A sunflower seed is planted underground in complete darkness. A sunflower seed represents us in our most hopeless state. We are full of life and strength, but we are surrounded by darkness. Just like the seed, if we give up when we experience feelings of despair or a sense of helplessness, we aren’t able to continue growing and improving. We cannot become the best version of ourselves.
But sunflower seeds don’t give up: they grow towards the surface of the soil. A seed can’t grow on its own. It needs help from the things around it. Just like the sunflower seed, the people around us, our Hope Network, help us grow towards a hopeful mindset.
As a sunflower grows, it must stretch its roots deep into the ground to propel itself towards the surface. We push ourselves out of despair and helplessness, the two ingredients of hopelessness, using Stress Skills, such as mediation, deep breathing, and 90-second pauses.
Once a sunflower breaks out of the soil and into the sunlight, it unfurls giant leaves to collect more sunshine. We nurture our positive feelings and hopeful mindsets by practicing our Happy Habits: the healthy, long term habits that help us collect more and more hope.
As the sunflower grows, it will have to overcome obstacles. It may be in rocky or acidic soil, or not get enough space, water, or light. Like the sunflower, we will also experience challenges. However, by relying on our Stress Skills, Happy Habits, SMART goals, inspired actions, and a Hope Network, we will be able to overcome them.