With just a little room to grow, miracles happen.
A couple of weeks ago I transplanted a schefflera plant into a larger pot and added some additional soil. Voila! Sprouting new sprouts where there had been none for over a year. The previous lack of growth was a bit of a surprise as scheffleras are quite hardy. I had fertilized it and put it near a window with little result.
So when I noticed roots coming out of the top of the pot, I realized it needed more. With a larger pot, more soil, and 30 minutes of digging in the dirt my schefflera had a new home.
Now it has new shoots on every branch. Plus those new shoots are growing really quickly.
I realized this is a great metaphor for life! A little additional space plus fertile soil can lead to rapid new growth.
To take advantage of this idea we have to recognize that it is we who create the pot that is too small--with our routines, practices and judgements. Things like “I won’t work on that project after dinner because I am too tired so it won’t be quality work” or “I should not apply for that position because I don’t have an MBA” or “I’ll never be able to finish a marathon or century bike ride.”
We are usually our harshest critic. Sure we may have learned the words from others, but we are the ones who continue to believe them…up until now!
Here are a few tips for creating a bigger pot and more fertile soil for ourselves:
- Let go of negative self talk–even the most simple things. Take a deep breath and blow it out, away from yourself. Replace it with encouraging words such as “I am strong and capable. My friends, family and colleagues support whatever I truly want to achieve.”
- When we make a mistake, or something goes wrong, recognize that it’s all part of human life–everyone goofs now and again, and stuff happens. We are not a bad person, it’s just that we had a whacky moment. Take action to fix or mitigate the results of the mistake or wackiness–then move on. Next!
- Look in the mirror every morning and say out loud, “Hello magnificent!” (just like each and every other living being)
You may have noticed that Over the Hump has been missing for a while, but it’s back! It took me a year to get past my small pot and realize how much I enjoy communicating with you all. Heartfelt thanks to those who encouraged me to start again.
My best wishes for an amazing day, and week. See you next Wednesday!
Serving others makes me joyful.
Scientific studies show that when we human beings help others we are happier and more successful. A few weeks ago I talk about the problem with the response “no problem”, that it seems like the person saying it doesn’t really want to help out.
I get that. Often when we think of serving others it means big stuff such as volunteering, serving in big ways. And there’s benefit in those small actions we share every day–working to bring joy to our everyday attitude and actions.
Think about the last time someone served you at a coffee shop or restaurant with true intent to serve you joy? Even looking back now, how does it make you feel? Do you think that person is happier with their life?
I have a problem with the response, “No problem.”
My old fashioned values have me believing that “You’re welcome” or “My pleasure” is the most gracious way to answer “Thank you.”
For a long time I figured it was my somewhat overzealous ideals about manners that had me cringing whenever I hear it. One of my favorite colleagues says it so I really had to let go.
Then a few weeks ago a friend ranted about it at a gathering. Most of the people in the group agreed. I was vindicated!
I recently heard a story about a man who moved to a region where apples were plentiful and could not stop eating them, downing up to 20 per day.
I think the story teller embellished a bit, however it did remind me of the first time I tasted a fresh-picked apple when I first moved to New England. Two decades later I still have vivid memories of the amazingness of it.
It was super crisp and juicy. It tasted like sunshine and rain coming together, with honey and a hint of tartness. It was similar to, and yet so very different from, the experience of a grocery store apple.
Now as I drive past apple orchards, watching the ripening this year’s crop my mouth waters. I realize how when I eat really fresh, tasty food I slow down and savor every bite. What if I did that with all my food? All my life experiences?
For sure it has me paying closer attention and working to notice deeply into these final warm days of summer. What are you savoring?
Photo courtesy of Univ of MD
It’s summer, so I have to talk about giant green tomato worms.
A decade ago in my first real garden I found a GIANT green tomato worm. It was as big around as my thumb and longer, much longer. As it turned it’s face to me I half expected it to say, “Hello Lisa, what’s cooking?”, like in a cartoon.
I realized that under my fascination I was scared of it, wanting to remove it from my tomatoes so I’d have a few to eat myself, but not wanting to touch it or even go near it with gloves. Then I saw how zany I was being, and laughed out loud.
The worm is not poisonous or threatening in any real way. I realized that my fear of this worm is like most fears in my life–made larger by my mind than the reality of the situation calls for.
My mom is visiting from California for the first time in years, so even though the weather here in New England is hot and muggy I am determined to get out and show her the sights.
Last Saturday we ventured to Gillette Castle in Connecticut, picking up Jeff’s mom along the way. It was interesting and fun to see this funky castle built entirely of local rock, like a stone Lego building. Inside is covered with intricately carved wooden paneling and the doors have 47 different designs on their surfaces.
And it was HOT, and MUGGY. Getting out of the air-conditioned car on to the blacktop driveway under the driving sun felt like walking into a sauna. So we quickly walked toward the shade, bought our tickets and headed inside. Without air-conditioning the massive stone building felt cool, especially with the breeze coming from the Connecticut River below. However many people around us could not stop talking about how hot it was. I found myself getting cranky. Then I realized why–their complaining made me feel more sweaty and uncomfortable.
I’m feeling brave.
I had plans to ski with my dear friend Marci. I love spending time with Marci, even more than skiing. We are both avowed fair weather skiers, so when the day dawned with sleet that was blowing sideways we called one another to talk about our plans.
Most of the time I would have ditched skiing and gone to the movies with Marci. For some reason on this day I heard the words, “I’m feeling brave” come out of my mouth. Pondering this outburst, I realized I really did want to brave the elements. Marci pondered my words and realized she was not in that kind of mood, so we agreed to get together another time.*
I had a pretty good time skiing. I felt strong and brave and tried some new things. I grew physically and emotionally that day.