Seeds of What?

by Cheri L. Neal
(Zion, IL, USA)

Cheri L. Neal

Cheri L. Neal

The book "Seeds of Joy, Growing Zinnias and Your Zest for Life" may have an interesting title, but what does it REALLY mean? What do Zinnias have to do with Zest? And what does any of it have to do with You and ME?

Zinnias are filled with rich metaphors, bringing out the best in humanity. The Zinnia grows in every size and comes in a wide array of vibrant colors, much like human beings do. In Zen culture, the Zinnia represents joy, the slice of life that so many of us seem to be missing.

Then there's Zest. Defined as great enthusiasm and energy, with synonyms like: passion, pep, pizzazz, sparkle, spirit, zeal, who on this earth, does not thirst for more Zest?

Have you ever considered the power of one little Zinnia seed? Each seed produces a multitude of flowers. And each of those flowers produces a multitude of seeds. Propagating over and over again. What would that look like in your life? What would it look like to embrace the idea that a seed was planted in you by our Creator, and if allowed, that seed would produce an entire harvest of blooms for a specific purpose and passion?

What keeps us from connecting with our purpose? Most of us were never encouraged to identify the purpose planted inside us. Instead, we looked outward for approval, afraid of being kicked out of the 'tribe' if we don't fit in. The voice in our head's job is to keep us playing small and stay safe so we wouldn't be rejected. This fear robs us of our joy. I love the acronym for FEAR, False Evidence Appearing Real and Forgetting Every Available Resource. See we are each here ON purpose, but we have to be open to the quest. By choosing to live on purpose, we grow seeds of joy, not just in our life but in the lives of those around us. And the route to joy is inevitably through self-acceptance, faith, curiosity and love.

There is something powerful about the decision to give ourselves permission to be just as we are. To stop and contemplate the soil we were planted in, the quality of the water we received and sunlight we were privy to, or not, while growing up. To reconnect with the flame that was planted in us. To rid ourselves of the weeds, disguising themselves as resentment and regret. To uncover and fall in love with who we came here to be. And then to follow that thirst for joy and see where it goes.

Service is what I thirst for, and is never quenched. My career for the last 16 years has been in full-time public service in elected office, assisting those in crisis and doing all I can to make my community the best it can be. I didn't even know the job existed. I found out when I joined a civic group so I could serve!

What do you thirst for? It is different for everyone. Most of us don't give ourselves permission to discover, more less quench that thirst. We turn to substitutes that fill the void sort of but don't really fulfill us.

But when you are on purpose, living for what you thirst for, the world opens up and delivers what will quench that thirst. Imagine a world where we all live on purpose, quenching our individual thirsts that our SPIRITS long for.

Let this be the year YOU step into living on purpose. If you're not sure how, start by planting Seeds of Joy, Growing Zinnias and YOUR Zest for life!

© 2017, Candid Coaching and Conversations. Publication rights granted to all venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are made live.

Cheri Neal is a professional speaker, coach, public service professional and the author of Seeds of Joy - Growing Zinnias & Your Zest For Life. Cheri mixes a powerfully refreshing blend of education, energy and entertainment, engaging participants with concepts for enhancing their lives. To experience the positive benefits that Cheri can bring to your audience visit

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