Sometimes I wonder who is helping whom? Am I helping the plants grow to their full potential or is this greenery here to heal me? Plants have that power, you know. Sometimes after an especially busy day – not necessarily stressful – but very busy day, I enter my backyard sanctuary and feel instantly at peace. My muscles relax; my mind clears; and my breath slows. My soul is home.
When I have the rare chance to simply sit in my garden, it’s extremely rewarding. I sit in the shade of my big live oak tree and take in scents of mint, lavender, and citrus blossoms. Butterflies circulate the mismatched jungle in search of nectar. And there are most often girls giggling in the playhouse or softly singing on the swings. It’s a scene for the senses. In that moment, I have everything I need. Those are simple blessings.
Perhaps you’ve encountered a moment where you’re seeking serenity, but unable to find it. Life is tough at times. It could be as catastrophic as a death, a separation or an illness. It could be you’re feeling the pressure at work; you’re overwhelmed with school; or you’ve received some unkind feedback. No matter what your struggle is today, these are moments when God, the universe or another higher being is shouting, “Slow, down! Take a break! Listen!” Those demands are not a failure, though we may perceive it as that because we feel like we should be able to handle anything. Instead, it’s a call to balance our physical, mental and spiritual health. Problems will never go away. They will simply transform and take another skin. So we must decide how we navigate these challenges.
Unfortunately, sometimes we choose to ignore these hints or, worse, we turn to other harmful avenues, such as alcohol or drugs. This will only make our challenges more difficult and create more problems. The weeds in this world will strangle you if you let them. But we have a choice. We can grow. We can find our way through the weeds of life and bloom into a incredible human beings.
One way I navigate challenging times is to go to my garden. I call it garden therapy. Spending time in the fresh air with my hands in the dirt is truly healing for me. Watching a plant grow from a seed is a reminder of miracles in this world. And sometimes when you have a plant that is fighting for it’s life, it’s an encouragement to have courage and to take things a day at a time. Because with just a little care, a plant can come back. And so can you.
A friend once told me that opening ourselves up to a higher spiritual being allows us to feel the energies of the plants and in turn become amazing gardeners. I think it’s simply giving ourselves the chance to take in the miracles of nature to transpire into amazing people. This is why I garden.
So I challenge you today, to walk into nature. Take a deep breath. And simply listen. Listen to yourself. Listen to the universe. And then let it all go – at least in that moment.
Plants talk to us at all levels, molecule to molecule and spirit to spirit. They facilitate healing that is potent, profound and life-affirming. ~Marlene Adelmann