Okay, it might be time to admit it — I have a thing about compost! It’s the stuff of life, and without out, things would be so very dull and barren.
Today’s compost connection is about tomatoes.
This Spring, bunches of volunteer plants emerged from our compost bin after last year’s tomato-orgy! We had a helper who couldn’t bear to see all those little plants ‘go to waste,’ so she rescued them all, planted them and we gave them away to neighbors.
While we knew they were all tomatoes, we didn’t know whether they were Mortgage Lifters, Green Zebras, Purple Cherokees, Sweetie Cherry tomatoes, or another variety. It’s so much like what comes out of my own personal compost pile. Sometimes you just can’t tell whether what you’re going to get is what you’re wishing for, or something you didn’t expect. Sometimes, allowing your compost to ‘cook’ and fertilize your life brings something you never expected.
Certainly that describes my experience. When I began my own business training, I was pushed by the pain of not having a practice that was big enough to fulfill me, let alone feed my family. All I wanted was to get out of that terrible unfulfilled longing to make a bigger impact.
I had no idea that I would discover the missing piece for those of us who touch our clients — the piece that none of the ‘gurus’ teach. Some of what ‘they’ teach works for us, and some of it does not… because the way we build our businesses as ‘touch practitioners’ is unique, and without accounting for that, the ‘techniques’ work only up to a point.
In the areas where it doesn’t work, the insight that makes a difference can only come from someone who intimately understands the problem… in other words, a person who touches her clients. Little did I suspect that someone would be me, until the day I looked around and realized that I was it! Before that moment, it had never occurred to me that my struggle had a bigger meaning, or that it would end up benefitting so many other practitioners who touch their clients.
This is why your compost is so important. You don’t know until you really get deeply into it where it’s taking you, who you are becoming, what will emerge from it, or who else will reap the benefits. When you open the bin, look at your compost, give it air — you let possibility emerge, and in the light of day, you see things you could never imagine otherwise.
You don’t always know what’s going to blossom, how it will make sense, or what fruit it will bear. Only when you let it develop without too much pushing in any one direction do you see the real value of it. Whatever grows from compost has value, whether it just gets chopped up and mixed back in to heat things up, or gets planted, nurtured and bears fruit for a long time to come.
Actually, I’m not sure. Unbeknownst to myself, I might be secretly writing a book about The Compost of Life. Or The Compostable Life. Or Life, Compost, the Universe and Everything. Or Compost Becomes You. Or The Compost Connection. You see what happens? Once you start acknowledging your compost, the possibilities are endless!
“You can’t just throw away the old junk. It’s in our makeup.” — Moshe Feldenkrais, in The Master Moves (p. 112)
Note: Someone asked about the quotes I’ve been using, and I decided to start giving you the page numbers so you can find them for yourself.
You may wonder how I find them.
Would you believe that for the last 35 years, I have read all of Moshe’s works every year? I have made extensive notes on every page. That in the end, I have computerized it all, cataloging everything he spoke about and cross-referencing all the important bits so that I can find them whenever I need them?
Of course, this is preposterous and no one who knows me would believe this! This is really what I do:
I write my post. Then I think to myself, “I need a quote about whatever.” Then I pick a book at random, open it at random and almost invariably, what I am looking for is there on one of the two pages before me. And what I’ve found is: Life works pretty much the same way and I don’t need to make it more complicated than that.