(Note: This post was actually published on June 4, 2013. I’m placing it here for purposes of searchability.)
Years ago I bought a tiny Echinacea plant at the farmer’s market and planted it in my yard.
It didn’t die . . . but it didn’t really GROW either. Every spring it would bravely put on three or four tiny leaves, and then mark time until fall.
Then one early spring I recruited my family and a friend to dig up all the plants in the front yard, haul in loads of soil, and create deep, mounded beds. I replanted everything, including the tiny echinacea plant.
By late summer it was three feet tall and sporting huge, gorgeous blooms. Every year after that it grew more vibrant. And when the blossoms faded and the petals fell, they left behind beautiful spikey seed heads that made their way into my creative projects.
There wasn’t anything wrong with the plant. It just wasn’t getting what it needed to thrive.
A fine reminder that a failure to thrive might not be a failure at all. It might be that you aren’t getting what you need–and that isn’t a character flaw. Nothing can grow without being nourished and given appropriate space in which to expand. If you are feeling that you can’t quite become who you want to be, if you can’t seem to bloom, you might ally with Echinacea. Perhaps she will tell you what you can do to make it better.