We have lived in our home for 10 years and this year our "big" project is paying attention to our backyard and giving it the loving care it needs to be 'restored to glory" : ) One of the things I love about my backyard is how my garden is constantly teaching me how to be in flow - in a more healthy relationship with myself. My backyard garden is a LOT like me. Like my garden, I do not respond well being pressured, punished, bribed or overly scheduled. I love spending time in my garden, because, my garden gets me. My husband says I have a green thumb, I think its just that I am in tune with the rhythms of my garden.
This weekend I was inspired to start a series of lessons I've learned. I'm going to share them with you a little at a time instead of posting a huge long post.
So here is Part 1.
8 Commitments of a Healthy Relationship with Yourself
When you care for your garden in a natural, un-forced, unscheduled way, it thrives. And, you do too. The work of self-care does not feel like an obligation or a "chore" when you don't try to force or "should" yourself into say sleeping or eating in a healthy way.
Doing the work of taking care of yourself becomes an exercise in gratitude, an opportunity to learn, experiment, and discover new ways of seeing, being and doing. When you fully commit to self-care it transforms into an opportunity to gain insight into yourself, and experience a sense of how connected you really are to nature, You get to tap into the flow of life and notice how to find the easy in the hard, the small in the big, how to become satisfied with just enough. To allow a few weeds to crop up and not try to live weed free but rather find the level at which you get to enjoy your garden without it having to be perfect.
Commit to understand your natural personal characteristics, needs and resources just as you must understand what each plant in your garden needs as well as of which area of your garden is the best place to plant it so that it can flourish. (How much sun, rain does it get? What is the climate? soil type? drainage characteristics? rockiness level? slope? What kinds of bugs, creatures, insects are native to the garden? etc.)
Commiting to finding the right "fit" of needs and context is the first rule of garden design. It helps you decide what plants to put where, and minimize the work needed to keep the plant healthy and happy. It helps you determine what you need to do to supplement the garden or the plant's own natural resources without overwhelming it. It will help you decide:
- What to give it
- How much to give
- When to give
- What to let it do on it's own
- When to intervene and when not to
- What tools to use
- How much to RECEIVE from your garden without depleting it.
This one lesson has some really deep and wide implications for life design as well. Life design skills are about understanding yourself as you are, your natural strengths and designing your life to fit you.
When you find yourself in a job, career or business that "fits" you, your life almost automatically becomes happier, healthier and a lot less stressful. When you commit to understanding what you really need AND commit to paying attention and noticing when your needs change, then you can commit to also redesigning and reorganizing your life systems to fit your changing needs.
Trying to change who you are to fit your life (instead of changing your life to fit you) is a dead end street. Put a plant in a garden that is not right for it and it will never blossom to it's fullest potential. The best possible outcome is that you become a really weak and stunted version of what you could be if were in an environment that met at least your minimum needs.
Chronically deprived plants never flourish. And neither to chronically deprived people who don't take the time to understand and differentiate their true needs from their wants, figure out what enough is, and design their lives to first meet all their minimum needs without depriving themselves chronically in any of the other areas...like sleep, exercise, rest.
How does this lesson speak to you right now?