Life lessons from plants: Growing in a suitable environment

Different plants are best suited for different environments. While many plants have adaptations for surviving harsh conditions, prolonged exposure to less than ideal growing conditions can result in stunted growth or worse, plant death. For example, a mango seed can only grow into a thriving fruit tree in a frost-free tropical or subtropical climate. You will not find mango trees growing naturally in New York’s temperate climate. Just like plants, I think people have their own environments in which they can flourish. Over the years, we perhaps acquire certain life skills/adaptations get us through the harsh conditions of life, but staying in a non-ideal situation for too long can be detrimental to our growth and our well-being.

This week I visited a farm out in the Wai’anae coast of Oahu.  It is more than a farm and an educational outdoor space-it is a place where peace, hope, love, and relationships to the self, to the ‘ĀINA, and to others are cultivated. I felt a very special connection to this place and to the people that take care of the land, including the co-founder. It was as if the Universe said, I heard your prayers and this is where your seeds of intention have an opportunity to grow. They are actually looking to hire a garden teacher. My background in science, my experience as an educator, my core values, and the knowledge and skills I am acquiring in the Master Gardener course are perfectly suited for this position.

One of the aspects that I loved about early childhood education was the limitless learning opportunities and the children’s enthusiasm and eagerness to explore the world around them. It has been my experience that public education institutions have very narrow definitions of learning and that learning is further constricted through the emphasis placed on standardized tests. It was difficult being part of a system that was in conflict with my values as an educator and my learning ideology. But this morning, I was in an exciting and invigorating learning environment, where I was teaching kindergartners the different plant parts we eat and then taking them outside to harvest from the garden.

In listening to the children share their stories, watching them water the plants, and sensing their eager anticipation to taste the string beans, lettuce, and mint they harvested, I was connected to a part of me that I valued and I realized this type of environment is suitable for me.

Connect with your heart’s truest desires friends and the Universe will guide you towards an environment where your soul can flourish and where you can share your talents with your fellow human beings.

With Love,                                                                                                                                             Magaly or as the kindergarteners called me today, “Miss Galy” 🙂

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About Magaly L.

Five Facts About Me: 1. I was born in El Salvador, grew up in NY, and after being in the United States for almost 33 years, I finally became a citizen in 2013. I was super excited when I voted for the first time! 2. My personal favorites: chocolate, desserts, dancing, the beach, leisure travel, reading, juicing, gardening, cooking, spending time with family, and writing. I really do love chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate, but any chocolate is better than none. I also love red velvet cupcakes from my favorite bakery in NYC, Two Little Red Hens on the Upper East Side. And I love spending time in nature. There's something so peaceful about listening to the birds or listening to the waves break, that centers me in the present moment and reminds me that Divine order is at work in my life. 3. I come from a large family and I love it! My parents, two brothers, one sister, LOTS of cousins, aunts, uncles, abuelos, and my "gotitas de amor"-my nieces and nephews. 4. I am an educator both by training and at heart. 5. I have been living with PNES (psychogenic non-epileptic seizures) since 2007. Though this condition has been life-altering and challenging to live with at times, it has also led me to a more fulfilling life, strengthening my faith and helping me have the courage to pursue my passions and chase a couple of dreams.
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