In your mind, picture an empty plot of land being prepared to plant a garden. The garden plot lies warm in the sun. The soil has been turned and is well-nourished with rich, organic compost. Earthworms, ladybugs, butterflies, and bees are plentiful to keep the garden pollinated and free from pests. And seeds of every kind are already planted. They are just below the soil’s surface, waiting to sprout.
But these aren’t flower or vegetable seeds. These are seeds of joy, peace, understanding, and gratitude. There are also seeds of anger, greed, and fear in the soil, waiting to sprout, too.
The garden is actually your mind. Thoughts and feelings of every sort are the seeds in your mind-garden. These wholesome and unwholesome seeds are always there, sleeping in the soil of your mind. The quality of your life depends on which kinds of seeds you water and nurture. So, for example, in a vegetable garden if you plant tomato seeds, water and care for the tomato seeds, then tomato seeds will grow tomato plants. Just so in your mind-garden. If you water a seed of peace in your mind, peace will grow. When seeds of happiness in you are watered, you will grow more happy plants and become happier. It works the other way, too. If you water the seeds of anger, you grow more angry plants which grow the angry sensations you feel inside.
The seeds that are watered frequently are those that will grow strong. How do you water your seeds? Each time you react to a situation, you nurture those seeds. If you share your dessert with someone, you water seeds of generosity. When you tell your mom thank you, your seeds of gratitude grow. Similarly, if you call someone a name you are watering jealous seeds. Or if you choose to argue with your sister, the seeds of anger are watered.
The act of watering your seeds is very powerful because when you are taking care of one kind of seed, the other kinds of plants begin to wither and eventually may disappear. For instance, if you spend time looking at the ocean and breathing, you are watering your peaceful seeds while, at the same time, your stress plants to begin to wilt. Or if you choose to run and play, your strength plants are being nurtured and growing while the seeds of laziness aren’t being watered. But remember, the opposite is true, too. All the time you spend worrying, those unpleasant seeds are being watered and your happy seeds are not receiving nourishment.
Take a moment every day, maybe as you first wake up or as you settle in to sleep, to examine your garden. What kinds of seeds have you been growing? Is your mind-garden providing you with positive plants to harvest? Are you nurturing the seeds you want to thrive? Your garden depends completely on you and the choices you make. Choose your seeds carefully and grow plants that make you feel strong, happy, light, and free.