“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