Showers to Flowers: Consistency and Perseverance will Yield Results
We are humans. We all struggle. Sometimes we struggle to find a balance before we even have children, let alone when we add another beautiful human being (or 2, 3, 4 or more) to our already challenging world. Sometimes we even KNOW what we “need to do”, in order to grow as human-beings and parents (because you still ARE your own person!). Maybe making a schedule, following routines, being consistent, daily to-do lists, miracle mornings (when you wake up before the kids to focus on you), instilling good habits, peaceful parenting, self- education, self- care, etc. But that is SO much easier said than done. Life throws us curveballs, all of the time. It is so easy to start these habits with high hopes to blossom and grow as a family; but it’s also very easy to feel defeated when challenges arise, your routine gets thrown off, or your plan isn’t successful. This same concept can be applied to any part of your life. How do we solve this? Is there a solution? How do we start to feel like we “have it together” or are headed in the right direction? Where do we begin to lose the self-doubt, build our confidence, and start to SEE RESULTS (physically, emotionally, and mentally)? “Keep it Simple”– my grandmother’s best advice that has been a philosophy of mine my entire life. Let’s make our plan, that will allow our trials to lead to triumphs, more relatable- more simple: let’s talk gardening! We will learn how to seek nourishment, learn to grow and blossom, but also build a sustainable environment that supports our growth.
Just like prepping for planting for the season, anytime you start a new habit, or have a challenge to overcome, it requires planning. But you cannot begin to have such motivation without addressing your need for nourishment, or self-care. You need to get yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically ready to face said challenges for growth. Imagine yourself as a lonely seed that has fallen from last season, in a garden bed, under the fallen leaves from fall/winter. You are covered with these heavy, wet leaves, and malnutritioned soil (or current barriers to your own nourishment). You begin to look up, trying to see the bright, happy sun. You need that sun. You need that warmth, that energy, that nourishment to start to feel alive, be present, and purposeful.
Consider these strategies when you begin your own journey to self-nourishment; self-care.
- Include your entire immediate family. (yes kiddos too!) Get everyone’s buy in and make it fun! It will be a great bonding experience and an opportunity to lay a solid foundation for growing together. This will also help with accountability and consistency.
- Be consistent but also give yourself grace. No one is perfect. This is new!
- Journaling for self-reflection and healing.
- Family (or individual) workouts. This can be group classes somewhere, free YouTube classes, or a simple hike outside in nature!
- Strive to wake up before anyone else in the house. This is your time.
- Each morning write down 1 activity that you WANT to do; that will bring you joy. Prioritize that task– but be realistic.
- Keep open communication within your family. Tell them you will be talking with them throughout your journey– you need them and they need you! Tell them what you need to be the best version of yourself, for your family. Never stop communicating this.
- Be open to your family’s feelings, needs, and ideas. Be flexible.
- Read a self-help book as a family. Motivation is key! Audiobooks work great for this! Remember, bring your family along this journey to make it more successful and meaningful.
- Be honest with yourself, your family, and your community.
Growing and Blossoming
Spring has sprung! You are still that seed, in that same garden bed, in that same soil (hopefully a bit more replenished). But now the sun is shining, temperatures are warming, and those wet leaves are beginning to be pulled off of you by your gardener. Your gardener knows exactly what you need now and is there to support you along your journey to growth. If you didn’t have your gardener, you could still push through those leaves yourself! But it’s really two fold. You are receiving help from your gardener, but you are also providing for your gardener. The seed needs the gardener, just as much as the gardener needs the seed. Seeds can blossom and grow on their own with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible! It can become easier, with the support of fellow flowers or a gardener. The seed will always start as just a seed, but has the ability to grow many different parts– the stem, the leaves, the flower– before it’s able to truly blossom and provide for others.
We have the perception when we look at other families and think things like: “Oh they have it together—How do they do that?—What am I doing wrong—What is their secret?”– we all have moments of self-doubt. We are human. We all struggle. What we are not seeing in this moment is that fact we should be the cheerleaders for that family, help build that family up, acknowledge their success, and learn with them– build that community and support system. “It takes a village” is the saying we hear ALL of the time! But we tend to disregard the importance, when in fact, it is incredibly TRUE. We need to CREATE that village, ourselves. We all struggle, but we do not have to do it alone.
Consider these strategies when you begin your own journey to now growing and blossoming into the best version of yourself:
- Continue ALL of the above strategies for self nourishment. Never stop.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people– this could include joining groups, co-ops, attending classes, hosting gatherings, etc. You need to find your “It is OK to reach out for help or support”. In fact, it’s necessary. (Don’t forget your children here! They need like-minded people too and that may be slightly different than your like-minded people– that’s normal! We all have different needs.)
- Focus in on what it is you really want and what it is you really need. Take this time to reflect on this- write it down; share it with your family and community. (Have your whole family do it too!) This could bring a lot of perspective and opportunities for growth. (They say “two heads are better than one”, right?)
- SMART Goals. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Research this and write them! Share it with your family and community. (Don’t forget to set a re-evaluation time!)
- Have patience; when you start to feel overwhelmed, resort to your journaling, open communication with family, and/or a simple walk in nature (maybe to your garden). Take in some fresh air, meditate, or complete your 1 activity for the day that will bring you joy. It is healthy to step away to regroup.
- Hone in on assessing what barriers are still lingering to prevent you from meeting your goals or hold you back from being the best version of yourself. Write them down; share it with your family and community. You WILL find a solution to break that barrier down, together.
- Stay positive! Practice seeing the positive side of every challenge, pitfall, or obstacle that arises. These are just learning opportunities which will lead to growth.
- Acknowledge when you need extra help; seek it before the challenge becomes a greater obstacle. Addressing concerns, problems, or challenges immediately, allows the challenge to stay “small” and potentially controllable, or treatable. Allowing concerns to linger will potentially result in a larger obstacle in the future. Just take care of it now.
- Practice being proactive versus reactive; instill this mindset in with your children.
Sustaining an Environment that Supports Growth
You are still that same seed, but you can now see and feel that warm, bright, happy sun! You have now removed the wet leaf barrier, and are steadily nourishing the soil to regenerate it. Your gardener or the other community of flowers can add compost to replenish with minerals, vitamins, and organic matter. You and your support system are adding everything you need to grow and blossom into the best version of yourself, a blooming flower! But you and your gardener (or fellow flowers) do not stop there. You find ways to sustain this new, better, more wholesome version of yourself (and family). You start to drop your seeds to allow other flowers to grow, the gardener can lay mulch around you, protecting you from the winds, floods, and severe temperatures. Your fellow flowers/gardener are there to make sure when challenges arise, they are being proactive; supporting your needs.
Consider these strategies when you are in the process of sustaining an environment that supports growth in order to be the best version of yourself:
- Continue ALL of the above strategies for self nourishment, growing, and blossoming. Never stop.
- Re-evaluation. Learn to love it! We are constantly changing, evolving and adapting. Always re-evaluate your goals and your vision. It may change into something even greater or lead you to an unexpected path.
- Celebrate your wins! (even the small ones!)
- Evaluate what is working well; address what is not working so well. Don’t forget to reach out to your support system for advice or help!
- Allow plenty of 1 on 1 time with your children during this journey. You may be super eager to “take the ball and run with it”, but remember, you are not just doing this for yourself. You are on a journey to becoming the best version of yourself, not only for yourself, but also for your children and family.
- Talk with your family to see how they are feeling. Maybe ask the question: “How is your heart today?”
Your gardener and the other blooming flowers are your community, your support system. You are now not just that tiny, lonely seed looking for the light, the warmth, and not knowing where to start. You have (or will) grow your own stem, leaves, and blossom into your own version of your best flower! However, you are not doing this alone. Your family is alongside this journey with you! Having the support of one another propels positive growth for everyone. Introducing these valuable skills at such a young age for our children will help to instill a growth mindset that builds a foundation for resilience for years to come. Your family will see you as a leader and role model throughout your group journey and in turn, you will all blossom into the best versions of your own flowers, together! Along the way, you will make many lasting memories and you will plant your seed to personal growth and development for your children. Regardless of age and stage, we all have the opportunity to sprout and thrive into bountiful and resilient gardens. Let’s encourage one another to model, teach, and learn strategies that help to support and sustain healthy growth.
Authored by Talon Holleman, RN and Program Director of R.O.O.T.S Youth Development Program based in Georgetown, Delaware.
R.O.O.T.S. (Reaching Outside of Traditional Schooling) Youth+ Development Program provides a community- centered approach that strives to bridge the gap in traditional schooling, teaches self-sufficiency, and promotes altruism within our local community. R.O.O.T. S provides diversified experiences to children of all ages, in order to help raise well-rounded humans. R.O.O.T.S. teaches practical life skills from our core pillars: Bushcraft, Regenerative Farming, Animal Husbandry, Nature Study, and Homesteading!
- Weekly after school workshops on the homestead
- Summer Camps on the homestead
- Pop workshops & Field Trips on the homestead
- Off-site workshops at local businesses
- Foster Care Sponsorship opportunities
- Adult & Teen workshops
- Parent’s Night Out
- Birthday Parties & Events
- Off-site Community Service and Diversified Experiences Homeschool Group
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