There gets to be a point in your business where things don’t make sense any more. You try things for a certain amount of time, and then if they don’t work or don’t reflect you, it’s time to let them go. But sometimes it’s hard to recognize when it’s time to transform business. Sometimes you need a little help seeing it and allowing it to happen.
This is where the basil comes in.
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The Basil Plant
My mother bought the basil plant to throw it away.
It was purchased because there weren’t any cut basil leaves available, and so she got the next best thing. She had no intention of keeping it and, therefore, had no plan to maintain it.
The basil was happy in it’s little pot for a while. It got to the point where I knew it was time for it to be transplanted into a larger container. And now it was ready. It was right – the natural order of things.
I mentioned it to my mother, but she didn’t want to do anything with it. So it sat. I watered it. Family members watered it. All the while, I felt this nagging that I should replant it.
I mentioned several more times, over the course of a week or so, that it should be replanted. Each time, we danced around what that meant, what exactly needed to happen to replant the basil.
I don’t know if we have any pots.
I don’t know if we have the right soil.
It should be okay.
I’ll get to it tomorrow.
Tomorrow never seemed to come. Meanwhile, leaves began to yellow and shrivel. I looked up what that meant. Too much water! I pruned the dying leaves. Then I trimmed stems. I spoke to the plant. At times, I even did Reiki.
But I didn’t replant.
It had been weeks since the basil needed a new home – and I’d done everything else that I could do for the little plant, short of finding it a larger pot.
That’s when it hit me – when I finally took action.
I knew we needed a larger pot. We ended up going to the dollar store and I bought a compostable “plastic” pot. Two days later, I replanted it, set it outside in the sun, and watered the soil.
What Made Me Transplant Basil
I realized as I stared at the basil plant that I had been avoiding transplanting it. I’d been doing everything else I could do except transplanting it, even though that was what it really needed.
The truth was I was afraid. I was afraid I would kill the basil plant in moving it from one pot to another. I’d never raised a plant successfully and I couldn’t handle the idea of the plant dying. Except of course, if I didn’t move the thing, it would die. Guaranteed.
Fear was holding me back from doing the one thing the basil desperately needed.
And that’s when the more important epiphany occurred – it wasn’t just basil.
It was my business.
What Made Me Transform Business
My business was like the basil plant. I tried everything. Products and services changed. Business models changed. Social media strategies changed. Visual branding changed. And while I did a lot of things, most of it ended up being busy work. I just wasn’t getting the results I felt I deserved or needed.
Over all those changes there were a few moments of bright light.
Overcoming Fears of Unworthiness
First there was the satisfaction of overcoming my fears of being not good enough. Overcoming feelings of unworthiness is a tremendous accomplishment and moves things forward like you wouldn’t believe! For me this involved building my sense of self-worth by living my principles and honoring my preferences. I retold my worthiness story in such a way that I could launch a product that demonstrated the path to transformation (and unconditional love). That product was The Heart Unboxed: How to Love the Unloveable.
That was a huge hurdle I didn’t realize I had. As a result, the joy I felt in developing the content for that product was tremendous.
I thought my joy was for the message. I didn’t recognize any relation to teaching or recording videos.
Still, it was a big move forward and I was grateful for it.
Speaking My Truth
The second moment of light was speaking.
I like writing a lot, and when I started saying I wanted to be a writer, it was partially because I didn’t want the fame of other possibilities. This was one of the reasons I never pursued music or acting – because if I was successful (and in my mind, how could I NOT be?!) the idea of crowds surrounding me was horrifying. Being a celebrity involves constant disruption, unless you live in a safe haven like Santa Barbara County where people let you live like a normal person.
That didn’t appeal.
But the thing is, I really LOVE performing. Love. It. Looooove it. I love being on stage. It thrills me in a way few things can. I feel the energy from the crowd and let it wash over me, taking whatever message I have and transferring it, directly to receptive hearts and souls.
I delight in making people laugh and cry in the span of 30 minutes.
When I speak or teach, I get amped up for hours before and after. There’s nothing quite like this.
And I’m good. Objectively. I’m good at speaking and teaching.
But I haven’t spent a lot of time going after these things. Why wouldn’t I spend more time focusing on things that make me feel like I’m living the dream? Shouldn’t I spend MORE time on something that gives me such a thrill? That makes me come alive in ways that few other things do?
Fear. Oh that damn fear again…
As much as I love being on stage, I confess, when it comes to meeting new people and talking, forget it. 90% of the time, I need an introduction. Volunteering my message and medium for rejection, when this is something I love so much, triggers a lot of fear in me. In the past, I avoided this because it was so painful. It feels like it would be better for me to watch the basil die than to transplant it.
But the basil needs to be transplanted.
This means taking small steps to bring more of this joy into my life. It means regularly doing my live video streams, guesting on podcasts, as well as reaching out to teach and speak more.
Follow My Calling to Transform Business
Then I had a spiritual awakening. It changed everything. I finally did the things I’d been putting off – the things that called to me, even though I thought it wouldn’t be financially successful or what I thought I wanted to do. I published my world religion curriculum. Then I published my interfaith devotional. My curriculum wasn’t just on paper – but a live class that I got to teach. I started speaking at churches around some of these topics – about love and faith.
For me, there is no difference between intentional living and faith. Intentional living is a supreme act of faith. The “love lifestyle” is derived from the teachings of great spiritual teachers across traditions, because there are two universals in both: Divinity and Humanity.
One of those universal calls is to love one another, no matter what. There are no caveats to that call. There are no disclaimers to loving one another – and what if I could get everyone who claimed to hear that call to work together? How could I get them to work together?
This is me, transplanting my basil plant.
As of writing this post, it’s been several days since the basil was transplanted. It grew more stems, new leaves, and even flower buds in the span of those few days. I pinched off the flower buds and took some leaves to use for dinner, but the plant still felt healthy. It felt like it would be more than fine.
The basil felt like it would thrive.
I feel this way about focusing on speaking and embracing the interfaith work that inspired me down this path in the first place. It doesn’t take away from the other things I’m doing, if anything, it enhances it.
The Message For You
There are a few takeaways from this story:
- Take a minute to notice your fears and overcome them.
- Find the parts of your life that bring you joy, and focus on bringing more of those to you.
- Throw out any limiting beliefs you might have about the thing that calls to you. Then embrace your calling. That is where your heart belongs and where you’ll find the most satisfaction, peace, and wellness.
And if you want a fable ending, then it’s this: Don’t wait! Just transplant your basil! It will die if you don’t. But if you do transplant it, you allow it to thrive.
If you want to grow a basil plant as a reminder of this story and the things you need to to transform business, you will need the following:
- a basil seedling or basil seeds (or any combination of herbs and seeds you prefer!)
- ceramic pot (or a compostable plastic one)
- organic soil
And if you want some one-on-one guidance on transforming business, intentional living, or purpose, contact me below: