I’m Dr. Chris. I’m looking for simple everyday reminders that help me rethink change and self-improvement.

Life depends on change. We change because we need to and we must. It just doesn’t always happen the way we hope. Sometimes it seems so SLOOOOOW that I don’t think anything is happening at all. Sometimes I feel stuck, repeating my mistakes and heartaches. I think, I’m never going to change. No-one is changing! The whole world is just a revolving enigma, of patterns that can’t be broken.

When my thoughts and feelings tumble down that road I look to nature for encouragement. Nature reminds me that all life has seasons of change. And each season in my life is as important as the other.

My friends know that I love flowers, especially tulips. I’ve learned to transform their dull, dormant bulbs into colorful blooms. I love how they open in the sun with a little encouragement from the right environment. What do tulips have to do with change? Well, I’m a lot like this flower – we all are. If you don’t like being compared to a flower just give me a minute to explain.

The most frustrating part of growing tulips is waiting five or six months between fall and spring to see if what I planted will actually change into something new and beautiful. After I plant the bulbs beneath the ground and out of sight, I have to trust some elements I can’t control. All cold winter long I waver between belief and doubt as I hope for that which I cannot see: growth.

Here’s what I’m learning about change. My lesson from tulips isn’t just that we have to WAIT for change. My lesson is that sometimes change IS happening in ways that we can’t see. Before a new flower pushes through the hard ground it is slowly developing below the surface in undetectable, unnoticeable ways. The flower bulb is fortifying itself beneath the surface so its bloom can survive in a potentially challenging world.

So I have to wait and wait and wait, even when there is no sign that the tulip bulb is alive and growing. I’m not great at waiting! But while I wait I can create the best growing conditions and the best environment for change to exist and persist.

When my tulips appear above ground I always have a moment of surprise. And then I return to grateful affirmation that I trusted in the process of change.

Are you seeing the connection between tulips and the people in our lives? When you think change isn’t happening look at a favorite flower or see a strong tree and remember its growth began out of sight. Don’t give up on yourself or others. Our promise of change and growth and improvement – is worth believing in. We deserve a closer look and applause for the change that is developing on the inside, so long as we are committed to cultivating its big reveal on the outside.