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Grow In Your Own Time

Updated: Nov 14, 2023


How many of you notice feeling impatient? Wanting results right now! These days it feels like we move at lightning speed and are so removed from the pace of the natural world. This became apparent to me recently, as I started using a hydroponic tower garden to grow a variety of vegetables, herbs and pollinators. My neighbor turned me on to hydroponic gardening many years ago and I was intrigued by many of the notable benefits, like the reduced pest and rodent problem, the low maintenance needed, and also minimal space needed because plants are grown vertically. But, what resonated most with me was the reduced time it takes to grow a mature crop. Yep, I'm super impatient! I want everything now, now, now!


This spring, I started a couple cucumber plants, a first for me. These cucumbers were started along with other seedlings like tomatoes, kale, arugula, peppers and a couple of herbs. It's been a great exercise to observe their different growing patterns. I noticed that the cucumbers weren't sprouting as quickly as the others. They were so slow, comparatively, that I became concerned that maybe I had not handled their seeding phase properly? Perhaps I didn't get their vitamin mixture just right? As seedlings grew into full plants, the cucumbers started getting overshadowed by the more ambitious growers, falling further behind each day. Literally being hidden by their shadows.


That was an "aha" moment that came to me! How many of us have been overshadowed by a sibling, or noticed this pattern in our own children perhaps? Heck, even in our professional lives, or at school this scenario can play out!


I considered intervening and even giving up and pulling the cucumbers out completely. But, I didn't. I got sidetracked preparing for an upcoming trip and left them alone for a week. (That's another cool feature of hydroponic gardening, it runs off of a timed water pump so only needs water refilled once a week). Super low maintenance!



When I returned, I was sitting quietly with my plants, as part of my forest bathing practice, and surprisingly noticed that the little cucumbers had started catching up! The baby leaves had grown fuller, allowing the capacity to take in more nutrients. Tiny tendrils wrapped tightly to nearby anchorholds, offering strength to their climbing branches. Beautiful flowers had bloomed! It all happened in it's own time!



It occurred to me how silly I was to think my intervention was needed, or that I knew what was best. What arrogance to think I knew the right timeline for a cucumber! How ignorant to compare the growth of a tomato to a cucumber or a bunch of mint! The parallels of how we often approach life were stark!


We spend so much of our mental energy comparing ourselves to others or focusing on the end goal, we often lose joy in our own blossoming, our own journey of becoming.


So how can we stay in our own unique growing process? Here are a couple simple steps to consider:


Journal each morning-and begin by writing about gratitude. What are the greatest gifts of your life. How do they make you feel? If you could share them with others, how might that look?


By reflecting on gratitude and the gifts in our lives, our bodies release a whole slew of uplifting neurotransmitters that lift our spirits and allow us to feel more peace and joy. This is an incredible way to start each day.


Write affirmations and repeat daily-these are positive statements that can retrain your brain and reverse negative self talk. By having fewer negative thoughts occurring, you release that tension, and stop giving them power over how your day will go. You will be amazed at how your gifts will grow and you will flourish in your right time. Just like my cucumbers!



Remember, in any given minute, we have hundreds of thoughts popping into our minds, often they can be overwhelmingly negative. What are some common negative thoughts you say to yourself?


Try this exercise, grab some paper and a pen or pencil. In one column, write down 3-5 negative comments you have said about yourself. Then, on the opposite column reframe the negative statement with a compliment, or something you are proud of. You can also release the ownership around the negative statement by rephrasing it into a less personal phrase. For example, instead of saying, "I'm not a morning person." Try rephrasing to, "I'm practicing getting up earlier". It's much more empowering when phrased in this latter example, and actually gives you a chance to work on something you'd like to improve! Affirmations may feel awkward in the beginning, but try It for a week and share your feedback!!


Here are some of my full grown cucumbers alongside tomatoes and bell peppers. I'm so glad I didn't give up on these cucumbers. What a boring salad this would've made without them! Growing cucumbers was a simple but excellent reminder that we all contribute unique gifts, and that we require our own unique journey to uncover them. Never give up on yourself or a loved one.



These simple lessons from nature are gentle reminders that we don't have all the answers for a reason. We are not above nature, we are part of it. We all blossom in our own time and under our own set of conditions. Nature truly is a divine miracle. One that lives in each of us. Our job is to enjoy and appreciate each blessed day we see the sun rise and set and celebrate our special gifts. http://natureandnutritiontherapy.com


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