“What is planted in each person’s soul will sprout” - Rumi
We’re continuously sprouting. Every moment of every day, we’re learning. As humans, we’re not meant to remain the same. We’re meant to expand our consciousness, our awareness, and our hearts. We grow toward the sun, and our leaves dance as we navigate the shade. Mimicking nature—we sway and push through the storms, and after each rain our blooms are a little brighter. Even before you were birthed, you were growing—figuratively and literally, and every moment since, you’ve been learning. When we learn, we grow. I’m here to learn.
Last month we wrote on the topic of Wonder. We chatted and celebrated the joy of inner-child healing and love. I was reading and creating my own inner-child content when it occurred to me: what if the carefree memories of our childhood are brought on by not so joyful moments? What if they exist as a means to escape or heal? I think it’s necessary to not only remember the good bits, but also let ourselves remember the hurt parts so that we can work on giving them the love that they need.
In the quick video above, you’ll see sweet reminders to spend time with your inner-child and a few tips on how to do so. But what if the BTS of those good childhood memories aren’t as sparkly as the image portrayed? I wanted to dive just a tad deeper and offer a different perspective. Growth can be so broadening and beautiful, it’s best felt when we acknowledge the fullness of it all. The “good” and the “bad”.
“Dear Diary, Things have been a little rough around here. I try my best to find the “glad” in each day, but Diary, I miss how things used to be. I say that as though everything has always been perfect—it hasn’t. But at least when we were all together, the moments of laughter we did have, were shared moments, ya know? I’m just feeling lonely. I’m glad Mom and Dad split. It’s what was best for the family. It’s just, I dunno...it’s just so quiet.”
“Dear Dairy, I went to my very first music festival this weekend. It was just what my heart ordered. As I mentioned in my last entry, I’ve been a little down, so this was the perfect pick me up. I’ve never felt more free than I did this weekend. I finally understand what “Dance like nobody's watching” means. Everyone was dancing so freely to the music. I sat and watched in awe for most of the first part of Friday evening, but by Sunday morning I was all in. It felt like my body was cheering me on with each twirl. I felt more alive than I ever have. Every worry faded. Every fear fell to the wayside. I danced until I’d fall down from exhaustion. I want to dance away my sadness, for the rest of my life.”
I remember being a young teen—feeling big feelings and not knowing what to do with them. I was anxious. Unsure. Nervous. Scared. Looking back now I can identify those emotions. My Mama would do her best to help me through it, and now that I’m old enough to see this from a different perspective I don’t just want to hug my worried preteen self—I want to hug my then 40-something year old Mom. She was navigating a divorce and raising children on her own. She had to be feeling all of those same feelings herself back then—but without a mom at her beck and call like I had. This perspective is growth.
The outcome of having anxiety as a child and a mother that supported me through it, led me to one of my favorite forms of therapy: dancing. Additionally, I learned that I had a tool to help myself: beautiful growth. Dancing is energy in motion. It’s often sweaty and, if you’re me, not always pretty. It’s one space inside of me that is all for me. I dance when I’m happy, sad, anxious, scared. I dance in celebration and in desperation. Sometimes there’s music, sometimes I dance in silence. Cleansing and exhilarating; freeing.
I’m always happy to remind folks to remember where their own goodness comes from and how to access it. However, I also don’t want to sugarcoat it. What may be easy for one person, can be brutal for another. Whatever your path, gaining perspective will help you in your growth. I had to grow into finding that perfect freeing twirl, and so can you.
Setting Boundaries = Amplifying Growth.
I’m guilty of being a people pleaser, and tend to call everyone a friend because in my heart, I try to find the good in everyone, and I really would do anything to see another person smile. This has led me into many unhealthy relationships throughout my life, but in the stillness of the pandemic, I found my strength to stand up for myself. We were all given the opportunity to grow this past year. It wasn’t always graceful or poetic—but it was certainly outside of everyone’s comfort zone. What a time to be alive. In moments of fear, I’d remind myself the entire world was experiencing this, and that image alone helped me through the rougher days, along with dancing in my kitchen. We were forced to slow down and experience our family units in a new way and asked to look out for our neighbors, while also keeping our distance. I got some push back for how my friends and family handled the pandemic—olympic sized gaslighting most of the time. For the most part, my pod decided to take the global pandemic very seriously, and because of that decision, there were some that deemed us “crazy.” At the time, that feeling of abandonment was really hard to trudge through—but now I’m grateful for the growth opportunity they gave me. Their gossip and general judgments taught me something that I’ve needed to learn for many years now: boundaries. Within each of us a seed has already been planted—ultimately we each choose how to nourish it once it sprouts. Since setting boundaries, many aspects of my life have changed. Some days I feel like a whole new person. Empowered and selective. I’ve learned that I don’t owe anyone anything. That I can follow my heart into the spaces that feel right, and I don’t need to explain that to anyone. I’ve learned that I’m free to walk away from anything that doesn’t serve my highest good, and I’ve learned to not be complacent just to make another person feel comfortable, especially if their intentions aren’t centered in love. This experience also reminded me to access my compassion. They didn’t know all the reasons for my separation. I apologized for the pain that they were feeling in my absence, while also keeping true to where I wanted to go moving forward. It wasn’t easy breaking the cycle of pleasing people, but it was what needed to happen—it just took a pandemic to get me there. This one, seemingly easy, step in my personal growth has opened up my life in unimaginable ways. I encourage you to set boundaries within your own life—nourish your sprout and watch it grow.
One beautiful thing about our existence is that we have the ability to twist the plot at any time. We can observe where we are now and the direction we’re going. We can rewrite the narrative to be whatever we choose. While we can’t change what has happened in the past—we can certainly look at how we handled it; if it’s needed, we can change our reactions and move forward in new ways that align with where we want to be. Forgiveness is key. Whether that is forgiving another or forgiving yourself—opening your heart to forgiveness will allow more love to come in. You can forgive, and still have boundaries. Compassion will guide you—centering in love for humanity and the Earth will play a huge role in growing to become a better version of yourself. Remember, compassion is easily accessible when you think of the bigger whole. Ask yourself, “How can I upgrade the vibration of the planet?” Whatever answer you receive—compassion will be at the center. Acknowledge where your own hurt comes from. When you’re triggered, use that as a moment of self-reflection. Why are you being triggered? Can you identify where that fight-or-flight comes from? If you can, are you willing to heal that pain? Give your hurt parts space to be seen and heard—acknowledge them. Humility strengthens our growth. Being able to own when you’re wrong and take accountability for it is a big step forward in life’s lessons. Everyone has faltered—it’s what you do afterward, that matters. Apologize if you need to. Empathy is knowing that we don’t need to agree to share the understanding that everyone is doing their best with what is accessible to them. This is where we often fall short. Instead of judging, can you think outside of yourself and offer empathy? Don’t take your personal growth for granted—everyone has to start somewhere. Baby steps are still steps, and there are no time restrictions. We’re not meant to stay as seeds, we’re meant to continuously stay sprouting—ascending and evolving into betterness. Give yourself permission to grow. As long as you’re eager to wake up everyday and learn how to do better, and be better—you’re doing it right.
About the Author:
Born and raised in West Virginia, you'll find Heather's heart outlined in the Appalachian mountains. She has strong passions for writing, healing, and music. She has spent much of her life spreading the message of ‘loving without conditions', all the while kicking up dirt - barefoot and dancing. While she has been an Energy Worker for over 15 years, a self-published author, and a business owner - Heather's truest love lies in being a mother...her continuous reminder of unconditional love and heartfelt laughter.