I became a keen gardener quite late in life – and now I love creating beautiful outside spaces to enjoy. My most recent project has been designing some folding garden tables and chairs for my garden, and so far, it’s shaped well.
All gardeners will know that it makes sense to invest our energy and time into the environment and the soil in which plants grow, so that the root systems become healthier and more resilient. The plants can then withstand and tolerate much more adverse conditions. I’ve seen during this very hot summer how some of my plants have flourished, and others have just given up the ghost unless I get the hosepipe out every ten minutes!
Sometimes though, as inexperienced gardeners, we focus only on the fruits and the flowers – cutting corners through our impatience and misunderstanding.
For me, this is a metaphor for life, and our understanding of how the human experience works.
Innocently, many of my clients (at first) are only interested in the beautiful fruits and flowers, and are too impatient to deepen their understanding (the roots).
It’s like they’re saying: “I only want to feel good all the time please, and when I feel bad that must mean either:
- There is something wrong with me, or the way I’m “applying” the Three Principles, or
- There is something wrong with you and your approach, Coach!”
Sometimes I think we have created a culture characterised by:
- A very short attention span
- What psychologists call “Low Deferred Gratification” – or “I want immediate results, otherwise I’ll move on to the next thing that promises happiness, success and instant enlightenment!”
The fruits and flowers can metaphorically equate to our moment to moment experience of life (which is always coming from Thought in the moment).
As regular readers will know, I teach, share and coach from the Three Principles, or the Inside-Out Understanding – which I like to call The Heart of Thriving.
When I talk about roots, I mean our fundamental understanding of the way the system works. Our level of consciousness. Our realisations and insights about what’s driving this whole thing called Life.
When we deepen our understanding, we begin to see the truth behind the moment-to-moment illusion that our thinking is constructing. We see beyond the stories we have crafted about ourselves and our lives, about what we ‘must’ or ‘should’ have in order to be happy. Our stories about how other people must treat us. Our stories about what has to happen in our careers, our relationships, even how we have to look. Our judgements about how good this moment is, and this moment… and how it could/should be better.
It’s important to clarify that I’m NOT talking here about “working on ourselves”, or doing any kind of personal improvements. You already are everything that you seek, and don’t need anything outside of yourself to be whole and happy. It’s the insightful SEEING of this that I’m talking about as the understanding.
For those clients who are prepared to look in the direction of understanding, it’s like the whole garden becomes a more nourishing, healthy, resilient place. We don’t take ‘adverse conditions’ so seriously, and we navigate the ups and downs of life with clarity and wisdom.
I know, for me, that as my understanding deepens I do experience more and more of the “fruit”.
I live from a space I call ‘Home’ a lot more of the time – a profound peace of mind, clarity, beauty and love. The most exquisite joy and wonder. A sense of awe and gratitude about the magnificence of Life.
These are the fruits on offer – but they seem to elude us when we try to go after them directly.
Nourish the roots, and the fruits just show up without us chasing them, because this is how nature works.
If you’d like to discover this transformative understanding for yourself, my next 3-day Heart of Thriving workshop is the ideal place to begin. Three days of joyful, connected, discovery about what it takes to truly thrive! The dates are 26 – 28 October in Hertfordshire. Contact me for a no-obligation conversation.