The late Gabrielle Roth, author, dancer, and music/theater director, writes,
“Each soul is unique, and we are called upon to break out of the minimum security prison of conformity and mediocrity to experience our soul’s true magic and power. Like a plant, it needs to be nurtured to grow and blossom, and to be freed from the entangling, obscuring weeds that tend to take over.”[i]
I love this quote because it so beautifully expresses the role we can play in our own health and well-being, a role akin to being a gardener of ourselves. In the spirit of this quotation, I’d like to take you on a guided visualization journey. I invite you to play along, whether or not you have ever gardened (or even like gardening!).
Imagine that you are a gardener in the spring. You have a plot of land that is yours to tend. You head outside to assess what you need to do to prepare your beds for planting this year. You remove mulch, weeds, loosen up the soil, and add compost and other amendments. When you plant your seeds, you water them each day, watching carefully for that magical emergence as they sprout and push their way through the soil.
You tend to those small plants, supporting them in their growth through weeding and adding the compost and nutrients they need in their growth cycle. And if they start to wither, turn color, or show signs of disease, you investigate, offer the missing ingredients, or remove what was harmful.
You show up without judgment, in service, doing what is necessary to support the natural life expression of each of the plants. They each grow and evolve in their own way, while you, as the gardener, provide them with what they need to thrive.
The essential life-energy that causes seeds to sprout and push through the soil is an intrinsic intelligence that is expressed uniquely in each plant, creature, and being. That same innate vitality and life-force is in you and it’s urging you towards deep health and flourishing.
What if you became a gardener of yourself?
What if embracing responsibility for your health meant recognizing that your role is to tend to, nourish, and love yourself into the vital life expression that you are here to be?
You plant yourself in contexts in which you will thrive. You take into your body a blend of nourishment that you mix up especially for yourself. You remove things that are harmful or suppressing your growth. You rejoice in caring for yourself, in witnessing your natural growth and evolution, the vibrant unique life expression that you are here to be.
As a gardener of yourself, you feel what a privilege it is to nurture yourself so that you blossom, bloom, and shine out in the world as fully as possible. You are adding your beauty, your brilliance, your unique gifts and expression out into the larger garden of life.
And the “crop” you are tending, your own life, is the most precious thing there is. If you can imagine how a conscious farmer will do whatever it takes to support their crops in flourishing because their food source and livelihood depend on the health of those plants, it can help to put into perspective how the same is true for your own life. Nothing is more foundational than this.
[i] Gabrielle Roth, Maps to Ecstasy: A Healing Journey for the Untamed Spirit (New World Library, 2011), 142.