Sowing seeds of JOY
By Alana Clumeck
I have been gardening a lot lately. I enjoy seeing the rewards of my labor bloom into something beautiful. I love pulling weeds from the garden, allowing enough space for the plant of choice to grow to its full potential. I love that you can fertilize the soil, plant a seed, give it water and sunshine and watch it grow.
Joy is a lot like gardening. Weeds of ungratefulness and the disease of discontentment can quickly choke up space or kill your joy. If there is not enough light (or love) the plant will wither and be stunted. If there is not enough water, and nutrients the plant will die… The joy will die.
Gardens take daily tending, just like joy. Seasons of life change, just like seasons will change a garden. And with every season change, there is something different that you have to do to nurture the plant. Sometime you have to prune back all the leaves, strip it bare, start again, so that new springs (of joy), can grow, and when summer comes along the plant is blooming to its full potential.
Here are a few ways to HARVEST JOY in your life.
MAKE SPACE - Get rid of your weeds.
I’ve had a lot of seasons with weeds in my life. Sometimes you need to start pulling out the things from your life that do not bring you joy. This could be in the form of commitments, relationships, stuff, or thoughts. Clear enough space in your life to refocus your energy on what really matters… tending to your garden.
PLANT SEEDS OF THANKFULNESS.
President Roosevelt said it right, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It is easy to look over at your neighbors law and think it is really green. But friends, I am here to tell you that your lawn can be green too, if you water it. It starts by looking at what you have and being grateful for it.
It’s as easy as saying out loud, “I am thankful for my messy house because it means that my children have played freely in a safe space.” When I am cleaning my kitchen I often say to myself, “I am thankful that I get to clean my kitchen, because it means that while my husband works, I can stay at home with my children and create memories with them.” Your seeds might look different to mine, but by planting seeds of thankfulness (even if sometimes you don’t feel that thankful), they will grow. Seeds grow.
TEND TO YOUR SEEDS
Water your seeds, give them nutrients, give them sunlight. If you don’t they wont grow. Your joy wont grow. It’s way too easy for us moms push our needs aside for the good of the family, or even for your friends. I’ll admit first hand that this can be extremely hard to do, especially if your plate is already full with work and after school commitments. But, if you don’t look after yourself, just like a plant, you will wither.
Even if it is something as simple as taking the dog for a 20 min walk, or reading that book you’ve always wanted to read (instead of watching Netflix), take time out for yourself on a regular basis and do something that brings you joy.
WATCH OUT FOR DISEASES
I’ve noticed that sprouts tend to get eaten up by bugs and diseases much quicker than a full grown plant. I guess it’s because the sprout is small and fragile, so it is easier to see the damage. The quickest and easiest way to get rid of diseases in your life is to diffuse their power. Diseases can come in different forms; in forms of addictions, toxic relationships, in anxieties, in fear, in depression, in health issues etc.
I personally had a shocking knock to my joy recently when I was diagnosis with a 1 in a million rare genetic blood disease. Fear, anxiety, and health illnesses were quickly eating up my joy and I realized that if I am to live with this illness I will not give it the power to kill my joy. So I started thanking my body for my disease. I know that sounds really weird, and I can tell you right now if I could give it back I would. I don’t want it. But there is no cure for it, so it is here to stay. So I tell my body that I am thankful for it, I tell my blood cells that they WILL sing with joy. I concentrate on all the good things in my life that I can be thankful for, and in doing so I diffuse the power of the disease, and I become a mature plant.
SEASONS CHANGE - SO DON’T BE ALARMED
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall… and then it happens all over again. It’s interesting that sometimes when life’s seasons change we feel like we’ve been hit by a truck. I know that some of you are going through really hard stuff, so I don’t want to make you feel like what you are going through isn’t valid or big. But, I am here to tell you that sometimes we need to prune and strip things back in order to find joy again. Sometimes the leaves need to fall, and then the storm needs to roll in, before the sunlight comes.
But friends, the sunlight always comes. It does. Hold onto your joy, tend to it daily, ward off bugs and diseases with thankful hearts and full hearts. And it will bloom into the most beautiful fragrant garden.