Saturday, February 25, 2017

Tomato Plants Teach About Stress

I've been trying to do something I've never done and finding out this is a learning process.  This is the first time that I've tried to grow tomato seedlings from little seeds.  I really had no clue how to do this and so I just jumped in with both feet.  Of course, the tomato plants are teaching me well!

Since I am growing them close to where I work in my home office, I keep a constant eye on them.  While they were doing quite well, I've been noticing that they aren't able to stand straight up as they grow taller.  At first, I thought they were just stretching for the light, but today I noticed that it was more than that.

Going to google and doing a search, I started to see conversations about plants doing "legging" as they called it.  If a plant was not getting enough sunlight, they would tend to grow taller and move anyway they could towards the light.  I believe that is what is going on with my plants and right now, I've got them outside on the patio getting as much sunlight as they so desire.

It got me thinking though about stress.  Here is an opportunity for me to learn as the tomato plants teach me about stress.

Of course, we may not always recognize how much stress a plant goes through, but in this case, I think not having enough sunshine or light is stressful on the plant.  The plants need water, food, and sunlight to grow.  When one of those is not in enough supply, it creates stress on the plant.

We don't fully see stress...

As I apply this to the mind body, if we have stress in our day which most of us do, it has an impact upon us.  Often we don't fully see the stress and often we are so numb and disconnected that even if the stress is pointed out, we never see it.

To me, at its basic level, stress is the result of not having what you need at that moment even if it is a perceived lack of something.  In this case of the tomato plants, it is the lack of light or sunshine.  I realize, this is greatly simplifying what stress is, but I think it is at the essence of it.  To fully describe it, would take another blog post.

It doesn't necessarily mean someone or something is bad to you, but that in its basic form, what is needed is just not available.

We overcompensate for stress..

In this case, the tomato plants try to overcompensate by growing in different directions and trying to grow taller as if to get more daylight.  We too, as humans, do the same thing.  We overcompensate every day by numbing, disconnecting and doing things that take us away from our mind body connection.

The way for us humans to come back is by stopping and observing the felt sense of our body and where we are.  It is about stopping to feel what we know in our minds with where we feel that sensation within our body.  It is about stopping to feel a sensation in our body and then allow it to connect with our mind through the felt sense.

Make changes to find balance...

I know that stress is often perceived as something that is bad or you are weak if you are stressed.  I've heard all of it in life.  If we look at stress as being something that we either perceive to not have in this moment or are lacking in our life, than the corrective action would be to make changes to balance this back to normal.

I know, it is easier said than done to do this, but I think if we alter how we perceive stress and if we actually recognize it, we've taken major steps to bring our mind and body back into balance.

To live in a day has stress present.  I'm not sure you can get through a day without some type of stressor upon your life.  Even the smallest of stressors still impact us and if we let those continue, the compensation behaviors we do often build up and come back to bite us in the butt!

Work to identify the stressors in your day and allow yourself to recognize them.  Next, stop and observe what you feel in the body and then allow your mind to connect those things together.  The more you can do this, the more your nervous system stays in balance and there is more resiliency in your nervous system for the larger things that show up in a day.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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Blog Post And Images (c) 1/01/07 by Don Shetterly
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