I can still see my first grade classroom that morning in early April. A great big card table was sitting in the front of the room with a couple of buckets and a bunch of white Styrofoam cups on top.
All of us began to buzz with excitement. Clearly something unusual was going to happen that day.
Our teacher, Sister Cajetan, hushed us and told us to take our seats. Once we were settled, she announced…
“Boy and girls, today we’re going to learn how things grow.”
She then asked us to come up, single file, to pick up a Styrofoam cup, take it back to our desks and print our names on the side. Next, she told us to bring our cup to the table and fill it with dirt from one of the buckets. Then she gave us a single bean seed to plant in the soil. When we were all done, we waited eagerly for her next instruction.
“Now boys and girls… your bean seeds need two things to grow. They need water and sunlight. So I’m going to come to each of you with this watering can and pour some water into your cup. And then I want you to put your bean seed on the windowsill so it will get sunlight.”
So that’s what we all did. It was QUITE the exciting morning!
The next day, we all came into our classroom and ran to the window to see how much our beans had grown.
What do you think we saw?
If you answered “nothing”, you’re right!
The next morning we did the same thing. Again, we saw nothing.
At this point in the story, it’s important I ask you this question.
How long is the attention span of a first grader?
Not very long – right?
Which is why, after three days of seeing NO growth, a few of my classmates did what they did next.
They started giving their bean seeds EXTRA water – pouring water into their cups when Sister Cajetan wasn’t looking. To their way of thinking, if water helps the seed grow – then giving it MORE water would help it grow FASTER.
It seemed like a logical deduction – at least to a first grader. 🙂
Except that pouring MORE water on their bean seeds didn’t help them grow at all – it actually killed them.
That’s the first time I learned that MORE is not always better. Today, I would add that MORE or LOTS does not automatically support growth or abundance.
Far too often, our impulse to do MORE, make MORE, have MORE is a reaction to an inaccurate perception of “not enough”. For my first grade classmates, it was a reaction to their perception that their beans seeds weren’t growing FAST enough.
It’s a lesson I’ve had countless opportunities to remember and practice throughout my life – including in recent weeks. Lately, I’ve been trying to do MORE, acting on LOTS of ideas, trying to make things happen FASTER. It hasn’t been working.
This idea that MORE, BIG, FAST is better is one of the illusions that the Archetype of Scarcity creates and perpetuates. But rather than supporting growth and abundance, it actually creates pressure, stress, fear, overwhelm and/or frustration. It stunts or even kills our growth.
Because REAL growth, my friend, cannot be forced or rushed. It happens organically over time. It requires that we trust the process of Life. It requires we trust that we are part of Something Bigger than our individual efforts and perceptions.
I’ve always said that I am the poster child for the expression “you teach best what you most need to learn AND PRACTICE yourself.” So this is what my I’m getting to re-learn and practice in my life these days.
Just in case you, too, might be getting caught up in a similar scarcity pattern, I thought I’d share this story with you.
Because, as I’ve said before and I will say again, abundance isn’t a function of MORE or A LOT. It’s a function of sufficiency. It’s a function of knowing and honoring the “not too much, not too little – JUST RIGHT point” for you when it comes to money and so many other things in life.
So, my friend, any chance that your efforts for MORE, BIG or FAST might actually be hindering your growth and experience of abundance? If so, how might you begin to relax a bit, slow things down and trust that the growth you need and long for will happen in perfect timing?
If you’d like support learning how to TRUST your own growth process and finding your “just right” point – especially when it comes to money – please reach out to me. I’d love to support you!