My gardener noticed a week growing in the garden. There was something special about the grey leaves so we decided to let it grow. It grew and grew and formed a prickly bush.
Soon buds appeared.
The buds turned into flowers.
Viewed from different angles the flowers looked different.
As each flower grew older, a pod developed.
Over a few days each pod developed further and grew harder. Inside we could see the seeds of new life. (And if you look carefully, you’ll see the seeds in the photo below.)
At present (September 28 2010) the bush contains all these elements. It has buds, flowers, new pods and older pods with seeds. Each flower is at a different stage within its own life cycle. It is a continuous process, just as our lives are continuous. We always have something of the past, the present and the future in us.
We could use ‘the weed’ as a ‘distinction’ in Integral Coaching and apply it to various situations. For each of us the significance will be unique at different times. As an example, our impact on others may be at any of these stages. Each relationship may be ‘budding’ or reaching maturity.
The process is sometimes part of ‘us’. At other times it may be part of an external pattern. How we deal with these patterns and use them depends on many factors including emotional and cognitive aspects.
The beauty of nature will impact differently on each of us, and differently at different times. We can learn so much by observing insects, plants and other aspects of this wonderful world. Being ‘in tune’ with nature teaches us lessons about being ‘in tune’ with our bodies and learning to respond appropriately at physical, emotional and cognitive levels.
To me, watching this ‘weed’ develop and grow has emphasised the mystery and miracle of life’s path. That plant has a ‘built-in’ life pattern. And we do, too. We need to ‘tune in’ to our own patterns – both internal and external. Patterns are important. Even the ‘trend - spotters’ are experts at recognising patterns, learning how to interpret them and take appropriate action!
Here is an exercise for you:
Think of a situation where you found yourself in a position where you viewed yourself as the ‘weed in the garden’. Perhaps you felt as though you didn’t belong in that environment? It might have been when you as an outsider started in a new job. Or perhaps you were promoted and were not part of the ‘in crowd’?
- In that situation, how did you avoid the ‘WeedEater’? What were your survival tactics’?
- What did you do to let others see your true values, your personal brand?
- How would you relate your experience as the ‘outsider’ to each aspect of the picture-story above? For example, when did the buds appear, what were the seeds in the pod? Perhaps those were the nuggets of gold, your contribution or your ideas which would be ready for sharing when the time was ripe?
- What lessons can you learn from these observations?
- How can you use these concepts to enrich other aspects of your life?