Every year I buy four hanging ferns for my front porch and every year I kill them before the summer ends. I just don’t have the patience it takes to help them grow in a less-than-ideal environment. This year was no different… I bought them way too early and a late-April snow storm had them shriveled to near death within days of them coming to live at Chez Adams.
I contemplated buying a new batch - giving it one. more. try. I really love the way hanging ferns look when they are lush and full. (At least when they are lush and full on other people’s porches… I’ve never seen them that way on my own porch.)
As I was driving to the plant nursery Saturday morning, contemplating whether or not I was really going to spend more money - again - for an inevitably bad outcome, I thought about a piece of advice Rachel gave on our latest podcast episode…
Accept the given circumstances.
I started a mental inventory of my circumstances… No, I was not going to let this idea go. No, I wasn’t going to become a magical plant mom overnight. No, I don’t want to go through another summer of shame - shriveled, dead branches hanging from my rafters announcing to the mailmen and all my neighbors that I’m a neglectful monster.
I almost gave up, but decided there might just be one more alternative I hadn’t fully explored.
Instead of the plant nursery, I drove to a local home store and started perusing the fake plant section. I spent a stupid amount of money on fake ferns, drove home and speared each of my near-dead fern pots with some fake foliage. I was surprised how well they actually blended and how lush they actually look (if you don’t look close). As I was reveling in how pretty it all looked, I started giggling…
I bought toupees for my ferns.
It’s a bit of grotesque indulgence, for sure. But nowhere near as grotesque as spending another summer repeating the same behavior over and over and expecting a different outcome.
Brene Brown has often talked about a “Square Squad” - the few people whose opinions matter to you. These are the people who have earned the right to give you feedback, who push you to be better, who care about you and are willing to give you their honest feedback. You can have as many people in your Square Squad as you want… as long as all their names fit on a 1 inch x 1 inch piece of paper.
The square is intentionally small because you need to be very discerning about who fits in it.
Rachel is a part of my Square Squad - one of my go-tos when I’m feeling lost in or frustrated about my business. An exceptionally talented coach, Rachel knows the right questions to ask me that help me get to the root cause of my dis-ease. (Hint: it’s almost always because I’m living out of alignment with my core values.)
More than just a wise counselor, Rachel is a good friend with a quick wit and a fascinating career path that has included plumbing, acting, teaching, coaching and owning multiple businesses.
I was thrilled when Rachel agreed to join Sonya and I on our podcast recently to talk about accepting the current circumstances and pivoting. It’s not only valuable advice that is going to, finally, give me a beautiful porch all summer long, its advice I consider daily now as I think ahead of what life needs to look like now that it’s all changed in the past year.
I invite you to take a listen.
Your turn! What’s a pivot you have had to make? I’d love to hear about it! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a comment below.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD