Your mind is a garden.
No different from the one you watched your mother tend as a child.
Think back to the beautiful flowers blossoming.
All different colors, shapes, and types.
And now think back to the constant presence of weeds growing uncontrollably.
Ugly and vicious.
If you look deeply, your mind is the same.
Flowers of compassion, patience, joy, and positivity waiting to be watered and nurtured.
Weeds of hatred, ego, gossip, and negativity also competing for space.
Much like the gardens of your childhood, the weeds of your mind require little water to grow strong.
They take one drop and fill your mind almost immediately.
Taking up space, they prevent flowers from growing abundantly.
Think about it:
You’re having a good day.
You’re getting work done.
It’s nice outside.
Life is good.
Then, your arch-nemesis’s name pops up on your phone.
Their text says something like, “I just wish you wouldn’t have done something so stupid.”
The weeds of negativity have all they need to fill your garden.
However, a master gardener knows how she can suppress weeds before they grow strong:
Using conscious breath and meditation, she transforms weeds into flowers.
Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Monk known as the “Father of Mindfulness” tell us,
“Our role as gardeners is to choose, plant and tend the best seeds within the garden of our consciousness. Learning to look deeply at our consciousness is our greatest gift and our greatest need, for there lie the seeds of suffering and of love, the very roots of our being, of who we are. Mindfulness…is the guide and the practice by which we learn how to use the seeds of suffering to nourish the seeds of love.”
Seeds of suffering become seeds of love.
Seeds of anger become seeds of patience.
Seeds of gossip become seeds of gratitude.
Careful gardening becomes deeper mindfulness.
Learn to tend the garden of your mind, and you will grow to love weeds and flowers all the same.
Want to become a master gardener?
Here’s the 10 step process I have been using to work my way there:
- Wake up.
- Set aside 15 minutes.
- Lay down on the floor.
- Start breathing consciously.
- Visualize the garden of your childhood in your mind.
- Don’t think of anything else. As soon as you do, bring your mind back to the garden.
- Focus on the flowers you want to grow strong (compassion, patience, gratitude, etc.)
- Focus on the weeds you want to suppress (anger, ego, gossip, etc.)
- Imagine yourself watering the flowers.
- Imagine yourself pulling the weeds.
Over time, the flowers will grow stronger and stronger.
And the weeds will be held at bay.
Practice daily, and you will be a better, happier, more fulfilled person.
What do you think?
#leadership #growth #mindfulness #stressmanagement #mentalhealth #meditation