On Growth and Being

John and I were walking in the foothills behind our home a few weeks ago. We love to take to the trails to reconnect and discuss what is on our minds. We were talking about the paradox of growth and being. How as humans we desire for growth, progress and more. However, peace and contentment are always found in being present, focusing in the here and now. How do you balance the two? Stillness and movement? Growth and being?

I’ve definitely been one who has focused her life around the growth- the next goal. The next check mark. The next accomplishment. I have often sacrificed peace and contentment in the here and now for the glory of accomplishment to come.

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I have been trying to embrace the other side. Embrace just being. And trying to understand what it is I need to learn in stillness, in failure, in the flow, not the push.

On our walk there was an enormous scrub oak tree. I looked at it, with its craggy branches, leafless from winter, towering towards the sky, and I had a thought. Maybe just like in nature, like in the trees, we need to embrace this paradox instead of believing it is one or the other. Maybe, just like the tree, we can have roots and leaves. Roots that plant us. Ground us. Anchor us in peace and stillness. But also, we can have branches with ever-moving leaves. That grow and continually reach for the sunshine. A piece of the tree that is forever looking up, working, growing.

In my year of allow, I’m not only becoming aware of the paradox, but also trying to embrace it. Honor the part of me that yearns to be deep rooted and still, nourish her. But also encourage and love the peace that is forever reaching for more. I can be both, and so can you.