Spring Gardening

I have spent the last several weeks working in my gardens.  My activities include pulling weeds, pruning, raking, planting, fertilizing, watering and admiring.  One of the first things I did as I started on this journey of refreshing my little plot of land was to cut back all of my rose bushes.  And let me tell you, I went to town on them.  I gave them a proper trimming.  Yesterday as I was doing some watering I noticed that every single one of these rose bushes had beautifully exploded with new growth.  The leaves are a deep green, and there are scores of buds that will soon break out into a stunning display of exquisiteness.

Gardening can be challenging.  However, the results of a well-tended yard no matter the size, are gratifying.  All five senses can be satisfied with the fruits of our labor.  I find it a valuable way to spend time.  I also believe that many domains of our life can benefit from some intentional gardening.  Let’s have a look.

Relationship

Whether you have chosen marriage, a life partner, or a significant other, relationships can be a beautiful dance through life with a loved one, and they can also be challenging and in some cases unhealthy.  Regardless of your current relationship status, I will remind you that it is not anyone’s responsibility to make you happy except yourself.  So, if you are in a relationship or seeking to enter into one to be satisfied, don’t do it.  It doesn’t work and it never will.  The ONLY connection that will ultimately make you happy is the relationship you have with yourself.

Gardening Tips (ask and answer):

  1. What kind of relationship do I have with myself?
  2. What do I appreciate most about my spouse/partner/significant other?
  3. Who do I have to be to have the relationship I desire?

Friendships

It has been said that if you have at least three friends in your life that you can count on NO MATTER WHAT, you are fortunate.  I am immensely blessed in this life domain.  Over the years I have cultivated friendships with many beautiful and generous friends.  These friends have my back, and I have theirs.  These friendships are genuine, honest, and real.

Gardening Tips (ask and answer):

  1. Are my friendships genuine and in good order?
  2. What can I do to add more value to my friendships?
  3. What if anything, is missing from my friendships?

Vocation

Notice that I did NOT use the words work, career, or job for this life domain.  There is a reason for that.  The Japanese have a word for what gets you out of bed in the morning:  they call it ikigai (pronounced e key guy).  Ikigai is described as that sense you have when you wake up and know that this day matters.  It is a reason for being.  The word ikigai is generally used to indicate the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile.  I believe that we all have an ikigai.  I have found mine.  Have you?  If yes, good for you.  If no, don’t stop until you know in every cell of your body how you can best serve others.

Gardening Tips (ask and answer):

  1. Can I look at myself in the mirror and say I love what I do?
  2. Is my vocation serving others? How?
  3. What would it look like for you to approach tomorrow with a sense of honor and privilege, believing that you have work to do in the world, that it matters, that it’s needed, that you have a path and you are working your craft? (From the book How To Be Here by Rob Bell)

Money & Finance

Where there is money, there is emotion.  At a very young age, most people are either taught or through their own observation develop a money mindset.  The prevalent feeling associated with money is fear.  There is fear of never having enough, fear of losing it all, fear of being judged by how much money on has or doesn’t have and the list goes on.  I encourage you to respect money and have the desire for money but never live your life for money.  Research shows that those whose sole focus is money and material things are physically, emotionally, and spiritually bankrupt.  Go here to get more of my coaching on fiscal discipline:  http://meetmeatthebarn.com/impeccably-fiscally-disciplined/

Gardening Tips (ask and answer):

  1. Do you have a budget? If not, make one.  If yes, are you following it?
  2. What are your beliefs and emotions about money?
  3. What financial/money decisions do I need to make that I have been avoiding?

Self-Care

Self-care is one of the most generous acts of love to yourself and others.  If you are not willing to love yourself (in a non-ego way), then you will not have the capability or the capacity to love anyone else.  Go here to read about some of my self-care advice:  http://meetmeatthebarn.com/6-easy-things-can-increase-sense-self-worth-self-love/.  Some of the things I do for my own self-care are:  1) Practice quiet time each day. 2) Spend time in Nature every day.  3) Keep fresh flowers in my home. 4) Use essential oils to enhance my states of energy, peace, and abundance.  5) Read inspiring literature by authors I admire. 6) Get regular bodywork which includes massage and acupuncture.  7) Play.  8) Daily journaling.  9) Spend time with friends.  10) Do something that brings me joy each day.

Gardening Tips (ask and answer):

  1. What one thing can I do that will enhance my self-care in the next 90-days?
  2. What do I love most about myself?
  3. What brings me the most personal joy?

Environment

My surroundings are one of the most critical components of my personal happiness, satisfaction, peace, joy, and health.  I like to keep my environments tidy and uncomplicated.  This includes people, places, and things.  Who and what I surround myself with is vital to my continued evolution of creating and living a life that I love.  Oftentimes we clutter up our lives with things and people and other stuff that makes the view from the outside look good enough to be acceptable and yet on the inside we are living and feeling empty and being nothing at all.  As a result of my house burning to the ground, I purposely became a mindful consumer.  I was thoughtful about what I wanted my new home to look and feel like, and I exercised the same careful consideration as I was deciding on what I brought into my new house.  This included everything from furniture to flatware and everything in between.  I use this same level of discernment with people and places.  For example, I will not spend time with people whose glass is half-empty, and I will not go to places that will not bring me joy such as noisy and crowded restaurants or other venues.  I invite you to take inventory of your life and determine what and who brings you peace, joy, and happiness.

Gardening Tips (ask and answer):

  1. Do I love where I live and do all of my possessions bring me joy?
  2. Do I surround myself with masterful people who respect and support me?
  3. Do the places I go and the activities that I participate in add value to my life and allow me to live a life that I love? This includes my vocation.

An Invitation

I invite you to do some gardening of your own.  Ask and answer the questions that I have posted on this blog.  Do some of the metaphorical weed pulling, pruning, fertilizing, and watering in your life that will bring new growth and satisfaction to you.  And, then step back and admire what you have created.

Stay true and be you —

Annie

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