(Today I’m sharing a heartfelt article about taking risks and transitioning in life from my friend, Lindsay Wagner, RN, of Authenticore.com. Perfect tips for baby boomers and older adults!)
If you’ve ever been the caregiver for potted plants for a year or more, you know what happens to a plant when it’s root-bound. The roots keep growing and getting denser in the pot—consuming whatever nutrients are left in the soil. The plant is trying desperately to survive on less and less of what she needs.
In life, we all need to be aware that we ourselves may become root-bound. The first sign of this could be noticing we’re doing the same actions over and over in our business or our relationships that used to be incredibly successful and bring us lively exchanges. Now these actions are manifesting mediocre responses, uninspired results, and leaving us feeling exhausted and depleted, no matter how hard we work to get things richly nurtured. Like the root-bound plant, we feel undernourished and lackluster.
When signs like this keep showing up despite small changes we make, outlooks we refresh, and brilliant discussions we have with respected friends or colleagues, it may be time to break out of our current container—and step into something much larger—taking the risk to Live True again, even if that means we put ourselves in unfamiliar territory for a while. Just as it took time, awareness, and careful planning with our root-bound plant, we must prepare the soil of our lives with tenderness, acumen, and the support of others we trust and admire before we take the leap. The hardest part of a transition like this is to notice when it’s time to make the move! This takes self-honesty and a bounty of courage.
In the first stage, you must follow the steps in great detail for how to loosen, tease, and tickle the root ball of a plant—this is essential. The plant, like you, needs a gentle touch, showing respect for the tension she/you have been under for far too long. The ball of roots is a circling, tangled nest not unlike your personal exhaustion – and relaxing and releasing requires skillful focus and an understanding of what comes next.
It is exciting to take steps into something new. You need to prepare the soil, whether in a large pot or in the ground, so that you can place the roots in a way that allows them to spread out in all directions, branching out freely in the soil so she can form a good foundation for her growth. Change is often the key that will positively alter the path of our lives and help us recognize who we are as possibility—realizing we can BE more than we are being if we step into something that makes us feel lively again— lush. And too, we may hesitate out of fear of leaving our comfort zone and entering into the unknown. This fear robs us of our freedom to make the choices that bring us from where we are to where we want to be. It surely takes courage to cross that bridge, but the reward of growth and expansion makes up for the temporary awkwardness of uncertainty.
Here are 4 steps to support your own transplant experience:
• Befriend risk – Risk is the ingredient that seasons your confidence and resilience. Keep your focus on the energy of risk, and detach from the outcome. Taking the risk is the real teacher—you learn valuable lessons regardless of how it all turns out. Acknowledge your courage often.
• Keep yourself central – You move towards ‘Living True to Yourself’ because you are ready to spread your wings (and roots) into a new venture or way of living. This requires focus and discipline to stay in the center of your intentions each day. You may have other demands on your time, that’s normal, always make sure you get to YOU first—then tend to others. The quality of your self-love and care will enrich and deepen the love and care you offer others. You’re not being selfish; you’re being centered and grounded.
• Lead with your heart – To know your heart opens a communication with your higher wisdom and ignites harmony between mind and heart. When you listen from you heart to yourself and to others, you increase the clarity you need to make good decisions and to stay balanced even when things get rocky. Leaving your old container for the new one, may trigger feelings of uncertainty or fear. Focusing and breathing through your heart settles any turmoil and brings you confidence and patience. You need patience and stillness to branch out freely and gain your footing.
• Cultivate Joy – Joy is a great predictor of good health. Joy attracts quality people into your life, and is a precursor to kindness and creativity. Science tells us that joyful people are more successful. We have nothing more than what we have right here, right now—go for the joy and thrive, blossom, and flourish!
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And if you’re looking for advice on adding more physical activity into you life, reach out to me.