By: Stella Orange
Last week found me sitting on a cushion at my neighborhood yoga studio, part of a group of people studying creative energy.
“What do you want to get out of the next six months?,” my teacher asked.
The responses were things like: Courage. Strength. Authenticity.
Then I opened my mouth and these words came out:
“The friction that opens the seed.”
My mouth, my words. And yet, I don’t quite know what they mean.
Which is actually quite generative, when you think about it.
If you Don’t Know, you can Look Into.
You can Get Curious.
You can Experiment.
You can Make Things Up.
You can Watch What Happens Next.
Am I the seed? The dirt? The friction? All of those things?
Listen, I get that there are times when this is not available to us. Times when the not knowing can feel like a really big roadblock.
Uncertainty can be unsettling. Upsetting. So much is changing, both inside us and around us. We can be overcome by the swirl of it all.
Interestingly enough, this could also be considered a kind of friction.
Now, there really are kinds of seeds that need friction in order to germinate.
I couldn’t remember the term for it. So after class, I ended up sitting in my parked car in front of my house, looking up what different seeds need in order to germinate.
On my way to remembering that word (if you insist on knowing, it’s “stratification”), I came across these facts:
Some seeds need to be burned before they’ll sprout.
Some seeds have everything they should technically need to germinate, but still they don’t… because certain conditions in their environment aren’t quite right – oncoming drought, too much perceived competition, that sort of thing.
Others won’t germinate even though external conditions are right, because certain conditions within themselves aren’t quite ideal.
And? There are the seeds that sit still inside the earth far longer than anyone would expect, and then, for any number of reasons both predictable and mysterious, they break dormancy. (We’re talking years, people. Seeds that should have sprouted or died years – even decades – ago, up and put out sprouts).
Reading all this, I got a bit stirred up.
Because not long after I started reading about seeds, I started thinking about all of you.
And, in all my years of doing this work, hearing your stories of what activated you… what brought you alive… what signal you saw that you claimed as your own… and that set you on the path to the work you do now (or evolving it).
To my ear, whether we’re talking about people or about seeds, these are tremendously hopeful stories. About the time things take to happen. About the different conditions it takes for each of us to sense that the timing is right. About the mystery of coming alive, and of what we choose to do with that aliveness, that energy, that life force, with whatever time it moves through and within us.
Which brings me back to Anaïs Nin:
“And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to Blossom.”
So to you, my dear blossomer, I say:
When the time has come to ask yourself, “What am I being called forth to do?” and perhaps also, “What do I need in order to become that, to the fullest of my ability?”
… may you listen, hear, and believe in the stories that show up around you to light your way.
If you’re feeling called to seek accompaniment as you move, and grow, and change, please do reach out. Rebecca and I would be honored to support you on your journey.
Stella is cofounder and copywriter at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. As our resident word nerd, she writes copy and points out the stories everyone is living and telling through their work. She is also fun at parties.
Get letters like this one, plus updates, insights, and invitations, delivered right to your inbox every week. Here’s the sign-up.