Last Saturday I felt really joyful to finally see the sun again and couldn’t wait to get out in my garden and do some much-needed work. With all the recent wet weather, everything had gone bananas. The plants were growing like Jack’s beanstalk in the fairy-tale, the grass was nearly a foot high and the weeds were rampant. So I slapped on some suntan lotion, donned my gardening clothes and waded in……
I love gardening. I always find it meditative and highly therapeutic. I lose track of time and am totally immersed in what I’m doing. So it’s a very good way of keeping me in the here and now! I wasn’t aware of thinking any thoughts at all as I cut back the ivy, strimmed the grass, weeded the beds and neatened the edges. I was simply focussed on what I was doing until the rumblings in my stomach reminded me that it was well past lunch-time!
As I sat at the table on the decking area and munched on a salad, I surveyed the work I’d done and allowed myself to feel justifiably pleased with my efforts. I never have a perfectly manicured garden because I don’t like it that way. But it had definitely become overgrown and had been sorely in need of some taming and coaxing back into shape. I then got to thinking how much that resonated with what happens on an inner level with the way our lives unfold and the personal development work we do on ourselves. .
My rather overgrown garden certainly resonated with the way my life has been since the New Year! .2013 has brought unexpected challenges for me to face. Projects that I’d intended to commence got set back when a major bombshell erupted in my life and the year certainly hasn’t unfolded in ways I might have anticipated. Plans had to be changed and uncertainties about the future arose which still rumble on to some extent. And when the going gets tough, there’s always some attendant emotional fall-out which needs to be managed – as I’m sure you’re well aware!!!! At such times, one can become swamped with trying to make decisions amidst upheaval and this can easily cause exhaustion and overwhelm. No doubt many of you will have your own versions of my story above to one degree or another and will have found ways of coping with such situations as you’ve journeyed through your life. As far as I’m concerned though, experience has taught me that the best way to manage my emotional difficulties is to give myself the space to identify the underlying limiting beliefs, doubts and fears that rise up and take over (just like the weeds in my garden), because I know for sure that if I don’t keep them in check, before long I’ll find myself struggling in the overgrowth and unable to see the way forward.
That’s where inner gardening comes in.
I have to do a bit of digging to find out what’s lurking beneath the surface and I use EFT to do this. I check out how I’m feeling about a certain problem and then make a list of all the different emotions and thoughts it brings up in me. Then I choose the description of a feeling that has the most intensity and tap out my frustrations, fears and anxieties; and I acknowledge what’s happening and keep on tapping till it’s dissolved away. This neatly eradicates any tendency I might have to push things under the carpet, so to speak . It’s a great way of pulling out the weeds, clearing the way for new growth and tidying up the edges of the beds.
I often use Reiki to balance out the energies afterwards. The two complement each other really well. Giving myself Reiki after some EFT “gardening” is the equivalent of lying out in the sun after a bout of digging or weeding to ease my aching muscles and enjoy some rest and relaxation! It helps with the process of letting go and coming back to the deepest and highest part of me.
Giving oneself Reiki is amazing because of its wonderful ability to nourish, heal and re-balance. This kind of inner gardening is akin to watering the garden and adding some extra enrichment to the soil so that the plants can grow to be their best.
Meditation can also help you to cut back the overgrowth – in other words, the proliferation of thoughts, obsessions, ideas, anxieties and fantasies that flit around in our restless minds like swarming insects. It helps us learn how to quieten the incessant buzz and come to a more peaceful and centred space within ourselves. In that stillness, we can drink in the silence which brings healing, relaxation and more nourishment. And when we reach that place of pause, then we can be more heart-centred and authentic. Nature never tries to be anything other than what it truly is. A Rose never tries to be an Orchid. An Oak doesn’t ever imitate an Elm. By learning to live more from our hearts than through our minds, we start to be able to mirror Nature and become who we really are.
An overgrown garden is such a good metaphor for describing the difficulties, confusion or overwhelm we all suffer from time to time. But if you find yourself in that state, don’t forget that you can always do some inner gardening to clear the tangled branches, cut the grass and get rid of some of those weeds!!