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  • Writer's pictureAshley Peterson, LPC

Ending or Beginning? Depends on your perspective

I'm ending this month in a similar way that I started it, in a space of reflection and renewal. Every month I set a goal for myself, big or small, but something that is based on enjoyment and not related to productivity. Earlier this year I visited the National Bonsai Museum And fell in love with the amazing history, rich culture and the beauty. Obviously after visiting I wanted a bonsai tree of my own and was informed that they would be having a Bonsai Festival in May! Similar to most plant people, I have enough plants and there is always room for more!! I assumed that growing and tending to bonsai trees was going to be challenging, so I bought four at the bonsai festival assuming that I would kill one or two and throw it away.

FFW, the next week my outdoor bonsai trees were thriving! They are surprisingly low maintenance. These indoor ones…the struggle is struggling! I sent my Mom pics of my bonsai trees, all of the pretty pink leaves were falling off and the green leaves had shriveled up or dried up and fallen off the branches, a mess. I told her I was going to throw it away and focus on the other three that were doing well. She encouraged me to “Google” and it appeared that maybe I had overwatered it, then under-watered it and from what I read, I just didn’t feel like it could be saved. I did everything the article suggested- I had moved this plant into different spaces to make sure it was getting enough light, a good temperature, nice humidity and nothing.

My mom stops by later that week, literally touches the soil, waters it some and moves it in front of a different window I hadn’t tried and encouraged me to be patient. So, the first pic is when I bought it home and the last pic is today after getting some outside support, encouragement and redirection. Look at those new green leaves!! Now, if you read my blogs, work with me or know me personally you know I love metaphors!!! I gain so much insight and inspiration from my environment, specifically the things that can’t talk back and challenge me to sit with my thoughts.

In one month this plant was such an accurate representation and reflection of my month. The highs and lows, the challenges I was experiencing and the patience that is always required in life. I started the month off on a high note with a lot of clarity, vision and purpose! Then similar to my bonsai tree, some of my leaves just started withering away. I was feeling so insecure and unsure about that vision and how to best execute my plan. Once I Started leaning into my resources my outlook changed.

Whenever we think that a problem is solely ours to figure out, it’s overwhelming. Before assuming we are optionless, or have to figure it out alone, check to see if there’s someone outside of the situation, someone in your village that wants to help. They may be able to provide some clarity or support, or pair you with a useful resource. Sometimes things can look really bleak and the best option can feel like giving up. Luckily, my support system, that village I have carefully curated, was able to provide me with a new perspective and with that I was able to renew my belief in the vision, gaining more clarity and confidence.

As a Therapist, I am always reminding someone that “it doesn’t have to be easy to be possible”. True for them and true for me. So, if you are currently in a phase or space in your life where you’re trying something new and you don’t feel like you’re succeeding, don’t give up yet! Take this as your sign, a gentle reminder or the redirection that you needed to take a step back, reassess the situation, ask for help and try approaching it again with a new perspective. There is no success without failure, keep going!

A song that I like to listen to when I’m feeling the feels and need a reminder is : Frown by mxmtoon

Link to my Tidal APC mental health playlist



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