There’s one thing that I can count on to shift my energy when I’m upset, stressed, or feeling unwell. It’s my garden.
I can’t claim to be a great gardener. Most of the time, I don’t even do anything when I’m outside in the yard. I have great ambitions to plant seeds and grow more veggies for the spring, and add new flowers in the side yard. But even when I have no energy to do anything, my garden is my saving grace.
When I’m inside, working at my computer, or rushing off to appointments or errands, there is a smug sort of pride – I’m doing something! I’m being productive. But often, I’m not. I’m frazzled, multi-tasking, and I might be checking things off a list, but as soon as one task is done, another usually replaces it. It’s deceptive to think that “getting things done” really satisfies the soul or provides more than a fleeting moment of relief. There will be more dishes or laundry again tomorrow.
Without An Agenda
But when I sit out in my garden, without an agenda, I shift into another experience – one of Being. I become present, with my attention on exactly what is. Today, with my daughter, I spread a towel on the grass and lay down on my back, looking up at the large oak tree in our back yard. A chickadee was pecking at the curled leaves high in the branches. To my left, some small sparrows timidly entered the edge of the lawn to search for seeds. A jay suddenly flew by with an alarm call, and over my neighbor’s fence I heard the clicking sound of a hummingbird. I turned on my side and ran my fingers over the soft, thick grass.
The warm sun bathed my belly and legs while my head rested in the shade, and I could feel a slight cool breeze. All my senses came alive, just being a few feet outside my backdoor. As I relaxed by my daughter’s side, we both slowly unwound from the distractions of computer and TV and became quiet and still. It was relieving and renewing. Nature brings our attention into the present moment and awakens what we long for – the sense of Being, valued just as we are. As I listened to the birds and the breeze, nature sang with appreciation for All That Is.
The Earth Knows
The Earth knows what I need – and what I don’t need – and takes away the frustration, fatigue, worry, and anger. It drains out my thoughts and agitations into the soft grass and moist soil, being recycled into something more useful for the planet. When all of that is let go of, Presence remains. I return to my true Self; my spiritual Essence.
Just a few minutes of this practice every day – or whenever you can fit it in – can make a huge difference in your life. Step outside your door; perhaps into your garden, your front yard, a local park, or drive to a place in nature. Let go of any agendas. When you release all your expectations and allow yourself to simply be present, the mind slowly settles down. It may not become totally silent, but a feeling of ease seeps into you from the deep presence of nature. Nature has no expectations: it is simply Being and unfolding itself into each moment. Every part of nature, from the smallest insect to the largest tree, is simply yet mightily expressing That Which It Is and allowing itself to expand into the Universe.
Let yourself simply Be there, and unfold like a flower, opening to the sun. Nowhere to go, nothing to do. You already Are everything you need to Be. As you let go and open, Grace – the unmerited gifts of the Divine – can pour in. For me, that Grace pours in as silence, contentment, and peace. Even if just for a few moments, that Grace shifts my energy and is profoundly renewing to me. I return indoors, back to my computer, my daughter calling for help with her homework, or paying bills, feeling released, centered, and my Self again.
What brings you back to your true Self could be right outside your door, too. Step outside, be present with the earth, and feel your energy shift within.