Resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity, is the mindfulness practice word for the week. The goal is to intentionally notice resilience in ourselves, others, and the world. I can’t think of a better example of resilience in the plant world than dandelions. And with Denver’s recent 60 degree days, I’ve sighted lots of dandelion leaves poking up through the ground and even two early dandelion flowers. So resilience is this week’s word.
Why All the Dandelion Hate?
Dandelions could be the green poster child for resilience. On a regular basis they are poisoned, chopped up, chopped out, and reviled, and yet they come back stronger than ever. We should put them on tee shirts and bumper stickers as our symbol of bouncing back.
What is up with all the hate heaped on dandelions anyway? All parts of the dandelion can be used for food. They are full of vitamins and minerals and are also a medicinal herb, helping tone internal organs especially the liver and kidneys. Dandelions have been a recognized herb in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. They grow very easily and adapt themselves to all kinds of environments; they are found on all continents except for Antarctica. And here is something every child knows: a field of yellow dandelions is breathtakingly beautiful and a field of the puffy seed heads is magical. Why can’t most adults see that?
How Dandelion’s Practice Resilience
Dandelions have developed some pretty crafty resilience mechanisms. If you pick a dandelion flower and leave it on the ground, it will develop a seed head in less than 24 hours so that it can still release its seeds and start again. If you cut dandelions with a lawns mower they will simply come up again and grow very close to the ground so they are not in the reach of the lawnmower. Dandelions have a long tap root that stretches deep into the ground and if you pull out the top of the plant, it can regenerate from a tiny piece of the root. Dandelions also can create up to 5,000 seeds in a season.
This Week’s Mindfulness Practice – Be Like a Dandelion
This week’s focus is about noticing that dandelion resilience energy in ourselves and others. The world can be a difficult place, yet most of us have developed ways of coping that allow us to keep moving forward. We often don’t give ourselves enough credit for all the ways we are coping and taking care of ourselves.
What are the ways we are deeply rooted like dandelions? And how can we develop deeper roots? What are the ways we stay out of harmful situations? And what ways do we want to be more mindful of this? What are all the ways we send out our seeds of kindness, love, and ideas into the world? Can we be intentional in finding more? Can we also be intentional about helping others be resilient? And lastly, we can remember that we are each beautiful like a dandelion, even if the world doesn’t notice.
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