Grab Your Weed Whacker!

Your-mind-is-a-gardenThere’s a powerful quote from the Upanishads, “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.” Whatever you feed will grow and strengthen. This is why the quality of your life will largely depend upon the quality of your internal dialogue. I say that, recognizing life will bring all kinds of circumstances, some people will have a very painful path to walk, and ultimately, all of us will have to grapple with life’s big questions (Who am I? What am I doing here? Is this all there is?), on our own. No matter your path, you simply can’t evict that voice, that voice is your constant companion. Every thought you have creates a chemical reaction in your body. That’s your soil, and it’s either going to be full of lies and poison, or it’s going to be full of love.

In a garden, weeds steal water, nutrients, and space from your plants. Some give off natural herbicides killing off other plants in close proximity. Left unchecked, weeds will overgrow your garden, and “choke out” anything in their path. Here are a list of weeds to watch out for: Fear, envy, laziness, unexpressed rage or grief, shame, guilt, bitterness, pettiness, prejudice, insecurity and doubt. If you feed those weeds, you can bet they’re going to choke out any potential for the light to reach your plants. Or plans. I’m not saying it’s realistic to expect you’ll never grow a weed, I’m just saying be vigilant about grabbing your weed whacker as fast as you can. The best one I know is gratitude.A list of plants you really want to grow in your garden: Self-knowledge, love, truth, acceptance, inspiration, trust, joy, integrity, dedication, perseverance, forgiveness, loyalty and thankfulness. If you feed these plants, you will be amazed by the incredible garden that springs up within you and around you. Growing a garden of love takes time and patience, and pretty constant tending. It’s not going to happen overnight. In fact, depending on your path, you may have to spend years uprooting certain weeds. Too much water in your garden, and your thoughts become diluted, your seeds won’t take root. “Too much water” in this instance might include too much seeking out of other people’s opinions. No one can advise you about the growth of your own particular garden, because no one but you has ever worked with your exact fertilizer, weather conditions, schedules of pollination, and so on. No one else has weathered the exact storms you have, or felt the gentle breezes of your experience. So no one else can tell you how best to grow your garden. That’s your work to figure out.

If you avoid digging your hands in your own dirt because the thought of it makes you too tired or too scared, then get a picture in your mind of a garden that’s been overgrown by weeds. It looks constricted, right? Full of thorns and brittleness. It’s wild, and there can be a lot of beauty in that, but it’s not an easy place to grow anything. If that’s the garden of your mind, that’s where you live. In a creaky old rocking chair that you barely have the energy or desire to rock. Because life is exhausting when you don’t root down into your dirt so you can rise up out of it, when you let the weeds take over everything. Rooting down just means that you’re willing to sit in the center of your pain and let it open you. Growing a garden of love means you are going to examine your thorns and bleed a little. You’ll be amazed, but the flowers that spring up from those drops of blood will be the most gorgeous ones of all. Those are your Freedom Flowers. You won’t get those unless you understand your terrain, and traverse it well and deeply–let the rainy days nourish you, learn how to bend when the storms come so you don’t break, trust that the sun is going to shine again. And when it does, know that it will open you further, feed you, and encourage you to blossom, to extend yourself, to reach for the light.

You are not here to feed rage or fear or doubt. You’re here to release those feelings back into the earth. To let your tears wash them away. To pick your mind up again and again, and redirect it to all the beauty within you and around you. All the love. All the peace and happiness and satisfaction that happens when your garden is full of I Know What I Am Flowers. And I Know Why I’m Here Plants. That’s a garden you’ll want to hang out in, because it will never stop amazing you. Your colors will be so vibrant, so deep, other people will want to come and sit in your garden with you, and just take it in. Maybe take a seed or two of yours home with them. And you won’t mind because you’ll know you have so many. More than you need, more than you can ever use. And you’ll want to help other people grow their gardens. And if you’re a smart garden, you’ll ask for some of their seeds, too. So you can grow those incredible Compassion Flowers, Empathy Plants, and Connection Trees. And you’ll think, even with all of life’s storms, this is a beautiful, rich, mysterious experience. I wonder what will happen next? And you’ll just sway in the breeze, open, content, aware and full of gratitude. I’d love to come sit in your garden right now, whether you need help weeding, or you have your My Heart is Open flowers on display. Sending you some love seeds if you need them, Ally Hamilton

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