Tomorrow is officially the first day of spring, and there is no better time to make this our season to bloom. Poet Anais Nin offered us her own encouragement when she wrote, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Merriam Webster defines the verb bloom as a time or season to mature into achievement of one’s potential; to flourish in beauty, freshness or excellence; to shine or glow. Does the idea of coming into full bloom feel too risky, vulnerable, difficult or even silly? Imagine if the daffodils and daisies had such thoughts!
Here are ten little seeds we can plant in our minds to help us bloom like flowers in springtime.
1. Be aware. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it.” Take time to contemplate tiny green leaves budding on trees and flower petals unfurling. If we train our eyes to see beauty blooming all around us, we will likely be inspired to do the same.
2. Be amazed. For months, a small bulb lies dormant deep in the ground. One early spring day, a thin green stem pushes through the cold hard dirt. Soon a bulging spathe forms at the top of the stem containing a host of flower parts that miraculously bloom into an unbelievably perfect yellow daffodil. The Buddha said, “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly our whole life would change.”
3. Be yourself. A daisy doesn’t yearn to be a rose. A rose doesn’t envy a tulip. Blooming requires us to think about who we are and what we were created to be. Author Cheryl Strayed wrote, “Transformation doesn’t ask that you stop being you. It demands that you find a way back to the authenticity and strength that’s already inside of you. You only have to bloom.”
4. Be ready. Don’t wait around for the perfect growing conditions to come into full bloom. “The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all,” said Walt Disney. If a wildflower can grow through a crack in a concrete sidewalk, we can surely bloom wherever we are planted.
5. Be joyful. Just as flowers brighten someone’s day, so can we. French essayist Joseph Joubert said, “Politeness is the flower of humanity.” Simply being cheerful and kind can bring joy to everyone we encounter. Having a joyful demeanor is a habit that just takes a little practice.
6. Be hardy. A delicate yet tenacious flower can survive downpours and droughts. Flowers get trampled on by thoughtless feet and paws. Have you ever watered wilted flowers and watched them magically revive? Like resilient flowers, we can resolve to keep blooming even when everything isn’t coming up roses.
7. Be colorful. Flowers bloom in such beautiful colors! Bringing these colors into our clothing and surroundings can add happiness to our everyday lives. In her book Choosing Happiness Alexandra Stoddard wrote, “What brings me great joy is to surround myself with nature, to select colors that have happy associations with the beauty I experience on a spring day when the sun shines, highlighting the world’s freshness and luminescence.”
8. Be relaxed. Jesus said, “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin…” Each and every flower, like each and every one of us, was wonderfully made. There’s no use in worrying and fretting about life. Rather than being anxious, we can relax into who we are and bloom naturally like the flowers.
9. Be caring. Master gardeners plan, prune, weed, fertilize and lovingly care for their plants and flowers. “People are like flowers. Some need only a little tending to, and who knows what kind of beautiful blooms may burst forth,” said writer Meredith Barron. In order to bloom, we must take time to care for ourselves and others the way a gardener might tend to prized roses.
10. Be grateful. All a flower needs to bloom is some good soil, a little light and water. Most of us are blessed with everything we need to thrive, but we often misuse our resources or take them for granted. This spring, let’s be thankful for the sun and the rain and all the metaphorical dirt that work together to help us grow so we can come into full bloom. §
“And the secret garden bloomed and bloomed and every morning revealed new miracles.”
~Frances Hodgson Burnett, from The Secret Garden
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