This morning I applied Miracle Gro, Shake ‘n Feed
to my flowering bushes. The container for the fertilizer was straightforward - a large green plastic bottle with a spout. After I removed the cap, I went out to the flower bed, opened the spout, and turned the bottle upside down. Nothing happened. Being a slow learner, I flipped the spout back and forth a couple of times and tried to shake the bottle again before I realized, “there must be an inner seal.”
As I was shaking fertilizer around the base of the hydrangea bushes (that I nearly killed from not paying attention), I started thinking about how the directions of the fertilizer were directions for personal development and spiritual growth.
- Remove the inner seal.
- Work into soil.
- Reapply in three months.
So it is with spiritual growth and personal development. All those superficial measures we make in saying affirmations, doing visualizations, and going to workshops will not nurture us until we remove the inner seal to our hearts and souls. What is our inner seal? It is the layers of feelings, thoughts, and actions of our defenses that seal us inside ourselves. It forms a protective barrier within us and around us to protect the core beliefs we have about ourselves and the world around us. To truly grow and bloom, first we must be willing to remove that inner seal.
Life experiences give us ample opportunity to open our inner seal. Each painful experience or relationship that feels like it is breaking our hearts is really an invitation to open our hearts, examine ourselves, and to let go of the core beliefs that block our growth. The key to the outcome of this process is our free will, our perception. With each experience, we have the choice to either leave our hearts open or to add another layer of defenses to our inner seal.
Even if we do choose to remove the inner seal that blocks us from personal growth, we cannot take actions that are only skin deep. When we do not diligently tend to the new seeds of thought planted by doing affirmations, reading self-help books, and attending workshops, there will be no lasting benefit. All the positive energy we receive in those brief encounters is only temporary. The directions for the fertilizer say, “work into soil, water, and reapply in three months.” So too must new thoughts, feelings, actions be worked into the soil of our minds and hearts. We must water them with daily attention and reapply them through persistent practice for sustainable growth.
For me, there is connectedness in all things. I see spiritual growth and personal development in gardening. What thoughts and feelings does this bring up for you? Are you aware of the inner seal that blocks you from having better relationships and living life on purpose?
There’s more room in a broken heart. Carly Simon, Coming Around Again