Everybody has a unique story. Your story may be very different from mine but there is one common thing that we all can have: a beautiful garden. And you don’t have to have a green thumb to get one!
The metaphorical garden that I’m talking about is your life-garden! The things to plant in your life; the thoughts and actions you choose will either help or hurt your garden. Imagine your life-garden right now: what does it look like? Do you see some weeds of bad habits? Do you want to start planting some flowers instead?
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to start making changes in what you are growing right away!
Step 1: What do you want in your garden? This is step 1 because before you can go anywhere with clearing out bad habits and past hurts, you need to know what you’re going to plant in replacement. In order to have a beautiful garden, we need the right seeds. Imagining your future, think about what it would look like. Do you want a future filled with kindness, compassion and gratitude?
Take a moment and choose three words that will represent the seeds you want to plant. Your words don’t have to be the same as mine. Your words are whatever you want to see in your future. After you’ve cleared a little patch of dirt by following steps 2 and 3, you can start sowing these seeds!
In order to grow a garden you love, you need to live it out. Your present actions will determine your future harvest.
Step 2: What’s weighing you down? Just like a plant releases dead leaves and old flowers to allow new growth, start by finding any hard feelings you have carried or some bitterness lingering from a past hurt.
If something is weighing you down, recognize that it is a dead flower and doesn’t need to be part of your beautiful future moving forward. We all hold on to things that have hurt us in the past and it isn’t always easy to let go. You don’t have to do this overnight, just start the process.
Find one thing right now that you have been holding onto for a long time that has negatively affected you. Write that thing on a rock, and throw it out. This is a symbolic act of releasing this. Imagine yourself clearing out your garden and removing those rocks and weeds.
Step 3: What weeds can be pulled out? We’ve all got some weeds that have grown from lies we have told ourselves. Allowing limiting thoughts or lies to grow prevents your plants from growing as strong and as beautiful as they can.
You are in control of your thoughts and the things you believe about yourself. No matter what anybody else says, you can choose whether or not to listen. If someone calls you a failure, or if you call yourself a failure, you can control how far you go in that direction. Whatever you believe will be true so be conscious about what lies are creeping in.
Speak truth over yourself and even if nobody else believes in you, you can at least believe in yourself! Go and write down one positive truth about yourself on a post it note. Do it now and tape it up somewhere you know you’ll see it. Read this to yourself daily to keep the weeds from growing.
Step 4: How healthy is the soil? Now that we’ve worked on removing some of the lies and things weighing you down try writing out a list of the things that give you energy or make you feel most alive and connected to yourself.
Then ask yourself, how often do you encounter these good things? Are they part of your regular routine? If possible, try to incorporate them into your daily or weekly routine. Having positive experiences happening regularly is a great way to provide a rich soil and life giving water for your plants.
Step 5: How can you keep maintaining the garden? As you work on releasing old hurts and habits and replacing those weeds with new seeds that you live out daily, you will start to see your garden develop into something beautiful.
This is a lifelong process and you will continually be pulling out weeds as you go along. New hurts will arise that you will need to release. There will be things that happen to you that weigh you down.
Don’t be concerned when these things happen to you because that’s part of the journey. Just keep tending to your garden and focusing on being the best person you can be, instead of the things beyond your control.
You have the power to determine your own actions and thoughts. Nobody can take that away from you. There will be things beyond your control but you will always have the ability to choose how you respond to the things life throws at you.
Connect the Dots
I’ve created a downloadable worksheet that you can use to go through each of these steps and write out your answers for yourself. Take time this week to fill this out and get a better idea of what you can do to grow your garden.
This blog post follows what was talked about on the Million Dollar Monday Show, if you want to watch the full episode, you can find it here.
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