What is your practice? 

Garden of the Mind

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I have been gardening in containers for 12 years now due to living in rental property the majority of those years. When I started, I was so “green” (pun intended) that I didn’t even know there was a term for this type of gardening.  My first few years of container gardening on my 3rd floor apartment balcony was mostly trial and error…as are many things in our early 20’s.

I finally came into my own gardening when my living space was upgraded to a concrete patio in full sun. The pots got bigger and my green thumb developed! Trial and error continued!

Last year, I became a Master Gardener and got inspired to do lots more with know-how and creativity.  I have volunteered hundreds of hours and learned hundreds of new things about gardening.  Just as yogis practice yoga, I practice gardening.  It is my zen, earth mama time.

The last ten weeks, I have been in a personal development class that has encouraged me to set short and long-term goals, define my motivators, identify key parts of my personality and has encouraged me to adopt the practice of reciting daily affirmations…in the mirror…Stuart Smalley style!  This course has encouraged me to practice these skills so that I may lead a healthier, happier life.

What is your practice?

Yogis “dedicate their practice” or “set their intention” on something specific as a guiding force to focus their breath and energy through their poses.  When I garden, I am able to focus my intention and at times I dedicate my practice when planting something meaningful like my Dad and Grandma’s favorite flowers (pansies & violas).

Setting a positive intention or dedication when doing anything in life is one step in the right direction for having a positive outcome.  When I garden in a hurry or when I’m in a bad mood, things come out differently.  When I clear my head, take my time, and focus on being intentional as I plant or prune things, they always look better in the end.

Tomorrow, my class ends in a graduation ceremony and I will present the last ten blog photos I have posted to the class and guests…so I need to finish this blog and make presentation skills my “practice” for a bit!

Live & Grow!

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I had a bit of a privacy scare over the weekend and consequently made my blog private for the last 48 hours.  My anonymity (for now) is very important to me since it is allowing me to open up and post publicly about sensitive and personal issues.  I know that there are others out there who deal with similar issues and might benefit from reading about my experiences.  I hope that through the garden analogies and daily life commentary I can bring peace of mind to someone who might be struggling.

Writing anonymously has allowed me to share my inner most thoughts on life, mental health, lessons God has taught me, struggles with confidence, and much more to come without editing myself for fear of judgement by someone who might know me in real life and be reading the blog as a peeping Tom/Tomasina.

I hope that one day I will have the confidence to post with my name and not be afraid of being the victim of gossip, harsh judgement, or the like.  I am fully aware that I cannot control other people’s actions and thoughts, but I do know that I can control my efforts to improve my self-confidence. This quote has helped me lately:

Confidence is not “They will like me.”

Confidence is “I’ll be fine if they don’t.”

The last line there – I’ll be fine if people don’t like me – is something I’m working on.  People pleasing and guilt carrying are two skills I’m trying to unlearn.  I am also trying uninstall the program that makes me feel responsible for other people’s reactions and emotions.  I take responsibility for my reactions and emotions like a boss!  Well…I’m working on that too…

give it a try

The quote on my photograph above felt appropriate for the conversations that I had the last 48 hours surrounding the possibility of ending the blog and starting anew because of the possibility of my identity being revealed to people who I didn’t want to know that I am the Heart Gardener (author) of this blog.

“It’s impossible,” said Pride.

  • I thought it might be impossible to tell only a handful of trusted people this is my blog and expect them to keep it a secret that I’m the author.
  • It’s impossible that I’m going to feel safe writing my heart out here again knowing that maybe there is a person I know that would, for entertainment value, want to see how flawed I am behind my public smile and bubbly personality.

“It’s risky,” said Experience. 

  • In past blogs I have used my name, my husband’s name, the region of the country where we live, and other identifying information.  It made me feel at risk for lots of reasons and I usually abandoned the blog or wrote really light-weight things that I constantly second-guessed.
  • When I post on my personal Facebook account I flinch when I see someone like my status who I had no idea even payed attention to me on Facebook.  I guess social anxiety can also apply to social media.
  • It’s risky to open up your heart anywhere when you are a tender-hearted person as I am.  Even telling people that I’m close with that I have this blog and how to find it has felt risky at times.  If I know you personally and I told you about this blog it means I trust you.

“It’s pointless,” said Reason.

  • When I was in the middle of my pity party/anxiety attack/disappointment fest of the last 48 hours I was thinking it was pointless to return to the blog with the chance that people I know in real life that I don’t trust might tie my identity to Heart Gardening.
  • I felt it was pointless to make another blog since Heart Gardening felt like my one great idea that I’ve had in the last decade.
  • I felt like it’s pointless to write when very few people are actually reading it…so who knows if it’s actually making a difference in someone’s life.

“Give it a try,” whispered the Heart.

  • The original quote said “whispered the heart” not “said the heart” as I wrote on my photograph above (See! I’m working on my perfectionism and just posted it even though I caught the minor error).
  • After talking with the parties involved in the privacy scare and receiving information that calmed my anxious, the-sky-is-falling thoughts I decided that the chances were very slim of someone breaking my confidence and divulging my identity to those who know me in person.
  • So here I am, giving it a try again.  Trying to make the world a better place, help people, become a better writer, stimulate my brain, be creative, use my God-given talents, relax and have fun.

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Thank you to the 39 followers I have here.  You are 39 reasons I returned to Heart Gardening and didn’t press the delete button.  Those of you who have liked, commented on, and shared my posts have encouraged me to keep writing and have nourished my self-esteem.  I have had this blog for less than a month so, I figure if this rate of following continues I’ll have over 365 followers this time next year.  Exciting stuff!