Walking in the forest in the spring is an opportunity to see fresh green leaves. On a recent hike at the Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Oregon I marveled at the myriad shapes and sizes of these brand new tiny leaves. The colorful autumn leaves were long gone and now were replaced by vibrant new growth. Could this seasonal cycle of growing new leaves in spring and dropping leaves in the fall be a grand metaphor for us learning to actually drop things from “our plate”?
There are so many opportunities at work, in our families and in our community. It is easy to keep adding things to “our plate”. It seems easier for people to add things than to drop them. A supervisor may ask you to take on a new project. When has the conversation continued with….”And if you are going to add this to your plate, I need you to take something off your plate. What do you think you need to drop for now? ” A family member needs help, when did you pause and say…”if I do that, I think I”ll have to stop doing….”.
Perhaps taking a walk in a spring forest is an opportunity to become inspired to try being a little more deciduous.
Deciduous trees lose their leaves at the end of a growing season. In northern climates, deciduous trees drop their leaves prior to the cold weather. In some parts of California, trees drop their leaves after the spring growth to protect the tree from the summer heat and lack of water. Dawn Redwoods and Bald Cypress are two conifers that drop their needles after a growing season. Ultimately, being deciduous helps protect the cells of the trees from extreme heat, cold or lack of water.
Of all the things I hear people complain about is that their job has gotten too big or life is too busy. Some people seem weary and tired from juggling too much. One of the hardest questions for people to answer is “what can you drop? what can you stop doing?”
As you look at the spring leaves notice the vibrant color, they almost sparkle. It is this fresh start that gives them the opportunity to start anew and to reset for the season. Imagine yourself saying no to something, dropping something off your plate and rediscovering the sparkle in you.
What are some things you might want to take off your plate in the coming weeks ahead? I look forward to hearing how you have rediscovered your talents and are enjoying what’s on your plate instead of being weighted down.
What’s one thing you want to do more of this spring? Where is your energy for a fresh new project? Now, ask yourself…if I do that energizing project, what is one draining project I might want to reduce or take off my plate.
Enjoy being deciduous.