Spilling Over

Within each and every one of us, there is a place of inner stillness from which our thoughts and dreams arise. It’s hard to pinpoint, easily escaping our limited grasp. How do you find this place within yourself? There are many reasons why we may fail to recognize this dwelling space deep inside: anger or discord, shame or embarrassment, worry or fear.

Yet it exists within all of us, and when we access it, we are free from the constraints of that which weighs us down. You may know it as quiet mind or relaxed awareness. It is a place of possibility and ease, contentment and security.

I often experience this state of mind in nature, when I’m surrounded by trees, wildlife, running water, and abundant blooms. In the neighborhood where I live, there are places where the flowers spill over onto the sidewalk. I’m filled with joy each time I see them, because their impulse to grow knows no limitations. They brim with radiance, unapologetically thriving.

We too are overflowing with potential to flourish. No matter our circumstances or what each day might bring, we can lean into our natural tendency to grow, to overcome uncertainty, to bloom wherever each changing moment finds us.

The flowers I pass don’t know they’re blooming beyond their natural bounds; they’re simply free of self-restraint. The limitations they may experience — excessive heat, lack of rain, trampling feet — are never self-imposed. Nature exhibits a beautiful absence of self-hindrance.

As humans, we have the exquisite gift of free will. We are privileged to make hundreds of decisions each day, from the seemingly inconsequential to the life altering. But we are also burdened by the restrictions we impose upon ourselves when we’re feeling afraid, inadequate, powerless, or disappointed.

When we shrink into worry and self-doubt, we immediately dampen our potential. If we were flowers, we’d soon shrivel up and wilt. But when we can face whatever hardships may arise from a place of inner stillness and surrender, we give ourselves permission to thrive.

Some of our bravest decisions are a result of heartbreaks and failures, of recognizing that we have the ability to grow even when our outer surroundings may be telling us otherwise. If we allow ourselves to flourish in the midst of life’s biggest challenges, imagine what we could do if conditions were ideal.

The conditions of our lives will never be perfect. At times, they can feel quite close. At others, we may feel our world’s been turned upside down. In the most unpredictable of landscapes, let your abundant beauty, your unwavering potential, spill over into life’s sidewalk cracks. Let the hope of what could be fill you to the brim and grow toward it.