We introduced the idea of planting in the resource page: We Plant. In that page we discussed the elements necessary to plant; both for an actual plant, and for us as humans.
Now it is time to take a look at the planting process a little closer. We invite you to journey deeper with us into the loss that occurs once the seed has been planted and the transformation that is possible in releasing.
TRANSFORMING A SEED INTO A FRUIT
As a seed is buried it has the potential to sprout roots and shoots, to grow, flower and bear fruit. The process is all about SEEDS, ROOTS, SHOOTS, AND FRUITS….
This process sounds rather promising and yet it is a delicate process. If a seed is going to transform and produce fruit, it first must go through the process of loss. Seeds are a sacred metaphor for loss, life, and renewal.
"Sometimes when you're in a dark place you think you've been buried, but you've actually been planted."
- Christine Caine
Even a seed goes through loss as it goes through transformation. If you missed the loss, reread steps 3 and 4. The root BREAKS out of the seed as does the shoot. The capsule that held this seed safe until it was in the ground and provided the nutrients it needed; is now released. The roots and shoots had to experience this loss so that the plant could transform.
This is one of the first losses a plant experiences. Now, what does loss look like for you? The loss of relationships, the death of a loved one, the loss of what was hoped for, expected, promised, whether known or unknown.
Defining loss is very tricky and if you explore too long, you may find the loss(es) you have experienced are almost exponential. Like a seed is buried in the earth with the hope of producing fruit; we also plant seeds. Our intention is the choice that sets things in motion whether known or not. If we can become aware of what we want to plant we gain the ability to be present in the process. The process that is unknown, but expected. The process that bears fruit and reinvention. The process has a predicted plan, but can contain several plans of possibility. Entering the realm of possibility by planting your seed, or intention, offers the promise of an outcome. And an unknown mystery as to what the loss(es) will be.
We mentioned before there is always the potential for many losses. When in therapy we talk about primary loss and secondary losses. We define primary loss as the initial loss that you experience intense sorrow around. For example, the death of a loved one. Secondary losses are defined as unexpected sorrow that stems from the primary loss. Example: When you eat at your loved one's favorite restaurant for the first time after their death. The use of the language of primary and secondary do not signify intensity experienced, simply that an initial loss can lead to a multitude of others.
Within your loss process, much like a plant, you are both the root and the shoot and you are neither… Both and… When we experience loss this also means that you are not yet a fruit, but you are no longer a seed…
FOCUSING ON THE LOSS
Grieving is defined by the MayoClinic as an intense sorrow experienced with the loss of someone or something. There is a therapy secret to be learned in the process of loss:
“They didn’t know the losses were coming - in order to get to the gain of it; there is no transformation without loss - chosen or not chosen…”
In planting, there is a release that occurs. This release happens both internally and externally. When the roots are ready to expand and the shoots are ready to grow, they release the seed.
Our intention is to support you in focusing on the losses in your life and to help you to plant seeds of grounded-ness, healing, and growth; to tamp down the new-nutrient rich soil around us; to utilize self-care in watering and nourishing our environment, our bodies, our minds and our relationships.
We invite you to allow yourself to focus on the losses. Allow yourself to experience the loss cycle, to plant yourself in activities and tools that provide you with the care you need to reach a space of transformation.
CONVERSATIONS ABOUT LOSS
from our So You Can Heal podcast
LISTEN: What Even is Loss?
LISTEN: Lessons on Loss
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
We invite you to begin a conversation with us. How can we support your decision to find the best therapist to meet your needs? Contact us and let us listen.
The stillpoint to me, is the acceptance of life as it is.
One thing I know personally is if I get stuck in a boundary that is continuously overwhelming or repetitively suppressing it will become my normal and my mind, body, and experience of joy are dampened and depleted.
We lose what we once were, in order to become what we will be.
For me, once the tears start flowing, my silence is broken. After the silence is broken, I am able to process with curiosity whatever is attached to those tears.
Take a moment to PAUSE. TAKE A BREATH. LOWER YOUR VOICE. RELAX YOUR BODY.
There is no creativity without healing, and no healing without creativity.
NAVIGATE THE POSSIBILITIES
You could call this imagery a model for healing, within Cycles of Healing, we identify what we want or believe to be possible or identify what we believe to be possible. There are cycles to Pause, Plant, Process, Pivot or Practice. We are not prescribing to this order indefinitely, we invite flexibility to identify what parts are important and how these cycles connect with you. We want to offer opportunities for you to explore, name and create possibilities and join us in working towards what you desire.
A stop or rest. Victor Frankl describes this type of pause, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
To put or set in the ground to grow (etymology.com). This part of the cycle offers an opportunity to ground yourself from within before making any actionable step. It is both a noun and a verb. To cultivate and to ground.
The intentional or required shift. Josh has described its power best - “Pivoting can provide a moment of clarity and foresight into what direction we wish to move”.
To grieve what is or has been lost and to identify and experience the hope for the future. We have broken up this content into 2 pages: the concentration on the loss we have experienced and the ability to transform through loss with hope for the future.
Also a noun and a verb like Planting. The act of practicing like you would a skill, and the art of refining a practice like baking bread. The identification of a practice as something to be continued, a “best practice” or something to be honed.