It was February in NZ, the third trimester of summer.
Vibrant green grass flanked by lush trees that have benefited from good rain and warm sunshine surround our home, their roots buried in the warm earth. Birds sing incessantly to express their delight at the abundance of a bountiful summer.
Other than the native trees and shrubs, our garden consists of a few lettuces, some herbs, roses, hydrangeas, fruit trees, pots of flowering plants and most unexpectedly eight self-sown tomato plants.
Their appearance was a wonderful surprise to us, as we were discussing making a trip to the garden centre to purchase our supply for the season. However, last seasons plants left their seeds behind in the earth, giving life to eight of their progeny who have taken up residence in our plot.
They look very happy where they are clustered together as if in a family group. We didn’t have the heart to break them up and shift them around so we have left them exactly where they decided to surface.
One of the plants has established itself away from the others and we respect its right to be that plant, as there is always one that doesn’t want to fit in with the crowd.
No group would be complete without the runt of the litter whose tiny frame is diminished amongst the towering vines of its siblings.
Of course they didn't take root directly in line with the stakes we had set up from the previous year but that's ok. We decided to work with them and move the stakes to accommodate their birth place and allow them to bloom where they were planted by their parents.
Flowers have appeared on their vines which brings promise of fruit but I really don’t mind if they aren’t fruit bearing, I am just so glad to have them show up in my garden.
The presence of our little self sown tomatoes reminds me of how we like to rip out and rearrange everything so that it fits in with our idea of how it should be, in preference to allowing life to show up in its natural state and to work with what comes to pass.
Bloom where we are planted. The natural world knows how to access this phenomenon, its we humans who struggle with wanting everything our way in our time or else.
Let’s not be under any illusion that if we had not nurtured the tiny tomato plants and protected them a little, they would almost certainly not have survived the dry spell of weather in their early lives.
Unlike our little plants, perhaps you were not well protected or nurtured in your younger years either or to the contrary you had an idyllic childhood with model parents, either way both have shaped the person you are now.
All each of us need is an opportunity to nourish our soul so that we can bloom, grow beautiful and strong too like the little tomatoes.
They are not magnificent roses or luscious orchids they are tomatoes, and tomatoes are beautiful gifts of life to us.
From fresh juicy tomatoes we can make so many delectable dishes and in some cultures the tomato is a staple fruit that feeds families and brings bounty to the grower.
Like the humble little tomato, you are made of stardust and are as ancient as dirt.
Never underestimate how important your life is firstly to yourself and then to the universe which you inhabit. Your seeds weren’t developed here on Earth. They were created in the cosmos along with everything that is and made manifest here as the human being your are today.
Why do we find it hard to remember our magnificently humble beginnings? I believe it is because our earthly experience dulls our true identity and we forget that we are made up a of spiritual DNA that does not die when we leave our body. Quite the contrary, it continues with us from life time to life time awaiting our attention. Our trials and tribulations are what bring our attention to focus on the possibility that we are more than just flesh and bone.
Norman Vincent Peale is quoted as saying, “ Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”
If you are anything like I was recently you may have no idea what you want to do or how to find your way forward. Desperation and despair were my constant traveling companions for months until I finally surrendered and allowed my spiritual DNA to have its way.
There are some things my spiritual DNA is designed to do and there are others that it is diametrically opposed to. It appears I was trying to go backwards up a raging swollen fast flowing river at least that is how it felt at the time. Now when I get the jitters about truly being a living expression of my authentic self, I find I am back in the raging tide of dirty water, a place I have no wish to be, so I surrender again and remember who I am and in no time I am back on solid ground, allowing the words and ideas to flow through me and onto the page.
Last year I had a vivid dream, you know the ones your can remember every single thing that you did in them and the feeling is as real to you now as it was when you were in it. Well, mine was a flying dream. I NEVER forget my flying dreams.
I was standing on the edge of a precipice looking out over the vast terrain below and without warning I was walking back from the edge and then running at it with all my might to find myself not falling to my death, on the contrary, I was flying off towards the sun with my arms spread wide and my body stretched like a phoenix.
After flying around for an undetermined amount of time enjoying the vista I was back on the edge of the precipice to once again run and fly off the edge taking to the air and circling the terrain below.
Again I was back on the edge only this time my brain had kicked in and instead of allowing my body to alight from the cliff top I screeched to a halt with only enough time to save myself from falling to my death. My heart was pounding out of my chest with fright as I realized that I had lost faith in my ability to fly, acquiescing to fear. Then deep disappointment took over from my fear and I stepped back again from the edge only this time to run without hesitation, launching myself off the edge with no thought for the outcome. My disgust at disappointing myself was greater than my fear of ending my life.
When love for ourselves and our dreams becomes greater than our fear of judgement or failure, then and only then will we find our wings and launch ourselves off the precipice of our life’s edge out into the glory of the lives we were born to live.
You planted yourself here however many years ago and whatever your life so far you are still here just like my tomato plants. This means that you are doing something right.
I know you have probably heard this so many times so here it is again… don’t wait to do the important things in your life.
Don’t wait until you have a new job or a partner or more money or enough money or to be skinnier or brighter or your children grow up or the planets are aligned a certain way. By constantly putting your dreams into the future you are missing out on wonderful opportunities to kick start them in the now.
It's time to see how magical this life you are living truly is. How when you take small steps towards your dream or goal, you will become the change that you have been wishing for. Every tiny step you take is a statement of commitment of your intention to bring into being something that has up until that point been only a dream or desire.
The moment you take action your intentions become manifest, your thoughts and dreams ignite and come into being.
Begin with one step whatever that may be and build on it. Love and nurture yourself as you take each step. Be your own best friend.
My word for 2016 is Maitri a Sanskrit word translated as unconditional friendship with oneself.
I was searching for a word which would embody my intention and learning for 2016 to follow on from Authentic which was my word for 2015.
Maitri found me while I was reading a book by Pema Chodron entitled When Things Fall Apart. The title alone was enough to draw me into its pages where I discovered the word Maitri.
The purpose is to hold the intention of the word for the year, this is not without its challenges.
I have found that it attracts opportunities to me to grow and invites change in a way I could never imagine.
Change takes place when your desire to have something is greater than your fear of it.
This desire began within you before you came into being here and our desire to be here was greater than the sum of all possible outcomes good, bad or otherwise.
Our little tomato plants didn’t think about being judged or not being good enough or even about their survival they were just programmed to burst out of their seed pods, make a break for the light and on arrival, make the most of whatever was up there while still being tomato plants, and so did you.
Make a break for the light and keep shining brightly.
Olwynne is a certified Holisitc Life Coach, Teacher, Speaker and Writer who specialises in the soul's journey through the fields of reincarnation, past lives, life between lives, life after death, human consciousness, intuition, spirituality, health and well-being. She has studied and practised for 28 years in these fields.
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