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Lessons from The Garden: Tenacity of Weeds

Lessons from The Garden: Tenacity of Weeds

When my partner, Shawn, and I inherited a plot in our neighborhood community garden last year, we felt overwhelmed.  The weeds were waist high.  The garden committee sent us warnings to do something about the weeds or lose the plot, even though we just got it.  We both had busy schedules.  It felt like too much to handle.

Little did I know how much I would learn about life, nature and myself from stewarding this little 11x11 plot of land.  It changed my perspective in ways I never could have anticipated.

During our first days in the garden, it felt like we would spend the whole summer pulling up weeds.  They were too tall and so thick that the effort to extract the weeds from their roots felt monumental.  No sooner had we pulled them up, they would pop right back out of the rich soil.

Shawn pulling weeds around our plot in 2017.

Shawn pulling weeds around our plot in 2017.

After a few weeks of weeding and weeding again, I found a rhythm with it.  Weeding became a meditation and a communication with the land.

I began to love weeding and I learned so much the process and from the weeds themselves.  Weeds are just plants we aren’t trying to cultivate. They aren’t inherently “bad.”  That is a human concept.

I recognized and appreciated the tenacity for life that each weed exemplified.  I found that tenacity growing within myself.  I recognized the times in my life that I gave up because something became challenging.

Finishing up the weeding.

Finishing up the weeding.

The practice of weeding in the garden became a practice of weeding in my life.  I became more willing to do the “hard” tasks and stay with difficult conversations.  I took on the characteristics of my weed friends by nourishing myself will “richer soil” and tenaciously growing towards the light of my aspirations.

Pulling a weed up from its roots becomes a dance.  Yanking or ripping weeds out the ground just causes breakage, leaving most of the root in the ground.  The weed just grows again.

To completely remove a plant requires pulling up the root as well.  This is a coaxing dance of removing soil and wriggling the plant tenderly to encourage the root free of the dirt.  This involves gentleness and patience.  Done enough, plant by plant, the garden stays free of weeds much longer.

A few months in, I felt like tending a garden is something I had always done.  My body knew what to do before my mind made any decisions.

Maybe my DNA remembers the weeding my grandparents did growing up on farms, as their parents did and so on down the ancestral line.  Maybe the Virgo in me feels right at home discerning what plants stay and what plants go.  Maybe it is a memory we all carry as human beings, whose survival, until recent history, depended upon this skill.

All I know is that I am grateful for the opportunity to tend a garden.  The lesson of the weeds has impacted my life on a deep and unexpected level.

What weeds are you needing to pull up in your life? Where do you need to tap into your tenacity? How would you like to be more attentive to the garden of your health, peace of mind and soul?

Schedule a Discovery Call with me to make a plan for tending the garden of your Life.


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