Winter may not be loosening its grip just yet, but we can feel the hope of spring sprouting beneath the cold surface of final snowfalls and harsh winds. The transition of these seasons helps us to know that no matter how long, cold, or dark the winter was, light and warmth and colour will soon abound. We know the earth is pregnant with the potential of her bountiful gifts, and that perhaps, we too are ready to birth new beginnings.
This awareness naturally inspires us to “spring clean” our bodies and homes and get our gardens ready for flourishing. And while we may be excited and focused on these material changes, spring is also a beautiful time to look within yourself and prepare the garden of your life to manifest your dreams.
Whether you’re ready to release a self-sabotaging pattern or start a new project, we can use the metaphor of the garden as a map for realizing your dreams. Here are 5 powerful steps that can help the seeds of your intentions flourish into form:
1. Assess What Is:
Before you start planning your new “garden”, take stock of what has and hasn’t been working for you. What parts of your life have blossomed? Which parts are wilted, dried out, or not growing to their full potential? How have the weeds of fear, unworthiness, un-forgiveness, self-criticism, disempowerment, or any other negative patterns of consciousness affected the garden of your life? Perhaps your career has been thriving but you feel lonely and isolated. Perhaps you want to meet “the one” but are cripplingly afraid of getting hurt. Perhaps you have a full and satisfying life but long for more balance and harmony. How is your health, wealth or spiritual practice? It is vital to assess the current condition of your inner and outer worlds to determine what changes you want and need to make before you can prepare the ground for new seeds.
Tip: Map out all the “sections” of your garden, i.e. health, career, relationships, self-love, spirituality, abundance, balance etc. in a journal. Under each category, start writing down what has and hasn’t been serving you. Get clear about the impact each area has on your wellbeing and happiness, and then make a decision of what you are willing to accept, release or change.
2. Release What No Longer Serves You:
Once you have clarity on what you want to keep and what you need to let go of, it’s time to look back at those “weeds”. Are you still harbouring resentment towards someone who hurt, abused or betrayed you? It’s time to let that go. Do you believe that things work out for really lucky people, but somehow not for you? It’s time to let that go. Have you been procrastinating on making a positive shift for fear of failure, or perhaps even success? It’s time to let that go.
The weeds of fear and self-sabotage squelch your energy and enthusiasm and eat away at your self-confidence, self-esteem and self-love – not to mention your faith in others and in life. So make a clear decision to tear these weeds out from the root so that you can start fertilizing your garden with the nourishment of love, trust, optimism and joy.
Tip: Looking at the list you already made in step one, see what areas you are willing to heal and let go of. Then on another piece of paper, write, “Even though I held on to these patterns for so long, I now realize they never served me. I am now willing to release all patterns that keep me from living the life I desire and deserve. I now surrender all these patterns for healing and transmutation, for my greatest good. And so it is.” Then very safely burn the letter, and imagine that as the paper burns, so too does all the energy of those old conditions. Ritual is immensely powerful in its effects on the mind, body and spirit, so be sure to ground yourself as you might feel spacey or tired after the release. Take a few deep breaths, have a sea salt bath and drink plenty of water to continue the clearing process.
3. Map Out Your New Garden:
Now that you have uprooted and burnt the old weeds, it’s time to reflect on what you want to replace them with. Through your courageous self-assessment and willingness to let go, you have created space for new patterns to bloom within and around you. What will they be? Just as it’s important to plan a physical garden knowing what kinds of flowers, plants or vegetation you want, you also want to know exactly what you want to grow in the garden of your life. More meaning in your work? A dedicated spiritual practice? More fulfillment in your relationships? “Energy flows where intention goes”, so it’s important to get very clear on what you want to create and experience.
Tip: On a fresh new piece of paper, write down what you want instead of the things you let go of, and in addition to the things you are already happy with. Make this an inspiring exercise, and allow yourself to dream big. Even if you don’t know how your dreams will manifest, open yourself to their possibility. This act will propel the universe to work its magic by supporting you with signs and synchronicities.
4. Plant New Seeds:
After getting clear on what you want to manifest in your garden, it’s time to start planting the seeds. This means claiming your new intentions as if they are already here, and trusting in the process of life to bring them to you in whatever time and form is for your highest good and growth. This step might sound simple, but it is often our own obsession with the things that we are worried about and our lack of clarity on what we want and deserve instead that keeps us stuck. By placing our focus and our faith in what we want instead, we allow the seeds of our dreams to blossom.
Tip: Looking at the list you made in step 4, now write down each intention very clearly as, “I am so grateful for my (perfect health, abundant wealth, ever expanding spirituality, love life, fulfilling career, wonderful and harmonious relationships).” Claiming your goal as if it is already here will help you start believing in its possibility, and also monitor if the weeds of doubt creep up so you can tear them out.
5. Nurture Your New Seeds:
When you plant seeds in a psychical garden, you don’t keep checking up on them every minute of the day to see if they have sprouted, do you? When it comes to our wishes, however, we often get impatient and wonder when, how, where will they happen. Instead of obsessing with such thoughts, it serves you much better to nourish your garden with the pure water of trust, the fertile soil of faith, and the sunlight of surrender.
Tip: As an act of faith and surrender, place your new intentions’ paper in a special “magical wish box” (like a pretty jewellery box). Instead of constantly looking at your list and wondering when things will start changing, trust that the seeds of your dreams will germinate and bloom in their own Divine timing.
The tug-of-war transition of between winter and spring serves as a beautiful metaphor for our own lives: change is inevitable, transition is uncomfortable, but there is a flow beneath the chaos and everything in nature dances along with it. Spring invites us to embrace this process by preparing our gardens, and while we’re cultivating the ones in our backyards, let us give the gardens of our lives the makeover they need and deserve as well. May every seed you plant within and without flourish!
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