Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Taking Root

I was recently browsing through a home magazine and noticed a short article about planting wild flowers in one’s garden to attract certain critters to help with pollination.  It isn't just a flower’s color that attracts certain species of butterflies, bees and moths, but also the shape and texture.  The flat shaped flowers tend to attract butterflies while the cone shaped flowers with multiple layers of petals attract bees.  The more wild and unkempt the garden, the more likely they will take up residence as well.

I found myself amused by this bit of information and how all that these flowers need to do in order to thrive is simply take root and be, and the world around them takes care of the rest.  Not that growing into a flower is a totally effortless process.  As a flower stretches toward the sun, exhibiting its beautiful color, shape and texture, it is simultaneously reaching its roots deep into its dark history in the soil from where it pushed through the surface.  As part of our human nature, we often times prefer to ignore the shadow aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to our own history, and mainly focus our attention on “reaching for the sun” by achieving what we think will make us happy.  Yet, when we do this, the aspects of the shadow self and its history will continue to show up as a mirror in our lives over and over again until we integrate it and appreciate it as a part of who we are and what makes us unique.  

There is the Buddhist concept of the lotus flower not being able to bloom without the mud to anchor its roots.  If we don’t integrate the different aspects of the shadow self and draw nourishment and wisdom from our history, we will continue to find ourselves unable to live fully rooted in the present and appreciate ourselves for who we truly are.  An Echinacea flower doesn’t look over at the rose and think one is prettier than the other.  It simply grows into its environment as nature programmed it, thriving from its butterfly visitations, while the rose is over in its own space hosting the bees that enjoy its nectar.  As humans, the more we appreciate ourselves for the natural gifts and presence we bring to the garden of life without comparing ourselves to others, the more we offer ourselves the opportunity to thrive in a way that is just right for us.  

Years ago my Reiki teacher offered me an affirmation that I use to this day as a reminder that in the end, simply being myself is enough.  I use it during my personal Reiki practice whenever I find myself overwhelmed by the things I think I “have” to do.  This affirmation is simply I am loved.  I am enough.  How often do we take a moment to consider that just being us is enough?  And in being so, do we trust that life can and will draw us to the sun to be nourished and shine?  We don’t have to earn our worthiness or deservingness to shine in our unique light.  It is already bestowed on us and as we recognize it for ourselves, we will recognize it for others as well.

The Sanskrit word “Namaste” means the divine light within me recognizes the divine light within you.  The more we honor this true divine beauty held within our own unique human nature, the more we can honor it in others.  In turn, just as a flower seed in the ground can’t foresee a butterfly coming into its life before it blooms, we will discover an unexpected pollination of blessings we could have never imagined as we allow our true and colorful nature to blossom.