As I write this it is March 1st, but here on the East Coast it feels like we are in the depths of winter. And even so, we are actually at the turning point of the winter season. Even though everything outside appears frozen and barren, under the surface, there are millions of miracles occurring…millions of seeds are actively germinating. In ancient Celtic traditions, and other “Earth-based” traditions this time is revered. It’s sometimes called Imbolc, and sometimes called St. Briget’s Day. And it has a definite feminine, womb-like feel to it.
If we follow nature’s cue, for us it can be a time of of preparation. A time of new beginnings. A time to begin to break out of the hardness of winter and to open to the increasing light…and allow it to encourage the emergence of our true essence.
I’ve always felt that all we need to know about how to live a joyful, fulfilling life and to reach our full Divine potential we can find by looking to nurture. Thoreau taught us this. He wrote: Nature is full of genius, full of divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.
Looking at nature, we can see that within an acorn there is the perfect Divine Design that…giving the right conditions…will emerge into a magnificent oak tree. The oak tree is all already there, complete, in the seed. The only thing it needs is to break out of the hard shell that encases and protects it. Thanks to the magic of time-lapse photography, you can see the process happen right now in just a few minutes. Click here to watch this miraculous video now:
The thing about an acorn is that is has a really hard shell. How do squirrels do it? Really sharp teeth I guess. But, on its own, it is the will of the life inside the acorn needing to grow and become what it is meant to be. The will of that life needing to express it full potential. That’s what pushes against and breaks through that hard shell and casts it aside. And it can really do that only when is it sufficiently nurtured. In other words, when the seed is deep within moist, nurturing soil. Only then does it feel safe enough to burst out of its hard, protective shell and emerge as the oak tree it was designed to become.
You can probably see where I’m going with this…
The same is true for us. At the core of our being – since the moment we were born (and probably even before) there is a beautiful and perfect pattern for a glorious, successful life where we are expressing our unique talents and abilities, where we are loving and giving, where we are loved and nurtured, where we are abundantly provided for, where we are expressing our beauty and wholeness. That’s in our “acorn”. It’s coded in our DNA. And everything we need to live a fulfilling, joyful life is within us right there at the beginning…day one.
But, in order for us to experience this glorious life, we must break out of the hard, protective shell that is trapping our magnificence. Because we can’t experience any of it while we’re encased in the shell. So, here’s how to break free:
A moment ago I mentioned “will”…that it’s the will of the life inside the acorn to become what it is meant to be. Will is one of the Power Centers located in our energetic body. Will is located in the forehead and is our power to choose, decide, direct, and determine. Now, the power of Will used by the ego creates someone who is bossy, obstinate, inflexible, selfish, etc. But Will in the hands of our Authentic Self is our power of intention inspired by the Divine; and our power to move forward. It’s the activating power!
So the first thing we need in order to do break through that hard shell and to fully blossom into a more expansive experience of life is to draw from the inspiration of our innate Divine pattern and decide to activate it! That’s Step 1. I’ve written about and talked about this process quite a bit, so I’m not going to focus on this step today. Instead…I want to focus on the shell.
Each of us has a “shell” that takes a different form for each person. However there are common themes.
For some, the shell is a defense mechanism…the ego that tries to protect us and keep us safe (and by doing so prevents our true self from emerging.) Perhaps we’ve been profoundly hurt before when we tried to break free and love with abandon. So our defensive shell insures that doesn’t happen again!
For others this shell is an unwillingness to try something new, to break out of old habits…old ways of doing things…old routines. Or it’s something we’ve been holding onto for far too long.
For some of us this shell is our fear….our fear, based on ignorance or a false belief…an old story we’ve told ourselves that we don’t have anything to offer, or we’re not good enough. We might have a lack of belief in ourselves overall, or a lack of trust that we’ll be okay. Or, we have a false belief that the world does not value what we have to offer, or that the world won’t accept us in some way.
That shell is different for all of us. But one thing is for sure…it’s gotta go if we want to grow! If we want to express our potential and have a full, love-filled, joyous life. It’s gotta go.
That’s Step Two. Identifying what that shell is for you.
Step Three is the process by which we break of out of that hard shell. New Thought pioneer, Ernest Holmes, points us toward this one in the following statement:
“[One’s] entire “treatment” (which is what he called affirmative prayer) is based on the assumption that there is a spiritual pattern at the center of everything. The perfect was always there, it was implanted by the Spirit. The imperfect has been added by the human mind. What the human mind has put there, it can take away. What the Divine has implanted cannot be uprooted; it can only appear to be covered up. Spiritual practice is an uncovering of the Divine Nature.”
The Divine didn’t put the shell of fear, defense, unwillingness there. We did. What we put there, we can remove. It’s simply covering up our innate Divine Nature, preventing our “oak tree” from fully emerging. And we do that with Spiritual Practice.
Here us another time lapse photography of seeds germinating which can give us another clue. https://vimeo.com/30074251
You see how the first thing this seed has to do before it can fully emerge from the shell is to send down roots deep into the soil. That’s where its strength comes from and where it is sufficiently nurtured. The same is true for us. We need to send our roots deep into a nurturing environment. That nurturing environment takes two different forms for us — one interior and the other exterior.
The first, interior, is about regular, daily connecting deeply with Spirit. Meditation is how many of us achieve that. For other’s it’s walking a Labyrinth, or chanting, or some other meditative practice. But it’s where we connect with Source…and are nurtured by that Source. Having a regular, daily proactive gratitude process is another very important part of this.
The Exterior form of a nurturing environment is about immersing ourselves into, and being nurtured by, spiritual community. That spiritual community may be for you a church, synagogue or a temple. For others it may be a study group, spiritual reading group or service group. Whatever it is…dive in. Send your roots deeply in. Participate. Take classes. Be of service. And let yourself be nurtured by that environment. Surround yourself with positive, heart-centered, life affirming people. Open yourself to the spiritual support that’s available in your community.
These two practices…interior and exterior…are how we immerse ourselves in a nurturing environment, build strength, get nurtured — which eventually allows us to break free of the old shell much more easily and quickly.
If you look, you will begin to see that there is a direct connection between individuals who are experiencing their Divine Potential emerging and regular spiritual practice combined with immersing themselves in a nurturing supportive environment. And if you have been doing regular daily spiritual practice and participating in your spiritual community but you haven’t seen “results” yet – then just trust that you will see it soon. Like the seed germinating – there’s an amazing miracle happening just under the surface. On the surface you may not be able to see anything yet. But it’s happening. Trust the process. Connect with the energy of this season and trust. And get ready for some amazing blossoming in your life soon!
If you want to get a jump start on this, I’ve recorded a guided meditation to help get your roots firmly planted in nurturing soil. Leave reply below with your email address and I’ll be happy to send it to you free of charge.