A few years ago, a sweet friend sent me a Magic Bean.
Which is basically a bean.
With a secret message inscribed on it by elves.
Stuck in a can of dirt.
You water it. It grows. You see the message. There is rejoicing.
I dug the idea.
But I was pretty sure absolutely nothing was going to happen.
I mean, hello.
It’s a bean.
In a can.
How long do beans last anyway?
Plus I was pretty sure that whatever magics they used to imprint the secret message on the bean probably killed it in the process.
So, in my head, the chances of it ever actually growing?
Pretty much none.
Dirt. Water. Elvis.
But I loved the idea of the Magic Bean.
And I was crazy curious to see what the secret message was.
So I read the instructions. And cleared a space on the windowsill.
And I watered that brightly colored can of dirt faithfully.
Every day I’d check on the bean.
Skeptical. Hopeful. Mostly skeptical.
And, day after day, nothing happened.
Not one single sign of life.
I figured Elvis had pretty much left the building.
But I kept watering.
Even though I totally felt like a sucker.
Then one day I saw a little something poking through the soil.
What is that?
Ho. Lee. Shit.
That bean was growing!
And it didn’t just grow.
In no time, that wackypants bean shot up out of that can and twisted its way up up and around the curtain rod.
I couldn’t believe it.
What were the odds?
I mean, hello.
In a can.
Exposed to mysterious elven message-imprinting technology.
But seriously fabulous.
Hey sucker, nice dirt!
Getting your Thing out into the world is a lot like a Magic Bean.
Less because of the elves.
More because of the Elvis.
You’re watering. And hoping. And watering.
But there are no signs of life.
It totally looks like nothing’s happening. All you have is a brightly colored can of dirt.
Oh, and that sneaking suspicion that you’re a sucker.
But here’s the thing.
There’s magic shaking out that you can’t see.
Things soaking up the energy + effort you’re putting in.
Bits and pieces coming together.
Stuff that’s starting to sprout.
But you don’t see that until the metaphorical bean pops through the soil.
And that’s the whole point.
There are things happening deep down in the ground of your Thing that you can’t see right now.
It’s mysterious. And magical. And frustrating. And scary.
All of it.
All at once.
Behold the bean
I know it’s super easy to get frustrated when you’re watering your ass off and it still looks like your sweet Thing is going nowhere.
I get that.
I’ve been in that place so many times I’ve lost count.
But I also know this:
You can’t really know what’s happening in that can.
And there’s always more happening than you think.
Sometimes it just takes time to see it.
So keep watering. Every single day.
Even – especially! – when you’re skeptical.
And eventually you’ll see the bean.
Probably sooner than you think.
It will be fabulous.
There will be much rejoicing.
And each time this happens it gets a little easier to trust that some delicious nugget of awesome is getting ready to pop up any day now and be all, Hello gorgeous! Here I am!
In the meantime, deep breaths.
And keep watering.
Are there bits of your Thing that need water?
What makes it hard to keep watering?
How has watering paid off?
Do you believe in elves?
(Ok. You can skip that last one.)
Flickr credit – m-gem