The Emotional Gardener


In this crazy frenetic world, it is not easy to take time to step outside or indeed to find a garden of our own to tend. For the purposes of this article, let’s cultivate our imagination’s and create a version of our own garden, in our heads.

The time that you most need to access your garden is when you feel, blocked, sabotaged, low, demotivated and derailed. Those negative thoughts are like seeds and germinate quickly, particularly if you water them. It is time to take out your tools and try out some emotional gardening. You need to feed & water the good stuff, weed out the rubbish and cut out those spindly roots, before they grow and take hold. Then when the ground is prepared and ready, you can start planting, nourishing and growing. Trowel anyone?

So to start you need to prepare the ground and start weeding. So what are your foundations like and if a little rocky can you sieve out the bigger stones or obstacles and make for a strong, solid and smooth bed. Next tackle the weeds. The thing with weeds is that sometimes they look like lovely flowers that beg to be saved. So how do you know what is worth keeping, or not? Be attentive, ask yourself does this resonate with your overall plan. Imagine if it is a weed and you allow it to stay and it sabotages all your hard work, by taking over. Be brutal, ask for advice if necessary and if in doubt, weed out!

Many people have deeper roots to contend with. Think of these as more challenging issues that have been around for a while, like patterns of destructive thinking, addictions and unhealed wounds. They are not easy to remove and will regenerate if even the smallest piece is left. They have to go. One easy question is “how is this situation serving me? Is it moving me towards pain or pleasure?”.

Nurture your garden bed. Even healthy plants ( and emotions) need regular support. What structures and systems do you need to be put in place for healthy growth. We all need boundaries from which to operate and contain ourselves. Sometimes we need natural additives like compost or manure to provide optimal soil conditions. For us, this goes hand in hand with total self-care. This is not about hot-footing it to the Spa it is about giving ourselves the love, compassion, care & kindness we so crave. Many of us look in all the wrong places for this and most often outside ourselves. The forage is nearer home. You are the keeper of your self-care and it starts with the most simplest of things- fuel, rest, fun & creativity.

Plant your seeds with love. Imagine how you want your garden to look before you seed. Utilise all of your amazing senses not forgetting taste if your are planting herbs and can see & small the final dish. Or touch, as you gently walk through some soft willowy grasses, with your hand outstretched. What will delight you and light you up? Which seeds do you want to cultivate? Your seeds are your emotions. In this new, beautiful and bountiful garden, there is no room for the emotions of fear, anger, jealousy and mistrust. Instead you can delight in choosing the seeds that will serve you at the highest level. Some seed ideas to grow would be:

  • Gratitude- immensely powerful for happiness, loving relationships & health.

  • Resilience-If you are going to create lasting value in the world you have to have the determination to make things happen, no matter what.

  • Passion- is a force that awakens you and blows the lid of your drive and gives you a sense of purpose.

  • Love & warmth- cannot help itself but grow. Where you have this it will act as your natural weed killer. A consistent expression of love is insanely positive.

  • Curiosity- we forget how to be as curious as a child. How to marvel & wonder. When we are curious, nothing is a chore.

  • Cheerfulness- even in the face of adversity. Living in a state of pleasure that transmits a sense of joy, to all around you. Match the sun in your garden.

  • Vitality- this is our energy, our life force. This takes us from survive to thrive and a key ingredient of our Self-Care.

  • Contribution- when you add value to who you are and what you do not only does it benefit you but it brings a deeper level of meaning to someone else. This experience brings true joy & deep fulfilment.

These emotional seeds are life changing and the beauty, abundance and joy they will bring you is immense & intense.

Have Patience tend to your garden but know that some plants will take longer to yield results than others. Some may die, some may pop up in unexpected places and some will take your breath away. Have confidence that there is a bigger force at play here. You have done all the ground work, the rest is out of your hands. Faith & trust will reward you, big time!

It is easy to not see results and give up. How often have we, metaphorically, done this and then the very next day, as we turned our back & walked away, a shoot sprang forth!?

An emotional garden is a long-term project. There is no quick fix or instant gratification here. You need to develop patience and keep nurturing it. There will always be work to done in your garden and you will need to adapt to the seasons and what the forces of nature bring forth.

I hope you can now see that just because you live in the City, and may not have access to a real garden, you can create a virtual garden in your mind’s eye. You are the Gardener, no outsourcing for someone else to do for you. Your emotions deserve the very best attention. After all, they frame your world and create pathways for critical choices to be made.

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If you have enjoyed reading this article, I invite you to access my website. I work with women on the rise ready to make profound conscious and natural choices for their wellness & well-being. I currently have an Intensive Day in Exeter/ London Or a 60 day Coaching Program available. accessed under, work with me. Esse-Elle means “to be She”. I look forward to welcoming you home.