The Tiniest Steps to Growth

Have you wondered what the big Bliss Habits Kitchen Sink prize winner does after winning? She goes to Disneyland!! Really that is just what Meg just did!! LOL I just love that this is true!! and better yet for us she also stops by Bliss Habits to share her perspectives on growth! I think you will enjoy the magic!

Green Magic “Of golden seeds and new beginnings”
by Jessica Swift (click image for details)

 

What do you think of when you hear the word, “growth”?  I think many of us lean toward a literal interpretation, thinking of flowers pushing up out of the soil, babies growing into small children, then teens, stumbling their way toward adulthood. Some of us only remember to think of growth when we stare wearily at the growth of our expanding waistlines.  And no one wants that kind of growth!  Shrinking is a much more appealing idea!

I think the same is true for our spirits. We hear “growth” and know that it is something we probably ought to want. “Personal growth, yeah that sounds great,” we tell ourselves. Then we think of it as some lofty, unattainable goal, something abstract that only people who wear Yoga pants and meditate might be able to achieve. We glance at the fast food burger in our hand and think, “But maybe I don’t want to live in a vegan commune in the Alps.  Maybe I just want to eat my burger and then play video games, is that really so bad??”  So we recoil and shrink back, and avoid this intimidating notion of growth all together.

But growth means different things to all of us.  For some, maybe it does mean living a life that includes meditation, and for others,growth happens when we do pick up that video game and remember how healing it is to have fun, to play, rather than be so Serious and Responsible all the time.

One thing we all tend to forget is that growth doesn’t happen like we think it does. We think of the end result, and forget all the tiny steps it took to get there.  The forest that is suddenly green with renewed life in the Spring did not suddenly become that way at all.  Each green chute worked its way up through the dark, thick soil, millimeter by millimeter.  Each flower slowly and deliberately blossomed.  Each solitary root of every plant soaked up minerals and moisture, and all of those teeny tiny steps led to extraordinary beauty.

The same is true for all kinds of growth.  Quietly, in the dark, where it’s warm and safe, magic takes place; in a womb, in a caterpillar’s cocoon, in the deep soil…    And within each of us, there is a safe, quiet place, where growth happens in small, yet substantial ways.  To find it, we need only to close our eyes, see the darkness behind our lids.  Take a deep breath, and imagine the darkness growing even darker.  This is a safe space.  A space where ideas can become reality.  What do you really want?  Who are you, really? Are you letting yourself be genuinely, authentically YOU?

By acknowledging all of this, we grow into our truest selves.  And remember, growth is tiny.  Growth is letting yourself make that joke, when you usually hold back because you’re just “not a funny person.”  Growth is being able to mention that slight from an ex, or your parent, and not feel that rush of fury that usually accompanies it, because you’ve finally let it go.  Growth is no longer putting up with being treated badly, by anyone, not even yourself.  Growth is when you follow your dreams in small wonderful ways.  You’ve always wanted to sing, so you let yourself sing in the car, then sing a duet at karaoke night with your friends, and next thing you know, you’re feeling more confident, so who knows what you might try next?  Or maybe you’ve always wanted to own a pastry shop, but you already have a lucrative job that you like well enough.  So on the weekends, you bake more, for family, for neighbors, for the sheer joy of it.  From doing so, you connect with people, and in those small steps, you become the type of person to speak up on behalf of someone else who isn’t feeling quite so confident.  Growth is small, subtle, unexpected, and beautiful.

Now, close your eyes, and ask yourself, what seeds do I wish to plant in the garden of my soul?  What ideas have been sleeping in the cocoon of my imagination that are ready to take flight?  What magic will I participate in today?  What part of me is ready to grow?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Meg Toledo lives with her husband, toddler and two cats in Southern California. She is a freelance writer, a slow poke, and an animal lover through and through. She believes each day should contain at least one of each of the following: a burst of laughter, a kiss, a hug, and a moment to stop and just say, “Wow..” at life.

11 thoughts on “The Tiniest Steps to Growth

  1. Oh Meg, this is beautiful!! Such an important perspective…stepping outside of that striving, how we feel things should be happening, and recognizing the mysterious beauty in those small, seemingly insignificant moments. THANK YOU so much for this – quite timely. 🙂

    • Meg says:

      Hi Lisa! Thank you SO much! I’m so happy to hear this post resonated with you. Have a mysteriously beautiful day! 🙂

  2. Alex says:

    Oh, I love that thought, “What seeds do I want to plant in the garden of my soul?” Thank you, Meg, for the beautiful reminder to look for, and continue to encourage, the small signs of growth. I can see so many, now that you mention it…

    • Meg says:

      Hi Alex, thank you so much! It makes me incredibly happy to think of you looking for those small signs of growth. We really are surrounded by growth and change. This topic has had me looking around for them all week, too. Amazing to see the world through this lens!

  3. Awesome post! I LOVE “What part of me is ready to grow?” So often we let ourselves hide within our shells because we’re afraid of what people will think of us or how they will react. Each time we allow ourselves to push through a little bit of “uncomfortable,” we shed a little of our “skin” and ready our hearts for new adventures and growth. I’m off to go and close my eyes and find out what part of me I want to grow tomorrow!

    • Meg says:

      Thanks for your awesome response, Tania! I’ve definitely been there plenty of times myself, hiding in my shell, and afraid what others will think. In fact, I was afraid of whether anyone would like this post if I’m being honest! Just a regular, human thing to worry over, I’m sure. But like you said, the key is to have those tiny pushes. I like the shedding skin analogy, especially after spending much of my life working with animals. Seeing snake shed is powerful. Our shedding is not always so clear but it’s there. I hope you enjoy finding your own spots of growth!

  4. This was wonderful, Meg! The past two years I’ve been on a big growth and transformation spurt, initiated by health concerns and creative crossroads…big stuff! I’m still growing, but I’m reaching closer to creative dreams coming true, so it’s still and exciting time. Thank you for sharing your insights. :o)

    • Meg says:

      Hi Tracy! That does sound like a powerful time to be going through and I’m glad it’s an exciting one too. Best wishes on your journey and continued growth! I wish you lots of luck and success in all its many forms.

  5. Oh, I LOVE this. I especially love this part: “For some, maybe it does mean living a life that includes meditation, and for others,growth happens when we do pick up that video game and remember how healing it is to have fun, to play, rather than be so Serious and Responsible all the time.” I LOVE this. It’s so true and something I forget constantly. I so needed to be reminded of this today because I’m struggling with the whole “good enough” this so hard right now. I also love the idea of the small, dark place where growth is always happening. That is an idea I will carry with me always. Thank you for giving me that- it’s something I can always “come home” to when things get rough and I’m wondering what the heck I’m doing and if it’s all useful in any way. *huge hugs*

    • Meg says:

      Oh Chel, thank you! I’m so happy to hear that this was meaningful to you!

      I know the “good enough” struggles quite well, so I know just what you’re talking about. Yes, the art of play can definitely help with that. And I remind myself of those small places of growth too. We are such funny impatient humans. We say, “nothing is haaappeniing…” Meanwhile, the plants are germinating and growing at their own pace wondering why we’re being so silly. 😉 That kind of practically invisible growth definitely happens within us too. We should make t-shirts. Growth: not just for plants anymore!
      ;-D

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