It has been a beautiful snow-covered week here in Massachusetts. School was cancelled last Thursday and Friday, the streets were empty, and nearby businesses were shut down. Although most people find storms an inconvenience, I love them. There’s nothing like being stuck inside with hot chocolate, a good book, and a blanket… until you’re stuck inside for too long.
During my down time, my neighbor noticed my Peace Lily was outgrowing its pot. I’ve had the plant for almost a year now after picking her out in the lobby flower shop at my old downtown office. What was meant to be just desk plant has now moved into two new pots, three apartments, and has been with me for all four seasons. It only made sense that it was time for an upgrade and some fresh soil.
At first, the plant seemed thrilled about its new home. The leaves looked healthy and there was much more room to grow. As the days went on, however, it started to wilt. Not knowing what could be wrong, I gave it more water. A day went by, and my poor Peace Lily looked worse. Maybe it was too cold by the window? I moved it back to the bookshelf it was originally on.
Still no improvement.
I noticed this morning that some of the leaves were simply dying; they didn’t survive the move. I grabbed a pair of scissors and began to trim the plant as usual. Looking a little bare but a whole lot healthier, I left it on the shelf and opened the window curtain to let the light in.
Sometimes we need to shed pieces of ourselves to make room to grow.
We can all learn something from the Peace Lily. Even though she was moved to a place where she could flourish, she still needed time to adjust. Growing pains are inevitable, and although we want to hurry up and be done with our growth, it’s an ongoing process that we have to treat with patience and care.
However, the more I grow, the less I think about self care. I am prone to getting into the habit of feeling “great,” only to stop doing all of the things that made me feel so good in the first place- spending time with friends, getting out in nature, daily meditation, journaling, writing, gratitude lists, and art. Even though I had plenty of time to create inside during the storm, I lost my motivation. When I’m off-balance, my creative flow is blocked.
The more I learn, the harder I am on myself when I lose my creative energy, make a mistake, or have fearful thoughts. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to have everything “figured out” and to start this year with “a bang;” but the truth is, the only thing I can do is take steps every day to achieve my goals. After having several good days with friends, writing, and sending articles out to interested publications, the storm hit… and I hit a slump. I realized my life was completely off balance and I needed to get back on track.
Similar to my plant, I was pushing myself too hard and then found myself in shock when my schedule was off-track. Those idle days came just in time for me to stop, reflect, and ask myself, “what isn’t working in my life?” I still needed to trim some leaves, improve the soil, and give myself a break; although I’m on a good path, I still need to remember to care for myself when I have the momentum.
I’m hopeful my Peace Lily will settle into her new pot soon. Looking much happier today, she mirrors my own feelings; relieved for positive changes, healthy, and with more room to grow. We can’t predict when our leaves will blossom, but we can put in the work every day for the flowers to grow.