This morning I came across a wonderful story on Jorge Pinkus’ blog titled “The Daffodil Principle“. This is the first I’d heard of it and after doing some research it appears that this is a story that has been circulating through emails for some time now. I also found mention at the end of the same story on this site that the author’s name is Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards.
I found tremendous motivation in “The Daffodil Principle” in relation to our journey of weight loss. Each day we take small steps towards our goal weight. We do not necessarily see instant results on the scale (except in the first week, when water weight is shed), however when we are consistent, every healthy step we take in our diet and exercise will all add up. Some of us have more weight to shed than others, however by taking these small steps each day, you will reach your goal.
I must add to this that I do not in any way wish to negate those who have “only” 10 pounds to lose; very often those last 10 pounds can take months to come off because your body just doesn’t want to let go of them. It is during that period of weight loss that you must continue to be consistent (even though you may not see results on the scale often) in order to get that weight off. Those small, daily steps that you take will all add up and you will get that weight off when you continue to remain consistent each day.
Please read this inspirational story below:
The Daffodil Principle, by Jaroldeen Asplund Edwards
Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over. “I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. “I will come next Tuesday”, I promised a little reluctantly on her third call.
Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.
“Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!”
My daughter smiled calmly and said, “We drive in this all the time, Mother.” “Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading for home!” I assured her.
“But first we’re going to see the daffodils. It’s just a few blocks,” Carolyn said. “I’ll drive. I’m used to this.”
“Carolyn,” I said sternly, “Please turn around.” “It’s all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.”
After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, “Daffodil Garden.” We got out of the car, each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.
It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.
“Who did this?” I asked Carolyn. “Just one woman,” Carolyn answered. “She lives on the property. That’s her home.” Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.On the patio, we saw a poster. “Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking”, was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. “50,000 bulbs,” it read. The second answer was, “One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain.” The third answer was, “Began in 1958.”
For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration.The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.
That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time–often just one baby-step at time–and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world .
“It makes me sad in a way,” I admitted to Carolyn. “What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!”
My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. “Start tomorrow”, she said.
Isn’t this a wonderful story? Can you see the relation to weight loss in how the daffodils were planted each day over 40 years? Of course, it won’t take that long to reach your goal weight, however it could take a year or more, depending on where you are starting. Again though, all of those daily, consistent steps will add up and get you to your goal.
If you live in or will be visiting California, I have found information and directions for the Daffodil Garden here. (The garden is open the end up March through the beginning of April, so this may need to wait until next year.) This is a GeoCities site and a couple of times this morning it was not available, so I have included the directions for you below. I would still suggest retrying the link if you first find it is unavailable, because this is a great resource for the actual garden.
The Daffodil Garden is located on the slopes of the San Bernardino mountains in Southern California, just below the village of Running Springs.
From the city of Highland (about 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles), take Highway 330 toward Running Springs. Drive 14 miles up the mountain to the intersection of Live Oak Drive and Fredalba Road. Turn right on Fredalba and proceed one mile.
I am putting the garden on my list of places to visit. I can imagine how awe-inspiring it would be to visit in person, after I received so much motivation from the written story. On a final note, be sure to read about the fact that the garden has burned twice (scroll down to approx. the middle of the page), however it has all bounced back. This makes me think of the fact that no matter how many times you may have attempted to lose weight, or have yo-yo’d back and forth, you truly can heal this issue (once and for all!). It is never too late, no matter how low (or burned up/burned out) you may have become. To quote Winston Churchill, “never, never, never give up”!