I found this dandelion clock when I took my camera on a mindful stroll around the streets where I live. It reminded me part of the process of practicing mindfulness. When I teach mindfulness courses people often struggle (as I did when I was learning) with the time it can take to feel the benefit of mindfulness practice. I often explain that we’re sowing seeds each time we meditate and although we may not feel an instant benefit – in time the seeds will grow if we nurture them.
As a person-centred therapist I’ve studied the work of Carl Rogers, who spoke about personal growth given the right conditions. Carl believed that people could heal themselves if the therapist offered the “core conditions” of empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard. He said that like plants that need water, soil and sunlight to grow – people will also grow if they have the right conditions. I like the idea that like plants, we can keep growing – reaching towards the light even if the journey there is sometimes painful and difficult.
This got me to wondering how we can nurture the seeds we sow when we practice mindfulness. I think having a spirit of kindness and compassion really helps. There may be times we can’t see any benefit from mindfulness, times we can’t be bothered and times we may feel like just giving it up. If we can be kind and patient with ourselves when we meet frustrations then maybe we can let the seeds float freely in their parachutes. Not knowing where they will land but trusting they will grow and that some will have already taken root.