We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of the beginning of quarantine. A year! A challenging and emotional march through four seasons. How have we changed and what have we learned? Where do we go from here? Although we may be sensing the light at the end of this dark tunnel we’ve been walking through, there’s not much clarity as to how or even when this unexpected journey will end.
This time of the year lends itself to being inside, reflecting, seeing, evaluating where we are and where we want to be. Given all that has happened this last year, many of us feel anxious about the future. We’re hoping for positive change and the promise of something fresh and new to take hold and grow roots. We can’t see it yet so we may get discouraged and begin to believe that winter will never end.
I’ve been thinking about inspiration these days. I usually don’t have to go looking for it. It comes in solitude, in nature, in poetry, in the little things, quietly, and often unexpectedly.
Lately, I’ve been feeling the weight of our collective drama and the reality of the times draping over me like a thick, heavy blanket, much like the snow that covers the earth outside. I am well aware that the cold temperatures and lack of light are also contributing to the heaviness.
Today, as I sat down to write, I started by looking at photos. I needed a spark of inspiration which soon arrived in the form of the picture and the quote above.
“Bloom where you are planted.”
How do we do that? Although I have witnessed plants sprouting and blooming in the most unlikely and unexpected places, not every plant can bloom where it’s planted. Most plants require the soil, light, and moisture conditions that are most favorable to them.
Still, some plants will take what they can and do their best to survive. A few years ago we had our driveway paved and when spring arrived, purslane and wild violets managed to come through in a couple of places. I was stunned at the strength, resilience, and perseverance of these so-called weeds.
Granted, it’s quite different for humans. Unless we’re caught in a no-win situation where our ability to think, make choices, and act to help ourselves is taken away altogether, we do possess some sense of control and the ability to influence our environment.
At some point in our life, many of us find ourselves in a toxic work environment, a difficult relationship, or get blindsided by an unexpected loss and life changes. Initially, we may not be able to see our way out or through but whether by luck, sheer determination, or both, we begin to imagine something different, something better.
As we begin to open up to the possibility of change, inspiration and guidance can come from the most unlikely sources and the seeds of a new journey begin to grow. Initially, we may have to be patient and read the landscape. At this stage, our goal is to gain clarity about what needs to change and why.
With clarity comes confidence and with confidence comes the urge for
I find that during these times, when I am not clear about the road ahead, what helps me stay grounded is keeping things simple, taking care of what is right in front of me, and finding goodness wherever I can.
Have you ever had the experience of receiving a much-needed flash of insight about a project or a decision you’ve been grappling with while washing dishes, cooking, gardening, listening to music, or taking a walk? It probably came out of the blue, when you least expected it but it gave you exactly that boost of energy you had been waiting for to propel you forward.
What kind of changes are taking place in
your life right now?
Where can you draw inspiration and strength from?
- Do you need more time with yourself? Then make time. Even 15-20 minutes sitting down to breathe, journal, read, take a walk, or dance to your favorite song can make you feel better and more energized.
- Do you need more time with like-minded people? Pick up the phone and call a friend, meet over Zoom, or for a nature walk. Be creative.
- What needs to be simplified? Look around you. You know what drains your energy. Let it go.
- What are some small changes you can make to help you feel better and more confident?
As we renew our commitment to ourselves and begin to work towards improving the conditions of our daily life, we build momentum. Eventually, we may choose to stay where we are and continue to change and grow. Or, we may decide that the time has come to pick ourselves up and find the place that is most favorable to us, the place where we can grow deep roots and blossom.
Hold fast to dreamsLangston Hughes
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
We may have many false starts. We may even get frustrated in the process but if we can just hold on to our dreams and sense of purpose, chances are the road will become easier and we’ll learn that, much like the purslane and wild violets breaking through a rough surface, we too are a lot stronger and more resilient than we ever knew.
What are your thoughts? I invite you to scroll below and share your comment.