Certainly, you've heard the expression "to sow your wild oats." Similar to the expression "to play the field," it means to have your fun, try a lot of things (different relationships, different occupations), before it's time to get serious and settle down. Wild oats grow everywhere! In good soil, sandy soil, clay soil. In dry or moist conditions. In shade or semi-shade. The only place it's rare to find it is in bright sun at the top of a hill where it wouldn't be at least partly shaded by the surrounding scene.


At one time sowing your wild oats was considered a positive thing to do and was even encouraged... at least for young men. But those days have fallen by the wayside. First, it was deemed sexist to encourage young men to behave in such a manner and not women. And, second, encouraging women to sow their wild oats was so antithetical to what feels acceptable in this culture as to be sacrilegious! So the idea of sowing wild oats on purpose was left behind at least when it comes to thinking of it as a positive growth-filled phase of development.


When a person is going through a Wild Oats period they don't accomplish much, at least from society's point of view. Wild Oats are a weed, not a great food source. Weeds even get in the way of cultivating healthy crops. So why did people ever think a person would need Wild Oats in their life?


I've always been jealous of those people who have known what they wanted from childhood, who just woke up one day and said "I'm going to be a rocket scientist, a doctor, a lawyer, a whatever," set their sights in that direction and went for it. So many of those people become successful or prosperous early in life and never look back...at least not until sometime in midlife or retirement when life changes might make them think of something they'd like to do better. Most people go through some change in direction at some point along the way.


But people who choose a more Wild Oat way sometimes wind up looking lost on the career track a lot. They try one thing, find it unsatisfactory for some reason or another, try something completely different. The problem with Wild Oat people is that we have too many different directions beckoning us to come hither. Look at my blog masthead where I describe myself as a "spiritual counselor, healer, organic flower essence aromatherapy perfume designer, artist and writer." I'm sorry, there's no one single compartment I can fit myself into. I can't even make perfume the straight forward way-- it has to be flower essence aromatherapy all-natural perfume made according to spiritual principles and infused with Reiki! Not only that but I'm not satisfied unless I've drawn the illustration for the packaging itself and written all the ad copy. That pretty much sums up the Wild Oat person's dilemma to the max! Imagine trying to find a regular paid job incorporating all that.


It doesn't happen. Earlier in my life I was a writer and a graphic designer. I wrote three books, illustrated one of them, and made an acceptable living designing books for Crossing Press and, later, several other book publishing companies. I loved it...until I got bored. But I would have stayed if circumstances beyond my control hadn't forced me to leave and I had to find another job. What does the Wild Oat personality do? Try to find something in a related field?


Oh no. This one goes back to school to reinvent herself altogether by getting a degree in psychology. But is it a conventional psychology degree? No! It couldn't be--that would be leaving something out! No, my degree is in Transpersonal Psychology which is best described as a mind/body/spirit approach to what ails the individual within the context of the greater world including God or whatever it is you wish to call that which lies beyond tangible physical reality. It's a real degree, not some made up thing from some metaphysical degree-granting business over the internet. And it's not unrecognized by the larger psychological institutions. But it's not a conventional compartmentalized approach. It combines insights from many different disciplines and attempts to bring it together in one piece.


Okay, there I think I've accomplished what I most want to say about what's great about the Wild Oat phase of development. It allows a person enough experimentation and room for development to be able to either define more precisely what it is they really want to do OR it allows for the creation of something unique that combines what is learned from multiple fields of endeavor in one piece. In the Wild Oat phase of life you try one thing, discover what's great about it and what isn't, try something else and do it again, try another thing, etc. until you either give up on finding what you want outside yourself or find an institution that accepts your unique set of life experiences as exactly right.


It gives you breadth, an ability to think outside of the box, flexibility, and a great capacity to change direction according to what's happening in the present. Adaptability is essential to success in a changing environment and our world is currently changing rapidly and without cease. But it's easy to lose your focus, your overall sense of life purpose, your mission or essential identity, under conditions like that--especially if you don't recognize your essence as unchanging despite the change in capacities you use as you grow.


Wild Oat flower essence is all about that.


You see, a Wild Oat plant that finds itself near a stream under a shady tree doesn't change itself into a Rose bush if some of its seeds find their way into someone's backyard. It's still a weed, a grass, a Wild Oat plant no matter where it winds up. Wild Oat is about finding yourself and recognizing your essential unique ability to contribute to the greater community we live in whether that's in your family, your neighborhood, on the job or, perhaps, via the worldwide web.


The dilemma of Wild Oat is not being recognized as such. It's a weed. Something compartmentalized "civilized" people don't want in their mono-culture way of trying to keep life neatly contained. "What are you going to be when you grow up?" The greater culture wants to know that before you're out of pre-school these days!


People who don't choose a single compartment to fit themselves into and stay there for the rest of their lives are not very unusual. We just don't get much respect or support for the paths we find ourselves on unless we do these explorations on our time off while keeping a respectable day job doing something else. People who can maintain the energy for these explorations after a 40 hour work week, however, are VERY hard to find, especially if a partner and kids are in the picture. That's why the Wild Oats existence used to be encouraged in one's youth.


Today, when young people are taught they HAVE to pick a career and stick to it right away in order to succeed, there's too much pressure to give up what is needed to find one's way. And too much shame if what you want to do doesn't create "success" according to parental or societal expectations. The energetic disconnect this situation can create (see my previous blogs) cannot be emphasized enough. If a person believes they won't be allowed to follow their inner callings (or mustn't allow themselves it), they can't be their true Wild Oat selves. They hang their heads like the Wild Oat plant does -- can you see that in my illustration? And they hide their inner light from the sun.

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Wild Oat is the key ingredient in my Manifesting Life Purpose flower essence aromatherapy formula.


Copyright © 2009

Sheryl Karas

 

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Copyright 2007, Sheryl Karas M.A.

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