Find the courage to follow your dreams
You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.
If you put off everything until you’re sure of it you’ll never get anything done.
–Norman Vincent Peale
Dear Magnificent Forest,
The acorn seed, though unassuming, has everything it needs inside of it to grow into a magnificent oak tree. All the gray matter inside the seed awakens to life only when a connection is made to the world outside of itself. Otherwise it is completely inert, static, and frozen in its original state.
This is a crucial step in the process of the seed if it wants to grow and/or be anything different from what it is right now in this moment. It must break open the walls of its shell, exposing itself to the external world. This is the crucial step in order to survive, making itself vulnerable to the elements of an unforeseen, chaotic, and unpredictable world.
Yet this is the Leap of Faith it must take if it wants to evolve and grow into the highest, most abundant expression of itself: the magnificent oak tree.
We also have these same walls around us. Through time we have built a hard exterior and have a fear of letting go, of trusting. We fear that once we let down those walls, there will be nothing left of us. We will cease to exist and die.
It's too scary a thought. We think of a million things that we’ll have to change and of all the people we’ll anger in the process. It becomes so overwhelming. It all seems so scary. So we settle. We stay stuck, frozen and small, in the same pattern day after day, wondering if it will ever get better.
Until… we are forced to do something. Because the pain of doing NOTHING is greater than the pain of doing SOMETHING.
And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
– Anaïs Nin
So what happens next?
You go into that dark place, just like the acorn when it gets pushed into the soil. It's that place where you have never been before. It's scary, it's unfamiliar, it’s uncharted territory and you don't know what to do. It is truly the most difficult part of the journey.
When you go down deep into the soil, that is where the nutrients are, where you will be nourished and cared for. And If you let go just a little more and allow the process to go just one more step…
Facing the pain and fear brings storms and cold nights. Tears shed rain, rain and more rain. Through these days and nights of finally allowing the process to take over, these elements wash over you.
They work ON you, then THROUGH you, and then FOR you.
The seed, like you, starts to soften in the dark, moist, nutrient-rich soil. Here's where the courage pays off. Here’s where the perseverance pays off. From Your commitment to the unknown and your leap of faith, the walls finally start to soften and break down. This is where the light comes in. Through this opening is where the exchange of minerals takes place, where knowledge is gathered and shared. Momentum and courage build. You are now in connection with something greater than yourself. You are in the flow of life, yet it is still not over. The journey has evolved to the next level.
Now you are about to embark on the most exhilarating, most terrifying experience of all. Out of the seed sprouts new, fresh green life. The tiny fragile new symbol of connection between itself and something greater. Here is the trust, the will, the momentum, the unwavering moment. The test.
This is when the tiny green seedling pokes its head out of the soil into the light for the first time. It is proclaiming a new identity. “Look at me! I did it!”
You too at this point leave yourself open to new exposure, new criticisms, new failures. People may want you to return to the way you were.
However, the seed can never go back to its sheltered and safe life, that frozen existence that it once had. It has a whole new momentum and purpose. It has become useful and beneficial in ways that as a simple seed it never could. By becoming its highest expression, a tree, the seed will be a home to animals, will provide shade, will be seen as an object of beauty and part of a vast ecosystem. In essence, it will be a viable, purposeful, living entity.
When you first sprout, remember it is a fragile time. To take care of yourself, you must be gentle on yourself. You are in a vulnerable stage. The sun can be hot and the world can appear harsh, but remember WHO YOU ARE and what you are made of. And, most importantly, where you came from.
Know that you were meant to be soft. In fact, the softer and more pliable you are, the easier it will be to grow. The easier it will be for the nutrients you need to get to you.
Allow yourself to stop believing your strength comes from keeping it all behind a wall. Cracking open is the only way to receive and let the light come in.
Know that your growth depends on your reaching out and connecting to the outside world; these elements are crucial. You need them. You need the gifts that others have come here to offer.
You have all the right stuff inside of you, but it means nothing if you can't use it. The inside of the seed is just unused gray matter until the shell is broken open, allowing it to reach out into the dark, into the unknown, and connect with something greater.
We are not meant to be alone, my friend. You are a social creature meant to be with others in order to facilitate your growth potential.
All the nutrients are out there. Break down the walls and reach out. Don't be so stubborn and hard-shelled. Don't think you know it all or have to. Stop thinking you're different or better or not good enough. Stop letting the excuses stunt your growth. Your life and the lives of others depend on it.
It’s your choice. Either grow into your potential or become food for the squirrels.
The forest was meant to thrive. What would happen if there were only a few trees?
Are YOU Ready?
As you take each step I will be there reminding you of your Magnificence, and I will continue to do so, until you are able to see it in yourself.