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The Mindfulness of the Every Day

Posted Jun 29 2009 4:23pm
I always swore that I would never garden. When I was a teenager, my parents used to make us do chores as punishments. Every time I was sentenced to a couple of hours of gardening, I would dream of the day I would be a grown up and never have to garden again! (Don't even ask me how I feel about ironing - shudder.)

A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I got the idea to try growing some tomatoes from seeds. I loaded up on seeds, potting soil, planters, and most importantly gloves (not a huge fan of creepy-crawly things) and got to work.

I carefully read the instructions on the seed packet and put the seed pots on the kitchen window sill. Every morning I would check the soil to see if it needed water, anxiously waiting for signs of growth.

After more than a week of tending what appeared to be a pot full of nothing but dirt, I realized that growing a plant from a seed is a lesson in mindfulness. There was nothing I could do to hurry it along. It would grow, or not, when it was ready to grow. Worrying about it, checking on it several times a day, wouldn't make any difference. It just was.

The first time I saw a tiny sprout peaking through the soil, I felt like a little kid - full of joy and awe that I had a part in creating this new life. Each day I would look at it noticing any changes, noticing the sameness. Just taking a moment to be present.

There's something about being connected with nature. It's very soothing and peaceful. I love starting my day tending to my new plants. I still have several weeks before I have any tomatoes; and there's still a chance that my plant may not make it that far and I might have to start the whole process over, but that's OK. I'm enjoying mindfully experiencing the process. (I even mindfully studied the spider who had decided to make my tomato plant his home this morning.)

I'm even planning a trip to the garden center for some other seeds; maybe zucchini, some berries, even an avocado.

Think about the things you do every day: washing dishes, taking the dogs for a walk, vacuuming. Can you bring mindfulness to your everyday? Take a moment to be IN the moment; just notice, just be.

The practice of mindfulness doesn't have to be done in a specific room, at a specific time, or in a specific way. Whatever you're doing, where-ever you are - just notice it.

Katie Goode, LMFT

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