Evolution and Growth
When it comes to evolving and growing as human beings, I find that individuals—maybe not all of you, but many—voice very different desires to the actions taken. It’s as if humanity is suffering from a collective state of Cognitive Dissonance, “the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change.”
When I was in graduate school, this was a big topic of discussion. Before that, I hadn’t even realized it was a “thing”. I tend to be an idealist, which often translates to being on the rigid side in my values and behaviors. If there is one thing that chips away at me psychologically, it’s the idea that my thoughts and actions are not in alignment. And since I’m not perfect and in many cases, there is no perfection to be obtained—more on this later—I am acutely aware when my actions do not represent my ideals.
An Example of Actions Not Representing Ideals
I’ll give you a simple, yet all too common example: clothes. Since I started working with the plant kingdom and becoming more aware of my environment, buying clothes is hard. (Especially difficult since I have body dysmorphia, which you can hear about in my interview with Katie Allen on Self Love Ignited.) I want to honor the plants and our planet by purchasing natural fibers grown and harvested ethically, preferably worked and transported in an ecologically friendly way. Do you know how hard that is? Or the horror I feel when I bring something home only to discover the amount of plastic in the fibers or the crisscrossing of the planet it took to get into my hands? Ugh…
While spirituality, personal growth, self-awareness, and self-development are definitely not new concepts, they’re certainly industries that have grown massively with the introduction of technology and the internet. This allows for easier access to podcasts, e-books, coaches, and online subscription services based on self growth than were once available.
Those of us involved in helping others embrace these concepts are certainly able to get our message out to a more global audience than we once were!
The truth is though, even with the influx of options on ways to take action in your personal evolution, people seem to still get stuck in the actual implementation.
What is the reason?
So I got thinking about why this is. And what it boils down to is… fear. Not really surprising, is it?!
Look, I get it. The truth of it is that evolution can be damn scary!
Often, evolving or growing into your true self means working through some things that bring up dark feelings. Or it means making decisions where you can’t necessarily see what the outcome will be. The darkness… the nothingness… the uncertainty!
And we’re just not trained to do that as human beings. You feel better when you’re in control right, don’t you? When you know what’s happening next, when you can reasonably predict how something is going to turn out, when you have a routine that keeps you cocooned in safety.
Humans Tend to Conserve The Status Quo
Humans aren’t conditioned to really embrace uncertainty, much less to look at it as an opportunity. So instead, you choose to conserve what currently exists in your world, even if what exists, actually isn’t serving you!
Every generation tends to think that theirs is the most evolved present there is and therefore it should be kept as is. Subconsciously, you take actions that keep the familiar and wrap them in fancy words like “conservation” or “maintaining balance”. Another one I hear is “maintenance”.
The truth though, is that this is a very human attitude.
In Contrast, Nature Evolves
Nature by contrast is constantly evolving. It’s very goal is evolution. The actions the natural world takes to survive and ensure growth is very much in line with what humans say they want to do; we don’t want to conserve, we want to evolve, we want to move past limiting behaviors… to learn and grow.
You think you want to evolve but very often, your values and actions pull you back to that familiar place, even if it’s unhealthy.
So I want to invite you to stretch your perspective on evolution so you can mirror the models the plant world offers when it comes to expansion!
The Richness in Growth and Change
If nothing had ever changed in the past, we wouldn’t have all the richness the life we are currently living offers us. And while change sometimes leads to failure—take the entire concept of extinction, for example—change or failure is simultaneously necessary because that’s how nature continually improves! Events that may appear to be a negative change might actually just be a natural, necessary cycle that’s being undertaken to move into a new, evolved state.
You may be letting fear stop your natural cycles of evolution from occurring. Don’t fret, you’re not alone! I truly believe that a disconnect from nature has resulted in many, many people becoming disconnected from their own natural cycles, which makes evolving harmoniously with your True Nature pretty tricky!
Nature, though, doesn’t let a pesky little thing like fear keep it stuck in place. Nature, especially in the plant kingdom, continues to adapt, transforming kiself one move at a time into a new evolution in harmony with the changing ecosystem.
But It Doesn’t Have to Stay Stagnant in Humanity
And here’s the really cool thing…Humans can do exactly the same. Because, when it comes down to it, what are humans but nature?
If you can adopt a perspective that allows you to move from thinking of nature as separate from yourself, you recognize that every form of nature—humans, plants, animals, bacteria—is actually you. Being one means that you are never alone and therefore the 3.8 billion years of wisdom in surviving, adapting, and evolving that nature holds, is always on offer to you.
It makes growth seem a little less scary, doesn’t it?! When you approach your personal evolution with the knowledge that you have kin, with all that knowledge and proven track record of success, on your side, it’s like having a mentor that has experience in every single scenario life can throw at you available to guide you 24/7!
So you’re thinking, Tigrilla, how? How do I access and learn from this incredible ally?
Luckily, It doesn’t have to be complicated.
It all comes back to enhancing your connection with nature. The more you recognize nature and all of it’s different beings as an entire ecosystem, you recognize that nature is always showing you the solutions to be found.
Time with Nature is Essential
Studies have proven that just 20 minutes spent in nature can have a profound physiological response that boosts your immune system and improves your outlook on life. Even just looking at plants or green spaces through a window or even just a picture can have an impact on your physical, emotional, and mental well being allowing you to more consciously make confident decisions!
Time spent with the plant kingdom allows you to understand kin’s intelligence and logic in order to then mirror this behavior in your own life. The more time you spend with nature, the more time you break the mold of belief that transformation is a solo event. And by expanding the way you view and experience the world, you work in harmony with nature, contributing to the co-evolution of all species.
This reconnection allows you to make decisions and implement changes in your life with conscious awareness, natural flow, and in alignment with your True Authentic Nature.
When you connect with nature consciously, you actively choose to spend time fully present with yourself. The thoughts of the day fade into the oneness that is soothing and familiar. This present mindfulness awakens confidence and clarity.
Awareness of Nature, Thus Awareness of Self
Awareness of nature is a powerful way to discover awareness within yourself, using kin’s knowledge of the past to direct your future, while fully immersing into your present. When you feel confident of this, you’re able to self-guide your path to long term health and happiness, even if evolution requires you to move through some challenges or change form.
Awareness and trust in yourself means you are conscious of where you are going, even if you’re not always sure how to get there, why you’re going, and the implications of your actions. Understanding these means that when you choose to change or evolve from your current state, you know if you’re doing it from a place that aligns with your True Nature or instead from a conditioning that was artificially imposed.
With this sort of clarity, you feel in control and empowered to choose evolution with confidence and courage!