No Mud, No Lotus

Years ago I was walking through a forest in northern Thailand and as I got further into the trees, I started to notice little plaques that had been tacked to the trunks.

There was a monastery nearby, and the monks had been writing messages for passers-by to ponder.

Some were funny, some were serious, but only one has stuck with me:

No mud, no lotus.

Without the muck and ick and blah of daily life, we wouldn’t appreciate the moments of true beauty when they come around.

If everything was easy, we would never know how profound growth can be. If nothing bad ever happened, nothing good ever would, either.

I think about that note on the tree some days when I’m feeling uninspired or flat with my writing.

It’s hard to appreciate the days and weeks that go by without event or adventure.

But what if, looking back on these still days from the future, they start to whisper something to you?

Or, looking back on the weeks you felt stuck, you realise that something was quietly working itself loose in the background?

What if, in all the days that you suffer and struggle and search, you’re actually laying down the bones of some future story?

The mud is important, . It contains all the nutrients we need to blossom. It gives us a willing foundation to push out from.

So when you feel bogged down, or nothing of note is happening, or everything seems to be going awry, just remember:

No mud, no lotus.