Gardening has always been of my favorite activities.  Soaking in the sun, digging in the soil and tending to the flower beds truly make me HAPPY! Did you know there is science behind why gardening can make us happy? Mycobacterium in the soil increases serotonin production in the brain.  Serotonin is the happy chemical in our brains. Plus, fresh air and nurturing stimulates our minds with positivity!

My Dad and sister Lisa introduced me to gardening. I enjoyed time outdoors with my Dad edging our beds, planting flowers, especially his beloved Irises, and even learning how to cut grass with a push mower – the good ol days!  I still recall the beautiful scent of sweet honeysuckle that grew on our front hillside.  The fragrance was intoxicating and is still a treasured childhood memory.  At a young age, Lisa had a talent for gardening indoors and out.  She introduced me to the beauty of nature.  Through the years, her passion for the outdoors grew and she is now a certified Master Gardener. One day, I will earn that certification too!

I am always amazed by how a seed can be planted and take root.  Sometimes that seed grows in the most pristine conditions – like inside a planter with organic soil, perfect sunlight and all the attentive nurturing.  Some seeds simply migrate to another part of a flower bed and are perfectly content growing within other varieties- like my photo. Yet some seeds travel through the wind and grow between rocks.  All of the seeds experienced different way to cultivate growth but resulted in the development of a unique, beautiful flower.

The seeds grow into a variety of flowers that nurture wildlife, invite reflection for a passersby or become an arrangement for indoor enjoyment.   I believe flowers are symbolic of our lives.  We each have a different start in life and different experiences along the way.  Each one of us is unique and add our individual beauty to the experience within the lives we touch.

As I work in my garden, I reflect on God’s creativity. He shares an incredible canvas of colors, an abundance of petal shapes, an array of floral styles combined with incredible scents for us to embrace.  Then, I say, WHY the weeds?  Those darn weeds intertwine with such beauty and can stunt the growth of the flower, like the vine in my photo. Or, you have the stubborn weeds where you pull them and they break off above the root, only to quickly return.

To me, weeds symbolize a deeply rooted issue within us, a conflict, a challenging relationship or a fear that causes us to be untrue to ourselves.  Unless we dig deep to address whatever that root cause is, the weed (issue) will keep growing and resurfacing. Sometimes that “weed growth” happens internally.  Harboring the “weeds” causes a negative vibrational energy shift within our bodies that breaks down our immune system.  A compromise in our immune system, results in the potential for illness.  Also, avoiding those “internal weeds” causes a burying of feelings that over time could result in disease; dis-ease with ourselves, our situation, our identity.

To remain healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually, you need to change your behaviors, your mindset, your environment to cultivate, the colorful, vibrant, beautiful Y O U!  I say, dig deep!  Use the “gardening tools” of self-awareness, honesty, courage and faith to till your soil for optimal growth! Nurture your individual beauty by expressing gratitude for the many blessings in your life, surrounding yourself with those who value you, and making time to enjoy the stillness with yourself and God.

We all have been planted on earth with a divine purpose. We are souls with bodies, destined to embark on a journey filled with sunshine and rain, to organically grow at many levels and to reach our eternal garden of bliss. So…how does your garden grow?

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