How do we create change?
It begins with a thought; a visionary idea. What if? Imagine a new context, a new combination, a new goal - what might emerge? The next step is sharing that thought - speaking it out loud, typing it into a search engine, researching and re-imagining, refining that thought. Then we meet people, connect with resources, consult with mentors and family, and search for the opportunities that were there before, but we never saw. And then, act. Step out. Change reality.
My family had struggled for years with chronic illness, and by the end of 2018 (through much research, discipline, help from friends and family and medical professionals, and through the grace of God), we emerged from that dark tunnel. We were done with merely surviving, and now wanted to thrive. For the first time, I honestly asked myself, "What do I actually want to do with this gift called life? What can we do together as a family, something that is unique to us?"
I considered our life experiences, our education, our natural talents and our weaknesses. Our mess is our message, after all. And the vision that emerged was creating a space for holistic living. A local garden centre is not only a great place to buy high quality plants (and provide a living for my family and my employees), but it is also a source of education and advice. I have spent 11 years in Manitoba helping customers not only pick out the right plant for the right spot, but also to help their plants thrive. How to deal with diseases holistically (treat the "root" causes instead of the mere symptoms), and how to build up their soils to create a environment in which their plants thrive. Every gardener knows the richness and health their thriving plants can bring to them - we benefit when our environment is healthy. Add in teaching people how to grow their own healthy plants for healthy food, and you begin to see how this could become the foundation of a healthy life.
Another aspect of holistic living is Laura's complementary skill in understanding the human body. A former physiotherapist, she is in the process of being certified for neuromovement therapy. With a foundation of brain plasticity research and understanding how the brain learns and heals the body, she uses gentle, fun, and calculated movement to help people re-train their brains to bring greater awareness and self-healing. The result is a renewed enjoyment of movement, feeling more fully alive with a clearer mind.
So, now you know how our change came about. It sounds inspiring, but the actual transplant procedure is difficult and painful. Uprooting our comfortable life, with the myriad connections we've built over our lifetime, inevitably means we are losing parts of ourselves. We miss our families and friends, and while online communications technology helps a bit, it is not the same as living in the same space as them. Re-rooting in our new community is also hard work, and takes intentional effort. It requires that we overcome fears, fears created by the transplant process. Is it worth the effort of forming new friendships when we are acutely aware that we may lose them in the future anyway? We've just functionally lost so many, and our hearts hurt. We can't replace them, nor do we want to. Can we find others who will want to walk alongside us in our life journey?
In the end, life is change. Most of us are usually not "intentionally" changing - quick and decisive changes are hard. But every small decision we make, every habit we feed and each skill we develop is like planting small seeds in our life garden; pay attention to what is blooming and what fruit you want to produce. It takes hard work, pain and perseverance, but the result can bring abundant life.