It’s that time of year. Transitions are happening. Kids are back to school, some of them for the first time. One of my best friends just sent her first son off to kindergarten. I’ve seen countless other “First Day of Kindergarten” pics on my Facebook newsfeed. Maybe you’re heading off to your first semester of college. A good friend and Glass Gardens helper, Jake, left Va Beach for his first year at Arizona State all the way over there...in Arizona! Maybe you’re starting a new job or a new relationship.
How do we face these changes with bravery and growth? Plants can teach us a lot, and they do, every. single. day. What can we learn from them to help us through these changes?
Try something new
Each time we plant a little succulent, or buy another air plant, we’re entering into a new relationship with this plant. It’s brand new.
What have you never done before that you’ve wanted to do? Maybe it’s trying out yoga, picking up a new hobby or volunteering for a local non-profit. Perhaps you try your hand at an Improv class and learn to connect with others and be vulnerable. Maybe it’s hosting a plant party or building a terrarium. Maybe you want to learn to cook so your newly remodeled kitchen actually gets some use. Maybe you want to try out a vegan diet. Whatever it is that sparks your interest that you’ve never done before, try it out. Even if it’s just for a day or a week, we need these “new” experiences to keep life fresh and exciting. This new zest for life or an activity can help us through challenging transitions.
Get outside your comfort zone
Some people are afraid of plants. They’re not comfortable with the commitment to water and give attention to this little green living thing. The possibility of “killing it” looms over their head and stops them from entering this new relationship with a plant.
Getting outside your comfort zone can be similar to trying something new, but there is opportunity to put one foot over the line even within your mundane routine. Perhaps you work a 9-5 job and you decide to start biking to work instead of taking that frustrating traffic riddled route. You’re not super comfortable with biking to work because you might be sweaty when you get there or you’re afraid of being late, but do it anyway.
Maybe there’s an opportunity to take on a project at work that you’re not quite sure you can handle, and that fear of failure makes you super uncomfortable, but you do it anyway. It might add an extra little challenge, but once you get about 40% into whatever it is, you realize how exhilarating it is to be just outside that zone of cushy monotony.
Reach out and connect
When you enter into a relationship with a plant you are connecting with life. You’re giving your energy to something that wants to live. As John says, “It doesn't want to do anything all day long but live.”
Connect with your mom. Be happy she’s alive. Call your sister and tell her you love her. Reach out to an old best friend. Send a text to that fun friend you haven’t talked to in awhile, just to say hello. This is the single most important thing you can do to ease your transitions and keep peace of mind.
When my head is swirling with questions of uncertainty, a 30 minute phone call with a friend helps me calm down and brings me back to reality. Strengthening these positive connections with others is truly the key to a long, healthy and happy life. Not money, not fame, but strong positive relationships. Love your family and community. Love your plants. Nurture your relationships with all of the above, and you’ll move through challenging transitions with serenity and calm.