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From Gentle Gardeners of the New

Posted on April 22, 2017

The first fresh shoots and flowers of the Spring are still exposed to the danger of frost. It is not for nothing that tender, new germ buds either grow under old, insulating grass and wilting leaves, enjoying the protection of a greenhouse, or that the gardeners wait until the middle of May before they expose the new, fragile seedlings to the raw force of nature.

So are our own dreams, ideas, and visions fragile plants too, at first, that need to be protected. “A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip or worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.” – Charles Brower

When we were still at the very beginning of the idea of the Visionautik Akademie, we exposed ourselves to our harshest critics too early. We thought we had to be strong and able to take criticism, but we noticed how much energy it was costing us to recover from the well-intended criticisms, which had dashed our ideas to pieces.

In time we adapted to be gentler and more loving with ourselves, and experienced how light and joyful our path had become as a result.

We invite you to take the image of the delicate plant to help you be gentle with what is new, so that it grows inside you: with germinating projects, tentative dreams or new ways of thinking and being.

Here are three practical tips for the gentle gardeners of the new:

  1. Choose the people who give you feedback carefully:

Do not show your ideas or impulses, etc. immediately to the harshest critics! Let your seedlings germinate and grow strong surrounded by the joy of experimentation as you cherish them. Make a list of at least five optimistic and encouraging people. Show them your ideas. In addition, write down the names of people who are either extremely critical or anxious, or who represent old perspectives that you’d rather leave behind. Keep your new impulses away from these people until you feel confident with your ideas.

  1. Be fair to yourselves.

The good and the beautiful need time to ripen and they often go through “ugly duckling” phases. Do not compare your first painting to the late works of Picasso. Remind yourselves that even the people you admire probably began with scribbled, unripened attempts. Compare yourselves, but only with your past selves.

  1. Experiment often and early.

Find out quickly whether the assumptions you connect with your ideas are true. That is possible without publishing your whole dream or setting the complete idea in motion. Test single aspects of your idea and make clear to your surroundings that these are only prototypes, because prototypes can fail; they are only there to help you gather valuable feedback and generate new approaches for further development. In this way you can let your ideas grow in the right direction from the beginning.