On a personal note: This is my contemplation and how the title of my blog came to be. I began writing this months ago, and today I decided to let go – to plant it, nourish it, and let it grow into whatever it is intended to be. I am not sure how long I could have held and massaged it, protected and perfected, not wanting to let go until I knew the outcome, the fruit of my labor. If we are just still and observe, we don’t have to look far to see our unconscious patterns. Writing shows me a lot about myself and my parenting, and always a work in progress. So today I let go of my attachment and marinate in wonder and anticipation of the fruit.
Gardening may be the ultimate metaphor of parenting. Conscious parenting is the organic gardening of the souls entrusted to us called children. This is written as a metaphor and a meditation. It is merely a raindrop in the rainforest, yours to contemplate and cultivate into your own beautiful garden. I hope to nourish awareness, grow understanding, and harvest peace. I invite you to find a quiet space and enjoy a moment of mindfulness, reflecting on your garden and all its bounty.
The tree of understanding.
When I plant sweet peas, and they do not grow, I do not blame the peas. They may need different soil, more water, or less sun. It is true with children also – no blame, just understanding. With understanding, I can love and change the environment. With understanding, the ones I love can bloom. A blooming garden is the essence of unconditional love.
If I plant rude-bagas, I can’t expect sweet peas.
When something grows that was not intended, this is a moment of insight. Inappropriate behavior is a call for help and a need for understanding.
“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” ~ May Sarton
The flowers of love.
Compost has the power to transform rot into something beautiful. I recognize that rot can become a peach. Within one is the other. My children contain the elements of both; I contain the elements of both. This awareness offers hope, patience, and compassion.
Showing my children the nature of compost may be one of the greatest lessons I can offer. Helping my children internalize this principle and recognize the power to transform any circumstance is within, they can see a diamond in the coal. They will never be with naught, and never alone.
My compost is the nourishment for my children’s growth. Enriching their souls with love is my spiritual journey. Any weeds of fear I leave, emotions I bury, or toxins I spread, will be theirs to sow. I must be willing to dig deep and plant roots. Toil now and enjoy later.
Peace and happiness are the beautiful flowers of my life that bloom from seeds of love.
The fruits of mindful living.
A true gardener loves what grows. With no expectations and no attachment, I welcome the fruits of my labor as feedback. Judgments and expectations contaminate the soil. Fertile soil in which to grow organically is free of chemicals, preservatives, fillers, by-products, and toxins. Better soil is less toil.
If there is a problem with the fruit, always look at the root. I am the roots and my children are the fruit of the tree.
“As the garden grows, so does the gardener.” ~ Nora Jorbou
The fruit of mindfulness is living my own peace in relationship with my garden. Peace is the ecology of the mind, and pollution control is the ultimate means of conservation, preserving and protecting my garden.
What have I allowed to pollute my garden? Anxiety, achievements, attachments, entitlements, expectations, jealousy, resentment, comparing, competing, conforming, pleasing, perfecting, performing, unworthiness, and worries. This is my compost, mine to transform and create something new.
The garden of life.
Home is the garden of life; my home is my garden. How are things growing? Do I enjoy being there? Is it time to cultivate some new seeds? Who do I allow to tend to my garden on my behalf?
How do I empower my children to trust their power within and inner strength? What power tools am I using? Blame, shame, and guilt, or freedom, discipline, and independence? Through mindful living and conscious choice I chose not to control my children, and recognize that I influence my children with every decision I make. Every action and reaction is a seed planted.
Conscious parenting is awareness with action. It is a conscious choice to garden with courage, compassion, and wisdom, and pull the weeds of anger, jealousy, and control.
Gardening is a present moment activity. It is a celebration of life as-is, in the here and now. There is no off season for a gardener. The best practices are to eat what is in season and make lemonade out of lemons.
A life of plenty.
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” ~ Nelson Henderson
Looking at my garden, I celebrate all that it is and don’t lack what it is not. There is no need and greed, and I accept abundance with gratitude and appreciation. I am not mad or jealous that mangoes don’t grow in Missouri. I love my corn and tomatoes. Likewise, I celebrate my children for all they are and do not envy or criticize what they are not.
Unhappiness is greed, a mindset of lack and not enough. Nature does not want for more. Happy are those who take the time to smell the roses.
My children are seeds of divinity entrusted to me. My job as their parent is to be their gardener. Gardening is an intentional way of life. At its best, it is a simple and bountiful life.
As I increase my awareness and practice mindfulness, I understand the karmic law of “Reap what I sow.” These are my values of gardening with children for a life of plenty.
- Provide the fertile soil of presence and gratitude.
- Cultivate mindfulness and conscious choice.
- Feed love and nourish awareness.
- Grow happy kids and harvest peace.
Please share your favorite gardening metaphors in the comments. This is a growing collection that I will add to as I unearth them.
May Peace Bloom,
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