One of the most delightful ways of fostering mindfulness as a practice is to do something creative. Our natural function is to create and when we create positively and with purpose we have an enormous sense of wellbeing and feel great. One of the most wonderful and enjoyable ways of attaining a high state of wellbeing is to create something beautiful, and what better way than to co-create with nature.
Planting and tending a small garden is not only creative but has many other benefits as well. It takes us outside into the fresh air and surrounds us with the soothing sights, smells and sounds of nature. Handling the soil is grounding and aligns us with the natural rhythm of the earth. Modern society has lost touch with the rhythms of Mother Earth. In fact, medical anthropologist and psychologist Dr. Alberto Villoldo takes this even further and tells us that science, technology, materialism and the church have caused the people of western society to lose touch with the soul of the earth and now “live in an age that suffers from loss of soul.” Harsh as this may sound it is evident there is much room for improvement in our modern way of life.
Being surrounded by nature is calming and nurturing – well to me it is and I know it is good for my soul. I find this a wonderful backdrop for mindfulness practice. I certainly don’t have a green thumb but I do enjoy potting up several or more pots with seeds and seedlings and watching the new life emerge and grow. Every day I tend my garden I listen to the background chorus of insects, birds, bees, breeze and water as I gently spray the young plants. I absorb myself in the whole process. I see every weed I pull as an aspect of myself that does not nourish me and an opportunity to make room for something more positive. I feel the strong supportive earth energy grounding me and calming the ever busy mind energy. I look in wonder at the varying shapes and colours of the foliage, flowers, vegetables or fruit that only nature’s magic can create. I always feel such joy and gratitude at being a participant in this wondrous little creation.
An extension of our mindful gardening is what I call the ‘Vision Garden’. The Vision Garden works on the basis that nature is the epitome of abundance, growth and beauty and by aligning ourselves with this very essence we are in a natural state of wellbeing – a space that helps us turn our dreams can become reality.
The beauty of the Vision Garden is its simplicity. You don’t have to cultivate a whole garden. All you need to start is one dream, one pot and some seedlings. It helps if the pot is aesthetically appealing to you and the seedlings are a variety of flower in colours that you resonate with.
Your dream can be anything that you desire to manifest in your life. For dreams to come to fruition we must clearly define our intention and maintain focus, (as explained in a recent post by goals strategist Mardy) unclouded by limiting beliefs. We need a workable plan which we must nurture by actioning. No matter how small, we do require some belief that our dream is possible.
The potting process requires focus. As you fill the pot with soil imagine this being the foundation of your plan. As you tap the seedlings from the confines of their small container feel yourself being free of any self imposed restrictions. Observe how compacted the root system has become and feel the joy the plant will feel as its root system is given the freedom to flourish and grow. Align yourself with this feeling of freedom and give yourself permission to feel a sense of achievement.
The nurturing process requires action. In order for your plants to grow and flower you must regularly maintain your Vision Garden. This provides you with a regular opportunity to align and focus on your dream. It is advisable to have the Vision Garden in a place that regularly gets your attention. The more your attention is drawn to the unfolding beauty of your garden the more joy, focus and sense of wellbeing you will feel. Your life and dreams are aligned with the unfolding abundance of your vision garden display.
If your plants wither or die before the end of their cycle don’t whip yourself up. The plant has produced seeds that, although dormant, still maintain the essential life essence. Purchase some more seedlings and get some expert help. Likewise, if at any time you feel your life and or your dreams are not unfolding to your liking it is possibly because of some unknown limiting belief. Be thankful for being alerted to this and consider getting some assistance.
As the season changes and your plants flowering cycle comes to a close it is time for fresh ideas and action. Welcome this new cycle as a means of instigating new visions and dreams.
Any form of meditative practice done in a natural environment aligns us with the pulse of the earth and helps bring peace to the mind and promotes harmony of the body and soul.