What can plants teach us about handling shame, threats, and danger?

Sometimes we have shame and embarrassment about saying no.

Shame is such a powerful emotion, we even have a plant named after it.

Mimosa pudica, the shameplant.

Let’s pause and consider Mimosa pudica. This plant receives a lovely chapter in Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s book World of Wonders.

She shares how in India and other tropical places of the world this plant is a weed- growing everywhere and becoming a nuisance.

Yet, in some houseplant stores and hobby boutiques, you can pay HIGH dollar to buy it.

Why such fervor over a simple plant?


The plants leaves close up from your touch.

One finger brushing against the plant causes the leaves to fold together and shut out the world.

There’s a lot to learn from plants.

Every touch closes the leaves.

By contrast, in a Venus flytrap, a slight touch also closes leaves, but this time, upon dinner, not in protection.

The same action can have too different results. It depends on the context, but it also depends on the plant.

More important than shame, closing leaves, and catching prey is this…

Do you know how most plants defend themselves from predators?

You can’t see it with your naked eye.

Its within them.

Most plants have phytochemicals to drive predators away and to protect the plant.

When you can’t run away from a threat, you learn different defense mechanisms.

In a loud and noisy world, sometimes we can’t run away from the threats.

Sometimes the threats can’t be removed.

At that point, it matters what you have within to deal with the threats.

The first week in Journey to Boundaryville we are focusing Solely on self-love, self-worth, and exploring the imagination and inner world of the self.

The reason being, all the outer boundaries, verbalized “No’s”, declines, and unsubscribes cannot help you if your inner world will allow the threats back in again.

Changing your outer life is an inside job.

Inner exploration can be one of the most wonderous and freeing experiences- as can saying no when you’ve been wanting to say it for so long!

You don’t have to explore your inner world alone, as I will be your guide there along with you.


Sign up here if you’d like to doodle, play, and strengthen your inner resources together


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