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Growing Independence


The past year and half or so, I've finally been gathering the strength to declare independence- freedom from old shackles of heartache, fear, and attachment. The process has been slow and I've had plenty of set backs-  still do. I say the wrong things, get caught up in the emotions of old wounds, forget to remember how blessed and privileged I am.

Today, I listened to an interview on NPR, Talk of the Nation, with Ira Flatow.

[caption id="attachment_1325" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Ira Flatow always finds the most interesting subjects and people to talk to on Talk of the Nation"][/caption]

He talked to Andrea Wulf, author of The Founding Gardeners...

And Peter Hatch, Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello.

As the group recounted stories of our Founding Fathers sowing gardens and learning to grow native plants, I couldn't help but think about how much work it takes to become independent- the strength, courage and determination, along with quiet tedious work of pulling the weeds and growing new life- truly free to live the life of our deepest choosing. George Washington ordered a new garden, calling for native plants only, even as the British were sailing our way to take control. He was staking a claim with his words, his soldiers, his prayers, and even with his garden.

Making change, as my friend, Krista, says, "isn't for the lighthearted". I've struggled with some relationships and let many of them go. I've tried to hang on to others, and plenty of folks have walked away from me. I had lost confidence and faith too, but every time I made even the smallest attempt to change- to do better- some tiny shift would take place- I'd learn a little more, heal a little bit, feel something different... To many, I am still the same, but to those who have been loving and patient (very very patient!) they are seeing the change- the light coming back. And new faces and opportunities are flooding in daily. They probably always were, but now I see them. I appreciate them and I am grateful.

There are enough people that will be hard on you, especially when you decide to stake your claim for a happy and passionate life. And you will for sure trip on the ridges and fall in the furrows. I did, just a couple of days ago. But don't let yourself be de-railed. Don't give up just because something hasn't gone your way. Peter Hatch talks about Thomas Jefferson's garden journal and all the failures he had with his crops. He talked about Jefferson believing that one success was worth all of the other failures.

For me, independence is freedom from the past, from heartaches that made me feel insignificant- that has been an incredibly difficult journey. But as I peel away the layers of my home and invest in my business, my friends, and myself, I'm truly seeing the seeds of change grow- right in front of me. It's quiet at first, like new roots taking hold below the earth. Then something blossoms and I feel better, stronger, and yes, happier- a little bit more every day. I am in the garden for good now. I am seeing new life and letting go of old. I am on my knees clearing the soil and so grateful for all of this work.

What is independence for you? What are you going to sow this week? You can do it. Wear good gloves and know when to get out of the sun. But dig and plant and grow like your life depends on it. It does! Happy Independence Day everyone. I'm grateful to be here, sharing our freedoms and this Country with you.


3 comments


  • Kathi

    Beautiful Shannon! That right there, my friend, is what today is all about and so much more!


  • Stacy

    Great thoughts to wake up to this 4th, I’ll carry them on my Journey as well


  • Eric

    I love this! Well done and timely. Thanks Shannon!


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