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Growing Pineapples

I’m excited to share that I recently harvested my first two baby pineapples from my mini home garden and the experience was delightful. I must have planted them about a month apart because one ripened and about a month later the second was ready to eat. Even though they were fully grown and ready to pick they were only about four or five inches tall. I watched in wonder and awe as the tiny little flower first appeared in the center of the plant and slowly it developed into a beautiful, sweet, delicious baby pineapple. I had never witnessed the birth and growth of a pineapple nor had I ever grown my own fruit. I love plants and I love gardening but this was definitely a first for me.

I got the idea to plant and harvest my own pineapples a few years ago when I saw a friend’s Facebook post and that led me to ask – How do I go about planting my own? I listened carefully, read up, watched YouTube videos and started on my pineapple journey. I prepped well – I picked the right pot, got the right soil, fertilizer, plant food… selected just the right pineapple to plant and carefully watered it weekly. I even took pictures and have periodically shared on Facebook with delight and joy. It turns out that Florida is the perfect weather for growing pineapples. It also turns out that, for me, pineapples are an easy addiction because now I have about 20+ pineapple plants in various stages of growth and I can’t even tell you how many I have already given away as gifts. I am officially a pineapple Queen or Ms. Dole as a sweet friend recently called me.

In the last few weeks I enjoyed both those pineapples over breakfast, at different times, with special girlfriends. I carefully twisted off the tiny top, cut off the top and bottom, sliced off the skin and cut the sweet fruit into tiny pieces which we savored and enjoyed in the moment while discussing the amazing fact that I grew them myself, right here at home. And then, just like that it was gone, but the experience and the joy is something I will continue to savor for a long time.

That got me thinking… life is a lot like growing pineapples. Over the course of growing these first two, and as I enthusiastically shared my journey, I have had several people ask me – How long does it take to grow them? How did you do it? What did you do? How long until you get the ripe pineapple? Well, I say, the process from start to finish is roughly about two and a half years, give or take a month or three. And sure enough more often than not the response I get is – Oh wow, that’s too much time. I can’t wait that long. Or – That’s too much work and too long to wait for such a tiny fruit that you eat and it’s gone. On a rare occasion I get an – OMG, I have to try it and I’m so excited to grow my own. Keep me posted I say, share pics and you’re going to love it!

The same can be said for starting a business, starting a new relationship, starting a new family, relocating to a new area, going back to school, changing careers, buying a car, owning a home etc… the list goes on. The truth is that everything takes an investment of time, energy and an incredible amount of faith that whatever you are planting today will grow and that you will be around to enjoy the fruits of your labor, in time. The truth is that the last two and a half years would have passed anyway and had I not planted those two first pineapples I would have missed out on the experience of watching them grow, talking to them, caring for them, loving them and then enjoying their sweet, delicious fruit with my girlfriends.

I had to want to do it, prep for the planting, have patience, dedication and the belief that I would get my reward. 12 years ago I had the same unwavering faith when I lost my job and decided not to ever work for someone else again but rather start my own business. And yes I must admit that starting a business was slighter harder and reaping the rewards might have taken slightly longer but had I stopped to think about how long it would take and how hard the process was I never would have started and I would not be where I am today. In my business, just like in my gardening, I have had to prepare, invest, dedicate love, time, energy and then believe that my goal could be achieved in order for me to reach it.

I have to have the same attitude in cooking a delicious 3 course meal or starting a new relationship after the last failed one. And again as I start on this journey into healthy or writing my first book, the same applies. I embrace faith, I prepare, I put in the work consistently and then I get out of the way while I allow things to unfold as they should. I plant the seeds today for that which I want to enjoy tomorrow and I practice patience, embrace faith and believe that they are already on their way.

Today I want to invite you to plant your own pineapple, or aloe, cactus, flower or “whatever” seed. Get started on that journey into that thing that’s been on your mind… that which you have been wanting to do. Listen to your hearts calling and just go for it. Release fear, don’t think about how long it’s going to take or about how hard it’s going to be but rather visualize yourself already having it in your hands. Close your eyes and see that first little bud growing and then watch it as it grows and develops into your very own sweet and delicious “pineapple” and then of course, stop everything and enjoy!

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