I had an interesting thought last week: perennials are the most Self-led flowers in the garden!
Probably I have flowers on the brain because it’s wintertime in Sweden and I’ve been dreaming a little about when the sunshine, warm air, and yes flowers will come back. Still, I think I’m on to something. Hear me out…
Perennials are flowers that regrow every spring. They are unique, robust and adaptable. Good examples of perennials are roses, cherry blossoms, and, my all time favorite, lilacs.
Annuals are the other variety of plant and they bloom for just one season. Think zinnias and petunias.
Both annuals and perennials are beautiful in any garden. But today I want to talk about what it means to be a Perennial in today’s world.
People can be thought of as Annuals or Perennials, too. I got this idea because I was thinking about the millennial generation. “So what if you’re not a millennial? Be a perennial!” popped into my head.
Which one are you? Which one do you want to be?
Are you one of the Annuals or Perennials? And how do you know?
Some people bloom for one season and then wither away when things begin to change for them.
At the same time there are people I have met in this world who seem to grow flourish whenever and wherever the winds of change blow them around. They:
- Manage to adapt their skill sets to the current environment’s demands
- Thrive because they stay open open to these new challenges and experiences
- Connect and find purpose in new situations
In conclusion, these personalities prove to be Perennials.
In the plant world, let’s consider the dandelion
True, many people consider a dandelion a weed, but it’s a hardy plant and a great example of resilience in the natural world. The dandelion’s survival strategy is based on the wind blowing around its seeds. As long as the seeds can find a bit of earth (support) and a place in the sun with access to water (assets), it will grow.
Let’s consider what this means in people terms. A perennial person is someone who:
- Is resilient
- Trusts life
- Gets prepared for those life changes
Perennials live all over the world and it doesn’t matter how old they are. They can be:
- Baby Boomer
- Generation X
Perennials come in every gender, sexuality, class and race. Furthermore, anyone can be a Perennial, even you. So how do you know if you are one of these types?
The secret is that everyone has everything they need to be a Perennial. Even you.
If you find yourself reluctantly lumping yourself in with the Annuals, think again. Take a closer look at yourself because you have all the makings to be a Perennial. It’s just a matter of activating your Perennial qualities by growing continuously.
An infamous quote is that the only guarantee in life is change. As a result, change happens whether you chose it, or it chooses you.
Use Your Innate Perennial Powers: Self !
Believe it or not, you already have some Perennial powers. Ask yourself these questions to find them:
- Keep your head up and your eyes open: Assess your supports and assets in your current life.
- Ask yourself these questions: What do I need right now? How can I achieve this the in the best way I know?
Stay current with your skills and personal development and assess which new ones you might need. Perennials have an abundance of Self energy and exude the qualities of:
Let’s delve into these qualities. Perennial powers, activate!
Curiosity is an important ingredient in transformation
An important skill for the activation of your perennial powers is to be able to not know. Being comfortable enough in a not knowing place and asking more questions than answers is critical.
Curiosity is an important ingredient in transformation. Take some time to get Curious with your Self and the universe in general. Being Curious towards a challenge event in your life opens up your world. You can seek the kind of answers that support and encourage you to move towards possibilities and opportunities.
- How can this problem become an opportunity?
- How can I learn from this problem?
- What is another perspective I could have in viewing this situation?
- What questions need to be asked?
- Who can help me see another perspective?
- What skills or resources would help me meet these demands?
You’ll need Confidence to be so Curious…here’s a tip
Having the confidence to ask yourself these questions may seem difficult, but it is important. You won’t have an answer, since you are in your not-knowing place. Have faith in yourself that you will find the answers you need, even if you don’t have them right now. Embrace the fact that you simply do not know!
The Cowardly Lion knew how important Courage was
Courage is also an important Self quality to call upon. Feel the fear but resist reacting to it. Respond with your inner strength, aka Courage.
You can use your Curiosity to grow your Courage. There are 3 questions I ask myself to help my Courage shine through.
- Who am I when times get difficult, unclear, or painful? (Who do I want to be?)
- When I feel Calm, what are those times like? (What is happening around me when I feel Calm and good?) And do more of it.
- What else do I need to cultivate in myself more Creativity and Courage?
After all, new demands are bound to emerge as my life progresses.
I will grow old.
I will lose people I love.
My children will suffer.
My dog will die.
Each day will bring different challenges and joys.
(If you need more support in growing your Courage, check out my book review for Lissa Rankin’s The Fear Cure.)
Wrap your days in Self Compassion
Being kind towards yourself is a perfect antidote to daily stress. Being caring and loving, while gently mentoring yourself during tough times is essential. Remember, lovingkindness on the inside naturally inspires Compassion on the outside towards others. This ultimately builds loving Connection with others.
Routines and habits support people in times of change. And change is always present.
Recent research has suggested that developing good habits in life will serve you a better life as you age. Here are some of the suggested activities. Practice them and make them your habits.
- Waking early
- Self-reflection time
- Meditation and relaxation
- Curiosity and learning from mentors mistakes books and experiences
- Sleeping soundly and adequately, which may require developing discipline around limiting habits that interfere with good sleep hygiene.
A Perennial person is a person who comes back year after year. They don’t need to be replanted, they are just in a perpetual state of adjustment. Like the dandelion, perennials are hardy and evolve fitting in to a changing environment.
A Perennial person is a Self-led person in an ever- changing world.
We all have the potential to be Self-led. Activate your potential today. Step into your perennial potential. Listen to my podcast for more ways to feel happier and more content by being Self led.
“Dandelion” by Flickr user slgckgc is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
“Lilac” by Flickr user RichardBH is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
“Pétunia Ultra rouge” by Flickr user Serres Fortier is licensed under CC BY 2.0.