, it would tell us it accepted the seemingly difficult location in which it landed. You hear stories about people who are doing extraordinary things, but they only got there because of difficulty, loss and failure. As a result, they learned lessons personally, not by being told a story or reading about it in a book. Grow where you’re planted.
3. Radical acceptance is essential.
Radical acceptance means learning to accept your current situation, and everything you cannot change, as it is. Try to wake up every morning with a sense of acceptance about what you cannot change. Practice acceptance with little things at first. I have recently taken a pad of post-it notes, written a simple thing in my life I’m grateful for, and then put them on the mirror I see in the morning when I get ready. They help keep perspective about what’s valuable.