Growing Down: How to Cultivate the Soil of Your Soul

Buddha tree

Our attempts to pray, affirm, or visualize away all the bad, ugly, filthy parts of ourselves and our life are like a seed trying to pray away all the dirt – which is made of everything that has died and decayed before.

If it could, and it succeeded, it would find itself sitting atop a rock, no dirt in sight. And when that sun came out – the very thing that is meant to activate the life within that seed – it would burn it to a crisp!

Instead, that seed naturally plants itself in the dirt. Buries itself in it. It doesn’t reject it, it embraces it. It doesn’t see it as a grave, but a womb – from which it draws rich nourishment and begins to “grow down,” not just up.

As the roots dig deeper, the shoots reach higher. As it descends into the darkness, it ascends toward the light. If you look at an X-ray of an oak tree, the root system is like a mirror of the branches, showing that what’s below is not only as important as what’s above – it’s all one.

Our culture has taught us — and unfortunately, the self-improvement movement has only exacerbated the idea — that the dark, dank, decaying parts are to be fixed, hidden, manifested over, or eliminated altogether.

And all our efforts to change, cover up, or ignore these parts have only served to make them stronger. What you resist, persists. What you fight, you fuel. What you can’t be with, won’t let you be. And like a monster locked in the dungeon, it eventually breaks out and wreaks havoc.

But when we embrace these alienated, judged, rejected aspects of ourselves, we discover they’re not our enemies, but our allies. We realize that they hold new gifts, talents, strengths, and abilities heretofore unimagined.

That angry part of us, denied out of fear and ignorance, becomes our greatest source of power and protection, helping us transform from victims to victors. That selfish child within, covered in shame and guilt, when honored and set free, shows us how to finally take good care of ourselves.

All the dark, dirty places become the rich fertilizer in the soil of our soul that allows the seed of our potential to grow. When we finally relax into the ground of our being, all the energy we had used to stay on the surface becomes like the sunlight that finally activates our evolution.

There is nothing wrong with you. You are not broken or lacking. You were not born in sin, under a bad sign, or with bad genes. Everything you’ve been through and everything you’re experiencing is divinely designed to awaken you to your true identity and fulfill your destiny.

Embrace those aspects you’ve been trying to deny or destroy. They are wounded children acting out, only needing your love to heal. Ask them what their lesson and blessing for you is. Ask them what they need in order to take a constructive place in your life.

Then honor their guidance – and watch as everything you’ve been fighting for begins to emerge in ways that are beyond your imagination, without the stress and struggle of self-improvement.

If you do this, you’ll discover a great truth: The self you’ve been trying to improve never existed. It was a fiction, born in the mind of a child – while your real Self, whole and complete, watched the drama unfold, awaiting the day when you could recognize it.

Just as Michelangelo believed God had already done all the work, and his job was simply to see the completed masterpiece imprisoned in that block of stone and release it – take time today to behold that masterpiece hidden in this block of mortal stone… and set it free.

Until next time, live authentically, love unconditionally, and follow your destiny!


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  • Paul says:

    Derek…… Hi, I’m really enjoying your book. Does this emerging process mean that those who never find, or discover, their true self were predestine not to emerge?

    • Derek Rydall says:

      No, there is no predestined failure to find your vision, but there might be a life path that has certain challenges built in for the growth of the soul. We can’t judge a persons progress based on outward success as the world might define it. A bad day for the ego might be a very productive day for the soul! Likewise what we might call a hard life or a life that doesn’t appear to have fulfilled a purpose, might be a very powerful soulful expansion.

      That being said, everyone can tap into a greater vision as purpose and live a life that reflects the qualities of the divine — peace, love, joy, wholeness, abundance, etc — because that is our very nature. And now that you know, you are on the path of emergence.

      Furthermore, if you find that it disturbs or touches you to think that some people may never hear this message and lose the chance to fulfill their purpose or fully emerge their potential — then it’s very likely that helping people hear this message and emerge into their greater potential and purpose is part of YOUR purpose!

      To your emergence!


  • gen says:

    I am thirsty for this work. It feels like a missing piece. All these little children (and grown women) that I haven’t been listening to inside. I realized the other day that I have not been really listening to myself for almost 12 years, and most of my life. It is not an easy habit to change and I am only beginning to grasp the tools that help me emerge from years of neglect.

    As you say (paraphrased), more than I want to change anything in my outer world, I want to realize my true, divine nature and full potential. Heady stuff, and trembling with possibility.

  • Jenny Leyland says:

    Hi Derek,
    Your wisdom is glorious.
    I am confounded as to where to start with your courses: Awakened Wealth, Emergence, Impact which I think is Emergence, plus the others listed.
    How can I decide which one first?
    Is it okay to do more than one at a time?
    Thank you

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