Last weekend I drove by a nursery and noticed many people excited to get everything they need to grow a perfect garden. While some held plants, some held flowers, some held seeds and others held gardening tools, these people all shared the same intention, to plant and grow a beautiful garden. Well, that got me thinking…
What does it take for a garden to flourish and thrive? Seemed to me that in order for plants or flowers to thrive, they need many of the same things we do.
Think about it. When planting flowers, we want to plant them on moist, nutrient rich soil, water them frequently, plant them where they’ll receive sunlight, adequate space and in an area that encourages their growth. Now take a look at us. What conditions do we need to grow, thrive and be our best? The moist, nutrient rich soil can be compared to eating healthy food. Are you eating a colorful, nutrient rich, healthy diet filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats and plenty of water? Just as the garden grows best when it has quality nutrients it can absorb, our bodies perform better when we eat quality foods packed with healthy ingredients while hydrating ourselves with enough water.
Next, a garden thrives when given enough sunlight. Don’t you feel better when you’re enjoying the sun too?
Now, think about why we need to give a garden adequate space in an area that encourages its growth. When flowers or plants are planted too closely together they don’t have room to grow. This is how so many of us live our lives. Just as a garden can be crammed with too much “stuff” in too little space, our days are crammed with so many tasks, responsibilities, chores, errands, commitments and obligations in not nearly enough time to get it all done. With so much going on, it’s unlikely we have the mental space we need to consider (let alone do anything about) what we need to feel fulfilled, enriched, happy and healthy.
As far as planting the garden in an area that encourages growth, it’s important to consider the environment its being planted in as well. For a garden to thrive, the soil needs to be dense, free and clear of any rocks or debris. In this clutter free environment, it’s easy to see your garden grow. If you planted your garden on dry, hard clay or in a cluttered area filled with extra “stuff,” would you expect the same results?
Take a look at your surroundings. Is there adequate room and is it calm, serene and comfortable? Or, is it cluttered, disorganized, messy and chaotic? Just like the garden, our surroundings are either supportive or destructive to our well being. They can either enhance and soothe or unnerve and distress us. Just as the garden is more likely to grow or perform better in the right environment, so are we.
Finally, consider the daily care of the garden. A beautiful garden receives support in the form of a loving caretaker. Since the garden can’t take care of itself, one of the roles of the garden’s caretaker is to remove the harmful weeds that would harm its growth or prevent it from thriving. Basically, the caretaker ensures that nothing sabotages the garden’s health, growth and well being.
Now consider your daily care in the form of exercise, emotions and your relationships. While exercise, positive emotions and healthy relationships encourage healing, growth, health and happiness, a lack of exercise, negative emotions and toxic relationships act just like those weeds, suffocating wellness and preventing us from flourishing.
Is a lack of exercise, negative thoughts or toxic relationships preventing healthy, positive results and if so, is it time to do something about those “weeds?” Are they preventing you, just like that garden to become its best?
In the right environment, any garden can grow, thrive and be beautiful. A vegetable garden can ripen, offering supportive nourishment to those around it while a flourishing flower garden radiates beauty and pleasure to all within its reach. Just as a loving caretaker gives the garden what it needs to grow, it’s time to give yourself the same love, care and attention so you can do the same.