Lately, I have been really interested in cultivating indoor plants. I have been re-potting and taking care of several plants that need more space for their roots to continue to grow. Many indoor plants, like golden pothos, do not require that much water and they need just a little bit of light to thrive and stay alive. As a caretaker of these plants, I have to find the right balance of light, water, and nutrient rich soil. These are the elements needed for these plants to be fed and have enough nutrients to thrive for years at a time. Thriving indoor plants help improve indoor air quality and purify some environmental contaminants. There is mutual benefit from supporting healthy plant growth.
When I think about psychotherapy and people's growth and change processes, I often find that plant metaphors are helpful. As people, we are continually attempting to be "fed" in life. Being fed could be the ways in which people attend to basic health and wellness needs, make meaning of self and life experiences, create and maintain relationships, and make time for spiritual development (if spirituality resonates for you). It is not only about being "fed," but also finding the appropriate balance as to not be over-saturated or also starved of what people need to grow.
Finding the right combination of nutrients can often be challenging. Sometimes environments replete with judgement, intolerance, hatred, lack of adequate healthcare, harmful institutional policy, and all of the intersecting -isms make it more difficult for people to thrive. At other times, people are overbooked, overworked, and have very little time, energy, or space to attend to their needs. Environmental toxins and daily life stressors have the potential to undermine growth. There is hope, however. People are resilient and adaptable. People can make new, cohesive alliances with others. People can also show their strength by reaching out for support to get the nutrients that they need to survive and thrive. Human vulnerabilities are opportunities to be met with healing forces. Sometimes it takes re-prioritizing life endeavors and following through with care commitments to truly be fed.