What if I told you that all you have to do to reach your ultimate expression as a human being is let yourself bloom, just like a flower?
Recently I had the distinct joy of attending an ARTS Anonymous meeting with exceptional artists in Joshua Tree, CA. It happens each Tuesday at 5pm at Art Queen, if you find yourself in the desert. In the course of our sharing, we discussed our long-term goals. Unwittingly, I had been formulating my response all morning, and it emerged unexpectedly (and perhaps uncharacteristically succinctly) from my mouth in the moment as:
TO REACH MY FULL EXPRESSION
The simplicity of it surprised me. I had heard the term “full expression” before from my yoga teacher Patricia in reference to asanas. But earlier in the day I had been thinking about who I am, who I really yearn to be, and whether I am using my time on Earth in the best way I can to get there. Am I doing what truly makes me happy and what truly aligns with my talents and abilities … and purpose? Am I really being the true and authentic Dwayne?
And that’s when I had a vision of a flower.
I realized that our expressions of ourselves as humans are like flowers. By “full expression” I mean our ultimate behavior, and maybe the things we produce or contemplate and discuss … what we are. They are ultimate, cumulative, natural, and beautiful. And inevitable — the instructions are coded in our DNA and energy. In some ways, all we have to do is turn ourselves over to that directive and it will simply be.
In fact, we can’t really be anything else, even if we try. Our souls know what we are meant to do, and will nudge us in that direction when we are heading somewhere else.
And of course, as Shari Elf mentioned while we were talking after the meeting, flowers need the right conditions to grow in – the right soil, water, light and air. And our full human expressions need similar nurturing as well in the form of the right environment, media and thought patterns.
In fact, ARTS Anonymous teaches that if you spend just five minutes a day working in your art, you give your full artistic expression opportunity to take root. It stands to reason that if you spend just five minutes a day doing things you feel are leading you to your ultimate expression, it will grow.
And it’s never too late. I once heard a story about how ancient date seeds found by archaeologists sprang to life when planted. Their ultimate expression lay dormant for thousands of years, but creeped to the surface as soon as the right conditions were present for growth. (Thanks to Deb Mynar for finding the linked article above.)
Human expressions are like those ancient viable seeds, too. So many of us spend a lot of time sabotaging ourselves, clipping the shoots that will become the flowers of our ultimate expressions, diverting all our energy toward other paths. We use sex, drugs and alcohol to numb ourselves. We engage in negative thinking to draw boundaries around ourselves and avoid the truth that we are all interconnected and one. We put things off thinking we just have to work for another year or two in that job that gives us no intrinsic rewards, that in fact makes us feel worse about ourselves, because we need money to participate in the system of consumption we live in.
But as soon as we nourish ourselves with the right environment and people, the right media and the right thought patterns, and maybe even the right discipline, our full expressions begin to blossom.
Of course then another question arises – what does it feel like to reach your full expression? Does another bud form and another expression evolve? What do you think? And what do you need to do today to discover and nourish yours?