Tending the garden of your self

Imagine that you are a garden, being tended by yourself.

What kinds of soil preparation do you need to do? Is there a need for you to turn over some new soil through new experience, to dig and soften the soil of yourself with rest and nutrition, or to prepare yourself through being physically fit for growing good things within yourself?

Some time ago I sat with a group of people who were discussing a principle that we call the Good Message. One young woman in the group sat in silence as the rest of us chattered about what that idea meant to us. Toward the end of the discussion she began to speak. She quietly told us how she had just realized that she continuously said to herself things that she would never say to anybody else, nor would she ever allow anyone else to say those things to her. And yet, that was her ongoing self-talk.

She suddenly understood that she had been seeding her life with the wrong kinds of seeds, and had been nurturing them without ever understanding the harm she was doing to the garden of herself. All of us learned a lesson from her in that moment.

When you plant the seeds of thoughts and ideas, opinions and attitudes, in yourself, what kinds of seeds are you planting? Do you plant the seeds of negative self-talk or positive thoughts? Do you plant seeds that will grow and take root from within you, or do you plan or transplant things that are already growing, and nurture them within yourself?

Planting new seeds is necessary. These are the ideas that come from within you, your own creativity. And as all gardeners know, sometimes you can save a lot of time by acquiring established plants and putting them in a well-prepared place in the garden. These plants may produce good fruit several years before a plant grown from seed would be able to do. So it is with ideas: we should be open both to creating our own ideas and to finding outside ourselves good ideas that come already formed, already begun, and we can build on them.

We have the opportunity and responsibility to nurture these transplanted ideas well and to prune them, shaping them according to our own needs.

If the soil of your garden is barren and infertile – in other words, if your life experience has been barren and infertile –  it is up to you to bring rich soil to it. You can reach out and find ideas, emotional support, and positive attitudes from places other than your experience. Connect with people, videos, books, and other sources of inspiration that will provide you with ways of seeing and ways of being that serve you and help you grow.

You deserve it.


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