Blossoming: An Unexpected Transformation
Every month I choose an intention word and here is August’s...blossom. This word feels so damn appropriate (sometimes I use the word damn for emphasis and like the way it sounds and how badass it makes me feel to ‘curse’).
The past few months I have been planting seeds, both metaphorically and literally, and in August I am ready to see those seeds blossom and real life dreams come to fruition.
I am a lover of all things transformation and taking journeys--even if they are just in our minds and hearts. I have been on so many journeys both physical and spiritual. Israel. Montessori training. The Omega Institute-- include some of my physical adventures. And then there has been motherhood and separation and grief and black belt training and moving away from family and friends. And writing and publishing. So many of my life experiences have shaped who I am and I am grateful for each and every one of them in different ways. Even when they have been challenging, they have brought me somewhere I need to be and given me a deeper level of understanding. Of course at the time, in the thick of it, I haven’t felt that way--I have always come away with a sense of appreciation and that is what I aim to do with my groups and clients. And I get so much back from this experience because I practice vulnerable leadership where I get to see myself in situations and transform deeper alongside my clients. It’s really beautiful and confronting work.
But as I often do, I digress...
In my current season of life (home with 3 month old and 3.5 year old), there are no physical journeys but I have been feeling the usual call that comes to me to continue my unfolding and my becoming and my transformation, and that is where my blossoming journey comes into play.
I set a random intention to start composting and gardening this maternity leave. It was born a few different places. I have never been much of a green thumb but I remember after having my miscarriage feeling an overwhelming desire to “prune”. I started weeding my old yard out of the blue and it brought me so much comfort. And then, as always our children being our greatest teachers and inspirations, my daughter started to get really into gardening and composting at her Montessori school, and I wanted to “follow the child” and keep the momentum up at home. I started to feel the mom guilt creep in when she would ask me where the compost pile was after she would finish her banana.
As I often do I put the intention out there that I wanted to begin gardening and composting and then things just started to happen. I was gifted my first ever plant from my dear friend Techa--a peace lily. That peace lily blossomed with me through my final stages of pregnancy and it brought me so much joy. I actually started gifting peace lilies to others when they were in need of peace and reassurance as this peace lily came to me at a time of uncertainty with my own pregnancy and complications.
Then I bought my first air plant, and my husband bought a spider and Chinese Evergreen. And all of the sudden we had house plants.
When my 86 year old Nonna, an avid and successful gardener, came to visit after my son was born I told her of my intention to garden and she bought me my very first vegetable plant: basil. It was such an appropriate tribute to my Italian heritage and such a symbolic move being gifted something from the wisest and most badass gardener I know: my Nonna. Then there was an ad on our neighborhood Facebook group that someone was giving away pepper plants. We scooped those up, bought a tomato plant, and thus our garden was born.
(The beauty that is our garden)
I know this may sound basic or obvious--if you want to start a garden--just start. But how often do we say we want to do something and then never take the most basic and obvious action steps to support our intentions? And how often do we let our silly limiting beliefs get in the way. I never believed myself to be a gardener--it just wasn’t in my consciousness. It just wasn’t part of my identity. Rewriting this simple story has been very empowering in so many ways, and I am trying to do them justice by articulating how.
I also have been inspired by using the strengths we do have to manifest our desires, even something as simple as this one.
I have always loved to read and research and be resourceful, and I have always had a gift for connecting with others and making friends. My friend Mary refers to me as “Jen Makes Friends”, and I think that is an appropriate nickname and something that I am proud of. Relationships run deep with me.
But again the digression thing.
So part of this journey has been putting those skills and strengths to good use.
I started reading books about gardening and composting and discovering a passion in these areas and gaining confidence in my knowledge.
I started connecting with my friend Cara who is a former garden teacher and she and Techa, the one who gave me the first ever plant, came over and helped me set up the garden even further. They even gifted me more plants--succulents and herbs--to expand my repertoire. And then my daughter and I took a visit to Cara’s beautiful garden and were gifted Swallowtail caterpillars and are currently hosting them in anticipation of their transformation into butterflies. This has been an awesome experience as well because it is giving my daughter a special gift to build schema in our very home. And it is helping me with another dream--to homeschool or unschool or follow the child and share my love for lifelong learning with her.
And it reminds me that when we follow our passion, they birth other passions, and it is all one big trajectory of momentum and manifestation.
And this experience has been transformative.
It has transformed my story about not being someone who can garden.
It has transformed my yard into a solace--I have been walking around and grounding in my yard because it brings me so much peace now.
It has transformed my relationship with my children deeper--because it gives my daughter and I a common interest and something to do together.
It has transformed my appreciation for living a plant strong lifestyle which I have done for a while now.
It has transformed my understanding of herbs and essential oils and all of their healing properties.
It has transformed my love of nature and the healing and lessons to be experienced there.
It has transformed my understanding the Montessori concept of Erkinder and the need for adolescents, who are seeking a purpose and place in the world, to connect with the land.
It has transformed my belief that done is better than perfect and there is no balance or perfection but instead a rhythm and harmony to our lives. (My garden is makeshift to anyone else---see picture above--a collection of scattered containers--but to me it is sheer beauty and awesomeness)
It has transformed another story of mine--that I am not a good cook--as I have made homemade pesto with the basil and been using the herbs to prepare meals.
(Solace messages in my new sanctuary)
I am not sure how much sense this makes because it has quickly become one of those topics that I am so emboldened by that I am getting caught up in my excitement. Like if you could hear me talk about it I would go a mile a minute and use a bazillion hand gestures (in true Iamele fashion). But i had to get it out...there’s more unpacking to come but for now I wanted to say hey--I’m blossoming and I’m now a gardener :)
Oh and when I started this I figured I would talk about the blossoming dream of my first ever women’s circle but it has just become clear that that needs to be another post entirely--Blossoming #2?
To be continued…. :)