Can we please talk about this cactus? Because he is blowing my mind and teaching me tons. I mean look at him! He’s this short, squat, spiny little guy who’s been happily living in my backyard for two years now, flying totally under the radar. And then last weekend, without any warning, he decided to burst forth with his unique genius. Three massive and utterly breathtaking yellow flowers crown him now, which he deserves, because he is the king of Spring. He gave no indication he was capable of this. To look at him last month, you would never even imagine he could produce enormous blooms. But there he is now, with flowers almost as large as the rest of him.
You may be thinking: “Yeah, cool, flowers on a cactus– is that really worth a blog post?” And the answer is: of course it is! Because this cactus is reminding me about the basics of being human. He’s reminding me that I am not bound by my past. I mean this cactus has never bloomed before (at least not to my knowledge and he’s been in my backyard for at least two years). He has never exhibited any sign that he is capable of such lush flowers. For his whole life he has just been contentedly chilling in his spiky green skin. And yet this weekend he did something brand new. You are not so different from this cactus, you too can do something you have never done before. You too can decide that this week you are going to bloom like you’ve never bloomed before.
The other thing that inspires me about this guy is that he is not competing. He isn’t trying to prove himself to anyone or anything. He is just trying to be himself, as fully as possible. Consider, did this cactus feel intimidated by the lavender plant next to him, that’s been erupting with fresh sprigs since the day it was planted? No sir. This cactus compares himself with no one and doesn’t feel pressured by some other plant’s schedule. Imagine if you allowed yourself the same latitude. There are no deadlines. There is no race. Either you have flowers to offer up now, or you will have flowers to offer later. It doesn’t matter who is blooming around you. Seriously people, PLEASE STOP COMPARING YOUR BLOOMS to the blooms of others. Do you think this cactus could have birthed three unbelievable flowers if he were overwhelmed with performance anxiety? Do you think he spent his energy preoccupied with what the olive tree in the corner is doing? No he didn’t. Because this cactus doesn’t give a fuck what other plants are doing. He cares about three things, sunlight, water and being himself. Maybe we should try to live like that. Caring about just three things: Nourishment, Refreshment and Authenticity. Everything else is just thorns.