A Bird-of-Paradise is blooming in my solarium, as it does every year at the beginning of February. A friend who had lived in Hawai'i for 25 years gave me the plant, and it took a few years for it to become root-bound, and then bloom.
Why is it that some plants need constriction before they will bloom?
The same can be said of our spiritual practice. Constricting our activities--usually called renunciation--enables our hearts to bloom.
By pruning our busy lives, we make time for a meditation practice. By counting to 10 AND being mindful, we are less likely to say something we regret later. By zipping our lips around the latest piece of juicy gossip AND being mindful, we find that people begin to trust us more. Simplifying our lives leaves us more time for solitude and to be thoughtful of others.
Slowly but surely, our life blooms with love, generosity, and wisdom. Paradise is right here.