Last week I walked you through creating your ideal life vision. If you missed it, you can find the exercise in my last post. Once you know where you want to go, it is important to start being selective about where you are spending your time and energy so that your vision can begin to come together.
I was fortunate enough to be at a conference where Pedram Shojai, author of The Urban Monk, was one of the speakers. He explained the importance of cultivating your “Life Garden.” The idea is that life is basically like a garden with flowers and weeds. We have the ability to keep five “plants” vibrant, healthy and thriving in that garden. The flowers are the things that we want in our lives. If we nurture them they will blossom, bringing us joy. These could be things such as family, career, health, travel, or education. You decide for yourself what makes up your ideal garden.
The weeds are things that drain us. If we neglect to remove them, they can take over, choking out one or more of the “flowers” we truly want to nurture. Weeds can take many forms: physical clutter, too many email subscriptions, negative people who steal our joy and energy, or too many volunteer projects. Do hear yourself saying “yes” to every project that comes your way while your gut is saying “this doesn’t feel right”? We often let weeds creep into our lives simply by being afraid to say, “No” or “I’m sorry, I just can’t commit to that right now.”
What are the “flowers” you want to nourish?
Take a notebook and list five things that you want to nurture most in your life right now.
Now, take a few minutes to think about whether your life is actually aligned to support and nourish these five things. If not, take inventory of where you are actually spending your time and energy.
What are your weeds?
Take a moment to list a few “weeds” that are currently draining nourishment from the parts of your life you truly want to nurture.
How do we get rid of weeds? By making mindful choices starting today. It’s okay to say "No". If you are spending too much time on projects or relationships that are draining you, you’re probably not giving them the best you have to offer. They would likely be better served by someone else who is fully engaged. Remember, it’s ok to weed out your garden so that the flowers you wish to nurture can come into full bloom.