In summer of 2016, the US Coast Guard moved my darling from the rain forest of Juneau, Alaska to the high plains desert of Colorado. With this move, we purchased a lovely little home on the hillside in Manitou Springs. One of the main reasons we chose this home was because of it's wonderful outdoor living area and it's lovely garden oasis. Allow me to confess that I do NOT possess a green thumb- as a matter of fact my husband has asked me to stop the innocent slaughter of happy plants by taking them away from the nursery and bringing them into our home.
It has been un-commonly rainy this spring and because of that gift, my garden sprang to life along with a troop of productive weeds. When my attempts at convincing Bill that we needed to hire a landscape team failed, I donned my rubber gardening gloves this week and became a woman possessed! So, with the Sonos blasting an amazing Maroon 5 playlist, Adam Levine and I hit the dirt. Join us, will you?
Profound Thoughts On Life From Weeds:
First- for the purpose of my analogy- allow me to define a weed.
a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants.
a negative thought, habit, pattern or relationship growing where it is not wanted and in competition with healthy thoughts, habits, patterns or relationships that better our lives
1. As the buckets filled with weeds and I looked at the size of my garden, I am not gonna lie; I was beyond discouraged. How was I EVER going to get all of these weeds pulled? Why can't we just hire someone? I am not a gardener- this is simply impossible. Mid temper tantrum, my heart began to change. I realized that in order for there to be a beautiful garden and an abundant retreat of pinks, purples and yellows- there had to be good soil... right soil. Weeds are only present because I have potential for good things to grow.
The same is true in our lives. Sometimes we look around at all of the 'weeds' springing up in our life and feel like it's just all too much to tackle. We have hopes of beauty & abundance but the work before us leaves us feeling like we are not up to the task. I won't lie and say that I haven't worked my butt off all week, got rained on a bit, broke a nail, had spiders crawl up my arm... but what I will say is that that the first step I had to take to overcome was to allow gratitude to rise to the top. I may have weeds to deal with but that is proof that I have good soil and I have the potential to make amazing things grow in my life!
2. It's all about the timing. 4 weeks ago, the weeds hadn't even sprouted and the snow actually covered the ground in my garden. If I wait 4 more weeks, the weeds will become like The Little Shop Of Horrors with plants taking over the world! If we wait too long, we run the risk of losing the garden completely because the weeds will choke out the growth of flowers and fruit. Now is the time. The rains have softened the soil and will allow me to pull up the roots easily. Later in summer, it would be too dry and brittle and I would never get the roots. It's even important to consider the time of day- not in direct sunlight where the experience would be too draining- not too late in the afternoon when the thunderstorms have made an appearance and would soak me to the bone.
In our lives, we sometimes try to rush things and fail because the thing we wish to tackle, accomplish or deal with just isn't ready. Or maybe you are like me and you are prone to procrastination. I pretend the problem will go away if I ignore it long enough. Before I know it, things are beyond control and I end up having a life-crisis before I have any hope of getting a handle on things. If we will listen to the steady rhythms of our lives, we will sense when the time is right to do the work. When the time is right, dear one, be courageous.
3. The roots grow most dense and deep in the cracks and deep places left untended. We have stone paths and patios throughout our garden and along the edges of the large stones, the roots are thickest and hardest to pull out because we haven't paid attention to the large gaps and edges.
Moral: tend to your life- to the nooks and crannies. Don't leave area's uncared for in your heart because they are hard to look at or unpleasant to face. When we do that, we end up with poor coping skills and a real mess that overflows into the rest of our lives.
4. Don't stare at the vastness of the project before you ever begin or you will not build the courage to do the hard work. Have a pattern- I choose to do one bed or section at a time. This way I get little moments of reward along the project- I have a nice cool drink waiting and a soft place to sit and sip. It's amazing how that little break refuels you to carry-on.
When I am doing a personal inventory in my life, I need to be mindful of my approach. I can't allow every 'weed' to be on mind at the same time. I try to look at the area that is causing the most damage or is at risk of being the most negatively impacting and start there. One victory at a time. I find that once I am taking care of the struggles in my life, there is a momentum to carry-on and I get the reward of seeing the positive results.
5. Allow this 'black thumb' to share my method of weed pulling: 1st put on your rubber gloves 2nd- lift all of the ground-hugging leaves so you can get your hands around the the very base of the weed 3rd- give a firm, smooth pull 4th- once the weed is free, shake off the good soil attached to it 5th- toss the weed into your bucket for disposal
Why is this important to you? 1st- dealing with tough stuff will get dirty and you want to be prepared for the task so you can actually do it 2nd- take the time to look at an unhealthy part of your life and be sure you fully get what it is before you attempt to destroy it or else you will break off only a piece and have to come back later and do it again 3rd- being firm and calm allows you to have the best chance of removal 4th- there are good things that can cling to the bad so take a moment to shake off the good soil so you can keep using it in your life 5th- we don't want to do all this work of dealing with something just to toss it back into the garden- get rid of it!
6. Some weeds are pretty- if they aren't hurting anything and you like it- who cares if someone else calls it a weed, not a flower.
When my grandson picks a dandelion, it isn't a weed, it is a bright, perfect flower given with a perfectly pure heart! Sometimes there are little things that add light to our lives even though other people don't think so. It is those times when we need to listen to that still, small voice in our hearts and do what we know to be best for us. A good example: I recently went to get my first tattoo with my daughter. My mother HATES tattoos and at close to 50 years old, I didn't want to disappoint her. My husband is an officer in the military and officer's wives 'don't get tattoos' on their arms where everyone can see them. Weighing the feelings of others, I made a choice and I LOVE my tattoo of the mountains with a moon rising by the light of the aurora borealis. It was something I had given deep thought about, something I created, something I chose. Know those things in your life and stand by them.
Adam (Levine, remember?) and I made some serious progress together this week. 5 full buckets of weeds have been removed from my garden. Are there still little sprouts popping up? Of course. Have I planted everything I dream of and are they in perfect full bloom? Absolutely not! But the point is the process and staying on top of it. This life is beautiful and there is so much potential for growth and abundance. We just need to be willing to get a little dirty and get rid of the things that can stop the new life from showing forth and bringing it's splendor and color.