Thursday, August 13, 2009
How Does Your Garden Grow?
(condensed excerpt from work in progress)
Imagine your life as a garden – what would it look like right now? Would it be wild and full of greenery and luscious flowers? Would it be neatly landscaped and manicured? Would it be arid and dry with some straggling weeds poking up here and there through the cracked earth? Or would there be a corner of all of those things everywhere?
What if things that brought you joy were represented as beautiful blooms? What if trees represented your core values and growth? What if grass represented your current state of your mind? What if bushes represented your accomplishments? What if veggies represented self-care? And what if weeds represented fear, negativity, and judgment (of yourself or others).
Before beginning the exercise below, relax. I mean, RELAX. Ok, that sounded like a command. Let me try again...r e l a x x x x. Find a space of solitude, play some music (music, in my opinion, is m*a*g*i*c - it can transport us...well, that's a whole other post haha), light some candles, stretch, close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply for awhile. Just relax. Ahhhhhh, Ohhhmmmm, Mmmmmmmm.
Ok, ready? Go!
Write, draw, paint, collage your Life as a garden. That's right - I'm asking you to get out your pens, paper, ink, paint, magazines and be creative. Don't think "but I'm not creative". It's not a competition and the only one looking at it (unless you want to share!) will be you. Make an outside picture of your inner view. Try your best to do this exercise as a non-judgmental observer. (Yes you CAN!)
As you complete the exercise, remember that a garden grows slowly over time and depends on lots of factors like the weather and who is/was tending the garden. Keep in mind that adults/parents only planted and tended in the beginning - at some point, YOU took over.
Here's some questions that may assist you in viewing Your Life as a Garden:
*Using the above garden analogies (blooms = joy, trees = core values, growth, etc) what is present?
*What do you see lots of?
*What do you see little of?
*How has your garden been tended?
*At what point did you begin making your own choices as to what to plant?
*How did that change things for you?
*To what extent did you plant/tend your garden based on how adults/parents had begun it?
*To what extent have you allowed outside influences (teachers, husbands, friends, etc - let's call these influences "weather") to control your choices as to what to plant and/or tend?
*Overall, what would be growing tallest and what would that mean to you?
Remember that regrets are pointless - you are here NOW right? So what's in the past remains there. From this point of recognition of what Life looks like Now, you can make changes to your garden - like planting new seeds, digging up weeds - if you are willing!
I hope you've enjoyed this exercise! Stay tuned for the next post - "Roots: What makes YOU unique?"
copyright Barb Gilroy 2009
There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving... and that's your own self. ~ Alduous Huxley