A few weeks ago I woke with a feeling of fear and panic because I’d had a nightmare about me and some friends running from a sinkhole and narrowly escaping it.
Often I start my days meditating that all day long I will see things and meet people that will make me happy, but this dream left me feeling TOO anxious. So in an attempt to dispel this black cloud I picked up my phone to find an uplifting video on YouTube, I needed an outside source of inspiration to rid myself of this mood. While the video loaded, up popped a commercial from Cascadian Farms https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kydE9PW0H8 about how bee populations are declining. Sigh. I didn’t need any more sadness. I didn’t want to hear about how their disappearance was the canary in the coal mine about how we are effing up our planet. I didn’t want more rolling around in the torture and suffering. I was looking for hope. I almost pressed the SKIP AD button but didn’t. It started out as expected (depressing) but ended with a solution!
It simply said plant wildflowers to bring back bees. My mood and life altered immediately.
Freaking wildflowers man?!
Who knew that would be the thing I have been seeking on my path to joy and purpose. I’ve been lost, really checked out for years.
A little more than a year ago someone asked me, “Without mentioning your work or child what makes you happy?”, I couldn’t answer that.
So I decided to make a list, the paper sat empty for months before I was able to add things like dancing and swinging as high as I could at the playground (laying out flat as I come down is a favorite. Great free therapy. Try it). But I still had this empty feeling inside and the list still remains relatively short.
A few months after this question I stumbled upon High Carb Veganism, sadly it left me feeling worse because I was no longer zoned out on animal products and processed foods and my life was brought into sharper focus. I felt helpless, (beyond no longer contributing my money to animal products) clueless. How could I actively add joy to the world? I just didn’t feel called toward anything.
Nothing got me excited (other than taking a nap), but this planting wildflowers thing? The vastness of what it meant filled me up. This wasn’t about my job or my child, but about generations. It’s about hope oriented, love filled action. It’s about taking my eyes off my problems (not adding to them) and focusing on what I do want and expanding THAT!
That’s what I’ve been bumbling around in the dark looking for. Wildflowers man.
Planting flowers was the opposite of what I’d started out striving for. I’d wanted to do splashy things. Get noticed. Given the microphone to the worlds ears. To find some epic way to standout, make a difference. Clean up the oceans and air, shake and awaken humans into more loving, positive beings.
I wanted a video of mine on YouTube to go viral. Be on Oprah. On the cover of “Time” magazine as Woman of the Year. Be a combination of Gandhi, Mother T. and Angela Davis. As exciting as all this sounded, if I were being honest, the thought of all this work and attention exhausted me.
These imaginings were more about impressing others. It was about finally being able to love myself because I was popular. I thought this would make me feel I was somebody special. Happier.
This commercial really brought home the fact that my purpose is happiness. I’ve known this intellectually for years but this ad took it from mental concept to heart lived reality.
The realization hit me like an internal sonic boom.
I’m adding to the world just by being here?
I don’t need to be adored and caught on tape and blinded by paparazzi to be loveable?
Everything that I was told as a child by caring, wise adults ‘Be yourself’. ‘You’re special just the way you are’, ‘Be happy.’ Every, so-called, boring axiom that I didn’t believe because it didn’t feel wild or colorful enough to matter, is actually true?
Being happy in life is enough to change humanity?
Being a simple, living example is something to be proud of?
Shining for myself is enough?
Planting flowers is a purely selfish act. It moves me. It is deeply satisfying. Done out of pure joy. Not because it will pay the bills or fulfills a seemingly never-ending list of duties to be done, but because it lights me up, fills my cup and makes the world a better place for bees, for all of us. I want to be part of that.
Just imagining the flowers’ leaves and petals slow, tender unfolding. The variety of color and shapes. The leaves and petals there because of me. My little corner store of nutrition for bees. It makes me feel powerful, honest and good, all the things I’m realizing I really am. The things I can be without fan fare. It’s enough to just be here in the dirt, trowel in hand; grinding, pushing through the soil, smiling to myself.
The crackle of seed paper being opened, seeds in my hands and dirt under my nails and miles and miles of rainbow covered fields in my head. I have made a conscious decision to begin sowing joy into my life. Now I am doing that literally. Inside and out.