“Your mind is a garden and thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.” Unknown
This may seem a little off topic but I was recently researching lawn care! (At this stage, you may be wondering what lawn care has to do with mindfulness and zen living, well stay with me, it will become clear.)
Anyway, going back to the lawn, we did some work to our garden last summer and removed a large shed where the roof had started to leak. As we have been de-cluttering and minimizing our home we found that we didn’t need the extra storage space that our shed gave us. So, we decided to take it down. (It just so happened that the day was the hottest day of the year!)
Anyway, the space that our large shed left was bare and I wanted to make this a part of our lawn. I sowed grass seeds and diligently watered the patch and looked after it over the summer. This patch of lawn is now better than the rest of the lawn in my garden! So, I got thinking, what if I scattered grass seeds over the rest of the lawn? Hence, the lawn care research. I can’t say I have ever researched this before but what I found was that gardening experts advise that you should ‘overseed’ your lawn in September to enable new grass to grow. You should also use a fertilizer regularly to keep your grass healthy. The thicker and healthier the grass is the less room there is for weeds to grow.
This takes me back to the quote above. To stop ‘weeds’ (negative self-talk) growing in our mind we need to plant healthy positive thoughts. We need to continue to ‘overplant’ with positive thoughts so little room remains for negative thinking. In time, negativity, anger, resentment and other disempowering thoughts will be replaced by positive and empowering thoughts but it is important that we spend time regularly cultivating a healthy and positive mindset.
This links in nicely with the sixth part of Lord Buddha’s The Eightfold Path which teaches us about the right effort. To gain control over our thoughts and replace the unpleasant ones with positive ones and in so doing becoming better human beings.
Daily affirmations, a gratitude journal and meditation can help as well as surrounding yourself with people who lift you up instead of bringing you down.
In summary, we need to practice planting positivity regularly.