Sowing seeds- options

Planting seeds

Planting Seeds is like nudging a door open. You can plant them and water them and then nurture the young plants as they grow or you can just plant them and see which ones grow on their own. Each approach yields different results and different ongoing responsibilities.

Planting seeds it the only purpose of this post. They make take time to grow but I can wait and anyway I’m still doing other things…….

I take a deep slow breath

Me and the Monkey are spending some time gently planting seeds, gently stacking odds.

I close my eyes and sometime in the future I’m sitting in someone’s garden 

The garden belongs to a woman I admire and I’m not alone. She’s very special and you would recognise her. I don’t know her and I’ve never met her but I suspect that I already like her very much. I guess somewhere inside me , I have a list of good guys and I think she is one of these good guys. Her name is Oprah.

I look around, when I say ‘garden’ it’s not really what most of us would see as a garden. It’s more like a park, it seems to go on for miles. We are sitting together, someone is filming us and she is asking me questions and listening with that look. The intelligence and need for a truth oozes from her and yet I’m not intimidated. We are on the same page, truth seekers, no axes to grind and I do know this matters to us both equally.

Different but the same

I note that we are different in so many ways. Different sexes, ages, skin colour, wealth (she has really cracked the material wealth thing) and yet we have the same open minded, enquiring approach. I can see although we both wonder how things work and why things work in the way they do our real interest is in using what we know to ‘help’ in some way. It’s not an arrogant ‘fix it all’ thing it’s genuine compassion and it shines through what she does and is.

Although her questions are tough I like it because it’s obvious she wants to know the truth and to thoroughly test me and what I’m saying.

Her motives are clean and it’s fun.

The gates we entered in the car she sent led to a long drive and then there was the house, her home; big, enormous even a tribute to who she is and what she has done. I like her and have admired her for years. She has done a lot to help us all see the wood from the trees

The talk is friendly but to the point I think we like each other but it is not yet confirmed and the whole thing might still go either way. I sense that would be a shame but like her am just watching unencumbered by any need for a particular outcome.

Watching me talk

As we talk, I drift up gently to viewpoint three watching the conversation flow. As my perception alters I’m aware that we are sitting in shade. It’s not the usual garden shade caused by purchased umbrellas or blinds. This is a tree or I should say trees that must be many years old planted with care and to create shade for moments like this.

As I look more closely I realise there are a number of places like this around the garden, each arranged with somewhere to sit. Places where a discerning owner could always sit in shade if they wanted to.

We talk on and as I watch I see we are going over how the ideas came to be, how we tested them and how I was initially encouraged enough to put in the effort required to make the monkey thing happen. My lack of interest in material gain is a positive here when I talk to her.

While we talk, my Monkey keeps focussing on the trees and I wonder about them and about this our shade tree in particular.

Someone must have  planted it or caused it to be planted deliberately along time ago for moments like this, for talking in the shade.

She gets to the crunchy questions; something gently but firmly put along the lines of :

  • What right do I have to tell people how to do things? –
  • What qualifications do I possess ?

These are questions some may have prepared for and some may be worried about but Monkey and I have seen this all before. You could call it preparation and  from viewpoint three, it was. We know what we believe to be the case and we think the answer is coherent with who we are. We also know it is one of several possible answers.

She smiles but I can tell it’s an important moment after all there is a risk of talking to someone in front of millions and if talking to her the risk is far greater because she matters.

Worry and history?

The subsequent numbers of likely viewings on her show also lurk in the background of my awareness and somewhere I probably know this is a critical perhaps even make or break moment for the idea.

Just for a second I can see the lingering traces of an old relationship and there’s a ghost of remembered worries.

I know it would be such a shame if something so practical and relatively easy was lost by an apparently stupid response from me on what might come to feel like a bad day.


We are here together as one

I look with every sense at what is going on. My monkey flashes a picture of a white horse and we feel at one, ahead of the game. It’s almost like we have been here before. At the Monkey’s prompt I ask her about the tree. She seems surprised but is happy to play my game for now. She explains its hundreds of years old and part of the original design for this part of the estate. She can sit anywhere in shade whenever she likes, it makes her feel like the whole thing has a permanence and a point.

It feels like home.

I ask her who planted the tress and she talks with enthusiasm about the previous owners, the original gardeners and the teams who have contributed over the years. She seems really grateful.

On the same page?

I suppose they are dead now I wonder out loud and she confirms it unsure for a moment where we are going.

I recognise the need to get to a point and confirm the reality we both share ‘so you sit here in the shade of the tree because it works for you?’

‘Yes’ she says beginning to smile.

I say how I admire those who leave treasure for others to find. Those who built the French cathedrals, those who commissioned them knowing they would personally never see the finished product. That emperor in china who built a wall knowing he would never see it completed and yet took the leap of faith to leave it there for subsequent generations to use if they wanted to and found it useful.

She still wants an answer and my monkey shows me a picture of  Napoleon on his horse.

I smile now and ask ‘well if you wanted shade and there was no tree would you buy some covers and umbrellas or plant a tree ?’

She says

‘Nowadays I like natural cover and where it works I know its good for the planet so I’d plant a tree in preference to anything else. I encourage planting wherever I can.

Planting trees is good but it can be hard theres lots of choices about how you do it and like most things it depends what your real purpose is if you are trying to work out the best way of going about it

It’s easy to kick a hole in the ground, drop in a seed and wait and see.

You could even kick 5 or 6 holes plant 5 or 6 acorns and wait and stack the odds in your favour?

And then hundred years later you would have your shade.

Or if you had the where withal you could dig yourself a hole, pop down the arboretum or garden centre, stick a bigger one in the car or a full size one on a truck or plane and come back to instant shade.

Like most things a choice based on the possibilities we accept and our own resources and requirements or purpose.

What would you do?’


She smiles and continues enjoying the moment,

‘I don’t dig holes anymore it doesn’t work for me and I wouldn’t want to wait for an acorn to do its thing; that doesn’t work for me either.  I’m fortunate, I have the resources I can get an instant result with a fully grown tree if I want to.’

‘And what’s at the source of you wanting to ?’

‘ I know it works for me’ she says looking up at the tree that shades us now

‘I know’ I say and really that’s my only real qualification.

‘I could talk about my journey how like everyone else’s its unique and means I have a story to tell

I could talk about the coming together of my thinking, my frustrations, my work my experiences with meditation practices and all those other influences that shaped my story and eventually this idea.

I could argue that all of us have the right (or duty) to tell our story.

but the real answer is simply a pragmatic qualification. It seems to work

The truth seems to be that the existing method though much heralded and respected, in real terms didn’t work very well for most of us. This is a new approach, aimed to to get the Monkey on side rather than ignore them and it seems to work more effectively for the people who give it a chance to work and try it on for size..

It has worked for me and now many others who have tried  working with their Monkeys in partnership.

There’s no other qualification I could mention that would give you the real right or reason I have to share any idea It seems to work for me so if your struggling using existing method all I am saying is try a plan B  …

Like the tree it’s now there, an option,  if it works for you, you could use it if not well don’t, it’s really of no consequence.

It’s just another option you could consider that could help you too’.


She nods and we both look at the tree.

The Monkey shows me Napoleon again I take a deep breath and take the risk –

I ask ‘do you know the story about the emperor who was at war with most of Europe – concerned with moving troops around his hot country?

It used to be a big thing for generals. The romans built roads for the purpose of moving and supplying troops.

If you’ve ever tried long distance walking you may know how big the land we live in is.

In England, invaded in 1066 by the French, the English army was already shattered as they waited on the beach at Hastings as many had just marched hundreds of miles on English roads from a fracas with the Vikings at distance to the north.

So meanwhile, our emperor sits astride his horse talking to his generals and the admin guys.

He decrees that trees should be planted alongside the main road north and south to shade the marching troups.

The admin guy says something like ‘but sire it will take 30 years before the trees are big enough to do any good’

Emperor says ‘then you had better start tonight’

If you have ever driven on the old roads in France travelling say down to Spain for a holiday you will have seen them, still there, still doing their work for a new audience as the soldiers now do their thing in new ways.’

She smiles. She gets it. I continue

‘I’m not persuading any one – I’m offering a pragmatic option for consideration if it fits –

It’s lying there captured, packaged with a growing number of people who use it and have made it work. Like the shade from the tree, it’s just there and it’s just a question of whether you want shade or not.’

We are both grateful for the shade, today .

I sense the conversation has gone well

I sense she too thinks it’s worth a try and I leave her to do what she does and travel back to my viewpoint to await developments.


I watch with my monkey at viewpoint three and I now see us, the real us, me and him, sitting in the middle of a field. It’s that field you meet on the challenge the one that holds your future.

We too have been planting today, planting a seed which may grow in the future, pushing a door gently with 4 ozs of pressure to see if at some point it will open.

It’s a seed rather than an urgent immediate need that must be satisfied now with men and a digger. It suits our purpose and it’s ‘such fun’ to plant seeds and see which ones grow.

We will leave the seeds to grow as they will and so as I continue to gently orchestrate and watch I now see the two of us, Monkey and I, get up and walk back across the field to now.

Time to get on with the rest of our day.


  • Courses of action should be determined by your purpose – things don’t tend to always go well if it’s the other way round and actions determine purpose.
  • There’s always more than one option, there’s always a choice.
  • Once you plant a seed you should give it time to grow
  • There are seven ways to skin a cat
  • Everything is possible but some things just arn’t worth it
  • Sometimes doing nothing is the best option
  • Sometimes it’s worth gently stacking the odds and seeing if things want to go your way.
  • If you push the door gently and it opens easily crack on, if not, find and choose another door.
  • If you decide to climb hard then make sure you have choose the right ladder to climb and make doubly sure your ladder is still up against the right wall