Gardens take work. Beautiful gardens take a lot of work.
You can spend a lot of money on amazing plants, fancy fertilizers, and gorgeous trellises, but if you don't have good soil (and the right amount of sun and moisture) you're never going to have happy plants. Each type of plant has different preferences.
While you can't exactly get the soil of your life tested for nutrient deficiencies, as human beings we have the ability to thrive in all kinds of situations.
Just like starting any kind of habit, skill, or project, you have to start where you are and be willing to make crummy stuff. Whether or not you're new to this kind of work, we all have a lot to learn. Picking ourselves up is more important than when or how often we fall.
In order to bloom where we are planted (at least at present), you have to tend to your own soil.
The grass is greener where it's watered.
Take mental stock of your soil, your surroundings, and even your emotional landscape. Walk your fences and repair any broken places.
How are you doing?
Are you getting enough sunshine?
On these darkest and coldest days of the year, I still wrastle with the girls and get us outside for at least a little while every day.
Even with few of us hunkered down in a cubicle these days, are you getting outside? Are you stretching your legs?
Does your soil need fertilizing?
How is your nutrition? Do you need to add some dark green leafy vegetables and nutrient-dense foods to replace some of the comfort foods that only act as a bandage in the short run?
Are you watering yourself enough, ehem, I mean drinking enough water?
What's one simple task you could do today to improve your self-care?
Move your body.
Drink more water.
Soak up some sunshine.
Breathe deeply and intentionally (breathing exercise below.)
What will you do today?
Commit to Tending Your Soil. What can you incorporate into your daily life to help boost your soil and help nourish and support your growth?
Daily Mindset Mantra: The grass is greener where you water it.
Where in your life could use a little extra tending?
Where can use a little pruning or a new planter pot?
How can you make it easier to take better care of yourself?
There is no one-size-fits-all miracle fertilizer that will work for everyone. While, as humans, we all have a similar structure, basic needs, and more in common than is different, we are all in different situations with different propensities and are yearning for different things accordingly.
I can guide you with general suggestions but it's you who know your life and your situation and where you feel you have a need to grow.
Just as we can "read" plants by the signs they give, how can you give to your own life to encourage yourself to flourish?
Try one of these intentional breathing techniques.
Part of my morning routine is a set of deep breathing exercises known to help calm your parasympathetic nervous system which is also known as the "rest and digest" nervous system. I also use these techniques throughout the day when I find my stress levels rising.
The first breathing technique is also known as the 4-7-8 breathing technique.
1.) Inhale deeply (focus on filling your lower lung area first) through your nose for four seconds.
2.) Hold for seven seconds.
3.) Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. Breathe out in the way you would to fog up a mirror.
I do a minimum of five repetitions which takes about a minute and a half.
Just as your mind listens to your body, your body listens to your mind. If you're fleeing from danger (real or perceived) you're going to breathe shallowly and rapidly. Intentionally breathing deeply kicks in your body's "I'm safe" response (it's that parasympathetic nervous system again) and you'll find yourself loosening a bit.
The second breathing technique is called Straw Breath
The Straw Breath technique is good for staving off acute overwhelm, regaining composure after your sympathetic nervous system ("fight or flight") kicks in, and particularly after a fall, scare, or shock.
1.) Take a deep in-breath
2.) Breathe out slowly but strongly as though you were blowing through a large straw. You should be able to hear your out-breath.
This is a technique that I model for my kids when they've had a fright, a crash, or are struggling to regain composure. While I've never thought it to them step by step, I guide them to "breathe out" and do the Straw Breath technique with them a few times, modeling both composure and the action while joining them in the actions.
When we train ourselves intentionally in the spare moments we already have a familiar tool to use when push comes to shove. Having the ability to calm oneself is an incredibly valuable skill that can be fostered.
The Straw Breath technique is emotional emergency care that has helped me think clearly in so many high-stress moments.
I do pretty well with moving my body and getting outside every day in the sunshine. I intentionally drank more water today. A while ago I got these 17oz iced tea glasses to help encourage myself to drink more liquids, and to enjoy doing it.
I just started taking an online ballet class so I could build exercise into my weekly routine as well as have the accountability of having a teacher, grades, and the cost of tuition.
Where do I think I could do better? I could declutter my life a bit, luckily I'm doing a challenge to intentionally care for and curate my life this whole month. Maybe you've heard of it. ;)