"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust."
Happy Mother's Day! There is nothing like the sweet blossoms of May. I remember at age seven weeding the neighbor's flower beds for spare change. Some of the neighborhood kids called Mr. Wilson cheap, but I called him my friend, and Mrs. Wilson always gave me a treat when I finished.
I remember at age nine helping my dad till the soil of our back yard to make a vegetable garden. His thumbs turned bright green that summer - the peas were sweet and delicate, the melons fragrant and juicy, the tomatoes flavorful and BIG. Every year after, Dad would plant a new variety of tomatoes in the hopes that they would earn him bragging rights, which they always did.
For many years as a wife and mother, I grew herbs and vegetables and I enjoyed the earth's abundant offerings including my very first, absolutely delightful, crop of sweet corn. More recently, as an apartment-dweller who spends her summers away from home, my gardening has been limited to a few potted flowers on the balcony.
This spring, however, I decided to forego even my favorite pansies. I am simply enjoying others' gardens - at least those of a physical nature. Of course it is and will be different - no cutting garden for bouquets, no eating right off of the vine this year, and the balcony is a little bland. I have been getting my "flower fix" on my walks in the parks this spring, and I will be frequenting the farmstands for good produce this summer.
Regarding gardens of a spiritual nature, however, I have been very busy - turning sod and planting seeds, watering shoots and pulling weeds....
The spiritual garden
In my spiritual garden, I am cultivating honesty, lovingkindness, generosity, moderation, and diligence. I am weeding out tendencies toward dishonesty, injury, theft, excessiveness, and laziness. I look forward to someday harvesting the "fruits of the Spirit." In the meantime, I am learning patience and careful watchfulness, industry and thrift, and above all, trust.
This is not easy; I resist at almost every step. I have to remind myself that I am not a human being having a spiritual experience, but a spiritual being having a human experience (to paraphrase Tielhard de Chardin). When it is very hard for me, I remember something one of my teachers once said: There are many, many souls waiting to incarnate.
That thought immediately changes my attitude to one of appreciation: I am grateful to be alive, to be healthy, to have so many comforts and freedoms. And then my most heartfelt desires take over: to be a better person, to contribute to the evolution of humanity, to fulfill my soul's purpose. These give me hope and motivate me to do my best.
Tools of the trade
Sometimes my best means simply showing up. Keeping my mouth closed. Apologizing after the bad behavior. When I am mindful, my best means recognizing old, unhelpful patterns of thought before they take hold. Avoiding the argument to begin with. Being a little more patient.
Are you noticing a theme here? I focus on little things that I can do in the moment. I ask myself, What is one thing that I can do right now to help myself in this situation? And that's what I do. It sounds so simple, yet it is one of the most empowering tools that I have ever used, or shared with my coaching clients. Try it for yourself.
Bounties of the garden
I hope these tips will help you to enjoy a blessed and bountiful harvest from your own spiritual garden. In the meantime, would you like to pick a bouquet or gather some produce from a local farmstand specializing in spiritual nourishment? Inner Compass is lush with garden delights that are ripe for the taking and will nurture you for years to come. May and June are bursting with a colorful array of special events that you can gather into your own lovely bouquet of higher learning and practices!
Inner Compass is honored to host a Wesak Festival Observance (Saturday May 18). Join us for a global meditation and lecture (led by one of my teachers, Master Stephen Co), as we celebrate with our spiritual brothers and sisters around the world this sacred event - the most powerful full moon of the year - that showers the earth and all her inhabitants with divine energy and blessings.
Do you like spirit art? Message work? Want to try your hand at putting the two together and perhaps discovering or enhancing a budding talent? If so, make a playdate with your inner child or artist for Auragraphs (Sunday, May 19), an engaging afternoon playshop where you'll learn how to create inspired drawings that provide a pictorial message based on a person's aura. Here is example:
Look intriguing? Sound like fun? I hope you will join me for an afternoon chock full of creative inspiration.
And if you'd like to receive more spiritual gardening tools - transformative, tried-and-true, energy healing tools - Inner Compass is hosting a workshop in Pranic Healing featuring guest instructor Stephanie Toney. In Pranic Healing Level One (Saturday & Sunday, June 1-2), you'll learn the basics of working with your energy aura in this advanced energy modality: energetic anatomy, preventive healing, self-pranic healing, step-by-step techniques for common ailments, distance healing, and more.
See what I mean about a bountiful garden? And there's even more - just check out our online calendar for details on all of our offerings. And I hope to see you very soon!