Rosemary does not like to grow in a pot.
She likes her roots connected and grounded in the Earth, free to room. She resents being dug up and brought inside in order to survive the Maine winter but she will tolerate it if you put her in a sunny, cool spot and mist her daily while playing ocean waves spa music on your phone.
I do love having her inside in the winter though, her grounding presence right beside where I meditate, so I can enjoy her fragrance and watch her bloom while it’s cold and snowing outside. I love to nibble a leaf or two as part of my daily morning practice.
And oh have I missed her this past winter! My dear giant 10 year old plant left me two winters ago and her (almost as big) offspring followed her the following season and I have been noticing how this year my wintering lacked the coziness and comfort and warmth of her presence and instead was an extended, intense period of letting go, integration and composting.
I know I am not alone in this experience.
Rosemary or not, you don’t have to look far to see the disruption and dissolution of systems, structures and relationships, of an old way of being, that was not, nor has ever been sustainable. We have not been in right relationship with ourselves or Nature for a long time.
Rosemary’s guidance for me this lunar cycle? TRUST in the complete absence of CLARITY. Radical trust. Like, the most trust you can actually, conceivably muster.
I “know” and trust the divine intelligence of Nature.
I know that Mother Earth is always tending towards balance, towards homeostasis, and that often “adjustments” can be disruptive and painful—within and without. For optimal health and growth to occur these “adjustments” are part of the natural order of life… living through the process is not for the faint of heart—personally or collectively.
And so, as Spring is in full swing, I have been doing much reflection around the inherent paradox of learning to listen to and follow my own heart. You know, “feeling the fear and yet doing it anyway.” And then understanding the power of choice… or free will… and accepting the consequences.
Consider, what does “letting go of what no longer serves” mean anyway?
Once we have the clarity that something no longer serves, what does “letting go” actually entail?
The thought or intention of desiring to let something go is the initiatory part of the process, but then we have to experience the physical reality and consequences that follow.
Growth and change are not comfortable yet desiring to grow, the impulse to grow is inherent in all life.
And, the things that no longer serve are often structures and habits of our own creation—things that have served us well in their time but are now restricting or preventing further personal growth. We all eventually outgrow our pots.
I’m thinking about how Rosemary “tells” me she doesn't like being in a pot—above ground she simply stops growing while below the soil her roots quickly find the edges of her prison and pace round and round becoming pot bound as they search for more room. Failure to thrive.
I felt this acutely in my own life and work. I knew I was no longer thriving and my heart was guiding me to make some big (scary) changes… to let go of all that I had built up in, in order to make room for something new to arise. Which I did!
My Instagram and Facebook presence found the compost pile, alongside my wholesale sales rep and much of my wholesale business, my emails dried up as I have shared before, and all of it was certainly counter intuitive to conventional business practice.
My income has dwindled. My sense of who I am too.
Rosemary asks, “Who are you really?”
Who am I when I am not sharing my Soulflower journey and showing up publicly?
Who am I?
What the hell am I DOING? What do I want to do? What is my plan?
There is no plan.
Just the deep understanding and knowing that there is something new that wants to be expressed through me and in order for it to take root and grow I have to prepare the soil and fertilize it for future growth with the compost of past structures I have outgrown. I need a new pot but what it looks like is unclear.
This is how I feel about the world as a whole too. There is no separation. We don’t know what is next but we all know that what we have no longer serves.
As everyone scrambles around frantically trying to fix all that is “wrong” in the world, I am reminded that fixing assumes we actually have some control of this process. We don’t. All we can DO is to be as fully present and grounded in our own experience as we can be.
Seeds spend so much time below ground waiting for the right conditions to sprout and grow. We must tend consistently, with great trust, even when there is no outer evidence of growth happening.
Trust in the absence of clarity.
We don’t have to have it all figured out.
This is the paradox inherent in living in the present moment, of following our inner guidance, following our hearts.
We carry the seeds for a more beautiful world in each of our hearts. Each seed is small and fragile, but gentle tending allows the seed to break open and with tremendous strength and power new life soon sprouts.
Change, growth, birth, rebirth… is uncomfortable.
Creating structures for ourselves, our families, our work in the world, our lives, that are nourishing and supportive and yet allow for flexibility and flow, since it’s impossible to see or know what is next, is our work now.
Every day, when I step out my door to tend to my garden, I am reminded of the abundance that surrounds us if only we have eyes to see. I may not have money flowing towards me but there is an abundance of flowers, of nourishing wild edibles, of space for gathering, of medicine, of birds singing, pollinators pollinating, breezes blowing, rain flowing—there is so much life surrounding me!
I enter my garden without an agenda and also with an awareness of all that can be done —there is always so much to do, right? But I allow myself to be guided. I open my heart and allow the gardens to lead me. It no longer is work now, but play. I call it nature led pottering.
And whilst it may look inefficient from the outside, I am astounded over and over about how everything gets done.
The truth is that the garden actually does a fine job of tending itself, but I get to share in the process. And as I do so, I discover all my needs are being met.
As I tend to the garden the garden tends to me.
There is clarity in the process of being present with what is.
There is freedom and joy alongside pain and grief. Death and new life all happening all at once, and the energetic and emotional support is ineffable. We are a team… the garden and I. My plant friends may look different from me but we are one and the same.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” —Lao Tsu
Who are you, really?
If you can disconnect from everything that you identify as being you—your labels, your titles, your stories, your lineage, your personality traits, preferences, affiliations and habits—if you can disconnect for just a moment, you may allow yourself a glimpse of who you truly are.
You may find CLARITY.
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