Lessons from Tomatoes

Lessons from Tomatoes
Claudette Pelletier-Hannah

Every year I put a giant stake in the ground for my little tomato plants. The intention is to pinch those new little shoots and tie up the plant so that it grows upward and doesn’t become a thick jungle of foliage. The goal, after all, is to produce beautiful fruit.

And every year the plants get away on me. It seems I turn away for an instant and they grow crazy.

Currently I have two, tangled plants spread out about eight feet wide, smothering nearby perennials and encroaching on my back door. I swear they’re still growing.

The support structures are sticking out of the earth plain as day, but the tomatoes don’t seem to notice.

  • Are you turning away from those who want to support you?
  • Did you turn away from your self-care for an instant to watch it come undone?

I see clients drop the supports that sustain them because they’re too stressed or busy. They sometimes even cancel coaching because they don’t have time. Coaching can save time by problem-solving or changing perspectives. When you’re stressed and busy is when you need support most.

As I’ve said many times, support is everywhere. Some support is free, like friends and family. Online resources can be supportive too.

Some support comes with a fee. Just about any service you can imagine, and are able to afford is available to you. What kind of support do you need? Are you willing to ask for, or receive it?

Though self-care takes time, it ultimately supports you.

  • Don’t stay up later to get stuff done. Go to bed!
  • Don’t give up exercise. Just move that body!
  • Don’t succumb to processed food. Eat a tomato!

Maybe I didn’t let my tomato plants down. Who says they should grow upwards or have a particular shape? Despite the tangled jungle I somehow manage to reap many large and luscious tomatoes year after year. Perhaps I am not the doer.

Who says you should look a certain way? While tomato plants aren’t very flexible or long living, you’re another story. There’s always hope for you. Just hold on to that stake and keep going.