Friday, July 26, 2013

A Garden of Thoughts

Today is Friday, July 26, 2013. 

I've written about thoughts being like seeds before, but maybe not from the garden angle.  If you scatter seeds on the ground, some may grow, but most will not.  There's an element of planning and conscious effort in getting seeds to grow.  The seeds have to be healthy, and they have to be planted in a climate where they will get the amount of sunlight and rain, and the right temperature and humidity that they need to grow.  If nature doesn't provide enough rain, then the garden needs to be watered.  If the soil doesn't have enough nutrients for the plants, it needs to be enriched with fertilizer or compost.  If there are too many rocks in the soil, they have to be removed, and clumps of dirt have to be broken up.  If there are too many pests eating the leaves, we have to think of a way to get rid of them.  If weeds start to grow, we have to pull them out by the roots so they won't grow back. 

If thoughts are like flower seeds, then we must recognize which of our thoughts are healthy and which are not.  Some of my healthy thoughts include:  I am a child of God.  I have a right to be here.  God loves me.  I am unique.  I am better than some folks at some things, and not as good as some folks at other things.  I have strengths and weaknesses.  My weaknesses can be overcome.  I'm OK. 

Our thoughts, like seeds, have to be planted in the right place and in the right climate.  This was especially true  when I wanted to change my thinking habits about my weight.  I wanted to lose weight, so I started with the positive thought that I am fully capable of losing weight, since I've done it before.  I had a bunch of pictures of myself at my heaviest hanging around, but I realized that was only going to reinforce a thought that I am fat.  So I got rid of those pictures.  Instead, I dug up some of myself at my goal weight.  Now I had some images to strive for.  I "prepared the soil," so to speak, for my thought that I am capable of losing weight, as well as other positive thoughts to that end.

I changed my living space to make it easier for thoughts of being at a healthy weight .  One thing I was doing was eating too many convenience foods.  I needed to do more cooking from scratch.  I re-arranged my kitchen so that I had more counter space to prepare food, since nothing puts me off cooking like a cluttered kitchen.  I cleaned out my fridge and decided to use the drawers for water or bottled tea, since I tend to forget fresh food is in the drawers and then it sits there until it s spoils.  The fresh food goes on the shelves.  

I'm trying to work on the "weeds," but it's hard.  These are thoughts that crop up when I'm tired or when I have eaten a bit too much for the day.  I feel like quitting my diet and just pigging out.  Sometimes I just look at myself in the mirror and think, "Oh, what's the use?  I'm only getting older."   Or I look at the way clothes fit on my body, now that I've had a mastectomy, and think, "You're never going to look good in anything again, no matter how much weight you lose."   Thoughts like these slip in all the time, and have to be rooted out, one by one.  Sometimes I try to do a kind of "stop-action" command, then I imagine the thought as a photograph that disintegrates into dust in a plain white field, then I blow the dust away.  Sometimes I imagine that the thought is a balloon, and I pop it with a pin.   The point is that as soon as I do these little visualizations, the "weed" thoughts no longer have power over me.

What seeds have you planted in your "thought garden"?  How do you nurture your "thought seeds"?   How do you get rid of the "weeds" in your garden?   :-)

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