If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you’ll know that I use an Oak tree as my metaphor for personal and professional growth, as well as an acronym for key principles (Ownership, Acceptance, Kindness for example).
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about what we can draw on when under pressure – what we’re rooted in, but today I wanted to look at the top of our Oak tree – all the wonderful things that happen when we’re thriving, so let’s talk about GROWTH:
Giving to others. The first thing I notice when I’ve been paying attention to those things I need to help me to be at my best is how much greater my capacity is to give and support other people – friends, family, clients, charitable organisations I’m involved in – even random strangers in the street! And giving to others, without expectation, makes me feel really good. It helps remind me that it’s not a selfish act to see to my own needs first, because it unlocks my ability to give to others.
Resilience. When I’m at my best I have so much more ability to bounce back after set-backs and face into the tough times (like an Oak staying strong, able to flex in the storm).
Open to opportunity. At my best I’m open to all kinds of possibilities and seeing opportunities (whereas when I’m not at my best I seem to develop a kind of tunnel vision, struggling to see a clear way forward).
Wisdom. We all have a quiet wise voice inside, which, when we’re able to still the dramatic stories and chatter by escaping our vortex of negative self talk, we can hear and trust to guide us.
Time. It’s such a strange phenomenon that when we’re at our best, time seems to warp – we can get so much more done and still have time to spare. Somehow stepping into our centred, balanced calm true self turns us into time lords!
Happiness. It is true that, even at our best, we may not be happy all the time, but we certainly will feel happier more of the time. Happiness is not something ‘out there’ for us to discover. It’s not a set of circumstances. It’s a state inside of us all the time that we can choose to access – it’s simply when we’re at our best we have much less ‘noise’ getting in the way.
And the wonderful thing about these outcomes of being at our best is that, like the living organic system of the oak tree, there’s a feedback loop – it becomes self-reinforcing and nourishing.