Many gardeners I know are very wise people.
Working in the yard brings them back to nature, to mother earth, and gives them a sense of accomplishment, connection, and peace.
To me it is work. I “pull the weeds” and they come back
Sometimes I mistake the weeds for plants, so I leave them. Then they eventually overtake what was a beautiful bed of flowers.
Weeds are like our own subconscious scripts or learned patterns of behavior. They are almost automatic and can be helpful or destructive. Sometimes they can turn on the stress response even years after we think we have “pulled the weeds from the garden.”
The other day I found myself thinking about something horrible that happened almost 20 years ago. I don’t know why something must have triggered the memory. The emotions and feelings of this event felt very raw as if it had just occurred moments earlier.
At first, I kept trying to fix it by “ignoring it, forgetting about it and trying to think of something else.” But just like the weeds, the thoughts and subsequent emotions kept coming back looping around in my head causing me greater and greater anxiety.
My stress response was in full throttle in my present moment for something that happened two decades ago!
I knew I was sliding down a destructive path, so I decided to access a higher power for help. But even as I asked for help, my thoughts kept distracting me. I couldn’t feel anything. I wasn’t connecting.
Then it came to me.
I needed to turn off the stress, so I could connect, so I could listen. Then I could heal.
I did a relaxation exercise.
Twenty minutes later things were much better.
The relaxation exercise turned my stress response OFF. My emotions subsided. Now I could listen and connect.
With the stress response off, I could choose my response. I had the power to place a better thought in The Gap to choose a new level of responding, to be grateful for what I had learned and to it let go. I also threw in some effective self-talk just for good measure.
The result was amazing! I was in control and I felt great.
Turning off the stress response didn’t just “pull the weeds” out of the garden, it helped me eliminate the seeds that created those weeds, those negative subconscious scripts, in the first place.
Relaxation exercises like meditation, guided imagery, autogenics, and the Power Nap, turn off the stress so you can connect, listen, and use your power of thought to be who you really want to be.
And that changes everything!