Day 313/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
Connecting with nature in times of uncertainty is supportive in every way. To begin with, it is difficult to identify where nature does not find a way to thrive. In spite of all that assaults her, mostly at the hands of humans, she finds a way to come through with new growth.
If there is one lesson that I have learned over the decades of my life, it is to "be like nature". Whilst endurance is necessary it is not only about enduring, it is about finding the capacity to thrive in the chaos that life throws at us.
Hence the journey to Simple Abundance. When we appreciate the simple things in life, the simple abundance that surrounds us, we begin to realise that thriving is our birthright. It doesn't take much more than quality food, water, rest, and connection with our people.
With those things taken care of, anything we do that is meaningful adds joy and excitement to our lives.
At a time when I was shedding my expectations about what was needed to thrive, I turned to a pastime that I had grown up with, gardening. My father was a farmer and my mother was a gardener. They both understood the land, the soil and how to support things to grow. If they could do it, surely I could do it as well.
Starting a garden from scratch I've discovered, can be a daunting task. Not only is it about preparing garden beds, caring for the soil and plant selection, it is also about the aesthetics of the piece. The shape, textures, colours and scents. It's about growing seasons, and design. It's about selecting for food or ornamental purposes, of indeed both, which is what I have settled on, using food producing plants in the design and aesthetics of my garden.
It's about trial and error. About winning some great accomplishments and experiencing failures. It's about learning the growing conditions around you and figuring out what will grow there.
At the same time it's about connecting with nature and the life lessons that nature can teach us.
Sometimes the best distraction from our over busy minds is to turn our hands to manual work. When we do this we have to focus on what we are doing. While you're preparing a garden bed or selecting plants there's no room to consider the worries that dominate your life.
My garden has become a metaphor for my life. There's a section that represents my family, one that represents my business, one that represents my friends, my voluntary work, my health and well being and more. As I tune in and attend to each section of my garden I am reminded to attend to that aspect of my life.
Grow a garden. Whether on your balcony of a high rise, a courtyard in an inner city townhouse, or a lush garden on a piece of your own land, gardening may be your very first reconnection back to that part of life that always thrives, even when you feel that you aren't.
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.