If you’re a plant, you need water, food, the right kind of soil as well as sunlight and a certain amount of warmth to grow. You need to develop a sturdy root system to support your growth in the longer term.
The seasoned gardeners among us will agree that they certainly aren’t thinking about what their plants need to give up, in order to grow and thrive.
At this time of year, when many people try to give up bad habits, in order to renew themselves and prove their commitment to achieve something, it’s great to feel the support of other people who are also trying to improve themselves. However the phrase “to give up” also suggests surrender, throwing in the towel, admitting defeat… so maybe “giving up” something means you have failed before you start! If we could frame it positively, perhaps we might have more success.
So what if we could think of ourselves as that little plant, and all of the things that we need to nourish and grow.
What would help nourish your root system, help you be more grounded? Are you getting enough sunlight and fresh air? Are you getting the right kind of nourishment?
Instead of thinking of “giving up”, can you think about things you’d like to do more of?
Maybe something for your body, like exercise classes or doing some more walking.
Maybe something for your mind, like reading a different kind of book, starting a new course, meeting some new people.
Maybe something for your spirit, like more time to think, reflect or pray, whatever makes sense for you.
Maybe something about how you interact with others, being more tolerant, more understanding, more patient, more tuned in…
If you do have habits that are stunting your growth, then think about how you could replace them with healthier choices, again focusing on what you are doing more of, rather than less of.
Our families and our communities value us for what we are, rather than what we are not – use the support of other people around you to develop positive habits, and give up “giving up”, for good!
Now… time to make like a tree, and leave