One of my favorite dinner’s consists of a fresh steamed artichoke with a dipping sauce of butter, mayonnaise and garlic. Love, love, love! You can imagine my surprise a few years back to discover that the artichokes I enjoyed were not vegetables but flower buds!
A friend took me out into her garden to show me a most radiant thistle—an artichoke that she had not picked to eat but instead had allowed to remain on the vine. The purple and white bloom against the thorny green outer layer was striking. If you’re interested in one of nature’s most delectable tasting flowers, The Garden Betty website gives a nice explanation with pictures of an artichoke anatomy.
My thoughts today are more upon what would happen if we allowed ourselves to bloom more organically?
Usually we strive to be different than who we are. Often overly concerned about the way we look, how we act, who likes and accepts us. We build up that hardened outer shell to protect the vulnerable feelings, desires and dreams inside.
Most sad is that we can smother who we truly are whilst struggling to be who we are not. Or in an attempt to live up to someone else’s definition of who they feel we ought to be—we simply lose track of ourself. In so doing, we never reach our full potential.
Recently I took the Strengths Finder 2.0 assessment. This book talks about the value of ceasing to focus as much on attempting to improve our weaknesses and instead beginning to put that energy towards genuinely enhancing our strengths. What a novel idea. I recommend it.
It was fascinating yet not surprising in the least what the survey reported to be my strengths. I already knew. As deep down you probably already know what your strengths truly are as well.
None of us are perfect but we are perfectly who we are. Individual, unique and real.
Remaining on the vine means being authentically true to yourself and not being apologetic about it. Letting your inner beauty unfold and sharing it with the world. Being assured not ashamed of who you are.
Life is brief. Allow yourself to blossom on the vine.
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