For a few winters, I forced Narcissus bulbs to bloom in our home. I wanted their beauty while the wind raged and the snow fell. We watched their growth from bulb to bloom with anticipation and joy.
One year I put the bulbs in different glass containers on top of rocks, added water, and placed them around our combo kitchen-living room, which is full of light. Although they all experienced the same living conditions, something strange happened.
Within days, one bulb started sending out roots and the others just sat there. I waited another week thinking that they were just different, but still nothing happened. What was different about their living conditions that could be causing the delay?
After much pondering, I realized the answer was their containers. The bulb that had developed roots was sitting in a shallow container. The others were in deep ones because I thought it would be beautiful to see them growing within the glass.
Do you see what the problem was? It took me awhile to figure it out, but then I realized they were getting different amounts of oxygen.
I took all the bulbs out of the deep container and put them in shallower ones. Within a day, one of them sent out its roots. But, not all. It took weeks for some of them to recover enough to grow.
Another interesting thing happened. One bulb began to grow and then bloom even faster than the first bulb, which had the few weeks’ head start.
Growing bulbs in clear glass containers makes it possible to see their beautiful root system. One little root reaches out and touches into the water. Discovering support, it is joined by many roots growing so fast you can almost see it happening.
They spread out into the rocks and water to support the growth that is happening above. The leaves and the bloom are the payoff, but without that root system, they would not be able to grow at all.
Here’s what this is all about: blooming lives, or not blooming lives – happy or not happy.
In order for each of us to bloom, it is important to notice where we have been planted and if we are getting enough oxygen. The bulbs needed me to become aware of their situation and move them. We have the capacity to not only become aware of what we need, but move ourselves to better growing conditions.
We need deep roots to grow and bloom. Sometimes we question if our lives will ever bloom, and forget to notice the beautiful growth of our roots beneath the surface preparing to support what will become visible.
Timing is different for each of us. Some of us are fast growers, but slow bloomers. Others are slow growers, but fast bloomers. However, what is true is that when we give ourselves the support, patience, and substance necessary to bloom, we will bloom.
We contain within ourselves – as the bulb contains its substance within – all of the elements of a beautiful blooming and happy life. Like the bulb, we are meant to bloom as the unique expression that we are.
Without every bulb blooming, the complete picture of the garden is not present. Following this metaphor, each of us blooming is necessary for the garden, called God, to be seen.
Sometimes what seems complicated is actually quite simple. With that idea in mind, and based on our bulb observations, here are some simple instructions for blooming your life.
1. Prepare to grow.
2. Put yourself where you grow best.
3. Move yourself if necessary.
4. Feed yourself with the best “food” available.
5. Grow in your own timing.
6. Expect to bloom.
7. Celebrate the unique bloom that you are.
These are seven steps to be happy that are easy to put into practice.
Don’t listen to those that don’t expect to grow. Inspire them instead by not participating in the worldview game of fear, sorrow, and lack.
Prepare yourself – you have blooming to do!