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How Does Your Life Grow?

Benjamin Franklin has a famous saying,

In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

  – Benjamin Franklin 

I would amend his quote to include change. Change happens whether we want it to or not. It is necessary for growth, and without it, there can be no life.  A seed is planted, the seeds shell breaks open, and a shoot pushes its way out of the soil.  The shoot becomes a thriving plant through continued growth.  With the right amount of water, nutrition, and sunlight, the plant produces a bountiful harvest. 

Growth only comes from adversity and from challenge – from stepping away from what’s comfortable and familiar and stepping out into the unknown.

  – Ben Saunders

The seed stepped into its destiny by not remaining dormant in the ground.  It did not let fear keep it from cracking the hard protective shell.  It pushed itself out of the limitations of the seeds shell.  It pushed itself past the fears that resided in the darkness of the soil, thrusting up into the light.

Stepping into your destiny really is the only real, true, authentic way to live.  Fear is all that holds you back and holding on to that is really what keeps us stuck in the dark.

  – Unknown

Growth and change can be painful, but they do not have to be. You have a choice in how you react to it, and how it affects you.  Change is the law of life.  But all change is not growth.  That is because change isn’t always forward movement.  Sometimes change takes us backward, instead of forward. 

Knowing others is intelligence.  Knowing yourself is true wisdom.  Mastering others is strength.  Mastering yourself is true power.

  – Lao Tzu

Having an open mind is necessary if you don’t want the growth that happens when you change to be painful. This is because if the mind is closed, then you are forever being controlled by the things that the mind refuses to give up.  Wisdom is knowing ourselves so that we spot our patterns of self-sabotage.  Mastering ourselves is when we spot the self-sabotage and instead step through the gateway of transformation.

Your vulnerability is a powerful gateway.  Stepping into it invites growth, freedom, healing, your greatest love.  It is a pathway born from courage, connecting your truth + being to the magic already living within you.

  – DanielleDoby+Tribe

Think of a baby bird. It is a soupy glob inside the egg. It transforms into a baby bird. If it doesn’t transform, the egg goes bad and never has life. Once it transforms it still needs to peck its way out of the eggshell. If it doesn’t get out of the eggshell it will die. Then once it is out of the eggshell it grows to the point that it needs to use its wings and learn to fly. All are components of constant change and growth.  The prize of growth is in the freedom of flight that the mature bird has.

None of us are perfect, but I value those who make growth a priority . . .  They push things forward, they show us that it’s better to die in your truth than to live by what cowardly people deem to be “right” . . .  You’ll always be crazy to people too scared of reality to dream . . .   Your mistakes will always be dumb to those who fear trying anything new . . .   But there’s always a prize for those that persevere . . .   Greatness is infatuated with those that have the discipline to stay focused and the work ethic to consistently get better . . .

  –  Rob Hill Sr.

This is a great illustration of change. Some of the changes are beyond the control of the bird. it has no say about changing from the soupy glob and into the baby bird. Instinct has it fight and peck itself out of the shell. The bird could fight against the changes, but doing so would lead to its death as it needs to eat to survive. It goes through change and transformation after change and transformation.  It has the freedom of flight.  It has the wind beneath its wings lifting it up into the sky.  The reward is in the fulfillment of its destiny.  

Personal growth is not a matter of learning new information, but of unlearning old limits.

  – Alan Cohen

What it comes down to is how the attitude that we have about change and life, speaks to the kind of life we have. The attitude of survival actually fights against change, because our focus is on avoiding what we don’t want. We avoid disease with drugs, we try to avoid war by creating better faster ways of killing our enemies so that we aren’t killed by them. Weapons of mutually assured mass destruction.

All change is preceded by crisis.

  – Soren Kierkegaard

A different attitude would be to focus on thriving. In thriving, we seek out ways to live a happier, healthier way of life. We seek the good things we want in our lives, instead of avoiding the bad things we don’t want. We seek to cooperate with others in love and peace, connecting heart to heart. We become pioneers of a better future.   Assumptions need to be cleaned out of our thinking process because they serve as blinders and we miss vital information.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

  – Mahatma Gandhi

Growth and change are very scary. You will trip and fall and bruise yourself. Others will make fun of you, stating that you can’t change the world (you are a pipe dreamer). They will say that you can’t trust others. They will say that the bad guys will win if you act in this way. They will say you won’t be safe. They will say a lot of things, to push you backward. They will push you back into the cage of safety. 

Laugh at what you hold sacred and still hold it sacred.

  – Abraham Maslow

Goals are what we reach for, but the real prize is how we change to achieve them.  I always think of Imagine by John Lennon. What if,…. we all really do have infinite potential? What if we really can do anything? What if we can make our dreams come true? What if, changing you, really does change the world? 

That is the kind of world I want to live in, and what I find is that the more I create that space inside of me, the more I find others who are doing the same. I really do believe that someday we will be living life in peace, and sharing the world with each other, and the world will really finally be “one”.

Sheryl Silbaughhttp://lemonademakers.org/
SHERYL Silbaugh is a writer, speaker, and transformational coach. She is a Director at Bank of America. She is the founder of LemonadeMakers.org created to inspire people to transform grief into gold. In April 2010, Sheryl suffered the loss of her nephew, who was randomly killed by a gang member. The idea of LemonadeMakers came from her grief. She experienced firsthand the creative power of transformation. She started a small Facebook presence that has grown from 500 followers in July 2015 to over 47,300 in March 2017. She demonstrates how to take life’s lemons and make lemonade. She is a skilled guide for those experiencing transition or loss. When we let go of what no longer serves us, and open ourselves to our soul’s calling, we uncover the treasures of our experience and can let the rest blow away on the winds of healing. She aims to support people to create transformation in every area of their lives. She provides insights on how to collaborate together to manifest their dreams in The LemonadeMakers Club. She teaches how to explore our inner and outer world to see what needs to be transformed. She is gifted in her ability to see patterns in human behavior and asks just the right questions to start unlocking the doors to your life purpose and the unique personal genius that we all have. Her book, “Timeless Treasures” will be published the summer of 2017, a collection of over 90 essays on transformation.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Growth is good. Growth for the sake of growth is bad. Have a tree that grows to reach the sun, it will grow thick and strong. Have a tree that grows to just grow, it will break under its own weight.

    • I always remember the Bio Dome experiment where they were so excited by how fast and healthy the trees were growing. Then when they reached a certain height they all began toppling over. The root system was not strong enough to support the trees, because there was no wind to cause the root systems to dig deep to support the growth of the tree. I so agree that growth through challenges is what causes us to have real growth.

      • When I hear “Bio Dome”, I think Pauly Shore and that “Bill & Ted Part III movie” that never was.

        In business, you always run into that problem where you measure value according to progress or growth. For instance, there is a concept called “earned value” in project management. It assumes that the project generated value because money was spent on that project. For earned value to work, it needs to be measured at the point a significant milestone or outcome is achieved. Otherwise it is a meaningless measure. I see measuring growth as the same thing.

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