Have you ever seen carrot seeds? They are TINY! The first time I grew a garden by myself, it was the carrots that mystified me. The seeds were so little, and I remember crouching in the grass at the edge of the garden bed, poking them into the dirt and thinking, how can this possibly be a thing? An actual carrot is going to grow from this teeny brown fleck? Okay, Mother Nature, lay it on me.
I watched and watered and Earth Mama did her thing. And slowly but surely, percolating up from the underground like some kind of reverse-snowglobe, the magic began.
Within a few weeks, there were teeny green feathers peeking out from the soil. (And I hadn’t even planted feathers!) A few more weeks and the feathers were fancy little flapper hats. They got taller, and feathery-er, and more flamboyant, and eventually—dazzler of dazzlers!—in a couple of months’ time, when I gave one of the biggest hats a tug, up came a bright giant knobby orange CARROT. Hat and all.
I nestled it into a plastic shopping bag and brought it to school. In my poetry workshop, still blinking its dirt off, I yanked it from the bag like a rabbit from a hat (Behold!) to illustrate one thing or another to my students about the creative process. Plant your poetic seeds and water them and look what happens! What’s in the aboveground of your poem vs. below! Magic is real, people! I could go on and on with the analogies (and probably did). The carrot completely blew my mind. We had a grand time working and writing that day, with all this magical carroty wind at our backs.
Build 5-10 minutes into your day for something that supports your desired goal/habit, and repeat it daily for 1 week.
Maybe you’re hula hooping in your living room for 8 minutes. Picking a word at random from a book and writing without stopping for 5. Reading for 10. Dusting for 10. Researching. Listing things you’re thankful for. Jogging. Practicing your Portugese, your triple-axel, your mindfulness, your ukelele. Whatever it is, repeat it every day for the same (carrot-seed-sized) amount of time and give yourself a gold star and a tiny dance party for each day that you’ve completed it.
At the end of the week, consider how it went, how you feel, note any progress you made or obstacles you encountered, and plan how you’d like to care for the seedlings of your habit the following week (repeat? Adjust? Change? etc.) as you water your habit—and begin to watch it grow.
From a tiny seed, a mighty carrot may also grow.
Breathe, love, be well, and stay tuned for more! xo, ali
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