Sunday, April 25, 2010

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you’ve ever removed a “potbound” plant from its container, you know what you’ll find: a circular web of roots and not very much soil. And what soil is there is usually hard as a rock—hardly conducive to growth. Leave a plant too long in the same pot and it will suffocate itself because it didn’t have enough space and air and soil to expand.
We can get “potbound” as well. When we stay in the same place physically, emotionally or psychologically, our outlook becomes more and more compacted. We miss out on opportunities for growth and development because we are too tightly wound up in our own little world. And no matter how much “nourishment” we take in (real food or metaphorical food, it doesn’t matter), we find ourselves becoming weaker, unhealthier, miserable, hungry for something more than we have but unable to take advantage of it when it arrives.
The solution to “potbound-itis” is to break that container that is holding us in: the thoughts and attitudes that define us, the routine and habits that restrict us, the emotional walls that surround us.
Make one change, even a small one, and your metaphorical pot will develop a tiny crack. Make another, and the crack will widen and spread. Make enough changes and the pot will break apart, bringing space and air and light to your “roots.”
Once you’re free, “repot” yourself into a larger, more expansive “life container,” leaving plenty of space for future growth. Your “life plant” will be reenergized, become more flexible and stronger because now you have made room for roots to develop and flourish.

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