Plant, Tend, Weed

June 2018

What the Garden Teaches Us
“To nurture the garden is to feed not the body but the soul.”
Alfred Austin

With inspiration all around us, let’s take a look at how we can
grow our own personal soul-garden...

Plants tend to be either light-or shade lovers. Light loving plants tend to be bright, ever blooming, and given to providing cheer. They are a natural pick to hang around. Shade plants in a garden tend to more independent, shunning the spotlight, they dance in the shadows, become beautiful in their mystery. As in plants, so in people... are you a sun lover, or shade lover, or a bit of both? To thrive, plant yourself in the environment (aka perfect patch) that suits you best..

If all you did was plant one seed in your life garden you might be disappointed. Some seeds fall on fallow ground (the crush you had on the boy in school). Or the resulting plant might not live up to your expectations – you may have pursued the wrong degree or career. There’s no date stamp to sowing seeds, no limit on how many you can sow. It can be life long. It may be sowing that seed called “Heart’s Desire”  - in which you give up the corporate world to open up a yoga studio. Looking for love? That seed comes in a package called “Open Your Heart To It”. To sow is to take the seed of a dream, thought or ambition, and nurture it until it becomes a bigger and more beautiful part of your life.
Nothing grows without nourishment. Not that seedling you’ve just planted. And certainly not you. In gardens, you nourish the earth, adding compost, worms, and anything that makes the soil rich, nourishing, organic, and your harvest plentiful. In real life nourishment comes from the food you eat, the books you read, the music you listen to, the self care you give yourself at some point every single day. What doesn’t nourish, we call “Junk”!
Weeds are like uninvited guests at the party who choose the best hangouts, and then go on to drink and eat everything in sight! They invade your garden, choke out your plants, steal nourishment, and generally run amok. Weeds exist in real life, too. The negative thoughts in your mind. Bad habits. It can be the clutter in your house.  It can be people who feed off you without giving anything back. Feel stifled? Overwhelmed?  Get yourself weeding and give yourself space.

Like weeds. Bugs and critters love gardens. Some we welcome– the butterflies, the bees, that in their pollinating ways do great good.  But sometimes other critters get in and spoil the show, nibbling away at this, uprooting that... Protecting your garden means establishing boundaries and life is no different. Ensuring that the bad stuff, like toxic relationships, is kept far away from you will help keep you sane.
You can’t neglect your garden and you can’t neglect self. Sure, it may run away with itself sometimes. But tending is needed. In the garden, it’s catching the vine before it runs rampant. It’s nipping a wilted head off a stem so a new bloom can come. It’s watering the roots so that life doesn’t shrivel up. In life it’s much the same...Taking care, looking after yourself. So tend without end – not only is it mindful, meditative, it’s all about being good to you.
 You’ve sown, nourished, weeded, and protected,
and now you can enjoy your harvest.
Pick it. Bless it. And remember everything that
the garden has taught you.

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