Our neighbour called my husband and me over to look at something in his garden. He had planted some sunflower seeds and one had sprouted with the shell still on it.
It seemed to me that this plant was not ready to give up the protection the shell had given. Even though there was quite a bit of new growth, the plant was not ready to fully come out of its shell.
My way of looking at this was a reflection of past (and sometimes more recent) behaviours I have struggled with.
New experiences can be very scary. In an unknown environment, I long for safety and familiarity. My protective shell looks tempting and I seriously consider making a retreat back into it.
Before I do, I think of how dark and restrictive the shell had become. Outside I see light and potential. Am I willing to risk the unknown to reach toward my goals and dreams?
Sometimes I still look for a safe place to hide. Then I remember what lies outside of this comfort zone and know I will never grow into my full potential until I am willing to break out of my shell.
“Fear is only temporary. Regret lasts forever.” – Unknown
The air was warm and the sky a clear blue when my husband and I attended an outdoor concert. A crowded venue left us no choice but to stand in order to see the musicians. We didn’t mind and soon I was swaying to the beat and singing along softly with the lyrics.
After an hour I knew I needed to go for a little walk. Standing in one spot for an extended period was starting to hurt my back. If I didn’t move soon my movements would become painful. Turning to Brian, I said, “I can’t stay in one spot any more, I have to move.”
The words were barely spoken before I saw the analogy to my life. When I enjoy where I am and what I’m doing, I want to stay there. If I stay in one spot too long I get stuck and it becomes difficult, if not painful to move.
Life is not about finding a comfortable rut and settling in. It is about exploring, adventure and reaching for my dreams. None of that is possible if I am stuck in one spot.
Moving is good for my well-being. Not just for my body but also for my mind. When I think I’ve stretched as far as I can it’s time to remember the words of Paul Brandt; “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”