"The seed cannot know what is going to happen, the seed has never known the flower. And the seed cannot even believe that it has the potentiality to become a beautiful flower." –OSHO
Though I don't often recite quotes to my classes, I came across this poignant nugget of wisdom during the first week of spring and found that it really resonated with me. And I could tell that each time I shared it with my classes, there was a similar, palpable reaction among my students. As spring is widely considered a fertile time for planting seeds of intention, many of us find ourselves at a crossroads at this juncture; standing at the very threshold of new beginnings.
Whenever we begin a new journey and embark into the unknown, we ought to remind ourselves that while there are no guarantees—we must trust life. There will be struggle and conflict, and many bumps in the road along the way—and it might even scare us at times. But just like the sprouting seed that journeys through the darkness of the soil and into the sunlight, we too must venture into the unknown to become illuminated ourselves. For continuing to play it safe is to be small and secure. It is a fear-based or scarcity mindset and in truth, is no real act of courage. But to live courageously, well, that is the very will of the heart.
What if we could find ease in the face of great discomfort? Could that lessen the struggle?
In an effort to stop clinging to my own safety and elevate myself as a writer and teacher, I ventured into the unknown this past month and sowed many seeds. However, these pursuits did not come without their share of growing pains. I navigated struggle, stress, and even anger and frustration. And not every seed I planted will blossom into a beautiful flower, but each one was indeed a necessary step as I boldly move forward on my path.
It is very easy to stop ourselves short and give up when things do not go our way. But in doing so, we remain stagnant. The real challenge is to accept failure as part of the process and continuing plowing forward anyway—bruised egos be damned. I have spent a great deal of my life throwing in the towel when things didn't work out for me, because I foolishly believed on some level that if it weren't always easy, that it was just not meant to be.
But there is real validity in struggle—it is an opportunity to learn and to grow. Because when we look back on even the most difficult of times, we see that it was all a part of a grander design. True, there is a difference between fighting an uphill battle and following a path where doors open and opportunity flows. Still, even the most perfectly laid out paths will come with their set of mishaps and strife; of disempowerment and self-doubt. But what if we could find ease in the face of great discomfort? Could that lessen the struggle?
As I write this and look back at how far I've come since the first new moon of early spring last year, somehow any difficulty I've faced along the way seems less important. What stands out to me now is the amount of growth I've experienced, both on the inside and out, and the fact that I survived the hardship of a life-threatening physical illness, among many other things. And so, suddenly that which has caused me so much stress and grief in recent weeks seems so silly and absurd. The only real intention I have at this moment in time is to remind myself the next time I find myself at odds in the pursuit of my goals, that I must trust life.
After all, isn't that why we practice yoga? To live with more ease and acceptance, despite what life may have in store with us? How easy it is to forget that ease is within our reach. But if we trust in ourselves and have faith in life, then we become empowered—we can navigate through the darkness and into the light just like the proverbial seed.
Photo courtesy of Renee Choi Photography