At the end of every week I like to dedicate an hour or two towards my garden. I clean around my pots & containers, clear up dead leaves, make sure they have enough mulch, check for pests, water them and when I'm done I sit amongst my plants and enjoy a nice pot of tea. This week my tea of choice has been Watermelon & Mint, (It's amazing, please try it -it's so refreshing). Anyways; as I was spending time in my Container Garden, I noticed how much I've learned about life, from my plants and from the practice of gardening. What I've learned or been reminded of serves as inspiration for this post. Sit outside somewhere cosy with a cup of tea, soak up the sun and breathe in the fresh air as you read this one.
Lessons from my Garden
1. Sometimes parts of us die and it's ok to let those parts of us go. Dead and dried up leaves fall off my plants all the time, plants shed and let go of extra baggage when necessary. The lesson for me is to find balance between holding on to something and letting when needed..
2. You reap what you sow, corny much? Corny and true. I've planted seeds with my son and he literally checks on them, the next day already to see if they've sprouted. A child's faith is such a beautiful thing but as time passed and both of us have learned more about gardening, we've learned to practice faith alongside patience. Gardening is been a big waiting game for me but all my plants, especially the veggies are so with the wait.
3. The proverbial grass is NOT always greener on the other side. A couple of months ago I purchased spinach, herbs and ornamental kale because I was in a hurry to add vegetables to my garden. I went to a nursery and I felt am aching in my heart, I wanted my garden to look like the one in the nursery so badly so I bought those plants and added them in my garden. Big mistake - all the plants I brought home were pest infested. It was disgusting but it's made me even more determined to practice patience, appreciate the Healthy plants that I've grown from scratch and love my garden or what I already have even more.
4. From mind full to mindful. Generalised Anxiety Disorder has my mind bouncing from one mentally exaggerated worry or fear to the next - all day long. Overthinking has almost become the theme of my daily existence and while I am learning to accept that overthinking is a part of me; it also really feels great to be able to focus one thing at a time and to be fully present. When I'm in my Garden, with my hands in the soil or harvesting, that is literally all that is on my mind at the time. I get so drawn into the present, I feel more relaxed and it generally just calms me down.
5. Get your hands dirty and do the work. Gardening not only requires full awareness and keen attentiveness, it also challenges me to put in work. Tons of work. I love feeling needed and knowing that my efforts count for something. I'm a nurturer and my garden is the perfect space for be to practice and express love and care.
There are so many more things that I learn daily since becoming a Gardener, like how to take pleasure in the little things and starting something from nothing. I think the biggest takeaway is peace. Gardening brings me peace, it makes me feel peace, breathe peace and be peace. What brings you peace? What makes you feel calm and relaxed? I'd love to hear what lessons you're learning about life from other living beings or even things. Comment and share with me.
Here are some lessons that you can use as mantras or quote:
Cut the toxic weeds (people) out from your path and watch your entire existence bloom.
Trim your dead leaves from your stem and grow relentlessly.
Be moved by the winds of change but stand firm in your roots.
Take only what you need from those that give without asking for anything in return like the sun and the water.
Reach up and out toward everything that you deserve.
Just because nobody else can see you growing doesn't mean that you aren't growing.