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If we wish to change the person we find ourselves to be, we must change our thinking.
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June 19th, 2018
A mature redwood is a huge, robust and magnificent creature to behold. But if you replanted it in a dessert, it would surely die. And the seed to create such a gargantuan tree would do no better in the middle of that desert. Such majestic creatures only appear after the terrain has gone through many different stages of growth.
Give a desert a little water, consistently, and grasses will appear. Flowers. Some shrubs.
If nurtured further, small trees start to pop up. Then the fast-growing evergreens.
Then finally the slower deciduous trees.
But the process takes time. Growing takes time.
And some things cannot even begin to grow until they have the support of other mature growths.
There is no fast-track to a deep majestic forest. Those things take time.
This blueprint of growth upon growth is a good metaphor for the brain and the way it changes.
There is no fast-track to wisdom, health and clear creativity. These things take time.
While ‘drive’ can be a great thing. It can kill if applied to something that needs to grow a little more to support it. Like the amount of sun in a desert. All those forest creatures need the sun. But too much of just that one thing. And you get death. Or water. Too much and it will drown the young saplings, or wash them away all together. In the right balance though, something can be nurtured. Until you get to the point of grand rain forests that create their own weather.
It can be very exciting to suddenly feel dedicated, motivated and charged up to change yourself and your life for the better. But such excitement can be like putting up billboards of expectation in your mind.
And expectation is the sole parent of disappointment.
Be kind and careful. If you feel as though your mind has been like a barren desert that you have slowly been dying in. Do not expect to turn around and find a forest. In the heat and torture of such places, we can see mirages of what we want that desert to be. That excitement can be like a great wash of water over the barren land. And from it a short superbloom can flower. And that can be a start, a single-first step on the long road to a deep forest. Without care though, the fever dream worsens and the mirage is replaced with an even worse nightmare.
Most of all, cultivate patience. When moments of charge and dedication and motivation visit. Treat it like you would a gas pedal when you notice your empty fuel-tank light click on. Savor and make it last, till you get to the next moment – maybe a little accomplishment – that feels like a pit stop, a tiny celebration, even if you’re just recharging the battery a little. Just enough to get to the next point on your path.
These moments add up. In ways we do not see nor understand. Like bland grasses, then shrubs. All the while we are looking up to see trees, but see only sky, unknowing of what grows beneath our view.
In the same way that a meditation practice takes a few months of dedication before you see results.
Or muscles that are growing with a new workout routine, but remain unseen as the pounds surrounding shed so slowly.
But surely. With a steady practice and patience.
The mind is a garden. Cultivate it. Particularly that one little tree that will shield the others from too much sun, and hold water in the ground with its roots during dry times – the one that will help all the rest:
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Appreciation can be more than a feeling. Toss something in the jar if you find your thinking delightfully tinkered.