"A butterfly, which when pursued, seems always just beyond your grasp; but if you sit down quietly, may alight upon you." -Nathaniel Hawthorne
For many of us, a kind of magic arises in the garden. Spending time in a quiet garden can help you regain inner balance and perspective. By its very nature, gardening forces us to slow down. The hard edges of life seem to soften as we dig in the dirt. Focusing our awareness on the present moment while working in the soil and tending to the plants allows us to notice all of the shapes, colors, textures and scents that surround us as we immerse ourselves in nature. Gardening nourishes our MIND, BODY SPIRIT.
I love to garden because it is an act of hope. Taking care of a garden is a great way to step outside of ourselves and is an opportunity to connect directly to nature. Gardening can be very meditative as well, providing us with a moment in time to just be and exist alone with our thoughts.
Gardening is a mindful activity according to Jon Kabat-Zinn, Author of 'Mindfulness for Beginners'. Kabat-Zinn states, “Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”
When gardening, you have to be mindful of where the plants are placed. Is there room to grow? Will they get enough sunlight? You connect with nature and the present moment through decisions and actions...thus, you are practicing mindfulness.
Gardening is a great form of exercise offering endurance, flexibility, and strength. While gardening is truly rewarding in many ways, frequent gardeners will find it often leaves them with aches and pains in the shoulders, wrists, back and knees.
Looking for some relief? Fortunately, there are yoga postures that are a great way to put our bodies back into balance after a day of gardening.
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more.”
~ John Burroughs
The garden possesses a rhythm and a connection to all living things. Having to care for plants is a good way to learn to look after and respect other living things and develop an appreciation of the magic of nature. Gardening encourages us to exercise and spend time outdoors, both activities elevate our moods and reduce stress.
Remember, what is good for the body is also good for the mind. If you are not a gardener already, consider giving gardening a try. It is a great way to uplift your spirit and gives you a sense of well-being.