This is my favorite time of year. Don’t you love the leaves when they first pop out on the trees? Bright green and tender, they delight me every time. The sun shines and they just pop! One moment there is no life on bare branches and then suddenly, all the leaves appear.
Wouldn’t it be great if life was like that for us? Imagine your plans and yearnings suddenly feeling a bit of inspiration and then popping out one day, all fresh and formed.
Instead, we usually keep our dreams locked up inside their bud well protected by a long list of worries and excuses.
Every day I hear clients sadly reporting how they can’t realize their truest lives. Their laments sound like this:
- I’ve always wanted to travel to Greece. Maybe someday I’ll go but once again, it’s not the right time.
- I would like to spice up my marriage, but I worry that I will just anger my husband and push us further apart if I mention a change.
- I know I’m a great story-teller. If I could only convince myself to work on my stuff and share it.
- There is definitely an empty, missing piece of me. I don’t even know what I believe about life and beyond. It scares me to think about it.
- This job is killing me. It’s boring and I get no thrill from it. If only I could figure out how to move forward without a loss of income…but that is too risky.
And the list continues. I understand my clients because I have my own “list” of yearnings that tire me with their endless poking.
Our tightly woven buds of worries hold our life dreams and plans inside a safe but unsatisfying cocoon.
I bet you feel the pull as well, especially when those fledgling leaves pop out on the trees and beckon us to follow suit. Inside it’s like parts of us are screaming — TRUST AND DO IT! It’s physically and emotionally painful.
Take a minute and breathe. Notice the strengths and talents you secretly, deep down believe about yourself. You have likely known about these tiny glimmers of inspiration all your life but do not allow them to be seen in the light of day. Maybe you know you’re meant to shine in some way. Perhaps you miss the artist or leader you were as a child. You could have a sense that your world needs something from you, like activism, peace or love. These are your tender leaves waiting to burst forth.
While looking at those luscious spring leaves the other day, I realized that since I was a child I’ve known the secret to embrace and release these innermost longings. Unfortunately, I keep forgetting!
My Grandma Stromberg taught me this life lesson when I was just a little girl. While traveling to the Midwest by car one November, she instructed me to look at the trees on the hillsides around us. “See how they all look so pink,” she gently observed. As I really gazed at the bare forest flying by my window, I could indeed see that the overall effect was not brown or gray but pink. “This is because of all the little red buds,” she said. “People think that buds come out in the spring and then just bloom, but that is not true. The buds are on the trees at the end of summer and then they wait for spring when they bloom.” My sweet grandma was a mom and a farmer. She knew a lot about seasons and life. She also knew about hope and trust.
Here’s the real truth about budding:
If those summer buds on the trees worried about the all the cold, wind and bleakness ahead, the pain and risk they would endure before blooming, we’d probably never have those fresh green leaves. But trees don’t overthink like we do. They simply hold this promise of life in that bud and then release its beauty when the sun says “Go.”
Fortunately or unfortunately we are not trees. We are fully capable of thinking, which is wonderful and terrible because sometimes our poor minds do not stop thinking and just allow us to bloom. This is not our fault and our minds are only trying to keep us safe. But knowing this, what other resources can we utilize to allow those precious gifts and yearnings to emerge before we simply give up and allow our bud to drop without blooming?
First we must look at the worries that encase us.
Take a moment today and write all of the worries you notice when you imagine doing what you most desire or being who you long to be or reaching your full potential. Give yourself time. It could be a long list.
These worries are important. They believe they are keeping you safe, just like that bud protects the life inside when the cold winds blow. You cannot simply dismiss these worries. If you could, you would already be living your dreams.
It takes some practice, but you can be ready to bloom. In my book, Calm Your Worries: Unlock Your Secret Code to Lasting Stress Relief and Self-Confidence, I show you how to create a clear and loving relationship with worries in your mind and body. When you create a relationship, you can then release what is holding you back and calm down enough to trust who you were born to be.