More importantly, what do we have to bring to this year, this new stretch of days before us?
What will we create this year?
What will we plant, what seeds of desire and intention and focus will we put into the soil this year?
Which of those seeds will we nurture – with attention and energy, action and faith, diligence and generosity and joy – and which will we neglect?
What harvest will we reap this year?
Which seeds have grown to maturity and now bear fruit for us, or soon will?
Will we be aware of it? Will we be alert enough to see the produce, the return, or will we be too caught up in today’s distractions and tomorrow’s worries?
Let’s not rob ourselves of the harvest. We worked for it. That fruit is ours: we planted it, we tended it, and now we can receive it.
Let us be open and aware and let us be ready to share, for there will be more than we need, far more.
That’s the law of sowing and reaping.
It’s exponential in the return.
Plant one tiny seed, and an entire plant will grow. It could be an enormous tree!
And from one plant, so much fruit. Over and over. Enough for you and me and plenty to share. That might even be the best part, the sharing.
What is growing right now?
Some seeds you put in the soil consciously.
Others, not so much. They fell out of your subconscious desires and fears, they dropped into the soil from your habits of thought and hidden hopes and all those inner places we don’t honor with enough attention.
Some of the seeds haven’t sprouted yet. Do you want them to?
Nurture the ones you want to grow into plants.
Dig up and throw out the seeds that will bear bitter, inedible fruit. You can do that. This is your soil to tend, and planting a seed is not an unbreakable commitment.
Dig it up and throw it out, seed or sprout, if you no longer want it.
And quit planting those seeds.
We all get taken in by them. Don’t be ashamed. Some glitter like jewels and promise so much, but once in the soil they rot and fester. They require so much energy and bear such little return.
Other seeds we plant in anger. Hard, jagged, violent-looking seeds. We get satisfaction ramming and twisting them into the soil, thinking that we are hurting someone who has hurt us. It relieves some sort of pressure. But later we look and we realize: it’s our soil we’ve damaged. It’s our soil that’s poisoned now.
Maybe you planted a glittering seed of a friendship or relationship that seemed so good… but it’s draining you. It’s taking all of your energy, and no matter how much tending and nurturing you do, the plant is sick and weak. It can’t survive very long, not unless you neglect everything else and dedicate all your energy to caring for it. Are you willing to do that? Will you sacrifice every other plant for this one, yellowing, thorn-covered thing? The blooms are short-lived. The fruit is bitter.
Maybe you planted one of those always-tempting, shining golden seeds of escape. This one is tricky. It seems like a way out, a great alternative to dealign with something poisonous or unfruitful or unpleasant. Why go through the work of pulling it up, you think. Just plant this smooth golden seed, and soon the runners come out and spread. They grow over and cover and begin to smother that plant you don’t want to deal with. But the roots are still there, rotting, sending poison out into the soil. The stink is awful, like perfume on a dead fish. And the runners won’t be contained; they go beyond and start covering other plants, too, ones you want to keep. They will consume and crush all you’ve worked for.
Maybe you’ve been planting lots of jagged seeds of anger and fear. There are many varieties. They look and smell different, but they’re all part of the same family. And they’re all poisonous. They grow slowly and you may not notice, but soon you’ll notice your other plants withering. You can’t plant the seeds of resentment, envy, anxiety, self-pity, and anger without a detrimental effect on everything. They won’t be contained. They send out fumes. They bring death.
There’s only one solution.
You know what it is.
Get the pruning shears and cut it down, every branch, every runner.
Now, get the shovel. Dig down and down to the roots and pull them out. This is hard work and painful.
Put all of it in a pile – roots and fruits and branches – and burn it. As you watch the flames, release it. Forgive the people you want to blame. Most of all, forgive yourself.
Ashes are good for the soil. They help balance the acidity and provide minerals that plants need. When everything is burned, take your shovel and work the ashes into the soil. Don’t reject. Assimilate. Breathe in the wisdom, accept the sadness and regret, be aware of the pain. Open yourself to it. It will nourish the seeds you plant in this newly cleared patch of soil.
Nothing is wasted. Nothing is ever wasted.
Now take a look at the plants you have.
Which ones are thriving? Which look a little neglected? What brand-new seeds are there, beginning to stir, under the dirt? What tiny sprouts are peeking out, in need of nurturing and protection so they can thrive?
What fruit do you want to feast on in 2018?
Now is the perfect time to consciously decide. (Anytime is the perfect time.) You don’t have to grow things haphazardly. You don’t have to scatter random seeds. You don’t have to pray for rain.
You decide: what will I plant? What will I spend my time and energy nurturing?
Clear out the weeds. Get that old junk out. Create room for growth. Get the watering can and get to work. It’s fun. You’re in charge. You probably have some surprises in there, too. Seeds you planted long ago, growing and bearing fruit. Maybe you forgot about them. Maybe they were hidden, unnoticed behind all the weeds and runners. Now you can see them and enjoy the harvest. Now you can tend them and watch them grow.
You’re not alone, either. Call in friends to help you push that big rock out of the way. Ask your partner to help you dig up the poison plants of anger. And, as you wish, talk about what you’re planting and tending. Someone else might be growing the same kind of seed. You can work together.
In 2018, see the divine, organic law of sowing and reaping.
It works all the time, whether you know it or not. Once you know, you can quit feeling afraid and uncertain. You don’t have to wake up and think, “What will happen today? What will come to me? Will I have enough? Will I like what I have?”
Instead, you’ll be aware. Conscious. In charge. Creative. Active. Powerful. Intentional. Focused. Organized and flowing. Energized and joyful.
You’ll wake up and think, “I’m know what I’m going to work on today. I know what I’m going to harvest. I know how to nurture the right plants. I know they’ll be bearing fruit. I know what seeds to plant. I know what I don’t want and how to get rid of it. I am nurturing what I love and receiving the harvest and it is good.”
Yes. It is very good.