Pruning For New Growth

It’s a gorgeous Sunday in early March. The sun in shining, the air is crisp, the sky is blue and spring is right around the corner. Even though there are a dozen things on my to-do list that I could choose to do, I give myself permission to do exactly what my heart desires—even if it isn’t productive or makes any logical sense.

I find myself outside in the sunshine with a pair of pruners with my 90’s tunes playing from my portable speaker cutting back the ferns on the top of the hill. It felt great to get outside and be working in the earth.  I never got around to pruning them back last year. There was a lot of old growth to cut through as well as last fall’s dead leaves. As I’m working with the ferns, cutting the old growth and clearing out all the debris, I felt a shift happen. It felt like a shift in gears, up a gear. The sludge I’d been feeling all winter seemed to fall away.

Cut it all back. Cut it all back and see what grows. Give the new growth free and clear access. Don’t make it grow through all the dead weight.

BAM! This was the voice of my business, not the ferns. Cut it all back.  My marketing strategist had recently delivered the news that I needed to re-brand. Let’s just say, I wasn’t jumping up and down at the idea. Sure, I knew I needed to do this at some point in time—but wasn’t ready for it to be now.  Alanis is singing about playing it safe, being afraid to fly and being brave but being chicken shit. Yeah, that’s about right, I thought.

The parallels in my life are ridiculous right now. Later that exact same afternoon, I had a moment of clarity to see my elder dog Sammy clearly, as he was. He’d been defying death since last August and deep down I think I’d convinced myself that he had super powers and was really immortal. Silly, I know. But still….a girl can wish. Suddenly, I’m transported and am my inner 6 year-old self. Sad, crying, grieving little girl who just realized that it is time to help her beloved Sammy transition over that rainbow bridge. Heartbreak. Total and utter heartbreak.

He’d gone on his own terms alright—stubborn to the end. And that little fucker is still gonna make us do the hard work of making the final decision. I’d been praying that he’d go on his own. The vet had confirmed months ago that wasn’t likely going to be the case. We’d have to make the decision for him. Sure enough. The time had come to make that decision.

Whew. Being an alive, awake, conscious, feeling human being is not easy work. It’s hard and sometimes, it downright sucks. It’s so much easier to zombie out. To numb out, to go unconscious, to live on autopilot. While it may be easier, I find this kind of living to be misery—hell on earth. Been there, done that. No. Thank. You. I’ll take “hard” over easy any day if it means having a higher quality of life. Instead I choose to tune in, instead of tune out.

As I snipped my way through the ferns cutting it all back, I fell into a rhythm and flow. I found the groove that I’d been looking for. The place of direct spiritual access where everything was falling into place. The heaviness lifted and the fog parted. I was in the frequency of clarity.

Intensely present, I feel the satisfaction in clearing out all the old to make room for the new. It felt purposeful and full of suspense at the same time. The future was pregnant with possibility. I didn’t know what it was going to look like yet I felt confident in taking the next step, knowing that there will be either something solid to stand on or I will have learned how to fly.

As I wrap up my spontaneous gardening, I thought to myself, "This is the feminine way of doing business." I’ve been asked that question a lot lately—What does it mean to lead from the feminine or do business in the feminine? I have a lot of different answers to those questions:

Learning how to not push or force my way through a problem is one of the biggest differences. Instead of hitting my laptop this afternoon to focus on the series of questions from my marketing strategist to help shape the future of my business, I choose to get into vibrational alignment with my business first. I did that by being connected to nature and being present in the moment. It was here, that I received the clarity that I was looking for.

From there, I cleaned up and grabbed my laptop to capture all the visions and answers that came through during my time pruning out the old. The way I structured my day allowed me to fill my cup, to tend to my well-being.

As a leader, it’s essential that I make my well-being my top priority. If I don’t, everything else suffers—work, personal, marriage, social and financial.  

Sleeping in to recover from a cold. Opting out of going to a baby shower that felt like an obligation rather than a joy. Spending time in the sun in nature instead of being cooped up in the house working. Gaining clarity on my direction forward through spiritual connection rather than trying to think my way forward.

As I wrap up for the evening looking forward to Monday morning and the week ahead, I feel optimism and excited bubbling up. I’m excited about what the week brings. I’m looking forward to digging into some challenging work for my clients this week too. I recognize how many of you reading this probably feel stress and overwhelm on Sunday evenings when you think about Monday morning. If this is true for you, I invite you to re-design your next weekend. Give yourself space to be in nature, connect with the earth and be present to your divine connection.

What would you need to do differently in order to feel excited about what’s coming Monday morning instead of dreading it?

Practice leads to greatness.

As you think about Monday morning, instead of falling victim to the anxiety, ask yourself, How you can have a positive impact tomorrow? How can you show up in a way that is meaningful and creates impact? Think of 1 tangible action you can do.

Here are a few you can try:

  • Be positive and upbeat when you arrive at work. Verbally thank your team members for a specific action they did last week.

  • Spend time reviewing all your meetings for the week—what do you need to do to prepare and shine? Create a plan for the items you need to do for the week. Stress often is a result of not having a plan of action.

  • Keep your focus on what matters most. What’s the most important thing to accomplish this week? Make a plan to make it happen. What resources will you need? Who needs to be looped in? What are the clear deliverables you are asking for? Think strategically in order to maximize your resources instead of simply working harder or longer hours.  

Remember, Monday’s don’t have to suck. Let’s re-write the sad story that says it does.  

The greatness of leader is not measured by their wealth or status, but rather with their integrity, generosity and their ability to positively affect those around them. ~Aubrey Armes
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