“Worms” he exclaimed – tons of them!” My husband loves to garden, mulch, plant, prune, chop wood. Like me, he enjoys just about anything to do with nature. On a beautiful day he just can’t stay inside.
So it came as no surprise when he returned from prepping his garden for spring planting and triumphantly declared “worms – tons of them”. The fruits of his labors, last fall amending the soil with various ingredients, including lots of chicken manure (Really works!) produced rich spring soil full of worms. As any gardener knows, worms are a good sign. Referred to as “nature’s plow”, worms keep the soil aerated which stimulates root growth. Also, the by-product of worms, called worm castings are a wonderful fertilizer, rich in nutrients otherwise unavailable to plants. A single acre of cultivated land may be home to as many as 500,000 earthworms (!), each making the soil a better place for plants.
All in all, worms make for healthy plants and a thriving garden. Yet, despite their good work, we typically think of worms as – well – just plain icky.
This got me thinking about the times in our lives when we are faced with things, people, circumstances and situations that are unpleasant at first glance, distasteful, objectionable and just plain icky to deal with.
Experience has taught me that the icky “worms” in my life are not always as they first appear, or as I originally interpret them to be. Many times these people or situations simply need a good environment in which to thrive-a healthy culture, and a project upon which to focus – an intention in a good direction. Sometimes the worms in our lives are there to show as a better way and become our supporters. And like a good gardener who provides a nourishing ecosystem in order for her garden to thrive, good leadership cultivates a healthy environment for the people with whom he or she connects.
Next time you’re in an “icky” place in your life, ask yourself:
- Could this situation have a different meaning than what I originally thought I saw?
- Could this person have a different purpose than what I originally interpreted?
- How can I help this situation/person to excel as a beneficial contributor to me, to the group, and to themselves?
Sometimes a change in perspective, support, purpose, encouragement can turn an icky situation into one of function and beauty, as you watch your team, and your life, grow and blossom.
Have you experienced a “icky” situation in your practice that turned into something great? Do you have worms in your garden?