A deeply satisfying day is coming to an end – and my mind returns to the very beginning, sitting with a hot mug of coffee and talking with my first client of the day. We’ve been working together over the past few months and today was the final session for this particular challenge. I sat in admiration and astonishment at her willingness to face her situation straight on, how much she had accomplished, and the insights she had developed. It was a celebratory conversation after she spoke about unexpected opportunities.
As we talked, I had an image flash into my mind of a seed bank. I’ve heard many spiritual teachers talk about the seeds that we water with the attention we give them, though Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh was the first:
“Your mind is like a piece of land planted with many different kinds of seeds: seeds of joy, peace, mindfulness, understanding, and love; seeds of craving, anger, fear, hate, and forgetfulness. These wholesome and unwholesome seeds are always there, sleeping in the soil of your mind. The quality of your life depends on the seeds you water. If you plant tomato seeds in your gardens, tomatoes will grow. Just so, if you water a seed of peace in your mind, peace will grow. When the seeds of happiness in you are watered, you will become happy. When the seed of anger in you is watered, you will become angry. The seeds that are watered frequently are those that will grow strong.” Thich Nhat Hanh in Anh-Huong & Hanh, 2006
The image I had was slightly different. I sensed that we are given a certain set of seeds before we enter our human bodies – or perhaps we choose them ourselves. I envision a table set with infinite containers of seeds. We walk through, browsing, and choose a few of these, a handful of those, and fill our pocket with others. We chose seeds of the skills we want the opportunity to develop, the kinds of relationships that we want to grow, seeds for our interests, our curiosities, and our passions. We could have chosen any seeds of perhaps an infinite number and yet, we chose the ones we did.
And then, whoosh, here we are on earth. We forget about our seeds — our potential. And the people in our lives start to hand us their seeds. “Here,” they say, “plant these, these are the … best … correct … only … sanctioned … approved … seeds.”
Some of do, and some of us refuse, and some of us stand confused for a time wondering which seeds to plant … theirs or our own.
I spoke with three clients today and each of them, in their own way, were talking about what to do about the seeds they discovered in a hidden pocket of their soul. Each of them has been tilling the soil of their lives and making a space for possibility. Each of them is sifting through and discovering which seeds do and which seeds do not belong to them.
I’m not a farmer of the soil of the earth, I’ve never been a gardener of flowers, herbs, or vegetables (though I do dream of that one day when/if I settle down). Instead, I’ve cultivated my life, tilled the soil of my soul. I plant seeds, weed out whatever doesn’t nourish the whole, and harvest what may ripen and come to fruition.
I wonder what seeds you chose? When you gaze over the garden of your life, what belongs to you … and what is an invasive plant that doesn’t belong to the ecosystem of what you believe, value, and desire?
Take some time and give yourself the gift of getting re-acquainted with your own garden.
I offer one-time readings or longer term spiritual mentoring.
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What if plants — with all their health-giving effects and amazing diversity of expression — hold the key not just to our health but to our spiritual evolution?
This idea is not as new as you might think, as it’s been part of ancient systems of natural medicine from Ayurveda to Chinese medicine. Plants affect our life force and connect us physically with the raw energy of the sun.
In How Medicinal Plants Can Fuel Your Spiritual Evolution: Essential Insights that Unify Natural Medicine, Ecology & Spirituality, David Crow will help you understand plants in a more multi-dimensional way, so you can harmonize your bodily systems, heal old traumas and experience a more dynamic relationship with life force within and around you. RSVP for free