How Do I Get Unstuck? Bloom Where You Are Planted!

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Summer is here and nature is blooming: bougainvillea, jasmine, jacarandas…  Are you blooming too? Or do you find yourself stuck… or worse, wallowing in toxicity?

Let’s take a tip from the season:

“Bloom where you are planted”  ~Mary Engelbreit 

Bloom…

This is the easy part. Don’t wait, don’t think about it, don’t plan it. Don’t even give yourself time to doubt it. Just BLOOM. In the moment. Now.

But how?

It’s whatever makes you smile, feel like a million bucks, feel nervous with excitement… feel alive! Let your body and emotions be your guide.

And it doesn’t have to be big. Maybe it’s just taking a breath and allowing yourself a moment of stillness and gratitude. Maybe it’s a walk, surprising your honey with dinner or signing up for that class you’ve always wanted to take. What sounds delicious right now? This is what it’s like to bloom.

…Where You Are Planted

This is the profound part. It’s easy to dream of where you want to be and despair about where you are now, making it seem impossible to get from one place to the other. Leaving you immobile, indecisive, STUCK.

Blooming where you are planted demands a total acceptance of where you are now—the exact YOU you are now, with the exact challenges, the exact amount of free time, the exact amount of money and relationships in this exact present situation. Blooming where you are requires that you STOP obsessing about what’s wrong with where/who you are now and START asking yourself, “What is possible from here?”

Case in point: My husband and I moved into a new home about 3 weeks ago. We are looking forward to converting our garage into a serene and tropical office paradise for me and my clients. Until then, I’m seeing clients in our unfinished, not-yet-cute living room. Yuk.

So, as long as I’m stuck in the “Yuk” (ie. lack of acceptance of what is) I feel pressure and anxiety with every step of our remodel. Why isn’t it going faster? Why hasn’t this contractor called me back? Why didn’t my husband get the sandpaper at Home Depot? I feel like my cat… who weaves and dodges through my feet so much when he’s agitated that I finally step on him. Ouch. I feel a headache coming on.

“Blooming where you are planted” requires that I stop raging against the machine and just accept what is. This is where we are. This is my situation. Is there anything I can do to change this? No.

Ahhhh… peace, letting go, calm.

Now that I’m “planted” a whole world of possibilities (blooming!) open up:  What can I do to make my living room nicer? Maybe I can plant some succulents out in front of the house… or move that chair up against the wall. How can I cover up that ugly heater?

Blooming Into Your Life Purpose

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. knew how to bloom where he was. “Take the first step in faith” he said. “You don’t need to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.”

And the truth is, who ever DOES see the future, the Grand Staircase of their true calling? Instead we take years trying out all the best binoculars, changing the prescription on our contact lenses… asking our friends and family if they see THEIR staircases. Meanwhile, we’re not moving forward with the one first step we do see (it seems so small, after all, and how does it relate to the Big Vision of where I want to be?).

Dr. King’s answer to this dilemma is the same as Mary Engelbreit’s: just take the first step in faith. Bloom where you are right now. Here’s what it looks like:

A friend of mine was starting to hate his job. He knew he needed to move on to the next thing, but what was it? As the years passed, he suffered more and more… stuck, frustrated.

Finally, he decided to just start… not by making any grandiose career moves and not because he finally “figured it out”, but by simply Blooming Where He Was. He was interested in farming. So he took a composting class and started a worm bin. Wow, how cool! He was even more intrigued. So he asked his landlord to let him grow food on a small piece of soil. He planted and cultivated basil, tomatoes, onions, carrots. Wow, how cool! He was even more intrigued. A friend of his was giving up a job at the Farmers Market to move to Chicago. So he started working there, getting to know all the local organic farmers in the area. And now someone was looking for a farming partner. So he reduced his hours at work and started to farm and bring local, organic produce to market. Wow, how cool! It’s far from the end of this story but suffice it to say that my “friend” (my husband, Anthony, actually) is now running his own delivery company, bringing local, organic produce to restaurants and other venues that need it (www.napolifarms.com). By blooming where he was, he took one step in front of the other until his passion became clear.

Blooming Where He Was meant giving up the idea that he needed a Grand Vision to move forward. Planted firmly on the ground of This Moment, he took one step forward in faith, then another and then another, from one Joy to the next… blooming, blooming.

My challenge to you:

How quickly can you identify when you’re not accepting where you’re planted? And how quickly can you return to blooming exactly where you are?

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