Updated: Apr 23, 2020
I have become a plant parent as of lately. I have not been as proud of myself for my first few plants, but I have learned a lot. It seems that the way in which one would grow a plant can be symbolic of many things.
I realized that growing a plant directly mirrors us growing ourselves. Even on a biological level, the way plants branch out as they grow reminds me of the neural networks inside our brain. They remind me of the blood-filled roots that travel throughout our body.
Growing plants requires an understanding of the four elements. After all, plants essentially need four things: Soil (earth), water, air, and light (fire).
I have recently started doing four mindfulness checks with my body throughout the day. They are:
1. Am I present?
2. Am I feeling?
3. Am I tensed?
4. Am I breathing?
These four checks relate to the four elements (earth, water, fire, and air).
The main benefit I have noticed with these four checks is the identification of blind spots.
If you are not present, it means you have a physical blind spot. In that moment, simply be mindful of your physical body and surroundings in the present moment.
If you are not feeling, it means you have an emotional blind spot. In that moment, simply ask yourself how you feel.
If you are tensed, it means you have a blind spot of misdirected energy. Simply feel the tension and ask yourself what that tension is trying to accomplish.
If you are not breathing, it means you have a mental blind spot. In that moment, simply let go of your current perception, and be open to seeing things in a new way.
Each of these four checks is like applying a certain element in the growth of a plant. Every time we surface a new compartment from our subconscious, we must grow its conscious awareness by applying the four elements. It is like growing a tree every time we work through a subconscious pattern. In this way, resolving subconscious patterns is like growing a forest. You may even notice that resolving subconscious patterns allows for the forest of neural networks in your brain to connect like never before.
Guess which checks I struggled with most?
After over-watering multiple plants, it became clear that I rely primarily on the element of water in my life. This would seem somewhat accurate. I tend to rely on feeling situations out in order to navigate them. I somewhat rely on my intuition in order to lead me in life. This is great and all, but I focus on my intuition at the expense of other aspects of myself.
I noticed that I experience shortness of breath unconsciously, a symptom of a fight-or-flight response. In these situations, I notice that I tend to be confused, fixated on small details, or lacking vision. These are all symptoms of a lack of air.
I noticed that I stand and walk unconsciously throughout the day. As I noticed this, I noticed how the way I stand and walk directly result in chronic tension in certain parts of my body. I noticed how I used the right side of my back more than the left, creating stress in the right part of my back. I would notice this in situations in which I would rely on my lower back to support myself. It became clear that I did not trust the left (feminine) side of my body. I was dependent on the right (masculine) of my body in order to love my body. This was synchronistic with the subconscious pattern I had been working through. I was resolving patterns that related to how I was in high school. In high school, I was all about doing-doing- doing at the expense of feeling. I did this on purpose. I remember watching myself numb myself and telling myself that that was what I wanted because I did not want to feel pain. These are symptoms of a lack of fire, resulting in a lack of water. (Even though I relied on water, my lack of fire was preventing me from fully embodying water).
Notice how I called myself a plant parent. It is because taking care of a plant utilizes forms of love that we typically label as parental love. Learning these forms of love for ourselves is very important.
As we surface more and more patterns from our subconscious, it becomes clear that we must resolve all emotional issues relating to our parents. An easy way to surface these patterns and resolve them is to take on a parental role yourself.
Become a plant parent!