Spilling Over

Within each and every one of us, there is a place of inner stillness from which our thoughts and dreams arise. How do you find this place within yourself? When did you last spend time there? Can you go there now?

There are many reasons we frequently fail to recognize this dwelling space deep inside: anger or discord, shame or embarrassment, worry or fear. Upon seeking entry, it can seem out of reach as our minds get carried away by heavy emotions. Yet it exists within all of us, and when we reach it, we are free from outer constraints.

You may know it as quiet mind or relaxed awareness. It is a place of opportunity and ease, contentment and security; one in which our obstacles are viewed as surmountable, our imperfections as invitations. It is a haven where we have room to wander and to be ourselves.

They brim with radiance, unapologetically thriving.

I often experience this state of mind in nature: when I’m surrounded by trees, wildlife, running water, and abundant blooms. In the springtime, there are spots where the flowers spill over onto the sidewalk. I’m filled with joy each time I see pinks, purples, yellows, and oranges emerge, their impulse to grow knowing no limitations. They brim with radiance, unapologetically thriving.

We too are overflowing with possibility to flourish. No matter our circumstances or what each day brings, we can lean into our natural tendency to overcome uncertainty, to blossom wherever each changing moment finds us.

The flowers I pass remain blissfully unaware that they’re exceeding their natural bounds. The limitations they’re prone to experience — excessive heat, lack of rain, trampling feet — are neither self-imposed nor within their control. In this way, nature exhibits a beautiful absence of self-hindrance.

The  600-year-old redwood doesn’t question its longevity. The sun goes on shining unintimidated by the moon, the stars by the galaxy in which they reside. Rain falls freely. Ants move determinedly. Winds blow fiercely.

Some of our bravest decisions are the result of heartbreaks and failures.

We are privileged to make thousands of decisions each day, from the seemingly inconsequential to the life-altering. But we are also burdened by the limitations we impose upon ourselves.

The girl with freckles covers her face with concealer, reddening with shame each time she looks in the mirror. The talented violinist doesn’t think he’ll amount to anything, so he begins skipping practice. The first-time homebuyers are afraid of pleasing their parents, so they defer their dream another year.

When we shrink into worry and self-doubt, we immediately dampen our potential. If we were flowers, we’d soon shrivel up and wilt. But when we can face whatever hardships arise from a place of inner stillness and surrender, we give ourselves permission to thrive.

Some of our bravest decisions are the result of heartbreaks and failures, of recognizing that we can keep going even when our outer surroundings are telling us otherwise. If we allow ourselves to flourish amid life’s challenges, imagine how we’d move through our days during less turbulent times.

The conditions of our lives will never be perfect. While at times they appear so, at others, we may feel like our world has been turned upside down. In the most unpredictable of landscapes, let your delicate beauty, your unwavering worth, spill over into life’s sidewalk cracks. Let the hope of what could be fill you to the brim and reach toward it.

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