by Karen Basmagy, Transition/Divorce Coach
We’ve had some unusually mild and lovely spring weather here in the northeast lately, which has most people scrambling to get outside and clean up our yards, myself included. So this Sunday, I quit the seemingly never ending process of emptying boxes from my recent move and turned my attention to the long neglected flowerbeds in the front yard of my new home. I felt a strong need to get my hands in the dirt, feeling like it would be therapeutic for me. I am not always enthusiastic about doing such work but it had to be done and I needed to shift gears and get outside and away form those boxes! As I methodically weeded and cleared out the old dead growth and debris in the bed, it reminded me of my transition from my old life to my new. I happily discovered as I began to clear away the weeds that I was able to find some of the familiar and beautiful plantings of my past that were hidden by them. Narcissus, live-forevers, azaleas, irises, ornamental grasses all became visible as I slowly and diligently, with care and purpose, pulled the unwanted growth from the beds, allowing the new growth a chance to benefit from the warm caress of the spring sunshine, giving them their rightful place in the sun.
How often we get so caught up in and anxious about the unwanted debris and old growth of our past lives? We find ourselves anxious when we don’t take the time to look at the baggage of our past, weed it out and decide what’s worth keeping and what has to go. Sometimes we seek to act impulsively, wanting to throw it ALL away and start over, avoiding the work necessary, when what we really need to do is treat our past like the long neglected flowerbed. If we can just set our intention and work slowly and diligently with care and purpose, to clear out the old debris of our lives, we will uncover some valuable strengths and beautiful aspects of our former lives.
As my own flowerbed became more organized and cleared of unwanted growth a wonderful space was created and I began to ponder what beauty I could add in the new and empty space. Becoming aware of and intentionally working on our inner “neglected flowerbed” can similarly have the incredible power to uncover our valuable and perhaps long overlooked strengths, while at the same time making space for new growth and hidden opportunities.
When I set out to weed that flowerbed, I hadn’t intended on planting anything new or finding the treasures hidden beneath the weeds. I was only intending to make my outer world more attractive, “less messy”…I find it fascinating and am grateful that in doing so I was able to tap into and improve my inner world.
So now I am happily off to find some pansies to plant in the new space created. I am looking forward to enjoying their simple beauty as I move through my daily life. Only I will know how much meaning and significance the act of putting them in my flowerbed will be. As I watch the existing plants having a chance to grow and bloom where they are, I will remember that I too must grow and bloom where I am, by clearing out that which is no longer needed in my life while at same time honoring valuable aspects of my past.
What hidden beauty can you uncover from your long neglected flower bed?