instruction. blueprints. a checklist for success. i for one spent so many hours and so much of my energy in pursuit of an answer. i read books and sought teachers, spent money on certifications and degrees.
in recent years however i have tried to see the world differently. to see this information as more of a toolbox instead of a treasure map. it is galling at first, to admit that we do not have control – but the acceptance of what we cannot control allows us to focus better on what we can. more importantly ignoring the things we cannot control, or worse yet: imagining that we can control those variables, puts us and those in our care at amazing risk.
when seeking to change i have attempted to let go of the notion of being a “builder” – there are too many hangups that come with that line of thinking. to many known variables, too many solutions for sale. instead i have begun to try and see through the eyes of a gardener. the strength of the gardener is not in the ability to execute a or even formulate a plan, but in the ability to do without one. sensitivity and curiosity, attention to detail and flexibility. the goal of a gardener is yield, and the process is whatever works. the process is to modify the environment so it mirrors the will of the gardener.
in order to modify an environment one must first observe it. understand it at some basic level. to be sensitive to its will. through that attention it is possible to see the relationships inherent in the process of growth. to see side effects of too much of something or too little of something else. to control ones own actions in order to cultivate a specific response.
watering a garden every day makes no sense if it has been raining all week.
different soils have different mineral content. different plants will thrive or wilt depending on their needs. reading these signs allow us to add blood or bonemeal, to plant nitrogen fixers or other phytoremediators to combat heavy medals.
the point is that there is no formula, no blueprint to follow. there is only our objective. intention and attention. observation and understanding. to stop trying to seek the symbols of success and instead to work to craft the environment that fosters it.
everything is a nudge. everything costs something. everything has side effects. nothing lasts forever.