Turning surviving into thriving
I’d been working for days now, prepping my new vegetable garden when a storm hit and destroyed all the plastic hoop covers. My frustration knew no bounds when during the next few days relentless winds kept pounding the area. Every and any attempt at protecting my newly planted saplings were thwarted.
As a ‘new’ gardener I wasn’t really aware of what I needed to do. I have no experience in gardening, nor in the weather patterns of this area, I moved to some 2 years ago.
It made me think about my life, all the struggles I’ve gone through, and the times when apparently at random and without mercy the winds of difficult karma hit my already vulnerable life situation. It always seems to hit you when you are feeling most helpless.
The idea behind the vegetable garden is to become more self-reliant so that no matter what happens, we can have at least some basic nutrients right here at home.
I like this idea of self-reliance. Looking back, I realize that true self-reliance isn’t as easy as it sounds. Because true self-reliance isn’t just material. It’s mostly a state of mind, a mental strengthening that can be hard to acquire. The moment we rely on anything outside of ourselves we lose some of that self-reliance. Depending on loved ones, family, or even approval of the society and church or temple members, are forms of co-dependency that take away our inner independence. Can we be really and truly independent of these influences?
And then there is the wind, the karmic forces of nature that hit our garden when we least expect it. To nurture our garden and protect it from the elements requires a lot of preparation. We need a solid base, healthy potting soil, and lastly protection from storms, freezing, and animals.
In order to thrive and move towards true self-reliance it is reasonable to expect that as these requirements are necessary to build a successful vegetable garden, it will also apply to us. In a way, we too sprout from the earth and are Mother Earths’ children so we too need a solid foundation, nurturing, and protection.
A yogi’s goal is to come to that state of awareness and consciousness where it is unaffected by outside forces and undisturbed by inner mind fluctuations. In order to enjoy such inner peace and spiritual equilibrium, we need to start at the beginning. We need to investigate where our garden is lacking. Is our base solid, our soil, i.e. our environment conducive to growth? Are we feeding our internal environment, both physically and mentally (like media) sufficiently rich materials? Are we shielded enough from detrimental external influences? Sometimes we just need to make some radical changes in that regard, when we become increasingly aware we are acting like Sisyphus, trying to push that rock uphill, never quite able to make it. Maybe we just need another rock, one that easier to move.
Is your rent or mortgage too high and you have to work all day long just to make ends meet? How about moving somewhere else? Do you have physical issues that just won’t go away? How about consulting a nutritionist or making some radical dietary changes? Are you surrounded by toxic people? How about just leaving and starting again.
What often stands in our way is co-dependency and old habits. The subconscious mind resents change. When we start to see things more clearly and get a more objective perspective of our inner garden, we can slowly learn to let go of these old habits and attachments and start the process of setting ourselves free. It is at these moments that we need to remember who we truly are. More than anything else we are eternal divine light beings. The urge to thrive, to manifest our greatest potential, are these inner rays of inner divine light starting to shine from within. The more we shine, the more we thrive. Until one day nothing but light remains. It’s not only possible, it’s the truth of our being.
Once we re-orient our garden towards the sun and it’s well protected and with good soil, it can thrive. At that point, the harvest won’t be far away.
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