Long ago, I was not interested in gardening. My sister, who was president of her garden club, continually told me the joys of being a gardener. However, I was too fascinated by people, the human body and how it worked; how to move it and how to nourish it. I could not see the value in taking time to smell the flowers.
Then one day I went to a lecture at a nearby nursery. I heard references to carefree daffodils, handsome blue flag iris, and romantic window boxes. As I listened more I began to see how plants are like people; and people are like plants. The instructor spoke of giving your plants just the right amount of water, fertilizer, and sun for optimum growth. She continued by saying, "Plan your garden by selecting flowers that will make good companions....Gradually bring plants in or out of the house so as not to shock their systems....Allow plants to be dormant so they can rest and bloom again....Talk to, touch, and care for your plants and they will thrive and not die."
We as humans need the same self care. We need to foster rich soil by nourishing our souls so we can be fully alive. As we tune into our inner self and treat ourselves kindly, our creativity blossoms like a plant moving toward light. We begin to make choices that are health enhancing. We choose the proper foods. We eat when we are hungry and we stop when we are full. We spend time in the sun to feel alive and vibrant but not so much as to cause us illness. We are careful not to shock our bodies with too much stress. Gradually we increase our exercise so as to stand taller and stronger yet avoiding injury. We allow ourselves to rest so we may bloom again and be are personal best. We drink water to hydrate our systems...drinking more when it is hot and less when it is cool. We are mindful of our potential as we watch our summer gardens grow.
Two fushias that hang in front of my house tell the story well. One is on the southwest side and the other is on the northwest. Both I thought were doing well: Full, budding profusely and gorgeous delights to passersby. Suddenly, the one on the northwest side went limp. Hanging lifeless, it looked the way our bodies look when stressed. It was not getting enough water or sun, and the wind just blew it to exhaustion. Friends told me to throw it out. How often do we want to throw out our bodies when we don't like them? I couldn't do that. I snipped out the dead branches. It was like snipping out the negative tapes in our heads: "I'm Fat" or "I'm not smart enough." I then watered the plant well, gave it more sunlight and fertilized it with extra nutrients. I patiently pampered it for weeks and brought it back to full bloom.
We too need to accept where we are and then to be patient and gentle with ourselves. It takes time to become who we want to become. By daily renewal we can attain the health and fullness we ultimately deserve.