Tag Archives: letting go

How are your petunias? On growing and dying.

This summer I’ve been home for two months straight for the first time possibly since my teens.

As a result my “flower babies,” as I call them, have received a lot more attention.

Deadheading

Part of my morning ritual is deadheading my petunias. It sounds like something out of a horror movie but is actually quite therapeutic, for the plant and me. I lovingly sort through all the little stems and find the flowers that are on their way out. Then I gently grab just the head of the dying flower and put it in the compost.

This leaves the plant looking a little sparse right after the deadheading. A couple of days after this process, though, my petunias go gangbusters. New blooms are everywhere, and my little babies explode with vitality.

Last summer, because of my travel schedule, I only tended to my flower babies sporadically. As a result my petunias died by early July. It made me incredibly sad, but there was nothing to be done but put them in the compost.

This summer I vowed to be a better flower mama. (It’s unbelievable how much joy raising healthy plants brings me. I’m finding myself considering the lives of my flower babies before saying yes or no to a trip. Who knew?)

When my mom taught me about deadheading it was a revelation. She told me that, if the petunia has lots of flowers that have died, it gets the message that it’s time to go to seed. Basically, it shuts down and expires.

When the dead flower heads are regularly removed, however, new buds can come through, and the plant gets the message that there’s plenty of space and energy for new growth.

Life As A Petunia

The first time I saw the robust flowers that appeared a few days after my deadheading, I couldn’t help but think about my life as a petunia.

Every life has some dying flower heads that need to be lovingly removed to create space for new growth.

If you want to find the dead heads in your life, ask yourself:

What or who has been draining my energy?
How do I feel after spending time with the people in my life?
Where in my life do I not receive as much as I give?
What projects make me groan when I sit down to work on them?
Which projects just sit on my desk and never get touched because they feel expired even before they’ve been completed?
What habits detract from my vitality?

It’s Not Failure. It’s Nature.

Before I grew petunias I sometimes thought of letting go of nonmaterial things as sad, or even disappointing because it indicated failure.

But my little petunias have taught me a thing or two about the circle of life.

It is the nature of a flower to bud, bloom, and then die. The fact that its time as a vibrant blossom has ended doesn’t make it a failure as a flower. It’s simply fulfilled its flower life, if you will, and now it is time for a new healthy bloom to do the same. This is what serves the vitality and well-being of the whole petunia.

twitter_standingLetting go isn’t failure. It’s nature. (Tweet it.)

When you tend to your life and business and look for blossoms that have expired on a daily basis, the deadheading takes very little time and energy. A little regular maintenance goes a long way.

When you deadhead regularly, the ecosystem of your life gets the message to keep growing and keep blooming. If you don’t, well, your life thinks it’s going to seed.

twitter_standingWe’re either growing or dying. You choose. (Tweet it.)

We choose to grow by letting go of what’s no longer working. Sometimes this requires some mourning. Go there with your full heart and soul.

Each time you deadhead something in your life, even if it feels sad, remember: you are not a failure for letting go. There’s not necessarily anything wrong with this person or project. And there’s certainly not anything wrong with you.

It’s just time for new blossoms to grow.

What needs to be dead headed in your life? Declare what you’re letting go of in the comments below!

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4 simple ways to spend less and enjoy more this holiday season.

Nothing Succeeds Like Excess The end of the year can be a time when our financial plans go out the window. We end up spending like a drunken sailor, only to wake up in the new year feeling hungover when we look at our credit card balance. I used to experience this every year. IContinue Reading

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Guided Meditation for Money & Forgiveness

We’ve all made mistakes when it comes to money. We’ve overspent, lent the wrong person some cash, chosen a vendor who over-promised and under-delivered, paid our taxes late, lost some money in a relationship gone wrong or [insert your money mistake here.] But it’s not making financial mistakes that’s the problem. It’s holding ourselves hostageContinue Reading

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The Value of the Vacuum

It turns out that most of our life circumstances are a choice. We can bitch and moan all we like, but when we’re really honest we’ve made a decision, conscious or unconscious: to stay at that job that sucks our soul to stay with that person who doesn’t bring out our best to stay onContinue Reading

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How to know when it’s time to quit.

I remember when I was growing up, the other kids would tell me that they hated going to basketball or lacrosse practice, but their parents had taught them not to be quitters so they just toughed it out. I was always totally mystified by this. I had tried and quit just about every sport availableContinue Reading

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A plea to women who do too much.

My first boyfriend wrote me a poem for my sixteenth birthday that, paraphrased, went something like: Child of Atlas, release the world from your shoulders. It will remain in place, remain in its eternal spin, without you holding it up. My tendency to feel responsible for every being on the planet was so apparent earlyContinue Reading

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I’m living in a Toyota Prius. (Photo chronicle of The Freedom Tour Part 1.)

The Freedom Tour has officially begun. I hatched the idea for this indefinite road trip to explore, teach, and inspire people to create freedom in their lives back in September. Four months later, I’m living in a Toyota Prius I’ve named Zoe. I’ve just driven 2300 miles from Buffalo, NY and as I write thisContinue Reading

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Why accidentally erasing my hard drive might be the best thing that ever happened to me

I talk a lot about things happening for a reason, the grand master plan of the Universe, synchronicity, and the overall meant-to-be or not-meant-to-be-ness of life. And it’s pretty easy to stay on my fairy dust and sparkles train when everything is going smoothly, I’m meeting the right people, cash flow is good, and I’mContinue Reading

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The one thing you can do right now to feel free…or Why Janis Joplin was onto something.

Letting go is scary. The thing about letting go is that it’s scary. Even if we’re not completely thrilled with what we’ve got already, at least we know what we can expect with it. Even if holding on means living a bit smaller than we know we’re capable of, not being quite as happy asContinue Reading

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How Many Bras Do You Really Need? and other thoughts on letting go: Glimpse TV with Bindu Wiles

Inspired by my friend Bindu Wiles, creator of The Shed Project, an eight week experience of letting go, I’ve been letting go of A LOT recently. More details to come in future posts, but suffice it to say that Bindu’s decision to get rid of the vast majority of her belongings has inspired me toContinue Reading

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