Feel Better Blog
Ways to help you feel better every day: mind, body and spirit!
Nature and seasons have been repeated themes in my life over the last several weeks. It got me thinking of some areas that I've been struggling. How I am probably not nurturing them to flourish like I could be and how I might re-engage them in a new way to make a difference. If I compare those priorities to nature and a garden, they take a whole new life and opportunity.
Let's look at a garden of mine that feels like it is in really great shape - the food in my life or as some of you like to call it, my diet. I hear from friends often about how some of the food I post about on social media looks amazing. A few years ago I was really struggling to eat good food in a consistent manner. One salad or day of good eating does not a healthy body make. My regular blood work was headed towards being pre-diabetic in my mid and late 30s. My garden of healthy eating was overgrown with weeds, bare spots and muck. It felt rather hopeless to ever look like something I would be happy in. And then I met another gardener of healthy eating who suggested I might be able to have my own beautiful landscape. She insisted I could make it happen with some hard work and support. I felt compelled to get started with her help and did just that.
It was a lot of work that Spring to start weeding my kitchen of all the junk food in the house. I prepared the soil with time and money on lots of healthy eating garden supplies with all sorts of different foods. Seeds in the form of knowledge and preparation, a stocked pantry with new and healthier options, and the hope that I could make this happen in my own life. I watered and nurtured those seeds regularly with love and kindness. Not only from others in the form of support, but I gave myself regular practiced gratitude and affirmation that even the smallest bit of progress was still progress.
Over the coming months my garden of healthy eating really started to grow. Since then I've tried new plants of different ways of eating, and moved things around in the garden by seeing what foods work best for me at certain times or portions. I have lost countless plants from falling off course or letting the weeds of my sugar addiction creep back in from time to time. But overall the roots are strong in my love and confidence of delicious food that happens to be healthy. Now it is much easier to nurture this strong and vibrant oasis of nature because I have spent the time getting it to a beautiful place. I know what it feels like to keep trying new plants to make it better, and I know the basics to keep things thriving.
So what areas are you letting weeds take over or neglecting to water? Are your relationships, finances, career, home, health, and spirituality all where you want them to be? Are you ready to make a lasting difference or feeling called to make a transformation in one or more of your areas of life? Here are some things to think about when you go to re-engage with a garden of neglect or an oasis you are ready to transform into something even better.
1) Make sure the gardener has the support, knowledge and supplies he or she needs. You know that you are the garden keeper of your life, right? Whether you get help or not is your choice, as are so many other choices in how you prioritize things. Do you have the right tools, and an idea of what direction you'd like to take the garden? Get in touch with someone who knows how to teach yoga if you want to improve your core strength and flexibility, or has helped others with their digestive health if those are areas of your health garden that you want changed. Talk to a mentor or trusted colleague if you are wanting to make a move in a new direction or make changes in your career garden. Use the vast information you already know and put it to work. Choose to go big, or start small. There is no right answer. Not one way to make a garden that you love. If you stray off course, you can always start again.
2) Regularly give the garden what it needs when it's needed. This is not a one time investment and there are no magic beans. A good garden takes some regular work, but usually gets easier once you get going. Are you finding a way to put that extra $25 aside each week to get to that big savings garden you have been wanting to thrive? Are you fitting in 20 minutes regularly of meditation or walking outside or writing in your journal to help connect with your spiritual garden and have a way to find more peace in your life?
3) Check in with your garden regularly to make sure the weeds and critters aren't taking a hold where you aren't looking. Check under the rocks; look at the leaves close up instead of from your kitchen window. Perhaps it is time for a deep Fall cleaning to prep your home garden for winter. Or sit down with your significant other and catch up on some one on one time to see where that relationship garden is in need of some touch ups or overhauls.
4) Know that there is always more you can learn about this garden, more support you can find, and new surprises that will come your way. I have talked to master gardeners who have spent years in their expertise and who still find new things come up that they did not know. I used to be terrible with plants, but learned that I too could grow a plant indoors with no natural sunlight. Just two months ago my office garden felt super comfortable to me. A new opportunity came along, and suddenly I needed a different plot for my garden. Another priority can force you to spend less time in this garden. Or you may decide you don't want a garden at all, but a forest. You get to decide what is important and how you focus your energy.
How does the garden metaphor work in your own life? I recently read a book on vocation by Parker Palmer. It's called Let Your Life Speak if you want a rewarding and quick read. In it he relates growing things in our lives with the seasons. We talk a lot about the things in terms of manufacturing - making money, making time, making love. But how different and more connected to life and each other it would be if we nurtured money, nurtured time, and nurtured love!
I hope you found this look at nature helpful to an area of your life. If it did, I hope you will treasure it and apply it generously and purposefully. If you think it would be helpful to someone close to you, please share it.
With love and light!
Massage Therapist, Health Coach, Personal Development junkie.
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