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Feeling Root-bound?

I have a plant that has not been looking too good lately. My husband suggested it might be root bound.


Those of you who have potted plants are probably familiar with this phrase. For those who are not…

When a plant is “root bound” it means that the life giving roots of the plant have become so numerous that they are actually stifling the growth of the plant. At that point you typically re-pot it into a larger pot with fresh soil. Sometimes you can try to divide the plant and have two plants, with fresh soil. You need to add the fresh soil to the newly potted, or divided plants, so that the roots have room to spread out and grow.


Jim, was right, the plant was definitely root bound. I think there may have been an equal amount of roots and dirt! I cut it back significantly, took out all the extra roots and replanted a few that still looked healthy. Fingers crossed that it not only survives, but thrives.


I got to thinking about how people can become root bound.

When I say “root” I am referring to family histories, traditions in families and businesses; the “we’ve always done it this way” lives that people may find themselves stuck in.


Sure, I saw the miniseries “Roots” (the old one) and I am a genealogy nut. I love digging into my family history. I agree that knowing your family history is important. It can be beneficial for medical purposes, and to discover the people and things that helped shape the person you are. However, our roots should not stifle our growth.


People can become root bound when they get caught up in the past and feel bound by the traditions and expectations that have been set by their family histories, traditions in families and businesses.

This can happen in various ways:

· Following the same path as previous generations: When everyone in your family has always followed a certain career path, attended a specific college, or pursued a particular lifestyle, there can be pressure to conform and continue the same pattern.

· Sticking to societal norms: Society often has certain expectations and norms, such as getting drunk on your 21st birthday or marrying within a specific race, religion, or financial status. These expectations can make people feel bound to follow them, even if they don't align with their own desires.

· Workplace traditions: Some companies have long-standing traditions, like giving gold watches upon retirement. Even if someone doesn't necessarily want or need a gold watch, they may feel obligated to adhere to the tradition.

It's important to remember that while knowing and honoring your roots can be valuable, it's equally important to ensure that your growth and personal development are not stifled by these roots. It's okay to break free from expectations and traditions if they are not aligned with your own aspirations and values. Embracing change and pursuing positive new directions can lead to personal growth and fulfillment.


I do need to say that some roots are wonderful and a pleasure to continue, but it needs to be your desire, not something dictated by your roots.


If you feel that your growth is being stifled because you are “root bound,”

it may be time to have a discussion with those who are attempting to dictate your future (and that person may be yourself). It’s okay to go in a new direction, as long as you have done your research and this is a positive change.

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