Spiritual Baby Steps

"Doing" spirituality in the real world

Garden Math

I was reading an article in Shambala Sun the other day and it really caught my attention. It was using the analogy of a garden to explain the importance of getting rid of weeds (time-wasters) and planting seeds (taking time for meditation) that would later bloom (calmer state). The analogy hit home with me and made we wonder… how many plants I am trying to stuff into my garden and can you even see them amongst the weeds?

I don’t think I’m too different from others who are trying to balance their crazy lives. I’d simply like to fit in some meditation, yoga, aerobic exercise, weights, reiki, fun time with my family, exploring poetry and reading for pleasure into my daily routine. …What?

The article talked about the importance of weeding. Getting rid of time wasters and limiting your daily intake of information seems like good advice to me. I actually feel like I’ve already taken steps in this direction. For one thing, I gave up watching the news and reading the newspaper a long time ago. It’s funny, you think you’re going to have no clue what’s going on, but what I’ve found is that anything big enough to deserve attention gets talked about by friends and family. As an added bonus, it’s a great way to hone my listening skills as I allow people to fill me in on the news worth talking about. Yes, I have to give up being the first to know… but that was never my strong point anyway!

Another weed that contributes to the problem is screen time. Whether it’s watching TV, searching the internet or spending time on all those really cool apps like FacebookPinterest, or Words with Friends – the end result is the same… time suckers!  Now here’s the thing… I don’t think these things are inherently bad. I have a healthy obsession with Draw Some lately that has been building my creative muscles and lending itself well to my graphic facilitation work. Here’s the thing… imagine you’re getting ready to start your garden. You don’t just randomly grab a bunch of seeds and throw them on the ground. First you prepare the space… till the soil, clear the weeds, etc. (get rid of time wasters). Then you decide which plants you want to grow and whether or not your growing conditions are compatible with that particular plant (what habits do I want to include in my day, will these habits support the vision I hold for myself, and will my current schedule, minus my time wasters, allow for it?).

Here’s what I’ve realized about me… I have a modest slice of space for my garden and a barrel full of seeds. Here’s my plan… I’m going to search for weeds, and then pick some of my favorite seeds for planting based on the amount of space I have left. This should seem obvious, but I swear it was like a lightbulb went off when I was reading it the other day. The fact that I would need to clear space… that I couldn’t just expect to add in whatever lovely habit I was wanting to pick up without figuring out what I could let go of in order to have the energy and time to make it successful – what a concept!

So, it seems to come down to some simple math. I must first subtract before I add. The exciting news is that not all seeds are created equal. When we start doing some weeding and we start picking and choosing our seeds a little more closely… making sure that the ones we “grab” are in line with our goals and values… we will start seeing the positive effects of tending to our garden and then we can enjoy the multiplicative effects of an abundant harvest.

So… if you feel like commenting, I would love to know what weeds are growing in your garden and which seeds you’ll be planting this season.

Love and much laughter to you all!  ~Rashel

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