Right Where You Are is Ok

- Tribe Interactive
Plant with supports and blue sky in the background

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“Where you are is ok” – “Where you are is where you’re meant to be” – “If you were supposed to be somewhere else you would be” – “Be Here Now”.

These all seem like worn out cliches as we collectively experience some pain and suffering this past year. A lot of folks (perhaps including you) don’t feel like being where they are right now.

People have lost their businesses. Many lost their jobs, their sources of income, their loved ones. Whether due to the virus or the aftermath of months of lockdown and distancing. The social animal that is the human has had to become anything but social, and that hasn’t gone so well for a lot of us.

In the face of so much tragedy and disappointment it’s hard to imagine that where ever you are, you’re in the right place.

But you are.

How do I know that? Even though I don’t know you?

Because that is a spiritual principle that is older than time itself.

There is nothing that we experience in this life that isn’t for some reason, in some way shape or form, for us.

So Whereabouts Are You?

Everything about Life is learning. Everything is a lesson. Not a sit-in-your-chair-and-be-lectured-to kind of lesson (ugh!). Some lessons are about as far as you can get from an actual classroom. Like when you’re in Nature and that still-small-voice speaks to you from the trees and says “Breathe, look at me, nothing stays the same, and yet I’m more than ok”.

There are “lessons” you’re receiving from the love of your dog, or cat, or your children. The unconditional love you experience standing in the suns’ warmth. Lessons in worthiness that you receive from ALL the beings in your life that shine on you and love you without judgement. Those are lessons too.

Some lessons in this life are PhD-level hard though. Like what this past year has been in terms of mental, emotional and financial wellbeing. And yet, haven’t we all had experiences of joy amidst the hardship? We’ve gotten to laugh still, and feel gratitude, and our own adaptability and resourcefulness. This is something humans are unique and accomplished at!

Where you are is ok.

One of the MOST important lessons I like to impart to my 11 year old daughter is Resilience. She’s naturally a resilient and wonderfully adaptable kid. But I also make sure to remind her of the vital importance of being resilient. Why? Because no matter what the past 4 decades have taught ME, life will throw you off. There are always going to be storms, and beautiful days as well, and sometimes the storms are where you learn the most important lessons about life.

The Humble Apple Tree as an example.

The analogy I love with regards to resilience is the humble Apple Tree. If you took two of the exact same Apple Tree seedlings, and planted one in a greenhouse, while the other was planted outside – high up on a hill and exposed to the elements – can you guess which Apple Tree would grow to bear the best, juiciest, and hardiest fruit?

If you guessed the one up high on the hill, you’d be right. Why? Because it was exposed to the elements. The wind, the rain, the scorching sun. An environment that required the Tree to gird itself, strengthen itself, so that it might live! Strong branches were required. Thick, protective bark was required, perhaps even some pest-control measures were necessary. ALL because of the weather that was thrown at that tree.

The other seedling, planted in the greenhouse, sheltered and kept “safe” from the rain, wind and cold, doesn’t have to grow those same protections. THAT tree can’t even grow higher than the shelter it’s placed within.

When it comes time for both trees to bear fruit, the small, weaker, sheltered tree in the greenhouse doesn’t have the strength to hold large fruit, or to hold it to ripening. The Tree high up on the hill however, has strong, fruit-bearing branches.

We’re like those same trees. While we might appreciate a warm, dry, sheltered environment, those conditions don’t “test” us, or strengthen us. We can’t handle the “weather” if we’re never exposed to it.

Weather the Whether, Wherever You Are

Whether you’re struggling to realize your dreams, struggling to stay afloat, struggling to just get by, know that as “weathered” as you may feel, it’s all contributing to make you stronger. So that when the sun comes, and there’s a chance to bloom, to fruit, and to harvest your gifts, YOU will be able to bear those gifts, that fruit, to a ripe and ready stage!

The picture above is a Heritage Apple Tree – a Tydemann’s Late Orange. Heritage Trees were brought here to New Zealand 200 years ago from England on the Settlers’ ships. This little tree was planted here in the South Island, and for 200 years it’s been pruned, its branches grafted, and gifted out to the community hundreds of times over. How special is that!

I got this seedling only 8 months ago. It looked like a stick, and now it’s taller than I am. I placed it in a pot on my back doorstep, a west-facing and fully exposed place on the Southern Coast, in some of the strongest winds I’ve ever experienced, and it not only survived, it thrived. There were some days I thought it was going to be uprooted and blown clear out of it’s pot. Some days it nearly did! I moved it to a spot near a wall – for some shelter, and without realizing it was also no longer getting rain it completely dried out! I thought I’d killed it several times. And yet no, it’s like all that made it even more resilient! Yesterday my daughter and I planted it in a new forest of 102 native tree seedlings at our new home here. It already had an epic 200 year story of resilience, and now it thrives on in a new chapter.

It’s a great example of the need for weather – storms and all – to strengthen us. 

This little baby tree is about to go through another harsh winter down here, and it will not once think “I am SO in the wrong place!”. It will just do its thing, surviving and thriving through all the elements, and becoming strong because of them. One day it will not only be strong enough to hold big, juicy Heritage Apples, it’ll probably be strong enough for a swing! Things that would never happen if it grew up sheltered and protected in a greenhouse 😉

Storms will Come – No Matter Where You Are

If you’re feeling weak, and easily buffeted around by the “weather” of you life, remember that you are actually built for it. That you’re designed to be exposed to the elements, and that those elements – storms sometimes – will cause your life to bear fruit that is so much more of an offering to the world. Even though times can feel rough, and hard, you have it in you to thrive despite of them, and perhaps even because of them.

Don’t be afraid to stand in the wind, and feel it all.  

You are always right where you need to be.

There’s some wonderful practical ways that you can learn to breathe through and center yourself inside the storm. Steve has a wonderful meditation that’s available to you if you’re a student of his classes – in Class #6. If you’re not a student you can get a pro-recording of that same meditation here. These are things that can help gird you from the winds, kind of like the webbing straps you can see in the picture of the seedling. They can’t do the growing for you, that’s on you, but they can keep you standing when the wind gets really tough.  

Reach Out

Another wonderful thing I learned years ago was to “call up”. If you’re feeling like your being blown over by life, call on people that you know can help lift you, support you, encourage you. Calling “across” or even “down”, ie: folks that are also having a difficult time, is not as helpful.

You know the people who are the positive ones in your life. The cheerleaders, the guidance counsellor-types. Those are the folks you can call on when you want to gird yourself against the storm.

And know that the BVS Facebook Community is always a safe, supportive place for you to make those kinds of friends and to be inspired by those who might be in the moment a little stronger than you.

You’re not alone, we’re all out here, being where we are, and we’re ALL always in need of these reminders as we go and grow through life.

Arohanui (Big Love!)


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