Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Be the Banyen Tree

We really live in a world of knee-jerk reactions.

The more I experience, the more I realize my pattern of just running towards the "new" and away from the "familiar". Why is that? Maybe the "familiar" is synonymous - in my conditioned way of thinking - with the "imperfect" and therefore the "unworthy".

The Banyen Tree in Lahaina, Maui is one huge tree with extensive roots.
So many times we're told - from all different sources - to believe that if "something isn't working", we need to "run away". Why is that? Why run away? What will running away get us? Well, honestly?  More and more, I realize that it will just get us the same pattern, only with a different person in a different city, maybe even a different country, or whatever. And chances are, the stakes will be higher, because we didn't listen the first time.

I've really been noticing recently how scared I am to confront certain aspects of myself, and to set boundaries in some certain circumstances. And I won't get too much into the deep personal details - because honestly they don't really matter - but rather than have conversations, deal with things, and keep showing up, I've just wanted to cut and run. "A new situation would be SO MUCH BETTER than the one I have now... a fresh start... I can be a whole new person... ".

Is that really true?

Sure, a new situation means new people who can meet me and take me for my word when I introduce myself to them. But the thing about new people - and this is a broad generalization, so bear with me - is that every new person we meet (especially in society) - is one more person where I can live in STORY. And I'm realizing, more and more, that when I'm in STORY, I'm avoiding GROWTH. Does that make sense?

I'm reminded of plants here. I know, I know, I know it's cliche. Plants without roots die. Any ol' kinda plant. I understand some plants thrive with smaller roots than others. Some don't need soil, they can hang out in water, some roots are so extensive they can be just one plant and take over a block (have you ever seen the Banyen Tree in Lahaina?).

When I live in story, my roots grow horizontally. I grow sideways, I grow on the easy part of the soil. The part that gets used up quickly before I have to go to the next one. Akin to the gas-guzzling car, I am a voracious consumer of people's energy. I tell these new friends stories about my life, about my ankle, about my personal growth, about my Arbonne business, about this and that show I'm doing ... you name it. And in different countries, I get to have a whole story about being CANADIAN! Oh isn't that exciting - there's so many things they don't know about this country! And suddenly I get to be someone else.

Do you think it's a coincidence I became an actor?

Don't get me wrong. Travelling is one of the best things we can do as a society to broaden our horizons, and I intend to travel regularly until my last breath. Meeting new people can blow your mind wide open and teach you so many cool new things about different cultures, different perspectives, different ways of thinking.

But if I don't work on the relationships I have with those near and dear to me, who I let see me at my worst, who I see at their worst, who I teach myself to love at all stages, and who provide the mirror for me to really look long and hard at who I am and what I stand for... who are the people I'm attracting into my life, really? How am I teaching them to treat me, and what do I have to offer them in return?

Because if I offer them a shallow root system, I am a shell of what I know I could be, and the slightest wind will knock me over. Trust me. I've seen it happen again and again and again.

So, today, I pose to you: How can you grow your roots a little further, be a little sturdier... and where is your STORY wanting you to uproot?

With so much love,


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