“Sometimes we need others to remind us that much of what we desire is, in fact, possible; all we need to do is dig down into our courage, embrace the unknown, and invite our creative minds out to play. It is then that we can access our infinite possibility and grow into the fullest expression of who we may yet be.“ Fran Sorin
Your garden mirrors your soul. When your creativity is unfettered, you’re in full bloom. In a state of silent exhilaration. Savoring each moment. Abraham Maslow coined the phrase ‘peak experience’. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it ‘flow’. This is where your soul yearns to be.
Our culture may try to brainwash you into believing that ‘garden making’ is solely about creating a ‘beautiful garden’. I’ve challenged that premise for years and initially wrote about it in my book DIGGING DEEP: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening.
WHY YOU GARDEN
You garden because you need to make a profound connection with the Earth. It’s your birthright.
A primordial longing to experience and participate in the magic of nature. The deep knowing that ultimately nature is your teacher.
Your guide. You’re a participant. A cog in the wheel. Not in charge. You learn to slow down. And listen to what the land has to tell you.
Sometimes finding balance and harmony. Other times total frustration and cacophony. It’s the Tao. Dark and Light. Ebb and Flow.
You work in the garden relentlessly because you have to. Fingernails clogged up with dirt. Sweat streaming down your face.
It’s here that you feel most comfortable in your skin. At peace. And yet, paradoxically ‘on fire’. Nurturing and being nurtured.
Part of the cosmic consciousness. Participating in ‘sacred play’. Every keen gardener intuitively knows this.
You have a deep seeded vision of what you want your garden to ‘be’. A yearning that is embedded in your unconscious. This is – in part – what propels you forward. Keeps you chipping away. To get to the essence of what’s underneath.
To embrace your soul – your creative fire.
At the end of the day, after you clean up and store tools, you take a few minutes just to be in your garden. It’s in those moments that you feel a penetrating serenity. A state of bliss.
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe to match your nature with Nature.” Joseph Campbell
WHERE YOU GARDEN DOESN’T MATTER
It doesn’t matter where you garden – in the city or suburbs. On a terrace, windowsill, containers. A shared or private garden. It’s the act of gardening that gives you a sense of well being.
It’s getting your hands in the earth that immerses you in feelings of abundance, generosity, kindness, and love.
Gardening is about taking a leap of faith. Letting go of control. Surrendering. And giving your soul permission to dance with the ‘Gods of nature’.
This New Year of 2014, I’ve made a promise to myself. To speak out when someone refers to gardening as an ‘activity’ or ‘past time’. I’ve made a commitment to declare what I think the act of gardening really is. Will you join me in getting the word out?
13 INSPIRATIONAL BOOKS READ IN 2013
Biomimicy: Innovation Inspired By Nature, Janine Benyus
Ecotherapy: Healing With Nature In Mind, Linda Buzzell, Editor
Planting: A New Perspective, Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury
Play: How It Shapes The Brain, Opens The Imagination and Invigorates The Soul, Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughn
Spiritual Ecology: The Cry Of The Earth, Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, Wendell Berry et.al
Comfortable With Uncertainty, Pema Chodron
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, John Taylor Gatto
Escape From Freedom: Erich Fromm
Free Play: Improvisation In Life and Art, Stephen Nachmanovitch
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell
Man’s Search For Meaning, Viktor Frankl
Religion, Values, and Peak Experiences, Abraham Maslow
Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential, Carolyn Myss
Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education, Michael Pollan
Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell
The Art of Happiness: A Handbook For Living, Dalai Lama
The Complete Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Courage To Create, Rollo May
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, Sir Ken Robinson
The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers
The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche
The World Is A Waiting Lover, Trebbe Johnson, Thomas Moore
Walden, Henry David Thoreau