Slow release

I’ve been doing something called “coaching” the the past year. I pay for monthly sessions where a coach and I work on improving aspects of my marriage, health habits, and career goals so that I feel happier and more in love with life. It’s my biggest monthly expense after rent and food, and also a considerable investment of time to for the sessions and followup homework. Having a coach as an advice guru and accountability buddy is great, but the service doesn’t promise any quick fixes. There’s no guarantee I’ll attain my relationship or health goals, land a better job, or even be happier.

Why do this crazy thing?

As I was watering my mums, I realized that coaching is like a slow-release, natural/organic fertilizer. It takes a long time to notice the benefits, and I don’t feel them right away. Synthetic chemical fertilizers provide the same nutrients that, say composted steer manure can. However, synthetic fertilizers use salt as a vehicle to deliver the nutrients, the salt accumulates in the soil over the season and causes poor soil health plant damage within a few years.

Probably the most well-known of these to the home grower is Miracle-Gro: be it their Kool-Aid blue crystals that dissolve in the watering can, or in colorful bead forms. These are ubiquitous at garden centers and floral sections at supermarkets.

Organic fertilizers come in shocking forms too: crushed chicken feathers and bones, powdered blood and bone (of what?), mushroom compost, worm castings, cow manure, poultry manure, even bird and bat droppings (known as Guano, and highly valued. It’s a cause for near-war rife between Chile and Peru for a special island covered with sea-bird guano). Some are easier to work with than others. I found crushed chicken feathers and bones so powdery it’d fly away and I’d inevitably inhale it. But I find composted steer manure like rich soil – moist, not too clumpy, easy to shovel and top-dress the soil on balcony flower pots, and satisfying, rich color. Surprisingly not smelly either — I think that may be attributed to it being composted so it’s broken down.

Steer manure is a rich source of nitrogen and good for plant leaf growth. It releases nutrients in small quantities over a long time (over several months), as opposed to synthetics that can release a large dose abruptly and overwhelm a plant.

Let’s just say, in a good way, Ama La Vida coaching is like good steer manure. Its slow release has been doing me good with building natural positive mindsets, confidence, healthy habits, and productivity so that I enjoy living.

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