Day 307/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
Words. They capture us and sometimes torture us.
Reflecting this morning on "working" in the garden, I realise that I don't think of my garden time as work. It's more a creative pursuit that is about nurturing than about working.
Resonating through my body is the desire for health and well-being for all, and that desire is extended to my garden.
My greatest pleasure is turning the compost heap. Assembling the ingredients to ensure the most nutritious and active compost that will encourage the perfect mix of bacteria and fungi to nourish the garden plants and soil health.
Or feeding my worm farm, ensuring the little slimy ones are healthy and happy and producing leachate to nurture and regenerate my soils.
For too many years I had neglected my love of the garden just as I had neglected the care of my soul. From the moment I rediscovered that passionate connection, it was never about work.
Very quickly I formed the pattern of garden labour into the pattern of living life that I desire for myself.
Safe, peaceful, with vibrant good health and ease.
This simple formula transformed an overgrown rainforest garden into a spacious and stunningly beautiful paradise of wildflowers. Forgotten ornamentals buried until overgrowth were regenerated with access to light and quickly burst into colour. Within a very short period of time, that garden was transformed and maintained on just 2 hours of nurturing visits each week.
Nowadays I live in an area close to rainforest again where gardens grow well, there is plenty of rainfall and in my garden, opportunity for creative expression. This time I built my home on a cleared site. In many ways the most daunting way to establish a new garden.
As in life, so in my garden. I am in no hurry to get anywhere fast. Working with nature and the natural rhythms of the seasons enables me to experiment over time. It encourages me to savour life in rhythm with the seasons, and it enables me to form a garden in tune with that life.
Exploring my likes and interests and choosing plants accordingly, paying attention to those that work well together and enjoy each other's company, discovering the microclimates, the dry and damp patches, these are all essential elements of knowing, planning and growing my garden.
And as I learn my garden, I also learn about myself. I notice that I am never the same gardener from one day to the next. Routines don't linger for long. My desire and my tendency is to be more spontaneous as I respond to the changing circumstances.
There's a need for deep watering of some parts of the garden, or the compost needs turning, the weeds are encroaching on an area of the garden and dissuading them is a priority. Responding to the garden in the way I'm noticing that I have formed a pattern of responding to life - with what is needed at the time. This way all that needs to be done is done in perfect timing.
We are not one thing. Who we know to be ourselves cannot be pinned down to a simple description. I am many things, and oftentimes I discover who I am by my response in the moment.
Sometimes nurturing and kindly, other times more assertive and forceful, should the situation demands. Each time moving with ease from one temperament to the next, without attachment, letting go. And those moments are often in my garden.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.