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July 2014

Gardening and Life


Life is like a garden.  It needs consistent attention and care for it to be beautiful and serve its purpose.  What can you do to create a flourishing personal life that has the look and feel of a flourishing garden?

In life and gardening, there is a constant weeding out of weeds.   On a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, we need to take a look at what weeds are popping up in our life that need to be pulled out. 

What do weeds represent?  

Things that drain your energy.  Get rid of everything that you're putting up with, tolerating, or enduring.  

Let's look at 3 areas of your life where weeds grow:

1.  Your Home.  Make a list of 5 things you are tolerating in your home, whether or not you see a solution to each item.  Identify them whether big or small.   This can be:  location of home, messes in closets, clothes that need to be altered or repaired, walls that need painting,  light bulbs replaced, etc.

2.  Your Family/Community.  Make a list of 5 things your'e tolerating about your family or community, whether or not you see a solution to each of them.  Examples include:  improve communication with spouse, let go to one-way friendships, let go of obligations, too many commitments, etc.

3.  Your Work Life.  Make a list of 5 things you are tolerating about your work or professional life, whether or not you see a solution to each of them.  Examples are:  low pay, not enough recognition or appreciation, working for a tough boss, stressed out, not enough challenge, etc.  

Why do we allow weeds to grow?

1.  Too many weeds get us overwhelmed that we tend to put them off.

2.  We can't identify it.  We don't know it's a weed.  I once had a beautiful green stock come up from the ground in my garden, only to find out later it was weed.  

3.  It's too big to handle on your own or you don't have the right tools to take care of it.  I once struggled to pull out a big weed.  After fighting with it for 20 minutes I asked for my husband's help. We wanted to get it at the root so my husband grabbed a shovel and helped me to dig it out.

How to clear the weeds?

1.  Identify them.  Take an inventory.  Make a list of life's weeds.  Categorize them into smaller groups.  Find time to take care of them one at a time.  

2.  Figure out if it's yours.  Can you do something about it or are you looking at your neighbor's weeds? Work on the things you can do something about and let go of the one's that aren't yours.  

3.  Get support.  Ask for a friend's help.  Hire a coach or counselor.  Take a class and learn a new skill that will help you remove the weeds.  

4.  Change your perspective.  Instead of holding on to past hurts or disappointments (also weeds), ask:  What have I gained from having this weed?  How has it served me?  Be grateful for it and let it go.  

5.  Check your readiness factor.  Some weeds are not as important as others.  Let those go for now and only work on what you want to work on.