“Obstacles, of course, are developmentally necessary: they teach kids strategy, patience, critical thinking, resilience, and resourcefulness.” ~ Naomi Wolf
“We have to embrace obstacles to reach the next stage of joy.” ~ Goldie Hawn
As this is the month we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I thought we’d look at how we view the shamrocks in our life’s garden.
Did you know that prior to WWII clover was a much-desired part of every lawn? It was purposely mixed into lawn seed because clover does such a great job repairing the soil and thriving under poor conditions. So what happened? Herbicide companies, whose goal was to kill weeds, also killed clover, thus leaving large unsightly brown spots in lawns. So what was the solution? Add clover to the “weed” list to literally weed it out of lawn seed.
From that time on, clover has been looked upon as a problem to eradicate. Why? Marketing! So how does that show up in your daily life?
Clover was sprinkled into seed bags to be an integral part of the whole system of growing a lush lawn. You know what else is an integral part of growing a lush life? Obstacles. We actually fail forward. Failures, obstacles, and problems are just part of the process, yet we view them as something that shouldn’t be there – as something to eradicate.
Why? Marketing! We have sold ourselves on the idea of how things “should” be and when that expectation isn’t met we struggle, not because of what’s in front of us but because of our resistance to it.
“It is clear to me that one of the biggest obstacles we face as human beings is the pain we put ourselves through when we resist and wrestle with our emotions.” ~ Debbie Ford
Shamrocks have been revered since ancient Celtic times because of their beneficial properties. They provide essential nutrients to the soil, helping things grow more; they are great sources of food for livestock, helping increase one’s abundance; and they are tenacious, as they keep coming back even after being cut down.
How are these good things for you when applied to problems?
Problems provide essential nutrients. It’s from the rich soil of problems and obstacles that we grow the most. Think about every point in your life there was a major shift – didn’t it come from some uncomfortable spot? Without occasional discomfort our lives would feel flat and meaningless.
Problems up level your abundance. Abundance comes in many different forms: compassion, health, wealth, love, understanding, and creativity. When you are on the other side of a problem you have expanded one or all of these in your life. The rubs of life are where you wear away your limits and hone your ability to expand.
Problems keep coming back, no matter how hard you try to avoid them. The lessons problems bring are gifts; problems, like clover, are tenacious in their commitment to bring you these offerings, even when you run, avoid, ignore, or attack.
“The gateways to wisdom and learning are always open, and more and more I am choosing to walk through them. Barriers, blocks, obstacles, and problems are personal teachers giving me the opportunity to move out of the past and into the Totality of Possibilities.” ~ Louise Hay
So this month rebrand your problems as essential steps toward an end. By eliminating your expectation of a smooth ride you are more open to recognize and accept the gifts presented as problems.
“It’s our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting. Are they fun when they happen? No. But they are what make us unique. And that’s what I know for sure…I think.” ~ Ellen DeGeneres
Shamrocks are a symbol of the magnitude of love and support available to you, if you’ll just open up to it. The Universe is always seeding your garden with supportive ground cover; yet if you see them as weeds you miss the guidance they offer.
Carry a Shamrock around this month to remind you to shift your perspective from resistance to openness, curiosity, and expectance. Look at the presence of clover in your garden as a pathway instead of an obstacle.
And may the luck of the Irish always be with you!
“You have to think lucky. If you fall into a mudhole, check your back pocket – you might have caught a fish.” ~ Darrell Royal
Abundant Blessings from your Master Gardener,
Top Photo Credit: 4-leaf clover by Jay Sturner