One of the hardest things to do as we get older is leave our respective comfort zones and achieve growth. We choose to live in a ‘happy place’, which sometimes is more like our ‘ignorance bubble’. The longer we stay here, the more stagnant we become. We develop a multitude of ways to talk ourselves out of the things that we should be doing. Being too comfortable is one of the most detrimental things to personal growth. Are you doing all you can to become a better athlete and fighter? If not, then begin taking the necessary steps to achieving your goals. Below is a meditation to reflect upon.

 

The Acorn and the Oak as a metaphor for growth
The Acorn and the Oak Tree as a metaphor for growth

Growth Begins With ‘Emerging’

Thunder and rain at night.

Growth comes with a shock.

Expression and duration

Appear in the first moment.

Things cannot remain in stillness forever. Winter storms may destroy some things, but they also prepare the way for life. If things are swept away, it is appropriate. There must be an opportunity for new living things to emerge and begin their own cycle.

All growth comes with a shock. When a sprout breaks its casing and forces its way to the surface of the earth, it is the climax to a long and deep accumulation of life force. We may think that is came up suddenly, but in actuality, it emerged as the product of unseen and subtle cycles.

When the seedling appears, it carries with it the complete pattern for its growth, perhaps even the makings of an enormous tree. Although time and the right conditions are necessary, neither of those factors adds anything to the inherent nature of the seedlings. It completely embodies its destiny. Therefore, the growth and character of the plant-and its very life-are all present at the moment of emerging.

(Taken from Deng Ming-Dao’s 365 Daily Taoist Meditations)

My Take On This Passage

What does this poem mean to you? I draw a few things from it. First, I recognize that all of the destructive things that happened in my past occurred for a reason, and made way for me to begin my growth. The ‘winter storms’ are the personal tragedies and calamities that stood in the way of my growth. But in reality, they cleared that ground so that my seed could take root. These obstacles were necessary for me to begin my journey towards personal growth.

Harnessing my Energy

The ‘unforeseen and subtle cycles’ are the conversations I’ve had in my own head about achieving personal growth. They were the fights I’ve had with my own demons. Procrastination, rationalization, manifestation and realization all occurred here. All of my energy was being used up in this place, until the moment when I focused all of my energy so that the seed finally broke open, and began to burst through the dense hard layer of fear. Fear that I wouldn’t grow.

My Right to Grow

The last paragraph of the poem reminds me that regardless of all the shit that has happened in my life, my inherent nature remains unchanged. My resolve has never changed. Despite the obstacles that stood in the way, I was meant to grow as a person.

I hope that this reflection helps you achieve a goal that you’ve been holding yourself back from achieving. Remember that it is your right to grow as a person. How you grow is entirely up to you.

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