The life-lessons I got from the wisdom of a palm tree.
Often, we hold on to a belief solely for the need to be right.
These beliefs are so deeply rooted, that no matter what proof is presented against it, we keep holding on to them as if our existence depended on it.
Thoughts can become a virus of the mind if we allow them to convince us our beliefs are absolute reality.
As a New Yorker, the thought of moving to California gave me the chills. I had pre-determined in my mind that California would not be the place for me. I had already formed a strong belief that I would hate it.
I wanted to be right so desperately that I began to associate everything I experienced in the City of Angels as wrong, uncultured, and unworthy of my presence!
I wanted so badly to prove to myself I that was right, that I completely self-blinded myself to all the beauty that could be part of my experience. I resented the way people talked, walked, and were more relaxed; everything from the smell of the city to the hallmark palm trees was giving me a reason to solidify my belief.
Yes, palm trees. I hated them, I resented them, and I called them ugly, useless, leafless wood sticks.
One windy day in LA as I was sitting in my backyard, I noticed the palm tree in my field of vision swaying back and forth with the wind, it would bend and move fiercely with the wind.
Almost dance-like, the palm tree would move with the speed of the wind swaying back and forth, and at the end, the palm tree always managed to bounce back and stand tall, undamaged amidst the harshness.
The palm tree showed me that flexibility and adaptability is not a sign of weakness, but rather of great virtue. An asset, we can all learn from in our day to day life. Challenges come and go, how we move with, and through them is what makes us or break us.
Mesmerized by the sudden change of heart and the gracefulness of the palm tree, I began to revisit what I saw in front of me. The bare trunk, rising sky-high, reminded me of how fortunate those people are that live life simply.
How magnificent that our richness is in the ability to let go, and to realize that richness lies within.
To recognize that life is not a constant rushing through our to-do-lists, rather a contemplation, a creation, a connection. It is through our vulnerability, and the willingness to be bare that we grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is the ability to allow ourselves to be human, to make mistakes, and to be accepting that opens the pathway to enrichment.
When we realize that we are enough and don’t need any superficial coverings, we free ourselves of bondages of judgment by ourselves and by others, we free ourselves of self-doubt, self-sabotage, and criticism.
The palm tree stood tall, almost reaching the sky; and I wondered what the palm tree could see that I couldn’t? What would it be like to change my viewpoint and see things from a different angle? How would it change my life if I changed my perspective and gave it a different meaning?
The palm tree had yet another life-changing message for me: “Things are not what they seem; they are what we think they are.” By letting go of our habitual and limiting views on people, events, circumstances, and relationships, we can transform the narrow perspective we currently perceive as true in our daily experiences.
The bare, tall, flexible palm tree became a wise guru to me on that windy day.
It kept on giving me the gift of self- awareness, and life-changing lessons. Through the ups and downs of life when I am faced with life’s challenges, the palm tree reminds me that I too can rise above and spread my light brilliantly, to be resilient and plant my roots deeply to avoid breaking and falling.
To welcome change by shifting the way I perceive things, to allow a new meaning to shape my reality in a positive, constructive way. Just like the palm tree that reaches higher to the sun by passing of each year; I too strive to reach higher in not only achievements and recognition but higher in my soul; to step up and show up in a way that is authentic, unconditional and deeply committed.
The palm tree taught me to allow myself to be fearlessly vulnerable, and yet be stern and unbreakable.
To be mindful and aware that everything and everyone has a lesson for you.
To be willing to learn from that which is uncomfortable. To see, hear, and feel with my whole being for opportunities and new chances to grow.
To be open to seeing with a new lens.
May you rise above from within and be in peace.
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