What comes to mind when you think of the lowly dandelion? A pesky weed that breaks up the putting green? Or are you a forager and see a bitter tea or greens for dinner?
The mighty dandelion is one of the first spring blossoms to provide pollen for bees. And feeds nectar to butterflies. They yield hours of entertainment while crafting the perfect yellow chain necklace. Or a diuretic for the Eull Gibbons' of the world.
This little weed gets under the skin of many and produces joy in others. Their roots grow deep. Up to 15 ft. You can mow them down, and they're back within days bringing cheer with another sunny yellow bloom.
They were the source of many bouquets from my children. I would put them on display in my prettiest vase on the dining room table. And who doesn't bubble with joy while blowing the fluffy parachute-like seeds? And watching the tiny paratroopers float magically through the air to distant lands. (Like the next-door neighbour's pristine yard.) That's a lot of action from a lowly weed.
So why would we want to be like a dandelion?
Consider the lifecycle of the Taraxacum officinale (dandelion). The "little weed that could" springs forth from the ground and grows straight and true. After a few days of hosting a day spa for other insects, it folds into itself and turns white. Then, it transforms and blossoms a second time. This blossom is different but no less cheery. As it's final hurrah, it spreads its seed in a spectacular display as far as the wind will take it. So, another dandelion grow and continue the legacy. Only when it fulfills its purpose, it withers and dies.
You might be wondering how this is relevant to you.
If a common dandelion has a lifelong purpose, why not you?
Did you know you share DNA with the tree outside your window? And a banana? And a dandelion? I'm not suggesting we are plants, far from it. But we are all made up of energy, and in that way, we are all connected. Nature is perfect in all forms. It is only when we humans muck about with it, do things fall apart. Every blade of grass, insect and tree serves a purpose. Each intricately woven together in the 'circle of life' to quote Mufasa.
Why not you and me? How is it that even though we share the same DNA and feel the connection to nature when we sit in it or watch the ocean. How is it then that we don't have a purpose? A job we are born to do.
I'm here to tell you that you have one—a purpose for your life. And like nature, we don't stop doing our job until we're gone.
Going back to the dandelion, once it reaches a certain point in its life cycle, it folds up and re-blossoms. Why is it that so many of us feel once we reach a certain age, our value is gone? And we have nothing of significance to share anymore.
I felt like that once. I was past my expiration date. I thought no one wanted to hear me sing, or would value anything I had to say.
Why would I think that? Because a magazine says so? It's the ridiculous notion that our age is the indicator of our value. The dandelion doesn't stop, and neither should you. Sure, the blossom may change, but it is no less of an essential part of the cycle.
You have a job to do that goes beyond puttering in your garden and vacationing in Mexico. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I love to putter in my garden, although I do not have a green thumb, far from it. And I dream of vacationing in Mexico again, once we can travel. But I am more than that. And so are you. A purpose-driven life. A life of passion and fulfilment. That's what we were born to have.
Next time you see a dandelion, ask yourself, am I following my purpose?
But what if you don't know your purpose. I've known mine, or what I thought was my purpose (as it is now changing) since I was three. I realize not everyone is like that. And that's ok. Often it starts with doing what is in front of you and going from there. Acting on an inkling or desire and seeing where the path takes you.
We have become a society that asks others for their opinion continually. What should I wear? Do you like this? Or this?
There is value in ideas, and we need to learn from others. But we forget how important and on target our instinct is. Not the opinion influenced by social norms, but our voice. Our unique voice. The sum of all our pieces. We silence ourselves. We forget who we are. Knowing who we are is integral to living an authentic life.
Do you know what makes you unique? Do you want to live your life authentic to you? You can here.
Often, what makes us distinctive hides the secret to our purpose. Because as Aristotle said,
"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all knowledge."
You can find the Chair workshop here. Fun, free and fabulously you.
Now go out and be a dandelion.