Succulents are a sensational trend. You've probably seen them in the pages of all the latest interior design magazines - House and Garden, Arts and Architecture, Belle. It’s clear that these beauties are not just something your grandmother is talking about.
Now that the succulent has taken centre stage, or should we say, central place in many homes and on many tables, we see, like all living things, there are lessons to be learnt and applied from watching them.
Here are 3 things we have learnt from observing succulents.
Succulents are used to high heat and full light. They don't do well in artificial environments. We are the same. The human heart needs real love and authentic connection. Failing to feel the warmth of genuine loving relationships or to live from a place of honesty makes us ‘heart sick’. When we settle for betraying ourselves, fake friendships, dull marriages or become disengaged with the world around us, we choose a way of living in which we can never be happy. It’s easy to think we can get by with less than we deserve, but the truth is, we need to give and receive true love. We need high heat and full light.
Often we settle for what is comfortable rather than what is true. We can think we are connected when really, we are just attached. It's important to learn that there are times in our lives when we will have to make one of two choices - discomfort or dysfunction. It is uncomfortable to admit that we have settled for artificial light. The realisation that our ties are not that tight, that some friends are just acquaintances, that some lovers are not for a lifetime, that some neighbours need new boundaries are uncomfortable, but the alternative to not addressing these truths is dysfunction.
We say, be true to how your heart was made. If you need to, have hard conversations that cause discomfort to escape dysfunction, and drink in the full sun of healthy, strong, intimate relationships.
Succulents need water and so do our souls. When we say ‘souls’ we mean, the mind, the will and the emotions. When we say ‘water’ we mean inspiration, encouragement, uplifting words and exciting ideas. Like succulents can not live and grow without water, we can not fulfil our potential without the stimulus of creative possibilities. When we observe innervation, and allow ourselves to dream, we thrive. When we engage in learning new things and listen to deep wisdom, we flourish.
It’s important to stay away from polluted water. When we say ‘polluted water’ we mean shallow, pessimistic, dispiriting or degrading talk, behaviours or attitudes. Polluted water makes succulents and our souls sick. We can not drink polluted water and remain healthy in our hearts and heads.
Sometimes it takes effort to mine for the inspiration we need; to find what will invigorate our souls. A good place to start is being intentional with our eyes and ears. What we listen to and look at has a huge influence on what we think about, how we feel and what we do. It is also helpful to notice how we speak. We think being honest but remaining hopeful is a good way to talk about both ourselves and others.
Although succulents often come all packed together in the same pot, this is not what is best for them. Overcrowding encourages mould. We too need space for the benefit of both mind and body. There is nothing like an open road, the vast and beautiful countryside, a place to run, stretch and play. Additionally, there is nothing like stilling the mind, turning down the noise, and having some delicious ‘alone time’. Granted, some of us need more space than others, but tuning out has some seriously great proven benefits.
Allowing ourselves space to practice being present will increase our sense of wonder, creativity, gratitude and joy. So we say, set boundaries on your social media intake, allow margin in your schedule for uninterrupted time alone and turn off the music every once in and while - although not for too long.