Thursday, January 17, 2013

Time to Uproot Clichés--and Excuses

Uprooting a Cliché
“Bloom Where You Are Planted”

Clichés, clichés. “Bloom where you are planted” languishes in the nether world of clichés because of its ubiquitous presence on Mary Engelbreit notecards, artwork, and refrigerator magnets. (It is not an original Mary Engelbreit quote.*) I have seen it so many times, it’s rather ho-hum, “Oh, there’s that saying (cliché) again.”
Considering the saying, cliché or not, uprooting it so to speak, is, however, worth the tiny bit of effort it takes and I did just that.
The particular blooming process that sparked that consideration began months ago. After a busy night feasting on insects, my patio’s resident frogs again broke several pieces of my Christmas cactus. I am grateful they keep the pest population in check, but sometimes I wish they’d tone down their exuberance.

Frogs on my patio swing and jump from the hanging
plant chains, eating insects and leaving
broken plants in their wake.

With little thought and having no clue as to their color, I scooped up the broken pieces and stuck them in the closest pot with available soil. A few days ago when I spied the abundant cactus blooms brightening the pot, I said, “Yep. They bloomed where they were planted.”

Once broken, the Christmas cactus now blooms.
As a gardener, of course I know that if I planted crocus or snowdrop bulbs in my Central Florida yard, they probably would not bloom where they were planted without significant manipulation on my part. That’s not the point.

Spider Lily that took hold, grew, and bloomed--in a vacant lot.
Too often, I, we, do not bloom where we are planted. On this January day, still early in the New Year, it’s a sure bet that many of our blooming resolutions have already dried out and withered from lack of attention and commitment. Conversely, in this time of resolution and reinvention, the excuses/reasons we cannot bloom flourish.
Bloom 1: I can’t keep up that exercise regimen because . . .
Bloom 2: I can’t go there because . . .
Bloom 3: I can’t eat well because . . .
Bloom 4: I can’t ______________ (fill in the blank with your chosen creative endeavor) because . . .
Bloom 5: I can’t because I don’t:
Live in the right place
Have enough money
Have enough time
Have any support
Have a relationship
Bloom 5: I can’t because I have:
Too many children
Too many responsibilities
Too much to do
Too much weight to lose
Too much debt
A demanding job, family, schedule
We have abundant reasons/excuses for not blooming where we are planted. Refusing to bloom is a choice—we refuse because, after all, most of our reasons/excuses are more about choice than anything else. After we have met our basic needs (and I mean basic, not some consumer-culture-dictated nonachievable lifestyle), we have no good reason not to bloom, in whatever form that takes.
Toss those limiting “I don’t haves” and “I do haves” like so much weedy yard waste. Consider where you are planted and what you need to bloom and do so.

*The Bishop of Geneva, Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622) was first to use the quote, “Bloom where you are planted.” Salesian spirituality is a practical path for life in the modern world. It provides a roadmap for the spiritual journey as people embrace the duties of their individual lives. Salesian Spirituality also is a universal call to holiness, to, in Sales’s words, “Bloom where you are planted.” This “spirituality of the heart” is as relevant today as in the time of St. Francis de Sales himself and is an all-embracing, down-to-earth spirituality. You can see more at:

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