If you break open a seed,
there is no tree inside,
there is only spirit;
living energy in the form of potential.
Don Mateo Sol
In so many ways, our brain is like a giant seed with seeds within it. The seeds are like our DNA within our neuro matter. Seeds that grow and flourish. Seeds that are dormant. Seeds that will never grow. All contained in the potential between our ears. The potential energy of the great forest within us. Stay with me and get used to this mixed metaphor
Neuroscientists have discovered, after many decades, that our brains, the good old piece of gray matter that stuck inside of that cranium, continues to evolve and adjust its capabilities. Rapidly through our youth and then slower as we age. They used to think it stopped at age 15 or 25. But it never stops, the neuroplasticity—the capacity to adapt and grow, continues until you die. But our life habits form neural pathways. Neural pathways are the synaptic activity that kind of speeds along the surface, making laser quick work, instant decisions of our preferences and ideas. What we order on the menu, the way we like to drive to work, our favorite shoes, people that are attractive and not……..These pathways are very efficient but no longer require us to think, consider, learn and discover new things.
We all have unique genes from our family trees, these “seeds” were formed by a myriad of factors– experiential, environmental, and medical. Epigenetics is the study of our DNA– what makes some active and what makes others dormant. The science is still new and we do not fully understand what causes dormancy. Inherited traits, lifestyle, diet, health, trauma all are factors.
All to say, that our full potential is still ahead of us. Even if you are a grey panther like me . You have a vast living potential within you. Seeds that can still sprout and grow into a forest of new energy to define your journey. But that will never happen if you stay on the neural freeways. You have to change it up. Push yourself to experience, taste, and feel new things. And that stimulation could wake up some seeds!
At the very beginning, the beginning of an idea when it sounds so promising and it hasn’t been judged. At the beginning, at birth, the first cry that breathes life into infinite possibilities. A five-year-old who really thinks she could be an astronaut or even President. The start of a start-up when you will boil the ocean. Many of us have abandoned these opportunities for the crazy geniuses, the inventors, and the entrepreneurs. As regular humans, we are not allowed in our task oriented, achievement driven, make money culture, to pursue our dreams.
Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it. Jane Wagner
May I have a bigger helping of life with a little less reality on the side please.
These moments when we suspend reality. Where a dream can seem possible. When we believe in miracles. This sacred space when we keep our minds and hearts open to the potential like an innocent child. That real and raw potential that exists within the hard shell of the seed. That yearns for light and care and some good fortune to become a Redwood Sequoia! A seed freed from any expectations could wake up and a new dimension of you, could be revealed.
Truth is, we do not know what is contained in any seed, in any human, child or adult. What is in the baby’s DNA? What’s in your DNA that has not been expressed? What is the unexplored potential of your seeds? Once we judge it, surround it with our expectations and protect it from its own instincts, we destroy the uniqueness. We destroy the spirit. We destroy the energy. Once our childhood spirit is domesticated to follow the structure, the formulas, and the expectations that potential energy stays dormant. And it is not only a loss for the individual but for everyone.
But it is in there! Just buried beneath layers of the sediment of socialization. Hidden in the clouds of conformity. How can we help ourselves and others tap into that energy, that potential that is who we are and want to be?
Yeah, as parents, bosses, and supposed confidantes we are too quick to give people the pre-fab answers to fix their problems, to give them pasteurized advice that repave the neural pathways over our beautiful seeds.
Because ultimately the garden of the seeds is so dependent on relationships and the help of others, family and friends, the circle of life, the network of humanity, that pushes and pulls us to become the best we can be. To take full advantage of the neuroplasticity of our brains by appreciating the need for each of us to truly express ourselves. Can you imagine a world where we had that much brain power?!
Never too late, to stop suppressing your inner child and the inner child of others. Never too late to help the seeds grow.
Thanks for reading. John