Keep Reaching for the Light, No Matter What

“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.” — Roger Crawford

It’s in our difficulties that we’re tested and given opportunities to see what we’ve learned, where we’re still stuck, and what needs to happen in order to progress.

One of the simplest ways in which we can move forward in those challenging times is to think like a plant.

Now, before you roll your eyes and think, “Oh, there she goes again being all woo-woo”, let me digress for a moment and explain what I mean. It begins with some super cool plant happiness. I mean, uh, information.

Of course, it’s true that all living organisms have instincts and naturally just “know” what to do to eat, stay safe, reproduce etc. And although you might not think plants are smart in some of the same ways, it turns out they are!

According to, “In a sense, plants are able to think by perceiving their environment and making decided changes in order to thrive.” It goes on to acknowledge that plant thought isn’t at the same level of sentience or self-awareness as for animals or humans (Whew! Imagine the horrors if it was !), but I think it’s pretty darned cool that they can make decisions!)

And while we’re digressing (well, okay, I am), here’s a splendiferous tidbit of extra plant coolness from

There are now dozens of research papers, hundreds of articles, and hours of video prepared and published by plant biologists and neurobiologists discussing the many facets of plant intelligence. Through rigorous research and experimentation, the following behavioral characteristics have now been established and can be attributed to plants:

* Communication
* Learning
* Problem Solving
* Memory & Memory Recall

It adds: “…plants can, indeed, make memories, and can display their memory recall though learned response. Better yet, they were able to learn quickly — in as little as one day. Lack of nervous system aside, the mimosa pudica, or ‘sensitive plant,’ started displaying learned responses in as little as one day.”


Okay, so now that we know plants are smart cookies (so to speak), let’s get back to what I was going to say in the first place:

On good days and on not-so-good days (especially the not-so-good ones), think like a plant.

Some plants don’t particularly like the sun (I’m that kind of plant; I’m actually allergic to it — literally — so said a doctor). Some plants like a little bit of a sun, or maybe more than a little, and others like sun all the freakin’ time. Oy vey. Are they demanding? Are they divas? Do they yell at you if you put them in the shade?

Well, I guess they’re not demanding and they’re not divas, any more than the ones that don’t like sun and insist on shade are being demanding.

They’re just doing what they know to do. They know what they need and they do their best to get it.

Location, location, location!

I’m sure you’ll have seen sun-worshipping plants that aren’t quite in that happy bright place that they need need need. They grow lopsided as they stretch and strain toward the light. If you have them across the room from a window or in a shady place in your garden, they’ll grow almost horizontally as they fight to find a teeny bit of light if you leave them there long enough. (Ouch, my neck hurts just thinkin’ about it)

If you want them to grow straight-ish upward and they’re movable (i.e. in a pot), you have to keep turning them. Or better yet, put them in the dang sun! I mean, they don’t ask for much. A little water, a kind word, and some light, please!

And if you leave them where they are — away from the light they need — they’ll keep growing toward the sun. They’ll keep stretching and straining trying to get to the light because that’s their happy place. And they’re, well, uh, “planted” (haha, see what I did there?) right where they are, whether in a pot or the ground, they don’t get to pack up and move to a brighter location.

An aside: Which came first? Being called a plant because you get planted? Or being planted because you’re called a plant? Hm.


What’s extra fascinating is that plants will actively avoid the shade cast by their neighbours, straining their way past it to be sure they get enough light. Ooo, see? They really are smart!

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” — Molière

Plants extend themselves downward, too, their roots are as clever as their leaves, stretching and expanding as necessary in search of water and nutrients, and transforming everything they can reach into growth and strength.

Even in the darkness of caves, underground tunnels and in the profound cool and shade of a thick forest, there is life. As with all life forms, plants are trained to find sustenance, to do that which will keep them alive and thriving.

That is life, pure and simple.

Pure. And Simple.

Think like a plant. Especially in dark or challenging times. Avoid the shade cast by negative people, influences, events, those energy vampires that manipulate you and suck the life out of you. Dig your roots into solid ground, reaching for the best nutrition, rest, and whatever physical activities you prefer that’ll lift your spirit.

Be like a plant and reach for all that is life-affirming — in food, people, hobbies, words, films, images. Grasp for what is good, what lights you up.

Summed up: whatever gets your time and energy should be worth the irreplaceable expense.

All of it should add to your life, supporting you in reaching for the sun.

Of course, difficulties happen. Life is challenging. I’m not suggesting you should, must, or ought to always be grinning and happy, no matter what you’re facing. You have a right to your feelings.

I understand that fear, worry, doubt, grief, depression and anxiety might well be part of your journey. After all, you’re human. All of us get doses of those feelings. The trick is to not let them be the journey.

Here’s the thing: When it gets bumpy, or when you feel stuck, allow yourself some time with those feelings. AND … keep reaching beyond the shade. Every tiny step, every choice of a better thought, all of it makes a difference in getting you back to the sun.

Remember that seedlings don’t grow overnight, especially under a thick canopy of forest branches. But they do get there eventually, and they do it by consistently seeking the light that is just out of reach.

Your default setting is survival; it is counterintuitive to hold yourself back. Get out of your comfort zone.

Stand in the sun. Grow past or around the shade.

Avoid anything that pulls you away from the light. If it doesn’t feel good, it’s not for you.

Don’t question it, whatever — or whomever — “it” is. Your intuition knows best. Even if your head says, “But I love this place (or person or situation)”, if it leaves you feeling “not good,” it’s not for you.

Think like a plant, because apparently plants are smart. They know stuff. Mainly how to keep reaching for the light, no matter what.


Feeling stuck? Need  guidance or a numerology reading  to help you with clarity?  Visit my shop  for self-help tools to improve your life

As a Spiritual Arts Mentor and Master Teacher, I will guide you in discovering who you are, why you’re here, and how to follow that path.

Originally published on

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *