Apart from all the surprising benefits growing plants has had on my well-being, caring for plants have also inspired me and taught me many life lessons!
💡 1. Always Look On the Bright Side!
Plants always grow towards the light. This is why when your plant is next to a window, you need to rotate it regularly to prevent it from being lopsided!
Whenever I see my plants reaching towards the sunlight, I remember to also be more positive and focus on the sunny side of things.
💡 2. We Can Curate the Right Environment For Us!
Like plants, we are all unique in terms of what are needs are and what we want in life. Just like how we need to create the proper environment (sunlight, humidity) for plants to survive, we need to also choose the right environments that meet our unique needs for us to thrive!
Luckily, compared to plants that rely on us to create the right environment for them, we have more power to curate the environment that makes us the happiest - from choosing which major to study, which college to go to, to what job to take, and which city to live in.
Remember, we always have some power to choose our environment, so don't settle!
💡3. We Need to Take Care Of Ourselves!
Since growing plants, I have made it a habit to walk around the house to see how each of my plants are doing everyday. I dip my finger into the soil to check if it's time to water them, I look at whether the leaves are wilting (also a signal of lack of water), and if there are any yellowing leaves that need to be trimmed. This way, I can spot any problems before they worsen, and ensure my plants are healthy and happy!
Just like how I monitor my plants' health, I think we all need to do a daily check of how we are doing in terms of our well-being!
For example, check in with yourself: When was the last time you drank water? When was the last time you did some exercise or connected with a friend?
💡4. Focus on the Essentials!
Whenever I see the variety of leaves my houseplants have, some are round, some are like beads, some have pink stripes, others have pink dots...I'm always amazed that all they need is soil, sunlight, water and air! This is in stark contrast to all the pursuits we have as human beings that often makes us overwhelmed!
So I start to wonder: Do I really need to do this many things? What are the most essential activities that I need to do each day? These questions helps me focus on the most important things in my life and makes sure I spend my time and energy only on things I value the most.
💡5. Patience - Good things take time!
Plants grow in their own pace and for most plants, it takes weeks and months to see visible change. As long as they keep growing a little everyday, they will all eventually mature!
This has reminded me to be patient with myself and my progress in all aspects of my life. The most important is that I'm improving a little every day. It will add up over time!
💡6. Accept There Are Different Seasons in Life
Plants go through different seasons. In the winter times, the temperature drops and light levels significantly decrease, so plants naturally will grow very slowly. However, in the spring and summer time, they go on a growth spurt! There are also times when they are infested by bugs, times when their roots rot and times when their leaves turn yellow and fall.
Like plants, we also go through different seasons in our lives - sometimes we feel like we are going backwards, sometimes we feel stuck in place with no sense of direction, other times we sprint forward like there's no limit! We need to accept that each of us are going through our own seasons of life and all seasons are part of the journey!
💡7. Let Go of Things/People That No Longer Serve You!
When I first started growing plants, I was very reluctant to cut the leaves that were turning yellow and dying. Over time, I discovered that pruning the dead leaves actually caused the plant to send out new leaves much quicker!
This reminds us that we need to let go of the things (e.g. old clothes that we no longer wear) that no longer serves us in order to create space to bring new things that bring us joy. Similarly, we need to distance ourselves from people that are stressing us out and end toxic relationships, so that we have more time to create new connections and/or nurture the meaningful relationships we already have!
💡8. Just Be Yourself!
My plants are proudly growing each day, creating whatever shaped leaves they were programmed for by mother nature, to whatever height, and at whatever pace they feel like! They don't need other plants' approval to be happy; they are just being themselves each day, diligently growing to make the most out of their DNA and the environment they're in!
We need to learn from our fellow plant friends to just proudly be ourselves and carve out our own paths, and care less about what others think of us!
💡9. When You "Outgrow Your Pot", Just "Repot" Yourself!
When you see your plant wilting, yellowing, dropping leaves, and when their roots start to reach out of the drainage holes, these are all signs that it is time to move them to a bigger pot!
Similarly, when we feel like we can no longer learn anything new at our job, we may feel bored and unmotivated. This is a sign that we need to move and find a larger "pot"! This also reminds us that we need to always choose an environment where there is enough space to grow!
💡10. The Only Thing That's Constant is Change!
If you look close enough, your plant transforms everyday! One leaf has opened up, another has tilted towards the sun a little more, and another leaf developed a yellow spot...
Observing how my plants change in the most subtle ways reminds me that change is inevitable - sometimes it is a good change (e.g. a new leaf has opened!), sometimes it is the opposite (e.g. a leaf drops dead). This ebb and flow mirrors the ups and downs of life and that nothings stays the same.
So when you are doing well, savor the moment, and you are feeling down, know that it is also temporary, and it shall pass!
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