Several months ago I was talking with a friend and mentor of mine. I was sharing about some frustration I had with myself. I felt wishy-washy and unproductive. I was struggling to land myself firmly on what I wanted. I was in a holding pattern and pushing against the stillness of it.
She compassionately listened and then she said “What if you’re in a place of discovery? What if nothing is going wrong here? Sometimes we’re just in a place of receiving.” And then she said these words, “What if this is an unfolding?” I felt my entire body relax and I took a deep breath.
“What if this is an unfolding?”
I thought of plants and flowers, living in the soil, soaking up the sun, closing up to rest and receive at night and unfolding in the morning with the sunrise. They don’t worry about this process. They don’t measure their worth by their productivity. They simply are. They simply take in the nutrients from their environment and allow the natural process, the ebb and flow of the night, the day, the rain, the wind, the change of seasons. They allow it all to unfold.
They allow themselves to unfold.
This seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? We are so culturally conditioned to live our lives with a work-based, production-based mindset. How can we possibly grow or accomplish anything or be worth anything if we aren’t striving? But what if we’ve had it all wrong? What if our greatest contributions to the world come from a place of stillness and receiving, rather than gritting our teeth and pushing to make things happen?
What if we stop resisting the stillness?
In the past several weeks I’ve felt my time of stillness evolving. I feel a change in seasons. I feel a natural unfolding. I feel an organic motivation to express what wants to come forth. This is such a different process than trying to control and self-motivate.
Growth and productivity can be gentle. It can be subtle. It can be life-giving, rather than soul-sucking.
I had to allow myself to sit still and folded-up in the dark for a while to see this truth. I had to be okay with not understanding. I had to let go of my need to know exactly what I believed and exactly what I was doing, and even who I was. When the anxiety appeared, I would remember, “I’m just unfolding”, and sink into it.
Where are you in this process? Are you still striving, still trying hard to open your petals and be and do all of the things? Are you folded-up in the dark stillness, resisting and fighting to turn the lights on? I invite you to stop. Take a breath. Lean in.
“What if you’re just unfolding?”