by Suzanne L. Beenackers
“Don’t water your weeds.”
I’ll be honest! When I still had a garden, which was less than a month ago, I gave the thing back to nature. In the four years I lived there it grew into a modest urban jungle and a walk-in kitty litter box. I had the most luscious garden of the street, although I suppose some people would think it was a waste that I let all the tiles get covered in mos (around the corner, this part is not on the picture), and even took out some of them when a baby plant was forcing its way through. I created an entire new biosphere on top of what once had been a civilized garden.
In 2005 I had moved to a house where I was the first inhabitant and the garden was empty. So I went to the garden center and planted some trees and bushes. Some survived, some didn’t. I just cycled past there and was content to see it was still there! The new tenants kept it the same.
Both gardens had the same concept: they were designed to “survive” on their own, without much intervention. But I also know people who turn their garden into an open air living, build a she shed, or grow vegetables and fruit. And I have a British colleague, and her garden is indeed a cottage garden with differences in height, vegetation and rich in flowers and with a fish pool.
Garden of Thoughts
Although only some of us have a garden, we all have a mind. And this mind does not have the option to never go there, you can’t abandon it, and if you have stuff in there that you don’t like you have a BIG problem. Image your entire garden being a garbage dump or a toxic pond where nothing will live. Imagine your garden containing a huge monster so that you wouldn’t dare going in there.
That is scary stuff!!
I even scared myself there a bit…this was not what I had intended this post to be about! LOL Instead of talking about weeds we now have a whole monster to deal with. Okay, let’s break this down. First how to deal with unwelcome inhabitants of your garden, then I ll talk more about how you can create the garden/ mind you want.
In my old garden I had a snail feeding plateau. I fed them cucumber peel and melon peel and left over vegetables. It was fascinating because I learned they were night creatures and that there were different kinds of slugs. One was a mammoth tiger snail that I only saw on very busy nights. I called him The Beast. According to Google the Tiger Snail ate other snails too….
I also had a stone-marten that lived (or occasionally visited) between the ground floor and the first floor. I could hear him toy around with a ball for dolls (or an acorn…). When I heard the scratching I was never certain if it was the stone-marten or the rats: my cat had once caught a rat in the garden, so it was very likely they too were living/ hanging out/shopping under my roof.
When it comes to monsters befriending them is the easiest and often also the most effective strategy. And it is certainly the most interesting strategy. So if you have monsters in your mind: you re not required to build them a feeding plateau, but you can learn about their ways and accept their presence.
When it comes to attending to your inner garden or your mind, you have two options. One: to accept and observe everything in there and to learn how to be neutral. Like I suggested with the monsters: some things are best accepted. I call that the Zen approach, or the Mindfulness approach. The other is to transform your mind into the garden of your dreams! Go to the garden center, buy some new plants. And new thoughts are completely free! Even an entire new view on things, is available at no cost.
What kind of inner garden would you like?
What kind of plants? What would you consider weeds? Would you like a nice fountain of happiness there?
And give attention to the people that you love, to your hobbies, to things you like to do.
In your inner garden everything that you attend to, that you give attention to, all those things will expand and blossom.
The past weeks I ve been working with Louise Hay cards and these are great examples of new happy thoughts, that can turn any bare garden, or even a downright war zone, into paradise.
Home and Class Practice: week 17 and 18
I’m teaching from Yoga with Adriene for 21 weeks & provide her videos for home practice. This is week 18. Our week starts on Monday and you ll receive new blogposts every week if you sign up in the right column.
Our soundtrack is very Rockstar Yoga!
Listen the My Blue Van Yoga Play List on Spotify