In eastern traditions it is believed that each person’s growth is like that of the lotus flower – with enough time our petals fully unfold, revealing each person’s inner beauty to the world.

The lotus metaphor is a powerful way to illustrate the process of spiritual evolution. In nature different temperatures, conditions and even other living beings may shape the flower’s path – and by continually rising through all of these changes the lotus becomes what it is destined to be.

Some spiritual teachers, such as Pema Chodron, might call this reaching our natural state or true being – a state of existence in which we are open and free to live fully with compassion, courage and wisdom:

“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid.

“You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open… And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.”

Reflection: We fully evolve once we stop holding on to the many petals of our past selves – learning to open ourselves up to nature and embrace wholly the change and beauty that lives right here, in the present moment.