Bloom Where Youre Planted Onion Flowers

I’ve always loved the phrase, “Bloom Where You’re Planted”. I think it gets a bad rap sometimes, because some people use it to mean that you need to stay in a bad situation and make the best of it. I disagree with that definition of this phrase.  

Let’s clarify first, what this phrase doesn’t mean.

What it doesn’t mean is that you have to stay somewhere that you’re unhappy. It doesn’t mean that you are stuck where you are with no hope of ever moving forward. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you should ever stay somewhere that you are being treated poorly in any way, or that you don’t feel safe in any way.

Far too many people use this phrase to try to control people, or to manipulate them into doing what they want them to do. They say, “bloom where you’re planted” because they don’t want that person recognizing the fact that they deserve better and have the ability to move on.  

OR people use it as an excuse not to move themselves. They don’t want to do the hard work of changing their circumstances, or they have given up entirely, so they tell themselves that they need to just suck it up and make the best of things.

To me, saying “bloom where you’re planted” means doing what you can, with what you have, to make yourself and those around you happy.

It means that wherever you choose to plant yourself, you should do your very best to bloom to your fullest.

For instance, what could you do right now, today, to move yourself one step closer to where you want to be in life? Are there books that you can read, websites that you can learn from, videos you can watch? What classes or webinars can you watch or take? Who can you get in touch with that can give you advice or help you along your path?

How could you go about making the lives of those around you better? Maybe your neighbor just had surgery and they could use a meal (home cooked or delivered). There are websites that compile addresses each month, so that you can send letters to people who need a boost. (My favorite it “Love for Our Elders”) If you enjoy making jewelry, crocheting, or being crafty, see if there are organizations around you that can use donations.

If you don’t have money to donate, that’s ok. Donate some of your time. Offer to babysit for someone who could use a night off. If you enjoy cleaning and organizing, do so for someone who needs the help. Almost any skill that you have could be used to make someone’s day better in some way.

Many of us want to wait until the timing is better, until everything is perfect, before we start to move forward.

If the “perfect time” is what you’re waiting for, that time may never come. I say this because, often, when we’re waiting for the “right time”, it’s code for, “I’m too afraid to move forward with my plans so I’m finding excuses to stay where I am”.

But…if not now, then when? If you’re procrastinating because of fear, then the when may never come. In that case, I encourage you to take one baby step in the direction you want to go in.

Sit down today, right now even, and make a plan.

Write out what steps you need to take to move forward on your path. If you aren’t happy in your job, what steps do you need to take to move away from it? Dream big and assume in this moment that everything is going to go according to plan. Don’t get bogged down in negativity and what you’re worried may or may not happen. Look instead at what you want to have and write about that.  

While you’re seeking ways to better yourself and your situation, also look at how you can improve yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, to “bloom where you’re planted”?

Would going to bed at a more reasonable hour allow you to be more productive throughout your day? If you set boundaries with people, would it give you the ability to work more on what you want to be doing? Could giving yourself a break by taking a nap occasionally, or going for a walk, improve your mood so that you can interact with those around you more kindly than you have been?

If we’re exhausted because we’re not sleeping well, then we don’t make our best decisions. More often, we make decisions based on fear. Fear of not having enough money, time, or of whatever we’re wanting to do ruining some aspect of our current lives. When we’re tired, we can’t always see the positive side of things.

Lack of sleep, lack of movement, and overwhelm often mean that we also don’t treat people with kindness, respect, or love. We lash out at them when they aren’t doing what we think they should; we get angry or upset over minor slights that otherwise wouldn’t bother us. And we just generally disregard any help or advice that people try to give.

Flowers can’t grow and be their colorful, happy selves if they aren’t given the proper care. We humans are the same way.

Another element of this, is looking for ways to use your skills and talents to help others.

Reaching out to help those around us doesn’t have to mean that we make a grand gesture, or do something elaborate. It can be as simple as holding the door for someone, offering to help carry something, making a card for a friend or buying one, giving someone flowers, taking food to a neighbor,  or sending someone a smile – any random act of kindness makes a difference.

We all have unique gifts and talents. Some are better at cooking than others, better at sewing, better gardeners, singers, writers, or problem solvers. There are those who are good at organizing, strategizing, and lifting heavy things. Even if you feel like you have nothing to offer, you do. Can you write poetry, tell jokes, fix plumbing or things in a house? There are people out there who need someone just like you. They need to hear what you have to say and they need to see you doing what you love to do. You can use what you are good at to help others in some way. (Click here to see more ideas for giving back.)

Mark Borella said of his team, in the Q&A session that I did with him: “This is a team effort. Without the team, it wouldn’t be a success. Each year I give everyone that works for me an original piece of art that I create. One year I gave each person a puzzle piece. I told them to put them all together. Everyone laid their piece down, fit them together, and they made a Seed of Happiness. Next, I told one of them to take a piece away. I said, “Take one piece away and the whole picture is not the same.”

This is true of the world. Without each of us doing what we love, what we are best at doing, what we can do to help others, the whole picture is not the same.

So I ask you, what can you do to bloom where you are currently planted?

Take the time to find what you would be happiest doing and work to create that life for yourself. But while you’re finding that path: what can you do right now, from where you are, with what you have, to make your life and the lives of others better? What can you do to move yourself forward on the path that you know you want to be on?

I hope that you find ways to bloom, to find the sunshine that you need to grow, and to be the sunshine that nourishes others.

Then we can all grow stronger, brighter, and happier together.

For more inspiration, take a peek at my Instagram – @thenovelturtle