There are beautiful rosebushes in front of my house, and when they bloom, we get a lot of compliments about the purple, red, orange, white and yellow roses. I try to make sure they get watered, trimmed and fertilized regularly.
However, the weeds get watered regularly as well.Since I’m too cheap to hire someone to pull them, I’m out there regularly with gloves, hand trowel and ipod trying to control them. It is amazing how quickly they can overtake the roses if I let the weeding go for just a few weeks. Then I have to start all over again. We don’t get compliments when the weeds are as high as the roses. In fact, the roses don’t do as well when they are crowded by weeds.
In the same way, the mind is a garden, and we can plant whatever we want in there, depending on what we want to have, be or do. However, the weeds will always threaten to overtake our careful planting, and there are weed seeds floating around everywhere.
When we are not paying attention to our mental gardening, some negative thought or idea can come floating along on the airwaves or in a conversation and settle into our minds, to take root and wreak havoc. We can find our desires strangled by thoughts, ideas and obsessions that divert our energy and focus away from creating something magnificent in our life. That’s why we need to do mental weeding on a regular basis.
For some, there can be the unfortunate situation of having a mind that has never been planted with intention or care. It’s always open to whatever nasty seed is out there floating around. Consequently, their minds are always a tangle of thorny thistles; worries, fears, anger, resentment, regret and guilt. Instead of producing something worthy of admiration, what grows there are complaints, negativity, pessimism and cynicism. The very air around them is filled with negativity looking for another untended mind to infect. That is why we must always be planting with intention and clarity about what we want to harvest.
Of course, this is easier said than done. Planting and weeding can be back breaking work. I don’t know anyone who is not in a constant struggle with some particular type of noxious weed. As amazing as it sounds, what could be a much more fertile and productive mind overgrown and choked by weeds can become the norm, or “the way it is.” (example: “What do you mean I’m negative? It’s a fact that people will try to rip you off!”)
This metaphor of comparing the mind to a garden is age-old but bears repeating. Mind control done by ourselves on ourselves is simply being a conscientious gardener. We can tend to our own minds, as well as to our souls, providing each with the proper combination of what ever is needed to grow them into our highest vision of who we want to be. Of course, planting is more fun than weeding, but there’s no point planting in a garden filled with weeds. So if we are going to produce something different we must weed first.
You may be at the point in your life where you are wondering why you are getting what you are getting. Here are some ways to start the weeding and reseeding process of your mind.
- Develop an awareness of your language. If you listen to your patterns of language, you may get a glimpse of what’s growing up there. Language patterns such as “I always (fill in the negative blank)” or sweeping generalizations such as “If something can go wrong it will” indicate hidden beliefs that may be shaping your worldview. Grab ’em with both hands and yank them out.
- What are you letting into your mind?I was speaking to someone recently about the current political situation and they started getting so angry I thought they were going to explode. “Wow,” I said, “this really affects you. I can see lots of veins popping out of your head.” “Well” they replied, “I was listening to (a popular talk show radio host know for his rants) and I was just getting angrier and angrier!” The thought occurred to me to tell him that if he didn’t like getting angry he shouldn’t listen to that show but I thought he might beat me up so I didn’t. (No room for roses there or even some cherry tomatoes.) Listen to things that are motivational and inspiring.
- What were the messages from your earliest influencers? Do you really believe them or were they planted long ago and it’s all you have because you haven’t planted anything else? It takes a lot of guts to realize “I really don’t subscribe to that negative viewpoint anymore” and to consider alternative viewpoints.
- Decide who you want be and how you want to live your life.If you want to be peaceful, plant and nurture peaceful beliefs. If you want to see yourself as strong, then look for evidence that that is true to fertilize your strength. If you want to be successful, yank out all the reasons why you can’t be and replace with reasons why you can. Decide what you want, then plant accordingly.
- Realize, as Ringo Starr once sang “It don’t come easy.” You may need to get down on hands and knees and wade into that mess. There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in your own briar patch, and you may find a lot of people you know in there that want you to stay in there. Your mind likes the way it’s alway been as well and will sabotage your efforts to change. Persist.
William James said “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter thier lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” That’s just another way of saying weeding and reseeding, baby. If you need help, give me a call, I’ve got my gardening gloves on.
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Your companion on the journey to transformation,
TManTed A. Moreno Personal/Small Business Coach Certified Hypnotherapist www.TedMoreno.com
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