When I was trying to work out this chapter entitled “Grow Where You’re Planted”, it was on a day when I was suffering from an abject lack of patience. It’s almost funny because I had decided to write an article on the topic of going with the flow of your life, not trying to organize and dictate all the influences, and not sticking to a rigid plan, and instead found myself growing increasingly annoyed at the incessant interruptions that were barraging my plans! Some of these “interruptions” were admittedly voluntary, like choosing the mow my 8 acre lawn with a push mower at 8am. Some of them were involuntary, like someone calling just as I’m sitting to write and decides to be particularly verbose this day.  Meanwhile my brain is screeching secretly;

How can I write about going with the flow if I keep getting interrupted!”

I stopped and smiled. The universe always gives us what we need.

Of course, the good advice I might give you but apparently cannot always take myself is that in order to live a very contented life, you have to learn to grow where you’re planted, meaning, accept life’s circumstances as they are in this moment because without acknowledging and accepting where you are, right now, you are in no position to move forward or change anything.


The Balinese people place a great emphasis on knowing “where they are” both geographically, universally and spiritually.  How can you know where you are going if you don’t know where you are? Knowing where you are allows you a moment to stand still and exist with your two feet in your current circumstances.  Even if you discover that where you are standing is not where you are going to choose to stay, it still makes sense that you don’t want to move blindly from one bad decision to the next.

I use this excercise especially when I have planned out a day and from the get go, it begins to unravel through whatever life circumstances throw at us.

First I place my two feet on the floor, whether I am standing or sitting, home, car, grocery store, or on a horse this excercise works for me.  I take a deep breath and close my eyes. I picture my feet on the floor ( a little trickier on a horse but doable), in this field, in this room, in this house, in this town in this place.  I allow my geography to expand outward, until I see myself from outside the planet, looking down. Now I know where I am.I suppose you could go further out into space if you want, but for me, I feel grounded once this thought is completed.


Now that you have stopped with your two feet wherever you are, take a look around you.  The room, the field, the house, the office, the classroom. Think about what you have there. Your books, your clothing, your furniture, garden, trees. Now think of the people you have in your life.  These people reflect you.  Very often I speak with people who express a feeling of being a victim of a relationship. Relationships are not meant to be easy.  They are meant to teach you about yourself. Each relationship in your life is there for a purpose, and the characteristics of the people reflect something that will help you know yourself better.

For example, think of your most intimate relationship. The person you are emotionally closest to.  A parent, a spouse, a sibling or a friend or even a workmate.  Now, try and identify one or two things about that person that really bugs you.  Causes you to grit your teeth. Makes you want to scream. Idiosyncrocies or habits that perhaps that person has which cause you to need to access your patience.  You will find that upon further investgation these irksome qualitites can actually teach you allot more about  the behaviours that you have in your own personality than any number of psychologists could.

For example, it used to make me cross-eyed angry when my  husband would be distracted. He would look for something, but it would be there right under his nose. 200 geese could fly by in the sky honking and screeching and he wouldn’t have noticed it unless one of them pooped on his head.  I realized that this distractedness made me crazy.  I wanted him sharp and on the ball and unreasonably attentive all the time.  It made no sense, but until I identified the character trait, I had no idea I had this expectation of him.

Even worse was that as the days went by, it started to come to my attention how terribly distracted I was! I noticed I do this “thing” with people, when I want to say something but I don’t want to hear their side of the issue…I “drive by talk”.  Like to my daughter sitting in the living who for the sixth month in a row hasn’t cleaned her disastrous room I say:

“You know that room really has to get done and I am seriously disappointed that you haven’t done anything about it…” My voice trails off as I disappear stealthily into the next room..  I am of course avoiding her objection to cleaning her room on a sunny day. I have said my piece.

No wonder nothing has been done. We never actually had a conversation.  She just witnessed mom doing another “drive by talk”.

The habits we have picked up over the years can become so conditioned within us that we are very often not even aware of them. Examining our close relationships also gives us the dual opportunity of examining potential character challenges within ourselves that we would not have become conscious of otherwise, and to bring positive traits into our consciousness.  For example I notice that everyone I am close to is very compassionate and generous. Without exception people in my life genuinely care for one another and often go out of their way to help complete strangers with  not a second thought.  I can see how I would attract caring people because I spend allot of time and energy the same way.

Growing where you’re planted involves knowing exactly what it is you are plated in.

Become aware of your relationships, your choices and your decisions.  Find out the reason why you made the choices you have. Look at what is working for you, and what is not.  Find out why not.

In order to become contented happy people, we have to become more involved in creating a life of happiness for ourselves. You are never going to get from another person or another situation what you can’t get from yourself.

In your self investigation, you may discover you have made choices that are no longer in your best interest but were originally done in order to please someone else.  Like the business degree I got to please my father when the thing I care the least about on the entire planet is business.    When I realized I had done this for my father, I wasn’t resentful but it made me think of other decisions I had made just to have the positive opinion of other people. One thought or undersranding very often leads to another.

Growing where you’re planted means accepting everything for what it is right now. It doesn;t mean you have to like it, or want to stay in it. A woman who is being abused for example, needs to stand still only long enough to realize that abuse is always unacceptable, then make choices to be safe.  But a person who like me has every potential to make life work, needs to stand still and see what it is that needs working on.




  1. I really enjoyed this. It reminds me of myself. I pray for patience, then get freaked out when things happen that give me the opportunity to be patient!


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