“For a seed to achieve it’s greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its inside come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”
The first thing that comes up when I think about growth is pain. Growing pain. For a seed to grow into a seedling and then into a flower it needs to crack open, it’s shell must be destroyed to bear the fruits of its potential. It is a constant process of allowing layers of protection to shed. In humans it is the same, limitations must be continuously challenged. It is an arduous process and mostly an uncomfortable one. Even on the physical plane, whilst growing we push up agains the boundaries of our current state.
Coming into this world through our mothers womb we meet the pain of separation. We face the discomfort of individuation. In the process of learning to walk, we must fall and stubble many a times, attaining bumps and bruises is an innate part of that procedure. When our body grows and lengthens our physicality is in periodical states of awkwardness, of lanky and sore disproportion, until, eventually, our growth edge once again becomes our comfort zone. And then, on we go. A never ending sequence of challenging limitations, tentative exploration, expansion and integration, on and on and on.
In fact, I believe (and many psychological studies attest to this) that our sense of happiness as humans, is intimately interlinked with our growth. This might seem counter intuitive, given that growth also causes discomfort and pain, insecurity, fear and many other apparently undesirable emotions and sensations. But it makes complete sense when we acknowledge that our innate purpose for being here, on this earth, in this body, alive as consciousness, is to realise our potential. This truth is buried in the intrinsic intelligence of everything alive, is deeply engrained in every seed and in every atom and molecule of the energy that is life.
To me this is the root of many depressions, burn outs, sense of meaninglessness and pointlessness, suicide, desperation, lostness, and so on. The fact that we resist growth. Of course we always grow, whether we like it or not. But we have created a society whose main values are clustered around stability and safety. Protecting and worshipping the known, the controllable, the predictable, the solid. This opposes the natural process of growth. It more often than not stifles a spontaneous unfolding into our greater capacities. It interferes with the development of resilience. It works against the emerging curiosity and trust in the unknown. Though that is where growth is, and therein lies our happiness. Perhaps happiness is too much of a generic term to describe this phenomena linked to our growth. Fulfilment might be more accurate or descriptive. The full-filling of our potential. A becoming. A realising.
Growth is essential. Essential for life on earth to thrive.
So, the morals of the story is: happiness lies in the leaning in to our edge. In expanding our comfort zone beyond the known and the comfortable. Seeking out the places within ourselves that we avoid out of fear that they may rock our steady boat and thus produce changes in ourselves and our environment that we can not control of foresee. We must fan the flame in our heart that longs for “more life”, for what we know lies sleeping at our core, waiting to be awakened. We all know this feeling. We know that there is more for us to discover, experience and embody than meets the eye. Each of us has an immense potential at the core of our being that wants to be realised. We are not meant to stay seeds, or buds or seedlings.
We are meant to grow into flowers and bloom, bear the fruits that nourish this earth and spread the fragrance of our being for the benefit of all. We are not meant to stay seeds, hidden in the comfort of a protective shell that is clearly becoming smaller every day. And yes, for us to emerge beyond its confinement, it must break. We must gradually leave behind what we knew to be our reality until then and dare to face that which is yet to be discovered.
True, it is a risk. Yes, it often feels scary and vulnerable and exposing. But the alternative is stagnation, which is an entirely unnatural state for any living organism. At least in the long run.
Nothing wrong with phases of rest, integration and hibernation of course. But we are not meant to stay there, dormant, abiding our time, hoping not to be affected by life’s unpredictabilities if only we plan, avoid and control against the unfamiliar.
We must welcome change when it is knocking at our door. Barricading ourselves in or turning a deaf ear to the knocking will backfire on us eventually. We might as well take a deep breath, acknowledge our pounding heart and move toward the messenger beyond the door.
What an adventure this growing business is. May we enjoy the ride.
Co-Founder – DIMA Mallorca, Centre for Consious Living