Growth is a mystery.
The Spring Equinox is a time when the forces of growth stir inside every living thing.
I was feeling into this yesterday, this thing inside us all that makes us push through limits.
Where does it come from? Why do some of us get stuck and give up while others weave our way through obstacles, finding the help and inspiration we need, both from inside and from outside ourselves?
As a teacher, I live with this question in my heart all the time.
The answer came from a special student.
When I was in my early 30’s, I taught high school art in a drop-out prevention school for at-risk teens. I remember wondering who would thrive and who would spend a life in struggle, just getting by, or worse.
Also, I wondered what I could do to help—how could I as a teacher tip the scales toward growth.
There was one student in particular, Carl, whose family at a certain point became homeless, and the assistant principle took a spare bed from his own home over to Carl’s aunt’s house so Carl wouldn’t end up in foster care.
There was something really special about Carl, a shining quality in his smile and a light in his eyes that revealed the beauty of his heart. We all did everything we could to support him.
And Carl received it. Carl’s open way of being inspired help to come, and he always welcomed it.
He is in his early 30’s now, and has a partner, a child, and a meaningful career.
Animals and young people understand opening.
I see the same light in the eyes of so many of the dogs and cats and birds and horses I communicate with. They understand, better than we do, this force inside that trusts life, stays open, receives help, and continues growing, even—and especially—in the difficult moments.
These qualities are essential to learning, and to life, really. Staying open, receiving support, and surrendering to the process of growth. Young children and animals do this very naturally, but it can be so hard for adult humans sometimes.
In my introductory course in Animal Telepathy, I read the following poem to help initiate my students into this mysterious aspect of the adventure of learning telepathy.
“It Felt Love”
Did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
It felt the encouragement of light
We all remain
At Equinox, a time when all of life moves toward light, I wish you a year of opening and beauty. So much is possible.