You Are Both the Gardener and the Plant


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Storytelling has afforded humans the opportunity to survive and evolve over the millennia; their power to convey meaning, being one of the reasons why well-delivered stories are so compelling. One storytelling tool that I find particularly powerful is analogy; “the process of comparing one thing with another thing that has similar features in order to explain it.” (www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com). Over the next few months, I want to share the analogies that over the years have emerged from deep within my consciousness in moments of flow while in conversation with my clients. These are the moments when I feel so deeply connected to my clients’ story and the dance between our energies, that words and actions flow out of me without thought; they emerge from a place of deeper knowing that requires no analysis or consideration, just streaming. Today I will tell you about "the gardener and the plant”. Do you ever escape boredom by keeping yourself occupied with activities that add little to no value to your life? It would indeed be very pleasant to enjoy peaceful moments of relaxation without the compelling need to reach out for the mobile phone, the wine bottle or the remote control. Do you find yourself doing so much for those around you without ever receiving as much in return? How wonderful it would be to live a life where we effortlessly receive as much love, care and attention as we give! Do you find yourself working harder and harder to achieve your goals, only to realise that when you get there it still is not enough? Imagine a life where you could strive to grow and achieve your goals, while simultaneously feeling at peace with where you are. You see, the problem is that very few of us are living the life they were intended to live. Many of us were born beautiful peach trees, but we were taught that to succeed we must deliver the juiciest cherries instead. We believed the teachings, and so we worked hard to become a cherry tree. As a result, we now feel deeply, albeit often subconsciously, misaligned from who we are meant to be. Even in those rare occasions where there is alignment between our nature and our environmental demands, we are often asked to grow fast, deliver more and better results, even when we are already operating at our optimal capacity. For some of us, tragically, the departure from one’s own nature is so extreme, that dying seems by far the better alternative. Look, I know that we are all conditioned by family, culture, society, religion, state, and that it is no one’s fault. All I am saying is that there is a way out. There is a way to embark on an exciting adventure where the treasure is you, and, once discovered, everyone revolving in or around your world, including you, will benefit. Higher vitality, a clearer mind and better relationships are only a few of the real, potential benefits you can expect. Everyone has greater pleasure in hanging around people with a smile on their face. In fact, people are often subconsciously attracted to those who display a genuine alignment to self; it appears strong, reassuring and compelling. When we are near people like this, we want to get closer so we can learn how we too can experience life in such a balanced way. And here is what you can do about this, no magic wands or potions required. All you need is a shift in mindset, a sprinkle of courage and a dusting of trust. THE GARDENER AND THE PLANT Imagine you are a plant. You were born with a pre-disposed set of characteristics that, given the right environmental conditions, can flourish. Through experience you learnt that with the right focus, you can enhance some of these pre-disposed characteristics, and quiet others, to deliver cherries to the world. Ultimately, however, if you were born a peach tree, you cannot naturally produce cherries. As a plant you know exactly how to grow, it is built in your DNA. All you really need are the right conditions to thrive, and be allowed to grow…at your pace. Imagine now that you are a gardener. The funny twist in the life as an adult is that we concurrently are both the plant and the gardener. Your job is to tend to the plant only as far as creating the optimal conditions for its growth. Many of us, however, are not taught to stop there. In fact, we often work hard to create optimal conditions, only to then stand next to the plant and - enter the army drill sergeant - forcefully shout, “faster, taller, more leaves, better leaves, more branches, longer branches, stronger branches, more fruits, juicier fruits…”, never allowing the plant to just do what it naturally knows to do. We do so because we have been taught to think with a mindset of scarcity; and so the first step in this new approach is to shift mindset. The world is filled with resources and opportunities, but you will never see them if you do not know what you are looking for. We can only expend so much energy to procure and deliver cherries, when we were created to produce peaches, and at some point, when regularly operating out of alignment, we will shut off to the world, missing the real opportunities that come our way. Open to your real, innate power and beauty, and suddenly the world will look abundant. “Hold it Mr!!! You are asking me too much. I spent 10/20/30 years building my life to where it is today, you cannot ask me to suddenly change course.” And that is why you need courage. Change is difficult, but the alternative is continuing on a life-path that will only lead to more dissatisfaction and lack of fulfilment. Furthermore, I am not saying to throw everything away and start anew. The large majority of us do not have that luxury. What I am advocating, is to start considering more of you in your decisions, so that over the longer term, you will arrive at that new life you know you are aiming for. Courage is also needed for another key element on this journey, dealing with the resistance from those around you. When you change - the more radically the greater the outer resistance - people around you are forced to adapt to your new self. What they knew about you no longer stands, and this forces them to re-learn about you and to re-write the script of who you were in their minds. Even if your improvements are for the best, and the very same people were encouraging you to go that way, it is highly likely some of them will resist you. When you live from a place of “knowing”, however, and you have built sufficient courage to stay on your path, you can trust that your mind and your body know what is best for you. Trust is important in this process, as you will doubt yourself many times. After all, you are actively going against decades of conditioning and deeply routed beliefs, and the ego, which aims to preserve status-quo, won’t give up easily. At a conscious level you will be surrounded by constant reminders of the life you have, and are potentially re-routing. Therefore there will be compelling evidence in favour of not embarking on this journey, but I promise you, the results are worth it. It is hard work, I know. Like anything new, it takes a while for it to feel natural, and the more you practice the deeper it will integrate. Eventually new habits will be formed and you will look backwards realising it was easier than you thought after all. Moving forward, do imagine yourself concurrently being the gardener and the plant. Work as hard as you can to create the conditions for your innate self to emerge and flourish, and then let go! Trust that you have done enough for the plant to blossom. The plant will talk to you and show you the way. It will tell you when water, sunlight or weeding are needed; at that point intervene and step away again. Trust that the plant has it in its best interest to organically grow to its fullest glory. Trust that you can provide anything it needs given the circumstances and the environment it occupies. And always be confident about visiting the garden centre to seek advice, tools or products if you or the plant need them. Thank you for reading my article. If you want to learn more about my work or reach out to discuss similar situations as I described here, please visit me here: www.oberdanmarianetti.com www.om-ice.com

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