There's nothing like a touch of spring in the air to stir my curiosity about what lessons the spring season may offer. The 75-degree weather in the Boston area during early April sure sparked me. I decided to do some spring-cleaning around the yard and began with the flower beds, figuring that a little leaf raking would make a great start. I felt like an archeologist as I peeled back the layers of leaves. And what a treasure I found underneath. The beautiful Crocus plants had already broken through the hard, crusty ground of winter and were beginning to blossom. While spring wrestled with winter, the Crocus flower was already becoming strong -- a harbinger of the new vibrant life that would soon be all around us. As I carefully cleared away the remaining leaves, I began wondering this: "If a Crocus could communicate, what could it teach us about renewal?" Here are five lessons we might learn:
Lesson # 1: This spring-blooming plant patiently endures the uncertainty of the weather in New England, and its endurance assures the certainty that it will be the first of the flowering plants to display its beautiful colors. When we can accept and become comfortable with uncertainty in our lives, when we no longer insist that things happen as we expect, from this flexible attitude dawns a powerful state of knowing. We begin feeling secure about ourselves, and that's because real strength does not reside in certainty, but in a deeper understanding of the nature of things. This understanding elevates our consciousness above the tightness of rigid expectations, revealing the immutable truth that there is always a way. Perhaps it's not the way we intended, but if we have faith, and persist, the way will reveal itself. So the first lesson the Crocus would teach us is this: Dare to live with a little more uncertainty.
Lesson # 2: The Crocus bulb is a simple living essence that does not hide in its shell. It employs the KISS Principle to blossom upward into the world. This principle -- Keep It Simple, Stupid -- states that the process of growth proceeds best when things remain uncomplicated. Simplicity opens us to the elasticity of our creative energy, which empowers us to feel comfortable, even in the face of uncertainty. We best enjoy the world, in all of its richness, when we move toward our goals without adding unnecessary forced action. Life gets complicated when we insist that the world comply with our wishes according to our specific plan. Such behavior guarantees an experience of anxiety. So, the second lesson the purple guru offers is this: Learn to grow without excess labor or unnecessary strife; let go and let life reveal who you are and the beautiful being you can be.
Lesson # 3: No matter what our current difficulties may be, someone else has grown from a difficulty like it -- and so can we. It is a source of inner strength and comfort to know that we are never without the desire to grow and display our talents to the world. Every spring season, the Crocus demonstrates this valuable lesson. I like to think of the Crocus as a "guru" of sorts, because it reminds us annually that we are always able to experience inspiring breakthroughs in spite of outer conditions. But, for that to happen, we must realize that something beautiful, beyond solving daily problems, is waiting to burst forth, from deep inside, demonstrating its allure to the world. So, the third lesson the purple guru offers is this: Let your creative essence break through the top soil that might be clouding your life -- the sun is waiting to shine down on you.
Lesson # 4: How would you feel if you truly understood that this day IS the first day of the rest of your life? Would you enjoy it with full freshness? Imagine living from moment to moment, and loving each precious experience that the moment brings. Certainly, in this state of mind, we'd not allow past habits to hamper our playful responses to the newness that unfolds. I believe that the Crocus is a wonderful model for living one moment at a time, with no thought for the future unfolding. The fourth lesson is this: Never rob yourself of a blossoming moment!
Lesson # 5: Just watching the elegant swiftness with which the Crocus reveals its hidden beauty, and smelling its sweet fragrance makes it apparent that the cosmic forces of the entire universe are on its side. These very same forces are also on your side! Accept this as fact, and in a flash, your life will become meaningful and satisfying in wonderfully new ways. The fifth and final lesson is this: Everything in the universe has immense power to reach its full potential -- we just need to recognize the seeds of growth that are waiting to burst forth within us.
It's good to know that nature is always sending unassuming, ordinary gurus our way to offer us the perfect lesson that we need in the moment in order to grow. You would be amazed at how the daily pressures of life will fade when you learn to live more like a Crocus. The whole of existence is in a wonderful unfolding dance -- learn to relax and enjoy the dance!
Rob White is an International Bestselling author, storyteller & philosopher. Rob founded The Ordinary Guru Project, which is awarding $9,000 in cash prizes to encourage others to share their own ordinary guru tales.