Day 361: Organic Growth

There is a time for planning AND there is a time for organic movement. That is my insight for this week.

The way I tend to approach at least some parts of my life, is with exactitude in planning, preparation and execution. Everything should be considered and thought-out beforehand. And the underlying idea is that when everything is preemptively directed – that will bring the best results. However – I have found that this is not necessarily the case. On example of this is nature, specifically, trees.

If you look at how a tree grows, it is in the moment. The branches and roots will stretch out in search for optimum nutrition. That movement might be genetically planned in the design of the seed. However the actual growth of the tree happens organically. When the tree is young, there might be a water shortage. Hence the tree will focus its energy on growing its roots deeper into the ground to reach water. This shapes the tree, making it shorter and with less foliage than what would have been the case if it had instead focused all its energy on growing its branches towards the optimum position for receiving sunlight. Though, if it would have followed such a stiff and inflexible plan, the tree would have most likely died. Because it was able to improvise and grow organically according to its environment – it survived.

Then, many years later, the water shortage comes to an end. The tree now wants to focus on expanding its branches and foliage. Unfortunately for the tree, it has two big tree neighbors that blocks most of the sunlight coming directly from above. Instead of trying to outgrow its neighbors, the tree then grows its branches in such a way where it seeps up the small portions of light that moves past the foliage of its neighbors. The movement is yet again organic – in equilibrium and alignment with the trees environment.

The growth of a tree is flexible, organic, sensitive, receptive and balanced. It grows with common sense – moves on the opportunities that arise and redesigns its direction according to its environment. And as a whole, a tree looks magnificent – perfectly positioned and aligned with the rest of its neighbors.

Compare this organic growth with how us humans tend to move. Most of us decide upon a goal – a dream we want to realize for ourselves. It could be striving to achieve a certain income, enter a profession or become admitted to a education. Regardless, we tend to hold unto our goals stiffly and stubbornly – and when things does not move our way – instead of bending – we break. Because that is the problem with a person that has a stiff mind – he breaks when enough pressure is applied, while a flexible, soft and organic person is able to move around the obstacle. The tree did not stubbornly hold unto a goal of wanting to grow its foliage when there was a water shortage – it moved WITH its environment and was thus able to survive.

Hence – I have this week seen this pattern within me. One example of this is how I have had the tendency to structure/dream projects in my mind. Last summer I dreamed of creating a small carpentry studio in one of the unheated houses on our property. I arranged it and planned installing electricity and heating after a while. However, I did not have the funding or the time to install electricity and heating. This week I realized that there is actually a room on the property that already have heat and electricity installed, that I could have utilized instead all along. I had not however and the reason for this is because I got stuck in a ‘box’ like way of thinking. Where I only saw my initial goal – instead of expanding my thinking and instead of looking at the pictures – looking at the general process/movement that I want to facilitate. The room that is available, it cannot be aligned to fit my dreams of how my carpentry studio should look like – though it facilitates my interest in carpentry more effectively – because it gives me access to heat and electricity so that I am able to work even though it is dark outside. If I had moved myself organically, from moment to moment, I would have taken notice of this room and set up my shop there.

With this blog I want to emphasize the importance of MOMENT to MOMENT living. I want to emphasize that it is not the image/picture that is important – it is the process/movement. If we have an interest in photography – it is not the camera that is important – it is that process/movement of engaging in our interest. Hence if we cannot afford the camera we want, then instead of getting stuck, thinking we cannot advance ourselves within our interest, it is to instead find ways to facilitate and move with what we have at our disposal – to be creative and not break. There is always a lot more that can be done than what we think. The difficult part, that is to break free from our stiff and inflexible goal-driven mind – to instead see the opportunities that are here.


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