We are all enchanted by the sight of a well-kept garden, even when it is very simple.
City dwellers often go for a walk in the garden not only to get some fresh air, but also to take a “breath of beauty”, to get inspired or to release tension.
Some are lucky to have one of their own, and in that case we can observe a great variety of ways of keeping it, which arouses well-being, admiration, serenity, or indifference, a sense of mediocrity or even discomfort or repulsion. Yet, the starting point is the same: a delimited land. The difference is the way it is managed.
The garden can represent metaphorically Also our confined space: our life (all or just one aspect) or our interiority.
Personal growth mainly concerns the work on one’s own interiority.
Why is it important to work on one’s own interiority?
Because it determines how we feel, how others feel, how we appear on the outside, how we relate to others, how others relate to us and what results we achieve.
In short, how beautiful our inner garden is depends on what kind of people and what events will be attracted to us.
If our garden is neglected, it is unlikely that the person of our dreams will come to visit it. It is useless to chase and try to conquer someone or something that simply has another quality, which is currently incompatible.
The writer Mario Quintana sums it up well in this beautiful sentence: “The secret is not taking care of the butterflies, but taking care of the garden so that the butterflies come to you.”
How can we take care of our inner garden? Here are some suggestions:
1. Ask yourself the question “How is my garden?”, every cure starts with a good diagnosis – this, to begin with, can translate into the question “How is my life right now?”.
We can start with the description of the facts: what I do every day and what I rarely do, how much time I spend on what types of activities, do I like or dislike what I do, what people I surround myself with, what are my priorities, how much I love my life as it is, no matter what level of difficulty I’m going through, how many weeds there are, is it lush, overflowing or deserted and other info we can think of. Sometimes this question prompts us to see for the first time something we didn’t realize;
2. What would I like to remove?
Every job in any field starts with the cleaning. Maybe the list will have only a few small details, maybe it will be long and full of “big jobs to be done”, sometimes of structural works. In any case, keep in mind that doing one thing at a time is always the winning strategy. Especially if it’s something that takes time. Everything in our life right now has its own story and often the main job to do is to realize that now it’s just history;
3. What would I like to add?
Everything we make starts with the imagination. While what I would like to add is large and complex, imagination is important to maintain the perseverance to be able to do it and carry it through. Would like to learn something new? Or meet new people? Or find a partner? Starting a new business? Taking a trip that I’ve been putting off for years? Spend more time with friends? Bringing a child into the world? Start painting?
4. What are the things I can’t change?
And so the main job is accept them and try to build around the constraint the garden as creatively as possible – for example, having a handicap of some kind cannot be changed, but it can give rise to the construction of a way of life full of originality and inner strength. Having a child constrains the long-term way of life, but offers opportunities for experiences that are as challenging as they are satisfying;
5. How many mosquitoes are there in my garden and how many butterflies?
This is a question that affects a lot the mental and emotional aspect of our life. Aren’t disturbing thoughts comparable to mosquitoes that buzz around us and don’t allow us to enjoy life or unpleasant emotions that we can’t let go? Constructive thoughts and positive emotions, starting with simple gratitude and love, aren’t they comparable to the beautiful butterflies that cause smile and joy as soon as they appear?
And you, do you have your own “recipes” for tending to your inner garden? Share them in the comments!
Originally posted 2023-05-23 00:27:03.