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  • Writer's picturegcpsych

The Seeds You Plant

Consider two plant pots, each filled with the same soil, each ready to receive a seed. The pot represents the context of your life, the amount of space allocated to each of the plants you are going to grow. The soil represents the physiological environment within which the seed will take root and grow. The water, the fertiliser and the sunlight represent the care and attention that you bring each day. The seeds represent your thoughts and beliefs.

The pots can be as large or small as you wish. They can take centre-stage, or be tucked away in a corner. They can be a focal point, or can each be merely one of many. They can be heavy and strong, built to withstand time and the elements; or they can be just temporary, designed to disappear and break down when no longer useful.

The soil is composed of your energy . . . your breath, the beat of your heart, the tension in your muscles, your sweat, your metabolism, your vitality. It is all those things that make you know you’re alive, and that give strength and direction to your activities. It is the stuff within which your thoughts and feelings exist, and it both gives to, and receives back from, whatever you place in it.

The nurturing you bring consists of your time and your intention. It can be merely a daily or weekly occurrence, or it can take place several times throughout the day. It might be a sporadic thing, whenever the mood strikes, or it might be a ritual that is rigidly observed. It can be a pleasing and mindful task, or it can be a chore that gives no pleasure.

And what about the seeds? They are whatever you decide they are. Happiness or sadness. Love or hate. Kindness or anger. Self-confidence or self-doubt. Optimism or pessimism. Warmth and sharing, or coldness and isolation. Whatever you decide to plant goes into the same soil, held in the same pots. They each receive the same opportunity to grow and thrive.

So . . . which will grow best? Whichever one you nurture most. If a thorny weed is the first to poke up above the soil, and if you water it, feed it and give it sunlight, it will grow and thrive. If a beautiful flowering plant is trying to grow in the pot beside it, but gets no attention, that plant will wither and die. If the thorny weed is allowed to grow tall, it will block the sunlight from the flowering plant and starve it. And it will eventually drop its seeds into the pots around it, and take over.

Your job? Be a more mindful gardener. Recognise weeds for what they are. Nip them in the bud. Pull them from the soil. Yes, they are real and they exist (everywhere). But you do not have to nurture them. And yes, you can seek healthier seeds from a variety of sources, seeds which will bring beauty and bear fruit. All you have to do is to see the difference, and make the choice.

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