My Saving Grace
There’s one thing that I can count on to shift my energy when I’m upset or feeling unwell. It’s my garden.
I can’t claim to be a great gardener. Most of the time, I don’t even do anything when I’m outside in the yard. I have great ambitions to plant seeds and grow more veggies for the spring, and add new flowers in the side yard. But even when I have no energy to do anything, my garden is my saving grace.
When I’m inside, working at my computer, or rushing off to appointments or errands, there is a smug sort of pride – I’m doing something! I’m being productive. But often, I’m not. I’m frazzled, multi-tasking, and I might be checking things off a list, but as soon as one task is done, another usually replaces it. It’s deceptive to think that “getting things done” really satisfies the soul or provides more than a fleeting moment of relief.
But when I sit out in my garden, without an agenda, I shift into another experience – one of Being. I become present, with my attention on exactly what is. Today, with my daughter, I spread a towel on the grass and lay down on my back, looking up at the large oak tree in our back yard. A chickadee was pecking at the curled leaves high in the branches. To my left, some small sparrows timidly entered the edge of the lawn to search for seeds. A jay suddenly flew by with an alarm call, and over my neighbor’s fence I heard the clicking sound of a hummingbird. I turned on my side and ran my fingers over the soft, thick grass.
The warm sun bathed my belly and legs while my head rested in the shade, and I could feel a slight cool breeze. All my senses come alive, just being a few feet outside my backdoor. As I rested by my daughter’s side, we both slowly unwound from the distractions of computer and TV and became quiet and still. It was relieving and renewing.
The Earth knows what I need – and what I don’t need – and takes away the frustration, fatigue, worry, and anger. It drains out my thoughts and agitations into the soft grass and moist soil, being recycled into something more useful for the planet. When all of that is let go of, Presence remains.
Nature brings our attention into the present moment and awakens what we long for – the sense of Being, valued just as we are. As I listen to the birds and the breeze, nature sings with appreciation for all that is.
This is my focus for next month’s Awakening Heart Spiritual Community – Attention and Intention. Our intention shapes how we focus our attention. Nature is the best teacher of how to awaken our attention, and reveal our intention. Information on Awakening Heart is below in the Announcements, or on my website. Join us, too, on the Awakening Heart Facebook page for announcements and community.
If your intention is someday to share yoga with others (or to deepen your yoga practice), see also my announcement below of the 2015 Yoga Teacher Training at Mind-Body Zone in Fremont, CA, which begins in May. Sign up for a free informational evening in March!
Your saving grace – what brings you back to your heart and spirit – could be right outside your door, too. Step outside, be present with the earth, and feel what it awakens in you.