On Saturday I officially uploaded Chapter 1 to my editor for my book that will come out later this year. This is an excerpt from that chapter that has been on my mind a lot lately.
“I’ve often heard it said that there is no such thing as stagnant. You are either growing, or you are dying. This saying comes from watching nature. Everything is always in motion. Nothing can ever just stay the same.
However, I would like to change the saying to
We are always growing AND dying.
Part of the growth process is being willing to release what is no longer working. The muscle of learning how to let go is a hard one to build. It’s painful, but necessary, to prune. Our own bodies are always shedding dead skin cells and creating new ones.”
On my birthday last year (November), a friend who has known me since I was 14 texted me happy birthday and also added in a note about how she admires that I have always been in a constant state of change for over 20 years. She commented that she has never met someone else who has worked so intentional for so long at their growth.
That observation has stuck with me. Maybe it’s because of the insatiable curiosity I have had since I was a child or the goal driven side of me that has always been hungry for more, but she’s right. I have been insistent on learning and growing for as long as I can remember.
With that comes a painful toll. Because along the way, I’ve had to let part of myself die.
“You’ve changed,” said a friend to me recently. I smiled and said “Yes. Yes, I have.”
It was so brave of this friend to talk to me about it, and I appreciated the conversation immensely. She wasn’t wrong. She observed that there were so many things she didn’t recognize anymore in my choices. From the perspective of what she could see, it appeared as though I may be making choices that didn’t align with the same friend she has known for so long.
She wasn’t wrong. And yet, that doesn’t mean it was a bad thing. Her comment opened up a beautiful conversation about why I was making the different choices, and what motivations were driving them. The more I was able to elaborate on what was happening beneath the surface, the more she was able to recognize that it was still the same me, I just showed up differently.
I live in an agricultural community that is known for growing strawberries. If you’ve never see one grow, they’re beautiful. They start as a white flower, with a yellow center. As they mature, the yellow center expands and slowly turns to red and soon the white petals are gone. Here, I found a photo for you.
Isn’t that gorgeous?
This is what growth looks like.
The more we expand and allow the full sweetness of what we have to offer this world come forth, the less we can recognize our past selves.
Sometimes, it hurts.
When your life expands, it can affect other people. Our lives aren’t limited to a single bush on a single field. Our lives affect other people, the places we go, how we spend our time, what we consume, and what we produce.
When we change, other people may be affected. It can manifest many ways:
- We may need to prune people or commitments to make space for growth
- Some relationships may transcend seasons, and some may not
- We may become the very thing we once judged
(Anything I’ve ever judged I have become, that’s a whole other post for another day. God has a great sense of humor in how I’ve had to learn the art of walking in non-judgement)
- Passions and hobbies may need to be released to make room for new ones
The list could keep going. The reality is, we have all walked in this pain.
It’s the same pain as when we feel sore the day after an intense workout. Muscle growth hurts.
Today, my encouragement for you is that if you feel something shifting, honor it. Allow the growth. Allow the expansion.If it hurts, just know it is highly likely a sign that you’re doing something right.
Much of my job is holding space for people’s growth and expansion.
I will always celebrate your transformation. I have no expectations to “should” on you. I have no attachment to your goals or desires. If you would like to transition from that gorgeous white flower into a ripe version of yourself, that’s what I do.
Ya know, until today, I never really realized that my role in life is much like a farmer. I till the soil, provide the fertilizer, make sure there’s enough water and sun, but I cannot do the work for you. I will hold the space for you to come to safe ground.. Then, when you have reached your potential, I will celebrate you and show you off to the world.
My hope for each and every one of you is that you are able to grow into your favorite self and allow the parts that need to die along the way to be released.
Because we are always growing AND dying at the same time.
Much love to you all,
P.S. If you know that something about your life cannot stay the same, schedule a call. If there is an area that needs help, but you’re feeling stuck, reach out to me.
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