On Starting

Starting is hard.

              In spring
                seeds wake up
                 underground
              surrounded by damp dark earth
           uncertain but energetic
        tiny sprouts push into a world without light
      blind to their surroundings
     they follow feeling
      seeking sunlight
        by tracking
          warmth
            in the
              soil
                `

We start the same way.

A new relationship, career, direction, even just a new day.  Every start is uncertain.  But risk lights an adrenalin fire in the belly.  And like seeds we push out.  Blind and uncertain we push.  Scared and energized under that damp dark doubt we PUSH.  Getting warmer or cooler.  Following our feeling.  Seeking..  ?  .. what are we seeking?

Sprouts seek the sun because, as everyone knows, the sun makes plants grow.  But why?  It’s not exactly food.  Their food, like ours, is physical.  They eat nutrients found in water and soil.  But without the sun, they can’t eat.  Photosynthesis drives plant metabolism.  Metabolism makes hunger.  And hunger is essential.

The sun makes sprouts hungry.  Hungry to grow.  Hungry for life.

It’s funny to think about hunger as something to seek.  After all, we spend a lot of effort avoiding hunger.  Hunger is a powerful sensation.  And a powerful influence on emotion and behavior.  It’s a order from the body.  EAT.  And most of us don’t like taking orders from the body.  We like our mind to call the shots.  We’re uncomfortable following our instincts.  It feels out of control.  Very animal.  And consciously or not, we don’t see ourselves as animals.  We are human.  Most evolved.  Kings of the kingdom.  Rulers of the world.

We do what we want.

But actually.

We don’t.

Nature drives us.  Just as the sun drives a sprout.  We’re the same.  Just more complicated.  Our soil is where we are.  What we eat.  What we practice.  The physical and social environment around us.  Our seed is where we’re from.  Our past.  Our heredity.  The things we carry into now.  And our sun.  Our sun is where we’re going.  A hope.  A passion that makes us hungry.

   Nature sparks the hunger in our belly
      and drives the taste of our desires
         but we do have a choice
            a freewill to push
         towards the sun
      stay asleep
   or turn away

Maybe seeds have a choice too.  To keep sleeping and dreaming DNA dreams of what could be.  Or to wake up.  Feel and struggle.  Seek the sun and find their hunger.

The Modern Monk Project

    Cultivate self, raise family, cure country, peace on earth Years ago I fell in love with this old Chinese proverb. The message is simple, optimistic, grassroots, and centered on self improvement.  Picture it, like throwing a stone into a still pond, our impact ripples out.  The waves travel through family and friends, touchingContinue Reading