Last Friday I headed over to the Botanical Gardens in the early morning coolness contemplating life, flowers and insects. I needed to get away from my own garden and all the weeds, mostly thistles, that are growing there. The garden and all the cleanup was just a little overwhelming and made me feel cranky. So, I took my mother and the Zen Papa with me to the Botanical Gardens. Cameras in hand, we moved slowly, snapping pictures everywhere we went. Like a mini vacation, I felt renewed at the end of the day. Forgotten were my weeds and the work that needed to be done. I came away with these lessons at the end of the day.
Lesson #1: The importance of Mindfulness. It’s so important in the summer to take time out in nature and appreciate the amazing world in the garden, whether it’s in your own yard or in a park. You’ll feel rejuvenated and more in touch with your inner self.
“If you want to live and thrive, let the spider run alive.”
~ American Quaker Saying
Lesson #2: We live in a world where we’re all interconnected. We must take care of each other and our environment. Like Bees, when we work together, we humans are capable of miraculous accomplishments. Don’t wish others harm, but try to see their place in our society.
“If honey bees become extinct, human society will follow in four years.”
~ Albert Einstein
Lesson #3: Slow down! Take time to slow down all you do. Stop completely at the stop sign. Look at the door you’re opening, slowly eat your food, enjoy the taste of your morning coffee or tea.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
Lesson #4: Enjoy the little things in life! It’s the little things in life that make our day, a child’s smile, a hug and a great conversation, enjoying a delicious meal or noticing wildlife. Don’t put those off to get things done.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
Lesson #5: Celebrate the diversity. Life is filled with differences, color, spice and variety. We don’t want to be the same as everyone. Be different and appreciate your friend’s, children’s and stranger’s individuality.
“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”
Lesson #6: In life there are thistles.I came back to my own garden looking at it differently. The thistles may represent people or situations in your life. We go about getting rid of the thistles in many negative ways. Maybe we need to take a second look at what we view as bad in life. We need to see the good. Just like my garden, we need to take a step back, not concentrate on the things that are wrong. Just like looking at the garden from far, look at life as a whole and see how beautiful it really is.
“Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
By the way, today I spent time in my own garden. It didn’t take too long to tidy it up so I can enjoy it and remind myself of the little lessons right in my own backyard. I even kept some beautiful thistles because they attract so many beautiful insects and butterflies. I learned my lessons and I am now content.
I’m linking to Unknown Mami’s photo tour. Click below if you’d like to travel the world through photos:
Like what you’ve read or want the Zen Mama Challenge delivered to your email? I promise your email won’t be shared. Subscribe here: