Right now my garden is filled with blooming “blanket flowers.” They’re red and orange flowers that bloom all summer and fall. But weren’t always so prolific!
Three months ago I planted two of them in my front yard. Within a day, all of the petals fell to the ground and the flower bodies quickly turned into sharp, thistle balls.
I was certain I’d killed the plants. Or, I thought, if I was lucky maybe they’d bloom again next summer. I was so disappointed!
In my attempt to make the plants look decent, I did what all good gardeners do – I deadheaded. In essence, I cut off all of the dead flower parts. I figured a green plant looked better than a plant with dead branches!
A few days later both plants were overflowing with blazing blooms! Apparently, the plant just needed to let go of its dead stuff to make room for the new.
Sometimes we’re just like plants. We need to let go of the dead parts of our lives to make room for new growth. When we do this, we bloom brightly and other people benefit from our growth as much as we do.
And like a plant, I know I look and feel best when I’m connecting with my soul’s desires. It’s a great feeling and people can always tell when I’m in the groove. They tell me I radiate.
There are, of course, times when I don’t feel connected at all. I might feel sluggish or stuck, or even slightly depressed. When that’s the case I ask myself, “What am I holding onto that I no longer need?” It’s usually an attitude or a bad habit (I do have some…).
Maybe you can relate. Have you ever held onto something – a belief, a relationship, a career, a habit – long past its prime, only to find that you end up feeling dried and shriveled, sort of like a dead flower?
When that’s the case, it’s time to deadhead your life. I guarantee if you do, you will eventually start blooming again.
To get started ask what is old and outmoded. Is there anything that is preventing you from growing somewhere meaningful?
The answer could be anything from a cluttered office to an uninspiring career, a useless habit or an oppressive belief. The thing is, it’s entirely possible that these beliefs (or career, habit, whatever), truly served your life purpose and helped you grow. This is why these things can be so hard to let go of or change.
But just like a flower, sometimes things in our lives metaphorically die and lose their value.
Of course, only you can decide what to let go of. And I know from personal experience how hard that can be. Listen to your dreams for guidance. Call you spiritual director or a friend if you need help.
And then bloom, baby, bloom!