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How Planting a Seed Can Change Your Life

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” ~Unknown

There are certain events that can rock us to the core: starting a new job, moving across the country, ending a relationship. Within the past three months, I’ve experienced all three of these things.

For someone who is resistant to change, it can be difficult when everywhere I look there’s a new sight to take in, new people to meet, and even a new industry to learn.

Type-A to the bone, I’ve always wanted control over a situation.

When I was seven years old I took a trip in the middle of a teeth-chattering Montana winter with my grandparents to our cabin in the wilderness. We had plans of eating our picnic food that Grandma and I had carefully prepared while sitting next to the fire and playing our favorite card game involving pennies.

Imagine my surprise when after a major snow storm, ten feet of snow greeted us when we arrived and blocked our way into the cabin. “This doesn’t fit my picture,” I told Grandma.

Fast-forward eighteen years, and here I am at the age of twenty-five. During another winter trip (this time for New Year’s) to my family cabin, my then-boyfriend and I sat next to each other in the car driving and talking about our goals for the upcoming year.

I had a really big one (find a new job) and one that I thought would be easy (learn to adapt to change). Little did I know that the seemingly hard one (getting a new job) would come easier than I thought, and the little easy-peasy one would be the biggest struggle I faced this year.

The one thing I can tell you about my resistance to change is that it feels like surrendering to a lack of control. It’s very similar to letting go in many ways, which I feel goes hand in hand with a resistance to change.

Many people often want to cling to the past, even if it’s lonely and makes us cry, because it feels more comfortable than doing the thing that scares us so much: letting go and embracing the change that enters our lives.

This hasn’t been easy. As I write this it’s something I struggle with. There are good days and very bad days. And that feeling of giving up on a past that I held so dearly feels like surrendering to failure. But I’ve learned to deal with it by doing one very simple thing: I plant seeds.

What is planting a seed? It’s the simple act of setting something into motion that will help you create the life you want to lead. It’s taking a moment of sorrow and realizing that you can use it to fuel you.

Now whenever I feel the surge of anxiety about my new life or start imagining my ex with someone new, I immediately make a physical change.

I get up and write a card to my mom telling her how much I love her. I research networking events on the web, and then I actually go to them. I send e-mail interview requests to people I want to feature on my website.

I call that friend of a friend who says they want to hang out and show me how sparkling Los Angeles, my new home, really can be. I turn my pain into time spent planting seeds for the life I want to lead.

And even though planting a whole garden can seem daunting and full of anxiety in itself, all you have to do is start by planting one seed. And keep adding another one here and there. Take care of those seeds, and before you know it, a little leafy green thing will greet you one day.

Or, in real life, you will have a success at your job or a cute guy will give you a compliment. Nothing is more exciting than seeing your seed turn into something that blooms.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you start planting seeds in your own life:

1. Seeds take time to grow.

A whole garden isn’t created over night, and neither is a dream life.

But, by focusing on the positives, and seeing the little seeds that start to peek out from the earth in the form of something new, we can start to see the progress we are making in our journey to start living the life we’ve always wanted.

2. Seeds must change to grow.

A seed can’t stay a seed forever. When cared for with nourishing soil, rays of sunlight, and water, they change shape and start to become whatever it is they were meant to be.

To really experience positive change, you too, must let go of your past and embrace the transformation that’s about to take place. Have confidence knowing you will take on a better form, even if it takes time.

3. When a seed flowers, everyone recognizes its beauty.

After a seed undergoes a transformation and takes on a new form, everyone appreciates it for whatever it has to offer, whether it’s a smile-inducing sunflower or a crisp carrot.

Each seed has something new, something more to contribute. And how did it get to this point? With time and a transformative change.

Go out there and start planting seeds in your life, no matter how hard or pointless it may seem right now. With a little time, patience and hard work, what now seems like an empty dirt plot will be filled with beauty and growth.

Just like a beautiful flower attracts butterflies, your life will be a magnet to the right kind of people that will truly make it one worth living.

Photo by DanBoot

Avatar of Brianne Burrowes

About Brianne Burrowes

Brianne Burrowes is the founder of IWantHerJob.com, a website designed to inspire women to pursue their dream careers. She also is the editor-in-chief of CareerSparx.com, a 12-week online course designed to help recent graduates land their first job post-college.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
  • MizzMoyle

    So inspiring! What a great way to start the week.

  • http://twitter.com/Ashley_Says Ashley Robinson

    Thank you Brianne. I, too, am going through a break up. Since then I’ve started a group for actors to share their work, I’m producing a play, and I just closed another. It’s hard, but I have to focus on making myself happy.

    Good luck! I’m down there in the dirt planting with you.

  • Honey_b_temple

    Thanks so much, I read this right AFTER I decided to join National Novel Writing Month despite some painful things that are happening for me right now. It was exactly what I needed to hear to affirm my decision to plant some seeds of creativity in what feels like a barren field of loneliness and hurt. I’ll look forward to seeing the seedlings sprout :-)

    -Melissa
    http://honeybtemple2.blogspot.com/

  • Wchaney

    Thanks, remember, you were but a seed at one time yourself, so look in the mirror now and again and watch yourself flower. As for the past, it is but a memory deep within your mind. It is not longer, except when you wish to recall it. even then, it is but a thought. So stay focused, planting seeds, watching the every changing beauty of nature. Life is for the living, enjoy it, embrace it, and keep on planting seeds.

  • thethinkteacher

    “To see things in the seed, that is genius.” ~ Lao-Tzu ~

  • http://twitter.com/AlannahRose AlannahRose

    I just found an apartment to rent today, where I’ll be moving to next month during my divorce. I will also be looking into starting grad school after I get settled. So needless to say, I can really use this encouragement right now because I have a lot of life changes happening too. Through this process, I have definitely learned to take baby steps, and I like the thought of planting seeds because it seems “doable” instead of overwhelming. Thanks for such a positive piece!

  • http://twitter.com/jdavidtrotter David Trotter

    LOVE the imagery of planting seeds that lead to positive growth and new life. Three years ago, I was super-stuck in life, and I made some decisions that ended up imploding my marriage and career. I spent the next two years planting lots of new seeds…or “re-launching my life” as I call it. Lots of patience has led to some amazing “fruit.”

  • Warren

    All around us nature shows us that transformation involves pain;from birth to death it is the facilitator of growth and yet by labelling it pain we prescribe emotional fear to this catalyst for our own spiritual growth.
    A seed must struggle towards the sun and break through the earth if it is to become all that it can possibly be; we need to embrace this as part of the living process because there are none who escape it.
    To become the light we must come from the dark so planting seeds is a wonderful metaphor for our personal growth.I’ll get busy planting seeds……

  • http://margihealing.wordpress.com/ Margi Macdonald

    When the flower blooms, the bees come uninvited ~ Ramakrishna

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  • Cindy Moya

    Thanks for sharing :)