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Lessons From My Garden

Most years getting the garden planted for the summer is quite a chaotic project that can carry on for as much as two months. This year was very different.  A long hard winter was followed by a cold rainy spring, so we couldn’t do much until almost the end of May…. which gave us plenty of time to do all the clean up and prep work. It might have been too cold and wet to plant, but it was the ideal time to clean out the beds and freshen the earth with lots of manure and compost.  Most years we’re cleaning up and laying fresh dirt as we plant… so of course, the clean up job never gets as much attention as it should… but this year we used the days between storms to tackle the ugly corners. We cleared the debris from the back yard, and even managed to get some grass growing where only weeds and firewood had lain.

By the time we were ready to think about planting, we were organized. I could see what was needed where, and naturally seemed to be dealing with the prioritites – a real first for me! In the past, I would head out to the garden centers and load up on every plant that appealed to me… but this year, I was much more thoughtful – I didn’t purchase until I knew where I wanted to put the plants – my mother would have been proud to see how often I walked away from the garden centers empty-handed, or at least with only one hand full…

Although I am passionate about my garden, I am not a passionate gardener. I am just too busy day by day to give it the attention it deserves… (This year, I’ve made a commitment to change this routine, to spend at least an hour every sunny day poking around.) The truth is, I garden for effect, for the colour and the produce, the joy and pure pleasure it brings me…. and also for the lessons…. for the the experience of being with nature and learning to work with it. My garden speaks to me, reflecting back what is happening in my inner world… it is always worth paying attention to it’s messages.

This year, the messages – lessons –  were clear and simple, and very appropriate:

 – The planting goes a lot easier when I take the time to prepare the garden, BEFORE I start buying plants… this applies in so many ways in my work as a psychic…. For example, so many of my clients jump into relationships without preparing… some haven’t finished the first relationship before they start the second, some are so broken and hurt from a past relationship that they must withdraw for awhile to heal before they can be ready for a new love to blossom… yet, like me with the planting, so anxious to get my garden growing, they are so anxious to get on with their lives, to find love again, that they rush ahead without recognizing that they must clean up behind them if they want the next relationship to work.

– Making a plan and then following through on the priorities avoids a lot of mistakes and do-overs. When I organize an important dinner one of the first things I do is plan the menu and then as I prepare for the party, I plan the shopping, and when it’s time to start cooking, I work through the menu based on what needs the most time, what can be done ahead,  what can be made at the last minute, so that by the time dinner is ready, everything comes to the table at the same time… but I don’t always think to plan other important activities, like planting my garden…  and I have noticed how often my clients will throw themselves into a new project, like relocating, or starting a new business without having a clear plan in place, and of course, the results are usually disastrous. My garden reminds me that it is important to take time to research and study a new project before investing in it. Planning saves time, money and a whole lot of frustration.

– Take advantage of the warm dry days, the opportunities to press forward.  Because for me, gardening is play, I have typically put the garden work after any other work that was pending… so if I had readings to do, or an article to write, or the dishes or laundry needed attention, these tasks had to be completed before I could go out to play.  But this year, it was so late by the time I could work outside, I decided that on the warm sunny days, play in the garden could come before I finished my work in the house.  I have been telling my clients for years that play was as necessary to a balanced spiritual life as is work, and this recent shift in my priorities has again validated this advice.  Not only was I more producteve in the office and more motivated around the household chores, but the garden came together very quickly in the end. Play clears the cobwebs from your mind and gives you the energy to be productive with whatever work is in front of you.

– Less so often amounts to more. The one complaint my parents had about my garden was that I had so many flowers, they couldn’t see any of them. At first I just told myself that they didn’t get what I was trying to do with the garden, but as the years passed, I realized how right they were. Now that so many of my perennials have matured and filled in, there isn’t a need for the pots and pots of bedding plants that surrounded us… and we are noticing and appreciating each plant as it comes into bloom. So many of my clients get caught up in what I call “smother love”. Whether with their families, a new love, or their businesses, they give too much and take on too much, either scattering their energies or focusing it so tightly that whatever they are focused on ends up withering and dieing.  Many parents would have a lot less trouble with this entitled generation of children if they recognized that giving less stuff can amount to giving a lot more love….

Nature has a way of leading us to truth when we notice what it is telling us… If you don’t have a garden to play in and learn from, take a long meditative walk in the nearest park, or a walk in the woods or the beach. You may be surprised – even shocked – at what you learn about yourself and your world by observing what’s around you.

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