out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength

The word growth has been on my mind all week in one form or another. And when I saw this quote from Sigmund Freud, my thoughts further evolved into the idea of those things that scare us the most and make us most vulnerable. And then, usually, for the most part, bring us our greatest rewards. 

All this month we have been talking about the Master Mind Principle of Profiting from Failure, which I will wrap up in today's letter. 

Would you agree that without growth in some form or another you can in fact become complacent whether in your personal life - or even more critically - in your business life?

Stop and think about the last time you had a spurt of growth that transformed you. And while you do that I want to share with you a short story of the artichoke flower I am sharing as the picture of the day today.

I have loved artichokes since I was about 6 years old. Not a big vegetable lover as a kid, my mom would make artichokes for dinner. My siblings and I would stare at them as if they were creatures from the Black Lagoon. That is until one day my best friend Nancy came over for dinner as my mother served artichokes.

Well to my surprise and amazement, Nancy started chowing down on the artichokes and not for the purpose of being polite - she was actually thoroughly enjoying them. As any friend would do, she insisted that I actually try just one leaf of the artichoke. So I got very vulnerable for the sake of my dear friend, and found it actually pretty tasty especially with the cheese sauce my mother served with it. 

From that vulnerable moment, I forever became an artichoke lover! 

Over the last few years I have grown an artichoke plant in my garden because the leaves are beautifully ornate and I like the challenge of growing an artichoke in our short growing season here in Colorado.

I have always wanted to see an artichoke flower in this harsh climate and this year I finally felt like it would be the year to see the rare flower.

As the gardening season waned and September grew into October, we had a few frosts. I protected the artichoke plant along with my tomato plants that were in the same bed. Two weeks ago, today, I woke up to frantically knowing I had to cut down the remainder of my garden crop because a nasty winter storm was headed our way by early afternoon. And this was not just any storm, it was promised to be one that would bring us sub zero temperatures (which it did!) and officially end the gardening season - and the season of Fall for that matter. 

Running around the garden, I was scooping up the rest of what remained of the flowers, herbs, and veggies. Cutting down the roses and perennials and throwing compost everywhere to save these plants which normally can survive the winter. However, because of the extreme change from 70 degrees to sub zero (it actually got down of about -12 over that week) I knew that some of them could possibly be permanently destroyed. 

I came upon the artichoke plant, which I resisted the temptation to harvest and eat a few weeks prior, was so close to flowering.... though for whatever reason this season it had not. I came up to it again and again as I worked putting everything else "to bed" as I like to call it. Finally I had that vulnerable moment where I knew that it was time to cut the artichoke down. I brought it in the house wishing I had only a few more days of sun. It was so close! 

As the storm came and brought all the predicted cold and snow to the outdoors, I woke up thinking that I would have to wait another year to see the elusive artichoke flower. With my morning cup of coffee in hand, I glanced at the artichoke and was extremely surprised that the flower had begun to bloom in the bowl of water it was in!!!

Over the next few days, my artichoke flower grew into a gorgeous purple flower that is still sitting on our kitchen counter today - bringing me great joy with it's growth! And serves as a reminder of the extreme beauty and growth that comes from being vulnerable.

This Thursday, I have the extreme honor of sitting at my best friend Nancy's table for Thanksgiving dinner in Southern California. I feel blessed to have had her friendship all these years and the growth that has come from being her friend. Hmmm... I wonder if she will serve artichokes! ;)

As you enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with those around the table who you are thankful for, remember that showing your vulnerability and authenticity will trigger those around you to be more vulnerable and authentic as well.

Here's to the gratitude of the season. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of your world. Thank you for being a part of mine! I wish you all the best with the growth and the strength that comes from making yourself vulnerable. 


To Your Successes and Victories,

- Cheri

Cheri Ruskus 
Author, Business Growth Coach, 

and Founder of the Victory Circles