How do Plants teach me?

It was in January 2019 that I all of a sudden became obsessed with plants! I wanted to have all the indoor plants in my home, I say hi to trees, I am fascinated by mushrooms and through all of my observation and spending time with them, they have taught me so much.

I started writing out paragraphs of how plants have taught me but all my thoughts are so scattered that I think it’s better if I do point form notes here to share. I’ll list what the plant does and how I reflected on that in my life.

Too much water resulting in root rot - for noobs over watering a plant is a common thing. When I did this and saw how it effected the roots of my snake plant it reminded me how the input I put into my life can effect the root of my being. Countless zombie hours listening to music or watching tv that didn’t teach me anything, that just numbed was slowly killing my way of being where I would count the hours of the day waiting for them to pass me by. I was wishing my life away. Especially at work, on Monday morning I’d be waiting for it to be Friday end of day and then what? Then I’d start living my life? Sounds ridiculous to me so I would start being purposeful at work if it wasn’t busy, I’d be listening to audio books, reading success articles online, getting to know my co-workers and this all helped caused me to shift in my way of being.

Pruning and pinching of plants - my first polka dot plant, I would just let it grow freely, same with my bonsai ficus tree. But I noticed that the branches would get really tall and lanky and the leaves wouldn’t get big and plump. I’ve seen other more mature plants where they had lots of growth and were lush and bushy. I had no idea why my plants weren’t looking the same. It’s not that I thought they looked ugly but I questioned what was the difference between those plants I saw in pictures of and my plants? Then I read up on how to make my plants bushier or how to shape a bonsai tree. Cutting away weaker branches or pinching off new growth on my polka dot plant would encourage the plant to keep sending nutrients to what’s already there and shift the focus of growth in a different direction. The same went for me. The first year I dove into personal growth, I was reading so many books, I was going to seminars and conferences on mindset shifts, I had mentors that challenged me to change my daily habits, I was going to workshops to learn how to be successful, or how to connected with people. All of this new information and I was soaking it up like a sponge. But I learned what’s equally important is to get rid of things in my life that no longer served me. I cleaned out my closets, I donated so many things I held on for years thinking that one day this might come in handy to have. I had so much clutter in my life in the things I owned. Even with friends and family I had to spend less time with those that didn’t jive with the new person I wanted to be. Cutting away things in your life is sometimes easier to do than learning new things. Both are necessary.

Repotting plants - I have this idea in my head that I never want to be put into a box. I want to be free. I don’t want to be labelled. But like with plants, having a confined area to grow is helpful and when you’ve outgrown that pot you are free to move into a bigger one and continue your growth. I used to judge those that loved to be in their bubble in life. Not wanting anything more than what they already had and wanting to be comfortable and safe. I saw that as stagnate and boring. But everyone’s journey is their own and their truth is theirs alone. I knew what I wanted for myself and that didn’t mean it was the right way for other people to live. I broke down a lot of walls I put up around my heart to keep people out, to stay safe and it served it’s purpose at the time, I was very confident in myself in many areas of my life but I eventually found out that wasn’t enough for me. So I jumped ship and changed everything. New friends, new job, new hobbies, new interests...I ended up doing this every 5-8 years. When I was bored or felt like I out grown this way of living I would go look for the next new thing to dive into. I am constantly repotting myself. Like a game of basketball you need boundary lines so you know where to keep playing the game. A box is only caging if you see it that. A box could also be the safe space you need to explore freely.

To be continued….

Esther HongComment