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Gardening of the Mind. Tuesday November 4, 2014

I had never really appreciated the great satisfaction of gardening until recently when something clicked and I realised that gardening is a bit like tidying, but with plants. I am a huge fan of tidying and order and so suddenly gardening became a rather attractive activity!

One day, whilst having a good weed, it struck me that what I was doing to our garden was a bit like what I am doing to my mind:

First of all I had become more aware of my 'garden'. So far I hadn't planted anything in it, someone else had done this and I had been letting things grow as they wanted to, cutting things back a bit every so often. I realised that my garden is not entirely as I would like and that some 'plants' are taking up more than their fair share of space, but I also realised that I have a say in what makes up my garden so I can make changes.

Despite wanting everything to be different NOW, I can only chip away at it and must accept that plants may not be entirely weeded out the first time around - I will have to keep checking back to see what's sprouting up and tending to things as necessary. The work will never be done but will get easier if I make a good initial effort and then make a promise to keep on top of things.

I'm not sure what some of the plants are and if I want to keep them – I may have dug up and discarded some treasures by mistake, but I can always change the make up of my garden and try new stuff out. Some things may not grow first time around but I can try again, perhaps following someone else's advice on how to get the best results. I can also try out different tools.

The garden will never look the same each day - plants will grow and change and outside forces will affect them, and the plants may affect each other, but I have a fair amount of control, and whilst I'm gardening I can appreciate what an amazing thing my garden actually is, including all the elements I never realised were there, growing and scuttling away, as well as being grateful for the things that the previous gardeners have planted that have grown so quietly and steadily.

I also realise that the weeds have their own beauty and purpose too: the various bugs are happy with them; they can have lovely flowers and they are really impressive growers, so it's not the end of the world if they grow back – they're not 'bad', I just have to keep them in check.

So here's to your own gardening activities! As I become a more experienced gardener I hope to share my tips - I'd like the fruits of my garden to be enjoyed by more than just me. I planted some crocuses yesterday – fingers crossed they pop their heads out of the ground next Spring...

All the best.

A Moodscope member.

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Hopeful One Tue, Nov 4th 2014 @ 7:19am

Hi Lois- what a wonderful analogy. Not being a natural gardener I will carry the image you have described so well and apply what you described to the 'garden of my mind' and the real thing.the ' old tapes' of negativity that play in my mind will be the first to be 'weeded ' out . My garden has clumps of bluebells. This year I collected their seeds and hope to plant them out to create a field of them in my line of sight . So thank you.

sam Tue, Nov 4th 2014 @ 7:24am

I like this analogy.

Anonymous Tue, Nov 4th 2014 @ 7:34am

Lovely post, thank you Lois. You've given me lovely tranquil imagery to ponder on my bus journey. Amy x

Anonymous Tue, Nov 4th 2014 @ 10:07am

insightful, practical with honesty and foresight, thank you x

Anonymous Tue, Nov 4th 2014 @ 10:44am

Wonderful analogy Lois, beautifully written. Thank you.
I occasionally get around to the garden, I put it off and off- but once I actually get started I can;t seem to stop and it has a lovely effect on the mind and thought. Got to give it another go.
All the best.

Anonymous Tue, Nov 4th 2014 @ 11:53am

As with the rest of the comments, I loved the analogy. Gardens and gardening are so important. I've recently left a relationship and one of the things I was most sad at leaving was the garden into which I'd put a lot of love and energy. At an earlier stage when the breakup seemed inevitable, I stopped gardening because I reasoned, in my resentment, that I wouldn't see the results. After a while, however, I remembered that people planted trees that might only grow to full size after their deaths and that this is a legacy to future generations. So, I returned to gardening and planted spring bulbs in the gaps I'd identified. My ex can enjoy them and I continued honouring the idea of the garden and its potential.

Anonymous Tue, Nov 4th 2014 @ 12:09pm

Great! This is exactly how I have felt unconsciously about my garden for years and can now see it in the context it deserves. Thank you. Plants and animals return all your inadvertent errors with unconditional love.

heather Tue, Nov 4th 2014 @ 4:42pm

This reminds me of a short excerpt from a poem I wrote about 40 year ago !

"Our minds are the gardens
Our thoughts are the seeds
So tend to the flowers
And throw out any weeds"

Love from Heather x

Di Murphey Tue, Nov 4th 2014 @ 6:40pm

Dearest Anonymous ~
I am quite impressed with your decision to return to the garden knowing it will be enjoyed by others. It is a compassionate and very mature thing to do.
Di Murphey

Di Murphey Tue, Nov 4th 2014 @ 6:41pm

Dearest Lois ~
What a delightful read! Thank you for your wit, charm, and authenticity. I like to think of my mind/brain as a garden to tend.
Di Murphey

heather Wed, Nov 5th 2014 @ 3:13pm

"for thoughts precede words
and words precede deeds"

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