How to Bloom Where You’re Planted


“Wherever you are, and whatever you do, be in love.”
― Rumi
How many times a day do you wish for your life to be different? Perhaps you wish you lived in a different place or had a different job. Maybe you think that if the right person came along, your life would feel complete.

Maybe you suffer from FOMO — fear of missing out. And, you’re always thinking that you should be somewhere other than where you are.

We’ve all done it. And, my experience is that it’s exhausting.

When I moved to Durango, Colorado almost three years ago, it was the last place on earth I thought I’d end up. New York City or Paris seemed to be a better fit, but instead I was in a town filled with Patagonia and nature loving people.

I’ll admit that at first I resisted. I didn’t go out much. I daydreamed of faraway places. I created this story in my head that went something like this: One day, you’ll get out of this place.

The result: frustration.

Because I don’t like the feeling of being stuck (and that’s exactly what it felt like), I was like: Screw this. I’m going to bloom where I’m planted.

Durango is my home (for now, and maybe forever), so instead of whining like a two-year old, I consciously decided to make this the best experience ever.

With that intention, I started going out more, which led to meeting the most incredible people, some of whom will be lifelong friends. I began building my mountain chic wardrobe, so that I could feel comfy, warm and stylish during my outdoor adventures. I started seeking out local events and discovered that my town is full of art, culture and music.

And, then there’s nature. I began spending more time outdoors — hiking, boating, glamping and sauntering by the river. I am more convinced than ever that Mother Earth holds all of our answers and can be the most healing relationship ever (but I’ll save that for a future post).

Three years ago, I was frustrated about my location. Today, I am absolutely in love with it, because I made a conscious choice: to bloom where I’m planted.

It could be a job, relationship, home or anything that you’re wishing away, but what if you set the intention to stop resisting it and begin to make the absolute best with where you are right now?

My experience is that your life would become a grand, magical adventure.

Here are some ideas to help you to start blooming (no matter where you are).

Instead of neglecting your home because you don’t like it, create a room that you love. Your home is your refuge, and you can make your current living situation as miserable or exquisite as you desire. I vote for the latter, because you deserve a beautiful living space.

Seek out culture and arts in your hometown. Women need to have their creative spirits renourished, and you don’t have to live in New York City to cultivate a beautiful mind. Look for festivals, lectures and concerts that are close by and make them a priority in your life.

Begin to explore hobbies that you could enjoy right now. I believe that every human being needs a hobby to enjoy. There’s more to life than just work and paying bills. When you fill your life with simple pleasures and pursuits, you will bloom.

Explore creative ways to make your job more enjoyable. People really think that a new job will make them happier, but that denies you of creating your own joie de vivre. Whether it’s taking the initiative to ask your boss to incorporate an idea that will serve the company or putting fresh flowers on your desk, take responsibility for your emotional state and get creative.

Discover physical activities that are en vogue where you are. Sure, I love walking around a city all day, but I’m in Durango. So, I bought a boat to enjoy summers on the beautiful mountain lakes, purchased a good hiking shoes to tromp around the forests and just invested in my first sleeping bag EVER! Whether it’s dance classes, paddle boarding or skiing, discover how the locals love to move and get active. You’ll not only get in shape, you’ll probably meet fabulous people in the process.

Invest fully in your relationships. Many people have one foot in and the other out in their relationships. I know because I was once one of them. And, it’s taken me years to understand that to create successful partnerships (friendly and romantic), you must decide to show up as your best self and give it 100%. It’s easy to think that another relationship would be better for you (and it may), but work on yourself first. Then decide. Don’t divest before you fully invest.

Show up as your best self. Not when you’ve lost 20 pounds or have it all together (which is boring anyway). Commit to dressing, speaking, walking and loving as the best you possibly can TODAY, not tomorrow.

Live with a heart of gratitude. There’s not a personal development program on the planet that doesn’t speak of gratitude, and it’s because it is so effective. You can complain about where you are OR you can choose to find the beauty and appreciation in it. The latter will open you up to much more.

Start your day off with the right questions. I teach my clients about the power of the question. You can wake up and ask “Why does my life suck” and you’ll get a million reasons. Or, you can wake up and ask, “How am I going to make today my best day ever?” This question will open you up to creative possibility instead of being stuck in your misery.

Take exquisite care of what you have. Instead of stuffing your closets and life with more stuff, slow down and ask yourself this question: am I truly caring for what I already have? If your answer is no, this is a beautiful entry point into blooming where you’re planted. Not only will you probably save money, you’ll also begin to fully appreciate what you’ve already created.

So, I’m going to turn this over to you: what are your suggestions on making the best of what you have and blooming?

Please share in the comments. We all need inspiration on how to truly enjoy our lives.

In Full Bloom,


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37 Responses to How to Bloom Where You’re Planted

  1. This post completely speaks to my heart. I am having such a hard time with this aspect of my life. I am a Coloradoan stuck in Texas (South Park native, to be exact). My husband assured me when I married him that we would come down to Houston for 4 years, just long enough to get his degree, then we would come back home. Not even 6 months after moving down here did he change his mind and decide he’s never leaving here and will retire, build a home and die in Texas (he’s from here). So, my 4 years has turned into nearly 17 by now. Every day I think of home, and find myself comparing what’s here to what’s there. “This feels like a late May morning back home”, and “This definitely wouldn’t happen until sometime in early October back home, I can’t believe it’s almost January here”. And I particularly have trouble when it is cloudy – every single afternoon in Colorado the clouds gather on the mountains; all you need to do is follow the trail to the peaks. You’d think after 17 years now I’d have that out of my system, but nope. I can’t help but comb the sky to look for the mountains that I know won’t be there, which then in turns makes me upset and deflated. I don’t despise Texas, and I can appreciate the blessings that I’ve had here that I wouldn’t have in Colorado, but my feeling of gratitude doesn’t last long. And, now that we’ve been here so long, I’ve worked at the same hospital system for all this time and have invested in my retirement. And, not to mention that I now have children who will more than likely stay here, if I believe the statistics that are out there. So, anyway, enough whining, I’m here to learn how to make the best of my life and put my big girl panties on. I appreciate this post enormously!

    • Heather, what I can tell you is that it’s a constant practice of refocusing your attention and gratitude. It’s SO painful to constantly live in a state of wishing you are somewhere other than where you are. That last statement alone was the inspiration I needed to decide to make wherever I am the best place possible. I also believe that when you decide to bloom where you’re planted, you open yourself up to incredible opportunities that you’d never experienced when in a state of resistance! Sending you love and peace.

  2. This post speaks to me as well. I live in a very nice suburban community, but have a great desire to live either in a big city or a very small town. I’ve always felt a little bit like George Bailey, stuck in the town I grew up in and never getting out (although I did get out for awhile and returned by choice). Now that I have ties here in the way of children and a soon to be grandchild, I doubt I will ever leave again, and that does make me a bit sad. So I decided awhile ago that I will make the most of where I live and appreciate what it has to offer. I like the “bloom where you are planted” phrase and appreciate your suggestions. My goal is to be happy where I am and not wish I were somewhere different all the time – to make this the life I choose.

    • Melodee…I hear you! It seems the mind is constantly trying to convince you that you’re not where you need to be, and it’s exhausting. What’s helped me is to say to myself, “I’m choosing to be here,” because it is always our choice. And, you may choose to stay, but there are places you can explore and then come back home! xoxo

  3. Hey Tonya! I am curious…what drew you to Durango? I have felt the pull back to CO for a while, but can’t see myself back in Denver (my original home). I am considering Durango, and curious what brought you there. Glad you have embraced it!!! XOXO-Dani

    • Hi Dani! My ex received a job here, and so we moved. What keeps me here? Well, the people, charm, beauty, the remoteness. It’s eclectic and has so much to offer – hikes, the river, hot springs, restaurants, festivals, art, great coffee. We are 7 hours away from the Grand Canyon, Phoenix, Denver. Santa Fe and Moab are 3 hours away. And, it’s a place I love coming home to after my gallivanting. Keep me posted!

  4. Thank you for this post, dear Tonya! I have lived in Florence, Italy, for some years now. I love to stay here and I consider myself very lucky to live in the historical center of this beautiful city. But I am a creature from the deep South. I miss the sun and the warm weather of my hometown everyday and I miss all the wonderful friends whom I left behind. That’s why I have changed my house in a relaxing place where I can spend time enjoying my music, my books and my beautiful treasures, such as scarfs, beauty products etc. And I always know where the next book presentation or the next concert will take place.
    I never think about tomorrow, because as we say in Italy: tomorrow sits on Zeus’ knees (you’ll never know the future).
    Baci a tutte

    • Dear Celeste, what I find so fascinating is that you are in FLORENCE, ITALY (a place many dream of living) and miss the South. This is so reaffirming, because I have had the thought many times that if I were living in a little flat in Paris, I’d probably want to be somewhere else. I remind myself of this often when I find myself wishing to be anywhere other than where I am. Thank you! And, yes, tomorrow sits on Zeus’ knees (love that!). xoxo

    • Celeste,

      I am going to visit Florence, Italy in June to celebrate my 50th birthday. I am over the moon about the upcoming trip!! I can’t wait to explore this beautiful part of the world.

  5. “Bloom where you’re planted” is one of my fave quotes. Tonya, I agree with everything you’ve written. Another thing I do besides what you listed is to play a little trics on my mind. My heart longs to live in France so at my home in South Texas I create an oasis and look at it as if I am in a French locale. It helps to be blanketed in French art, decor, wine, etc. “If Mohammed can’t go to the mountain bring the mountain to Mohammed.” :))

    • Cecilia, love your suggestion! I bring a little France to me every day, and it does sooth my heart! C’est la vie!

  6. There is the beautiful movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen (movie that you know for sure) that explains this strange feeling in a quote: it is a little unsatisfying because LIFE is unsatisfying. Unfortunately that’s how it goes, but we can live our best anyway! Ciao

    • Celeste, I remember that quote so well, and it’s that thirst that advances us all, IMO. It leaves me with the question: can I be content with the thirst? An on-going exploration.

  7. Thank you so much for this beautiful post! I have struggled with this exact frustration — feeling like I don’t get to live where I want to right now. But I’ve found that when I offer myself a little more graciousness and put a little more effort into what’s around me, I am so much more content and calm. Thank you so much. <3

  8. Tonya,
    Love this post! I have been putting this into practice for many years, although it was a hard challenge sometimes. In recent years, I finally sought treatment for my extremely high anxiety levels and feel “normal” for the first time ever. This has led to a lot more adventure in my life as I am not so afraid of everything. I posted on the Facebook page a few weeks ago about a serendipitous meeting with a Senenca Tribe native at a bookstore. Well, today I am at work in my office in the county courthouse. Some time ago I decided to stay out of the drama and politics here and look at working here as endless entertainment, and it certainly is! Today, I had another serendipitous meeting with someone walking down the stairs in front of me. He was so tall, straight and muscular with a short cropped haircut and a take-charge demeanor. He said hello and I asked “Are you military? You just have that look about you.” He said “No, my dad was a fighter pilot in WWII and he just raised me this way”. “Wow, that is great. My dad was an army sergeant that had five daughters and he raised us like an army sergeant would.” This led to a very nice 15 minute chat with a stranger about family, the wars they served in and the way it affected them when they came home. At times, we BOTH teared up recounting the stories of what these men went through for us and our country. That little event in the middle of my day makes my afternoon of working on reports so much more pleasurable!

    • Jo Ann, I always find it beautiful to see where curiosity and sincerity can take a person, sometimes to places never imaged. Thank you for sharing, and so happy for your new level of peace! Sending you love!

  9. I have recently relocated, and I’ve been struggling to create a new, authentic life for myself in a location that is far from family and friends. Thanks for your fabulous advice.

    I want to love my new home!

    • And, I want you to love it to, because it feels so much better to be in love than misery. Get creative and have fun Ashley!

  10. I resisted blooming where I’m planted for the first 9 years in my current location. It had a direct negative effect on not only me but my husband and children as well. Three years ago I decided to enjoy, participate, and have fun. What a difference it has made! I feel so much happier with my life and proud of my accomplishments. I’ve made contributions through volunteer work and my personal relationships are much better. Now I have goals each quarter for making our house the best it can be as well. Blooming where you’re planted is superior advice, indeed! I would encourage everyone to try it and see the results for themselves.

    • Hiya Pat! So appreciate you sharing you experience. It’s so fascinating to see how a mindset shift changes everything! Enjoy working on your home. And, thank you for being such a vibrant bon vivant in The French Kiss Life Club!

  11. Thank you for this article. I’m constantly full of excuses for why I’m not enjoying my life in the present. The here and now is always hard for me to wrap my head around. I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life and always been a traveler at heart. There is this whole world out there! I fell in love with and married my college sweetheart. He is such a practical, budget-minded homebody so we are very different, but hey, opposites attract right? He can’t understand my yearning for seeing new things and creating beauty in and around our home. To him, these are “non-essentials.” We need to compromise so that we both feel comfortable, secure and at peace. Thank you for giving me the inspiration to stop letting excuses get in the way of my true happiness. Happy is what you make of it.

    • Where are you in Colorado Whitney? And, as I tell my clients, it’s not anyone’s job to understand you. It’s all yours, and when you focus on what you desire to create AND love those around you, things begin to shift. Please keep us posted! xoxo

  12. I feel ya. I came to this town, of which you are familiar, kicking and screaming. I love the general area of the SC coastline, but the specifics were something I never though I would touch. I have to admit I have had many a not so nice thought about it here. I decided, finally, since this was our home base to embrace what I enjoy about the area. At the same time I overlook that which I could not change, which is difficult in this in-your-face beach town. I worked hard at being myself here, not worrying about fitting in to my human surroundings 😉 and to be me. I, we the family, are observant of what we like here and avoid the pitfalls for the most part. I tell myself nearly daily that home is in my heart and actions. Thanks for your blog on this subject!

  13. Tonya,
    I’m a country girl, living in a major city. (Tokyo) and I’m struggling to adjust to being back after a home visit.
    I loved your post as it had humour in it, and inspiring despite us being cut from different cloths!
    Thank you for the inspiration, this country girl is off to make the most of her city living!

  14. Thank you for the beautiful post, Tonya.
    The last two days I can’t seem to access your older blog posts. As a newer member I am just immersing myself in your articles, only “Bloom Where You’re Planted” comes up. No links to older posts and even pulling up previous viewed pages brings up this page. It happens on both my work PC and home Mac. Is there possibly a gremlin in the server? Or in this case, a gargoyle? 🙂
    Thank you for simply existing, by the way.

  15. This and all of Tonya’s post also the wonderful comments have opened my eyes over the past few months. There really are no words except , Thank you so very very much. I wish I knew or could of read some of these things 30 years ago. It must be touching so many women how wonderful is that.

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