This is the first one of my Garden Wisdom series. It is amazing, how much I learn through gardening for leading a happier and healthier life. For years I was interested in motivation and studied it closely. Then I came upon Wayne Dyer´s definition of motivation vs. inspiration. Thinking about my garden it made sense immediately. Whereas there was no doubt that all my Coaching clients are highly motivated, I realized that if I wanted to help my Coaching clients to build a happy and healthy life, I truly needed to guide them towards their inspirations.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Motivation is when you have a goal and you take it and go towards it. You know exactly what you want, you know why you want it and you have it your way all along. It often takes a lot of work and energy in order to get there, but hey, you are motivated. Wayne Dyer says it is the ego´s path. It is also a lonely path, often highly successful. People might be surprised to find an emptiness right where the big success lies. It might not look so great at the other end as expected, so a new motivation, a new goal is found. After all, there is always more to achieve and to acquire. Whereas it feel good to be motivated, it is an "Autobahn" way of living. You want it, you go there, you get there. Boom. Check, next goal. Being motivated is a good thing in our society, and it certainly beats being listless and resigned. So you might ask, what is wrong with it? There is nothing wrong with it. But let me introduce
the inspired life. For this I want to use the example of my garden and my approach to gardening. When I think about an upcoming Saturday, on which I have time for gardening, I might overlook my garden and drink it all in. I enjoy what is already here, I also check for the weeds and other things that might stick out that need attention. When I think about my garden it is so obvious to me, how much I love it, how much I love tending to it, seeing it grow, trying out new things and letting nature take it´s path. I am also aware that it is not an essential part in my life in terms of survival. I don´t HAVE to garden in order to survive, or even in order to lead a well respected life. Also, in the very beginning, when our terraces towards the canyon were brand new and bare, I had no idea what they would look like some years from then. There was no ONE way to do it. So, what brought me this far? The way I create my garden is mainly through INSPIRATION. Inspiration and gardening could be synonyms. Nature taught me that it won´t have it all the time how I wanted to have it. Shortly after moving to never freezing San Diego, I fell in love with tulips and bleeding heart and peonies, of all things. See, they have the need to spend time in the freezing cold winter dirt in order to rise and shine the next year. Little did I know at first. Hat I approached my newly found love with motivation, I would have stuck with it and would go through a lot of effort of digging the bulbs out every so often in order to store them in the fridge for a number of weeks, before they went back into the soil. Or I would treat them like annuals and keep replanting them.
Instead I followed my inspiration and got curious what else is there that I love and that will flourish at its best in this climate. Today I have lilies in many different shapes and colors, sunflowers and various kinds of succulents that lift my heart whenever I look at them. I get tulips for bouquets indoors, when they are in season, and continue to experiment with flowers, as my inspirations takes me places. I find this a very graceful and fulfilling way to approach a subject matter. Underlying is the trust to be guided and trusting my own intuition.
After all, it truly is about the journey and not about getting there. Imagine what a life of just getting there would look like. Instead, it makes all the difference, when you make time to stop and smell the roses...
TiP*. Whether it is indoor or outdoors, take 5 seconds, whenever you can and take a flower in front of you in with all your senses. What color(s) does it have, how is the shape, the texture? How does it smell? Do you notice any pleasant noises in your environment? What do you imagine the flower to taste like if it were used in a dish? Have fun with it. Take a deep breath. Notice the jolt of relaxation and energy at the same time. Take it all in. It truly does not take longer than a few seconds. With some practice, you will get conditioned on the first sight of a flower within reach and have all the relaxation response in your body.
*If you are allergic to flowers or don´t care for them too much, choose a target of your choice that you encounter naturally in your daily life on a regular basis. Play with it, make it you own experience.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Three full days of presentations and exhibitions of matters of the heart and soul. I had come upon this conference that is organized by the HayHouse (Louise Hay) by chance - or was it? Some 8000 people gathered, like-minded people. Who would that be? Anyone who was interested in cultivating happiness, finding and honing their own talents and gifts, in order to give back to the world.
Is there a better reason for a conference? They called it a mind, body and soul retreat. It truly was. I enjoyed every moment of it and got educated in what certain foods do with or for my body - and mind, how to incorporate self-care practices (always a favorite topic of mine), why to chose to be happy over complaining and whining (venting is good, but beyond that it gets harmful to yourself), how to find our life path so we can give back and make this world a better place (don´t we all want that? I believe we do), and much more.
This abundance of input is still shining and vibrating inside myself as I write this. It will soon settle down, I will incorporate things right away and tuck away others for later. All in all I truly felt the wish of Louse Hay (she wrote many books about healing the body through the mind) to provide knowledge in order to help people to help themselves. It was also delicious to be with all the other people (no feeling crowded or pushed around), to chat while standing in line or just starting to talk during the breaks, comparing aha-moments and favorites. We all concluded that there was no "bad" presentation in sight. The speakers were all very dedicated interesting individuals who modeled so beautifully what they talked about.
Wayne Dyer was my favorite, if there was such a thing as a favorite. I was impressed with his intense studies of the old and sacred texts, poets, classic authors and his synthesis for us, the audience. It was all right there. Loud and clear I heard the message what a privilege and gift it is to be in this world and that we have a connection with others and with the world and that this is good news and that with that comes a responsibility to live our full potential, our special gift that only we can give. I thought that was so beautiful. I got reconfirmed with my own profession. A Life Coach is what I am called to be (Life brought me to it in the most wondrous ways), I help people bring out their own special gifts and magnificence. It is so exciting to know that I am on my own very special path and it is so incredibly rewarding to watch and assist others finding that very, very special own path that brings them to fulfillment and full strength. I get asked a lot "How do you know whether it is your own right path or not?" I say it is easy to recognize, once you start looking. Where or when is it that you get excited, pay attention when strong emotions of gratitude and wonder are with you, then you are getting "warmer".... Have fun following your own very unique path and don´t hesitate to get the help you need in order to be fully and completely your own beautiful and magnificent YOU.
"Don´t die with your music still in you."
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Being a passionate gardener myself and just having been on a garden tour with 12 wonderful gardens, I cannot help but notice, how inspiring and uplifting gardens are. Touring these gardens I also noticed, how much effort went into them so they would look at their best. It was truly a time to enjoy the gardens and to celebrate life itself. As a volunteer I had seen some of the gardens a week before the tour, when homeowners were still planting and sweeping, some hammering and fertilizing. It made me realize that life itself is like a garden. It needs to be tended to and lovingly cared for, so that joy and celebrations take place. There is a time of putting work into it, a growing plan, a vision. Then, success and a vibrant lively appearance are guaranteed.
Now, the planting and fertilizing and other tasks of garden work are usually the things that we do without much of an audience. Maybe we have a friend or two who help, maybe we have partner who fills in where we need help. Sometimes we hire help, so we get more work done, get things that we cannot do or get expertise and planning done.
With life it is just the same. The days where we need to take care of medical checkups, pick up the kids from school, go grocery shopping and just simply do our job, those days are fairly unspectacular and are not happening in the midst of large crowds of friends and family. We do all the things that need to done so our life jugs along and so our long term goals come true.
Then there are times for the garden party. The garden is all spick-and-span, everything is in its place and looks its best. The invited guest arrive and fill the place with liveliness and laughter. Time stands still, for now it is time to enjoy the company of loved ones and to celebrate life itself together. The same goes for your life. There are times when everything is taken care of and you know that soon your loved ones arrive. Just being together is precious enough. Sometimes there are great achievements or events to celebrate together. Nothing else matters, for today is for celebrating.
To me, this is a very powerful rhythm of life. The only thing I try to to for myself and with my clients: To be ready for the times of celebration and get things in place so the summer parties are utmost delightful and have everybody radiating for days to come. Thus life becomes a dance between the everyday tasks and the never ending garland of celebrations and festivities that is weaving through your days.
To all the gardeners out there: Enjoy your garden AND enjoy gardening!