Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tending Your Garden

Six days ago, I was walking the dog in the late afternoon.  I had just finished a long shift at the store and was on my 8th straight day of working.  I was looking forward to having the next day off.  The walk was the first step toward winding down.

When I walk with the dog, I bring a trash bag to collect litter along the way.  May be a little weird? Well, it's my small contribution to the world.  Anyway, I saw a piece of paper on the ground.  Something made me pick it up and put it in my coat pocket instead of in the trash bag.

When I got home, I unfolded the tattered sheet of paper:

"How to create a thriving garden"

The sheet went on to list proverbs from the bible and ways to care for yourself and others spiritually, emotionally...  Ways to build a happy and abundant life for you and those you love...

"Prov 14:1 A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."
I am still thinking on this one.  It struck a cord with me and I find myself mulling it over in my mind regularly.

How do I build my house?  With love, with care, by valuing it and everything and everyone in it... What might I be doing currently that might be tearing my house down?  What could I avoid or do in the future to preserve it?  House doesn't only have to mean house.  A house is a structure.  So, house could mean many structures in my life.  This whole idea of building my house could be applied to other things.  My friends and family are my support structure.  My body is the structure that houses my soul.  My soul is the structure that brings life to my body.  My mind is the structure that propels me forward with new ideas and ways of growing.  All of these structures are connected to make the whole of my life.  So, I continue to mull it over.

Help - heart of humility and teachability
This also stood out to me.  HumilityHumbleTeachabilityTeachAbility.  Teach Ability.

"Look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others."
"When you take care of yourselves, you can take care of others."
"We are called to lay down our lives for our families, but we must also have a life that we can lay down."

I have been working like a mad woman.  In the past two weeks, I have had 1 day off.

One Day Off.

I am grateful for the blessings of financial abundance and the opportunity to continue to grow and potentially advance at a company that I really like with a team of people that I really like, admire and can learn a lot from.

It leaves little time for tending my garden, though.  I feel that I need to work on bringing things back into balance.  A set schedule might help... or 2 days off per week... or 1 day off per week... or some sort of check-in with my manager...  This is all attainable, but I have to ask for it.  I have to decide what I need and ask for it.  That would be a big step toward better tending all patches of my garden.

Decide what you need and ask for it.

As someone who finds herself tending to others needs often and is usually more than happy to do so, identifying my needs and asking for them to be met is challenging.  Though challenging, I am recognizing more and more that it is necessary.

Tend your garden and it will thrive.  It's all within you, within your power.  Isn't that a beautiful thing, a beautiful gift? A knowledge you can carry with you, inside you, and draw strength from. That is something to be thankful for.

P.S.  I found myself thinking of this post while writing the above.

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“Learning without thought is labor lost; and thought without learning is perilous.” - Confucious