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Cultivating Compassion




In my 20s, where I worked, I would sometimes stop at a friend’s workspace and notice the new floral arrangement on her desk. I commented one day. “You always have such different and beautiful flowers on your desk! What are these one’s called?” She looked at me in amazement and replied “tulips”. This was my scope of knowledge about flowers and plant varieties at this point in my life…sad as it may seem. My experience with flowers and plants has luckily evolved from there. (There was a lot of potential for growth!) Thirty years later I am still a threat to most living plants that enter my home; but, my family now helps to keep them alive and thriving. Outside, I have a small but beautiful and very functional garden. A person who did not even recognize a tulip at one time, now has a tiny flower garden in her front yard and a pretty nice vegetable garden in her backyard.


My children grew up getting the garden ready on the March break, planting seeds in April and gradually adding plants that we bought at the local farmers market each Saturday in May. My garden feeds our bodies and souls! Who knew I would ever even be interested in having a garden? I now love the process every Spring of the newness and potential for a different mix of veggies and herbs. I love planting them and watching as the seedlings grow into a flourishing collection of fruits, veggies, and herbs. I cherish the months where I can open my back door and select the ingredients I need for the meal I am cooking. I remember fondly the days of my children eating the harvest before it even gets to the kitchen. I had very little knowledge of plants and flowers years ago and even less interest! I had no idea how something like a simple and very small veggie garden would feed me and my family in so many ways.

 

My vegetable garden is one of the first ways I began to slow. For me, the more I learn to slow, the more I am able to make time for self-care. In my garden, I need to prepare the garden beds with healthy soil, then plant, tend to the plants, remove the weeds, and continuously nurture its growth. Are you seeing the parallel here between my garden and self-compassion? It really was a similar path for me…a path I continue to grow with. I feel like I have laid the foundation of a healthy place to practice my self-care and self-compassion. I know what this means and looks like. I try my best to tend to my wellness daily and that sometimes involves setting some new boundaries. Regardless, I need to continuously nurture myself. Sometimes, I have to go back a few steps and try a different way. This is part of self-compassion. There are always second chances to be had…much like the new garden I get to plant each spring. One year is never identical to another because our needs constantly change.

 

I feel really blessed to be able to enjoy leading two groups of people who want to learn about and discuss self-care each month. Where I might lead some of the format and information sharing, there is so much more we all learn from each other! It’s wonderful to spend an hour with like-minded people who have a common goal: nurturing our wellness! Whether we’re coming in as a seedling, or lush plant filled with ripened fruit, we all feed and learn from each other. We welcome anyone who wants to join us this week. Please feel free to forward this blog to anyone you think might be interested. Our Western Creating Community Meetup will talk about the last three elements of wellness. Our Eastern Group will be looking at different ways to enjoy micro-breaks in our busy days. Click on the link below that works best for you and give yourself an hour of self-care!






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