When I was growing up in a small town in southern Minnesota, I dreamed of living in other places. That didn’t simply mean relocating to another spot for the rest of my days, however. 

I intuitively knew that different places would make different contributions to my life. It took a while to put this plan into motion, but my journey  took me from Janesville, MN to Sun Prairie, WI to Santa Barbara, CA to Boulder, CO to Minneapolis, MN and now to Las Vegas, NV.

It’s obvious to me  that each place either supported my goals at the time or the lessons I had to learn. It wasn’t just a change of scenery that I was seeking. I was looking to grow myself.

When I read Stewart Emery’s brilliant book Actualizations, I finally understood my urge to relocate. It was about much more than having a different view from my window. He wrote:

If you were a willow tree living by the riverside, the environmental conditions of your existence would support your evolution toward becoming a self-actualized willow tree.

If,  on the other hand, you were a willow tree and you were planted in the desert, the chances of your making it as a self-actualized willow tree would be virtually nil. The environmental conditions of your existence simply wouldn’t allow it.

It wouldn’t make any difference if you really wanted to be a self-actualized willow tree. It would not happen.

On a very  fundamental level, what is true for the willow tree is true for you and me.

If we are in an environment that supports our evolution toward self-actualization, then it  will happen, and if we are not, then it won’t happen.

However, you and I possess qualities or attributes that allow it to select its environment. You and I have within us the creative intelligence to recognize the conditions of existence that support our growth toward self-actualization, and we have the wherewithal to place ourselves in such an environment.

If we fail to recognize and construct environmental conditions that support our well-being, then we will have a colorless existence as members of the living dead.

For the past  two weeks, I’ve been working diligently on the upcoming issue of Winning Ways newsletter. The theme for this one is gardening and I realized that while there are some horticultural basics that most of us know, we haven’t had much encouragement to create the circumstances that support our own growth.

Fortunately, we can determine that for ourselves and put ourselves in nurturing environments. And we don’t have to move across the country to do so.

Does your habitat contribute to your growth? Or is it holding you back? Look up from your computer. What do you see? Inspiring books? Pictures that make you smile? Clutter? 

What about the people you hang out with? Are they cheering you on or holding you hostage? Been to any seminars lately that stretched your imagination?

 Is your habitat a desert or a riverbank?


Join Terri Belford, Alice Barry and me in glorious Sedona for Inspired Livelihood, April 16 & 17, and you’ll leave with a portfolio of ideas and plans for making your habitat the most nurturing place on Earth.