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Gardening has always been such a mystery to me … I’ve been fascinated by it, scared I’d kill whatever I tried to grow (plants can actually feel things), and yet I’ve always been drawn to it.
Growing up, I don’t really remember my mom doing much yard work…
…although as I type that something is twinging in the back of my mind …
But I do remember that for the longest time I’ve wanted to grow something. This desire increased with each passing year, especially after I went away to college. I saw my mother slowly turn their backyard from something simple (with almost nothing but grass), into a miniature work of art.
It was nothing as extravagant as this:
… but it would still instill wonder into me and an increased desire to do some of my own.
So my mom gave me an ivy … Which lasted for a very long time until I had the issues I did at my last place of residence … But although I would water it daily, and it would grow … I didn’t have the appreciation for gardening as I do now.
And I’ll be honest – I think it’s because of my boyfriend.
Now, he’s no horticulturist (in fact he’s a butcher) so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as to why I would have my current appreciation because of him, so I’ll explain …
After I officially moved in with him earlier this year, one day I came home and voila! Our apartment balcony had some plant babies strewn about! I was so excited about it and had him tell me about the new kids he had adopted. I remember how amused he seemed when I asked if he would allow me to water them and got so giddy with pleasure when he said yes …
… I think that may be where he got his next brilliant idea …
He suggested that we go out and get some plant babies of my own! … So we did.
What started out with a few plants here and there turned into a small garden. We then had:
And a few more we were growing from seeds!
We’ve since been tending to and caring for our plant babies for almost a year now, and here are the lessons I’ve learned & how they correlate with our own lives:
Feed / Water Your Soil (a.k.a.: Nourish Your Body & Soul)
Just like humans, plants need essential items in order to grow, flourish and even reproduce. They need soil, water, and sun. Occasionally they need an extra OOMPH and that’s where plant food comes in to replenish the soil with nutrients.
Our bodies, like these amazing plants, require nourishment. If you were to feed your body cheeseburgers and fast or fried foods daily, it’s like putting trash, sludge, and general unpleasantness into the soil of a plant. Whereas if you were to eat healthier (and exercise) and add more fresh fruits and vegetables, it’s like adding “plant food” (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potash, etc) to the soil … Providing the yumminess that’s required to be healthy.
Put good in, get good out.
Put bad in, get bad out.
Same goes for your mind & soul! Our minds are just like the land / soil that plants grow from. Whatever you plant, the land shall return to you. It doesn’t care what you plant. If you plant 2 seeds (one corn and one poison), it’s inevitable that the land will return to you what you planted.
“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” – Luke 11:10 [KJV]
Tend to Your Land (a.k.a.: Weed Out the Baddies)
The correlation I’ve made to this for human life is quite simple and (once again) falls in line with a lot of the things I’ve been learning about in terms of personal development.
When you have weeds (i.e.: negative people, nay-sayers, dream stealers, etc) in your planter (i.e. your life) then you’re going to get choked! You have no room to grow and live as you were meant to.
As hard as it might be, you MUST constantly be tending to your land. Remove the weeds that are choking you, no matter how hard it may hurt, or how difficult it can be. You’re going to be healthier for it in the long run.
Breathe In, Breathe Out (a.k.a.: Just Be)
A plant doesn’t care what other plants think about it.
It doesn’t worry about if it’s good enough or how it can be better.
A plant is a plant and it ALWAYS does it’s best.
It takes in what it needs …
It sends out things that make the world better.
It breathes in CO2 and breathes out O2.
It provides beauty and landscape.
A plant is what it is as it was always meant to be.
It’s not bogged down by anyone else telling it what it can or can’t do.
Life Is Full of Surprises (so go with the flow)
We were constantly being surprised at how quickly some of our babies were growing …
How much of a water hog some of them could be …
How resilient they could be when we forgot to water them for days …
… or when it was so hot they basically shriveled up from the heat …
… And how quickly they would bounce back …
How does this tie in with the human race? — We’re really the same way.
Think about it. When a child is growing up and they fall down, scrape their knee, etc … What do they do? If you don’t baby them, they get up, stop crying, and go right back to playing! Children are extremely resilient.
But adults? Not so much. Because we’ve been programmed to hate on ourselves when we screw up… to focus on the things that don’t really matter …
So we can learn from plants by brushing off the dirt as we learn from our mistakes and grow to be better!
Don’t Overstretch Yourself
Now this one is kind of tricky … Because you SHOULD stretch yourself … If you don’t, you’ll never grow. But there’s a difference between stretching and pushing your limits versus stretching yourself too thin.
Just like a plant that grows and grows and grows … If the root system can’t support the plant, it will die.
We learned this with our tomato and basil plants. They got to be too big for their buckets. But once we added more nutrients to the soil and trimmed them back, they began to be MUCH healthier!
For people, our “root system” are our basic human needs. If we’ve got too much going on, if all of our needs aren’t met, if we’re not focused and don’t spend our time wisely, then our lives will be in chaos.
Before taking on a new venture, do your research! If you don’t, you might not plan properly or enough in advance.
In the plant world …
- If you don’t know the growing season for your plant, you may miss the harvest!
- If you don’t know how big to expect it to grow, you may not have a big enough pot or enough room for it to grow to it’s full extent.
- If you don’t get the proper tools, you may have to be creative in replanting!
In the human world …
- If you marry someone without knowing them very well (doing your research: dating for an EXTENDED time frame, living together, etc) you’re setting yourself up for divorce.
- If you DO get into a new business venture without doing valid research (the internet is not the best place to check) you could either get involved in something you’re not really interested in or even a scam!
- If you DON’T get into a new business venture without doing proper research (talking to people who are actually currently involved) then you cut yourself off from meeting potential new best friends, new mastermind groups, life changing events, earning an additional stream of income, and/or cutting off your ability to create generational wealth.
- If you don’t read the food label you could potentially be putting in bad things that your body can’t handle, causing you to have digestion issues or something worse!
I think you get the picture. 🙂
In conclusion, plants are just like humans in so many ways — they are responsive to their environment. What goes in must come out. The biggest (possibly only) difference is that plants can’t change their environment. They are dependent on receiving the inputs around them.
Humans, on the other hand, if they don’t like who they are or where they are then they can take steps to improve their quality of life and become better in every aspect.
So let me ask you …
… what’s in your environment?