Updated: May 25
Back in my days of high-tech sales in Paris and planning big events all over the USA, I was all about the hustle. But swapping those bustling cityscapes for the tranquil beauty of the Ozarks has been a total game changer.
The first time I saw the Ozarks come alive in spring, I was blown away. It was like a wake-up call that made me realize the importance of just being in the moment. This got me thinking about our minds like gardens that we need to tend to. And now, as a well-being and mindset coach, that's exactly what I do— helping my client nurture their thoughts, emotions and actions, just like tending to a blossoming garden.
Embracing the Present
Much like spring demands our attention with its vibrant colors and lively energy, life also requires us to be fully present to appreciate its beauty. In the midst of our busy routines, it's easy to overlook the moments that truly matter. By practicing mindfulness, we can reconnect with the present and fully experience our lives and moments with our loved ones.
Practical Step: Set aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness and develop your inner calm. This could be quietly savoring your morning coffee, taking a walk in nature, or simply sitting in silence in the sun. Notice the sights, sounds, and sensations around you. Let yourself be fully present in the moment.
Preparing the Soil
Before planting, a gardener clears the soil of rocks and debris that could obstruct growth. For us, this means identifying and removing mental and emotional obstacles—our stressors and anxieties—that hold us back. This could be achieved through mindfulness practices or professional support like therapy or coaching.
Practical Step: Spend a few moments each day identifying your stressors. These are the thoughts, feelings, and habits that could be draining your energy. Are you constantly worrying or overthinking? Are you holding onto past regrets or projecting future fears?
Write them down in a journal. This recognition is the first step in managing them.
Planting the Seeds of Growth
The gardener thoughtfully selects seeds that will thrive in their garden. Similarly, we can choose to plant seeds of self-care, mindfulness, and positivity in our minds. These seeds, when nurtured, can serve as our tools for stress and anxiety relief.
Practical Step: Make a list of positive habits or actions that make you feel good, such as a daily walk, listening to music, eating healthy food, or reading a book. Try to incorporate at least one into your routine each day.
Weeding Out Negativity
Just as a garden can be overrun by weeds if not regularly maintained, negative thoughts and emotions can overwhelm us, exacerbating stress and anxiety. By 'weeding' our minds and replacing these thoughts with positive and constructive ones, we can better manage our mental well-being.
Practical Step: Practice mindfulness exercises to help redirect your thoughts when they become negative. This could be deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.
I also recommend the 5-4-3-2-1 Technique. This involves identifying five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This helps bring focus to your immediate surroundings and away from distressing thoughts.
Weathering the Storms
Gardens inevitably face storms, as do we. Challenges, setbacks, and high-pressure situations are part of life. These 'storms' may disrupt our peace, but just like rain nurtures a garden, overcoming these adversities fosters our growth and resilience.
Practical Step: When facing a stressful situation, take time to reflect on past challenges you've overcome. Draw strength from these experiences and remind yourself of your resilience.
Nurturing with Sun, Water, and Fertilizer
A garden needs sun, water, and nutrients to thrive. For our inner garden, 'sun' represents positive experiences that bring joy and reduce stress, 'water' symbolizes supportive relationships that help us manage anxiety, and 'fertilizer' stands for continual learning and self-improvement, which equips us with more strategies to handle stress.
Practical Step: Make a conscious effort to engage in activities you enjoy (sun), spend time with loved ones (water), and learn something new every day, even if it's small (fertilizer).
Savoring Your Inner Garden's Bloom
Just like how it feels to see those seeds we've been carefully tending to finally burst into a lively, colorful show - that's the joy we can find in nurturing our mental health. We're not just dodging life's curveballs, we're growing beautifully in spite of them. And in this growth, we find we can better manage life's ups and downs and tap into a deeper sense of peace and happiness.
Practical Step: Take a moment each day to truly appreciate your personal growth journey. Don't just gloss over the small wins – celebrate them! Each one is a sign of progress, no matter how tiny they might seem. And while you're at it, why not start a gratitude journal? It's a great way to note down the things you're thankful for each day, and it helps to boost that feeling of joy in your growth.
As spring unfolds, remember your mind, like a garden, requires regular care and attention. Cultivating your inner garden takes time and patience, but it rewards you with resilience and peace of mind. 🌱
As we wrap up this garden tour, let me offer you a chance to truly tend to your inner garden. If you've been feeling a little wilted and yearn for a surge of vitality and stress relief, I invite you to join my 21-day Well-being Challenge. Consider it your summer kickstart to inner growth, arming you with the tools, resources, and support to cultivate more peace and joy.
If you're ready to bloom into the best version of yourself this summer, join the 21-day Well-being Challenge. It begins on June 5th, and I hope to see you there!
Wishing you Well-being & Joie-de-Vivre,
Your Well-Being & Mindset Coach