Lately I have been knee deep in dirt, planting, potting, and pruning.
While I am no green thumb, in gardening I have learned much about life.
Social media can be a positive force in creating awareness, encouraging generosity and inspiring change but also a source of negativity, frustration, comparison and criticism.
Facebook allows us to peek inside the homes, adventures and lives of others.
I don’t know about you but I have spent hours scrolling through the “gardens” (lives) of others while my own garden was slowly dying due to neglect.
Overgrown with the thorns of comparison, weeds of pity and procrastination and dehydrated from lack of attention, my garden left me feeling frustrated, left out, cheated and resentful.
From my sofa I lived vicariously through others though my own life pleaded with me to get off the couch.
For years I whined about the life I didn’t have, the life I said I wanted yet I refused to budge because complaining was easier.
I didn’t have to confront my fears, take any risks or be accountable for my actions.
My pity party consisted of me and my overgrown garden with any potential beauty choked by emotional and physical clutter, toxic friendships and unhealthy habits.
My garden was in a sad state because I was too busy constantly comparing my garden to everyone else’s.
I was so engrossed in other’s lives that any goals or dreams I had wilted on the vine with no available space for growth.
It’s a truth I had to own before anything could ever change.
One day while having a “spiritual hissy fit” giving God an earful of poor, pitiful me, He lovingly reminded me of a truth I knew but didn’t want to acknowledge.
My messy, overgrown garden was due to my neglect and if I wanted a different garden, a different me would be necessary.
It was time to focus on cultivating my own fabulous garden so there would be no time to compare or critique anyone else’s.
Although initially overwhelming due to the accumulation of “stuff” physically and emotionally, I was excited to create something beautiful.
Before starting, I had to decide how I wanted to feel as I strolled through my garden.
Calm, peaceful, interesting, exciting, connected, adventurous, elegant, simple, healthy and joyful became my goal.
How do you want your life to feel?
With that in mind, we begin prepping our gardens for planting which requires removing the weeds because in order for the new to grow, the old has to go.
What in your life needs to be pulled up today?
What needs to go, physically and emotionally?
For me it was clutter, old habits, resentment, guilt and feelings of unworthiness.
A gorgeous, quality garden requires quality conditions in which to thrive.
Enjoying a morning prayer and devotional, reading a motivating blogpost, spending time with positive minded people, adopting rituals that refresh us (for me it is smooth jazz, hot baths, long walks and reading), pursuing activities that energize us, listening to an uplifting podcast or music – all contribute to an environment in which our gardens can flourish.
A beautiful garden also needs regular pruning, cutting back to encourage more.
To create space for more of what you want in your life, what or who needs to be cut away?
I ask myself this when I am feeling frustrated, unmotivated or “stuck”.
Sometimes it’s an old belief that no longer serves me, unjustified fears, a relationship past its prime or time stealers like hours scrolling social media.
It is important to remember that life, like gardening is an ongoing process with each season serving a purpose.
When we compare our lives to “her life” it is easy to forget she may be in a different season than we are currently in.
While “she” is losing the weight, meeting the soulmate, scoring the dream job, jetting off every weekend to the beach, moving into the new house, starting the business, leading the small group, we are perplexed and maybe a little envious because it seems nothing is happening in our own lives.
She is not smarter, luckier, prettier, worthier etc than us.
She is simply in a different season.
Only when we become so engrossed in cultivating our own gorgeous gardens, sashaying through each season with grace and gratitude, being fully confident that we too will have a glorious space in which to thrive, then life becomes amazing.
With this new approach, our lives take on grander meaning.
We are now positioned to be introduced to new people, adventures, opportunities and experiences that leave us joyfully breathless and utterly amazed.
Today is the perfect day to begin cultivating our own stunning gardens!