I haven’t put in a garden for a couple of years as I have been focusing my time on growing into the best coach I can be. This year I am ready to get back to gardening and grow my own vegetables.
Imagine an abundant summer where you are eating well, exercising and enjoying the warmth of the sun and your friendships?
If we can imagine and nurture it, we can plan it and make it happen.
Preparing for an abundant summer garden is a wonderful analogy for reaching your goals. Maybe you want to lose 25 lbs. Maybe you are traveling to exotic lands or visiting national parks in the US. Maybe you want a staycation to sleep in, read and enjoy cooking meals at home. Maybe you are writing a book or building a new business.
Think of a garden filled with mature tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, squash, radishes, eggplant, watermelon, figs – whatever fruits and veggies you desire.
To create a bountiful harvest by the end of summer, you have to prepare the soil, plant the seeds and add water. Summer provides the opportunity and the sunlight.
If we apply that same analogy to your weight loss or other summer goal, you have to root out the negative thoughts that suck your energy and result in deprivation and giving up. You cannot create an abundant, joyful life with negative emotions that make you want to give up; similarly, your vegetables will be strangled by the weeds in your garden.
You want to create a vision of health and vitality and nurture it with thoughts that make you feel excited about achieving your goal.
If you love summer, it could be because it feels good.
If feeling better and choosing healthy foods is your goal, you can take advantage of what the summer offers - support from the sun –providing us with Vitamin D that raises our feel-good neurotransmitter levels, serotonin. Fresh vegetables from local farms or our own backyard. Go outside and move more with exercise – also raising our serotonin levels. This is why summer can feel soooooo good.
We will feel better when we take these actions. Eating non-processed, whole foods has been proven to reduce inflammation, also influencing your mood. Getting exercise will support strong bones, mood, and brain health.
What if you know this but you just can’t seem to make it work for you?
Come with me. I’ll take you there.
#1. First thing is to root out the weeds in your mind.
What do you believe about losing weight?
What do you believe about your body?
What do you believe about eating healthy whole foods?
What do you think about exercise?
What do you think about aging?
These thoughts and beliefs determine the nutrient density of your soil. The soil is your inner life. Thoughts will give you an emotion that can motivate you. Emotion will provide your drive to take action.
What you believe will determine how you feel and that, my friends, will drive your action or inaction.
Many of our negative thoughts live beneath the surface in our unconscious – practiced and practiced – roots spreading deeply. Rooting them out will relieve the pressures felt by the negative feelings they generate.
#2 Second, add nutrients and condition the soil of your inner life.
Once you take out the weeds (those negative thoughts), you will need to add nutrients (thoughts of possibility and future growth) and compost to the soil
What can you believe about your future that is life enhancing?
What can you believe about your body that is loving?
What can you believe about eating non-processed whole foods that will make it easy to choose them?
What can you believe about moving and exercising that will motivate you to do some every day?
What can you think about aging that will allow you feel deeply your worthiness?
#3 Third, plant new seeds – seeing your future in a small seed of change.
Create a vision of yourself at your ideal weight.
Create a vision of yourself moving more in your life.
Create a vision of yourself as a person who eats whole foods.
Create a vision of yourself as a growing human in a precious body.
#4 Fourth, water the soil - Water provides the path for the nutrients to move from the soil to the plant. Water is the conduit. In your life, an action plan will provide your new seed with what it needs to flourish.
What actions can you take that will make losing weight inevitable?
What actions can you schedule to get more movement in your life?
How can you simplify your food shopping and cooking to insure success?
What do you love about summer and how can you add more of it to your daily routine.
Finally, Ongoing Garden Maintenance – Mental Hygiene
A. Check for sprouts but be patient.
Seeds will sprout in their time. You can’t dig them up and make them sprout any faster than they will sprout.
The same with your own preparation. You can expect yourself to change when you follow the plan, but don’t force it. The simpler you make your life, the simpler you make your food plan, your preparation, your exercise, the better you will do.
You want to allow for the seeds to push through. You want to allow for your own feelings and emotions. Make space for your reactions and urges. Learn to allow them. Watch them with patience and compassion.
B. Check for weeds.
Expect those old thoughts of a life time to keep coming back. Just expect them. Don’t sweat it. Don’t make it mean anything more than a practiced habit that served you for a while, but that you are not allowing them to take root again. Just pull out one weed, compost it and move on.
C. Keep soil moist but not too wet.
If a plant’s soil has too much water, the roots can rot, and the plant can’t get enough oxygen from the soil. Add fun to your life. Don’t focus on what you can’t do. Give yourself space to live right now. Don’t wait until you get to some future place.
Schedule time with friends. Accept invitations to picnics. Plan a walk. Volunteer to be with pets and children. Find down time. Read. Sauna. Meditate. Enjoy your body just as it is.
You have set the process in motion. Relax and stick with it. Have patience for yourself. This is your life – doing all these small things is living.
I am ready to help you through this process. If you want this summer to be amazing, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.