Lessons from the Water Hyacinth
Updated: Jan 30, 2021
"Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?" ~ C.S. Lewis
I recently heard a story about the remarkable proliferation ability of an aquatic plant known as the water hyacinth. The way it colonizes a new area is by doubling itself very quickly, sending out runner stems called "daughter plants." At first barely noticeable, then a tiny patch, the doubling continues until it covers half the pond, which then on the next day blankets the entire pond with its blue violet flowers. My subsequent research on these curiously productive plants disappointingly revealed that they are considered an invasive species, disturbing water flow, depleting underwater nutrients, and endangering aquatic species. However, some progress is also being made in finding useful applications for them rather than trying to unsuccessfully eradicate them.
I believe our habits operate not unlike these water hyacinths. It's often our small habits, positive or negative, conscious or unconscious, and seemingly inconsequential on a daily basis, that add up to big results, or big consequences. What kind of "daughter plants" are we laying down in our daily living? Are they supporting our health, energy, and outlook, or are they depleting us and creating havoc in our system? The lesson from the water hyacinth story is more than the obvious power of duplication. The deeper lesson is to be conscious about what we are giving our energy to, and thereby replicating and manifesting in our lives. For most of us, it's not the pivotal, epic events, but the every day moments of our actions or inertia, subtly and powerfully motivated by our habit patterns, that shape our lives. It is never too late to make a conscious endeavor to positively influence the subtle impressions of our daily habits. And as we look back later, our view can take in the remarkable difference that our every day habits manifested.
It's been calm on the professional front since my move to the West Coast, but I've been laying down my runner stems, and diligent at work under the surface. It feels not unlike 15 years ago when I was transitioning from a corporate job to teaching yoga. Excitement, nervousness, uncertainty, vulnerability, possibility - all delicately held together by a soft conviction that speaks above the noise. It is my hope that I will see this work bloom, manifesting beauty and abundance not only on the surface, but deep into the ecosystem that supports and nourishes it.
May we raise our vibrations and manifest consciously. I wish this for you and me.