When I was little I used to spend the summers with my grandparents in our village house, yet I was not fond of gardening at all. If they needed help planting or weeding, I’d conveniently disappear perched on one of the branches of the peach tree with a book in hand. However, when harvesting time came, I most definitely enjoyed the fruits of their labor. Coming to the USA 10 years ago, there was nobody to plant a garden for me. What I found in the grocery store as far as produce was concerned, could not even remotely compare to the home-grown fruit and vegetables I had grown up on. So what did I do? Always solution-oriented, I started planting gardens everywhere I lived. Seven so far and still counting.
It’s amazing how empowering planting seeds can be. You put them in the ground, water them, then wait and after some time they reward you with so much more than what you started with. I believe that if everybody has a garden we will have so much abundance and we will enjoy wonderful sharing and connections, like many people all over the world have been/already do. Life can be so easy, yet we tend to make it so hard…
Being involved hands on with procuring our nourishment has so many benefits for our overall well-being, and if you need a reminder pick up and read Anastasia by Vladimir Megre or take some time and volunteer at an organic farm through Workaway. Or even better, plant your own garden and fill it with what you love. In this blog post I choose to focus not on the practical benefits of gardening and/or how to do it, but rather on the metaphor of life as a garden.
I believe we are all born with a full array of various seeds, ours for the planting. Our parents/grandparents/relatives/teachers show us how to cultivate some of them and throughout our lives we work on our own inner gardens. The seed pack we are given at the start includes not only luscious flowering plants, delicious fruit, and nutritious veggies, but also a plethora of weeds and invasive species who can potentially suffocate/kill the others. Ideally, what a good gardener does is to experiment with their seeds, while leaving room for mistakes and deriving joy from the process. They can fill their garden with plants such as Beauty, Love, Compassion, Kindness, Faith, Humility, Honesty, Laughter, Generosity, Forgiveness, etc. If they find that Hate, Injustice, Greed, Envy, Fear, etc have sprung up amidst the other vegetation, they recognize them at the start and pull them out. As most of us know, weeding is a laborsome process, and oftentimes we need to repeat it over and over again. However, it is virtually inevitable and with practice we learn how we can manage the weeds as to not affect our garden as much. What we focus on grows, so we make sure to water and care for the plants that nourish our being.
Some people, though, were given the seed pack without very many instructions on good gardening to begin with or were too busy with other things to cultivate their plants. At one point in life they find their garden full of weeds and they have no food to eat. Ashamed and embarrassed, some of them try to steal from their neighbor’s flourishing garden, harboring jealousy and resentment that it is not their own. Yet, the stolen fruit rots in their mouths and is never enough to satisfy their hunger. Maybe, somewhere down the line, their swallow their pride and ask for help in desperation. If/When they do, they learn that deep down inside they also have the seeds to cultivate beautiful nutritious plants, and they have been there all along. With a little help from their friends, they manage to clean up the weeds in their garden and plant the seeds of what they wish to grow. Enlisting time, perseverance, care and love in their favor, one day they find themselves stewards of plentiful magnificent gardens as well. Suddenly, they not only have enough food for themselves and their family, but they have an abundance to share/exchange with others as well. Seeing other people’s gardens, they no longer wish to steal for they know they too have the same seeds. Jealousy gives way to inspiration, and the world becomes a better place.
Everything can be that simple, if we all realized that essentially we are all One. However, we have come into the world of duality to learn and grow. What very often is the case, is that we become neglectful of our own gardens, in hopes to help save somebody else’s. We not only offer to pull out the weeds for them and plant the new seeds, but when they refuse to take care of the young plants we start to water them as well. Giving our time/efforts away establishing and caring of other people’s gardens, leaves us no time for our own, which ends up in the same dire state of the ones we have been trying to save. What started out as a noble mission, is now a disaster. Or, we visit somebody whose vision of their garden is not the same as ours and we try to impose on them how and what they should plant for we know better. Another tempting behavior is to focus on the weeds growing in a person’s garden and spend all of our time pointing them out versus enjoying the beautiful plants that grow alongside them as well. Similarly, we often do this in our own gardens – instead of celebrating our progress, we would rather wallow in self-pity for the things we have not managed to accomplish yet. The scenarios are endless, I am sure you can come up with many more yourselves.
The solution (for me, at least 😉 )? FOCUS ON YOUR OWN GARDEN AND GROW WHAT YOU WANT. Don’t be concerned with your neighbor’s and allow people’s opinions but feel no obligation to follow them. If you see something in another’s garden that you wish to have, know that you have all the seeds inside – find that particular one and devote the time to cultivate it. Be inspired and remember that gardening is an experiment. Some plants die, others grow too fast, some take time to emerge but when they do there is not stopping them, everything changes with the seasons and each season is different every year. Dead leaves need to be cleaned, weeds pulled out, roots watered and ground loosened. However, there is no rush and all can be done at your own pace. Imagine how you wish your garden to look like and keep that image alive as if it were already true. All things done with Love and Joy bear good results. By fertilizing the soil, you nurture your soul. We teach best by example – when our garden is flourishing and bearing juicy fruit, then we can inspire others to take care of their own. Yet, their garden is their responsibility. There is nobody to save, but ourselves. By taking care of our own garden, we help heal the world and make it a better place.
As You Sow, So You Shall Reap. The Universe is a Mirror – what we send out comes back to us. As within, so without. What is growing in your inner garden right now? What seeds do you wish to cultivate? What are you waiting for? There is not better time than NOW, there is no better time than HERE. A garden of a thousand plants begins with a single seed. Let’s leave fear of failure at the door – we learn as we grow, we grow as we learn. What if gardening is a game with no set rules – how would you like to play?
When we know and take better care of our inner landscapes, we are able to be much better stewards to our Home, the beautiful planet Earth we inhabit. Every day is an opportunity to start fresh and have fun in the process. Don’t be afraid to dig deep, there is so much beauty hidden inside of you. Let’s bring it to the Light!