Parallel between nurturing mind and garden

I love flowers (who doesn’t 🙂 ), specially rose. I am attracted to their beauty, fragrance and color. I was born and brought up in the Mumbai, its very congested city. I always wanted to have garden of my own, but real estate in Mumbai  is very expensive. Last year I bought house in US, the previous owner had nice maintained garden with 4 different color\kind of roses. I was happy to get chance to learn and practice gardening.

As I was acquiring gardening skills, i found there is parallel between nurturing mind and garden.

Parallel 1

In gardening its difficult to manage  nice lawn. There are all kinds of weeds that start growing. I tried different weedicides, but they were not very effective. The best way was –  To monitor the lawn very 4 to 5 days and if there are any weeds, remove them immediately from roots. My front and back yard are small so  it does not take much time to inspect the lawn.

If you consider mind as garden. The negative thoughts are weeds in this case. When negative thoughts come to mind, the best thing is to remove them from the root. We should monitor our thought process and remove the negative thought as soon as they appear. If this is not done, they will become rampant and out of control like weeds.

Parallel2

There was 2 x 2 feet patch on the lawn which did not have any grass on it. I observed that weeds in this area grew more faster then any other place in my lawn. I was able to find the reason for this on the internet. The soil has nutrients in it, these nutrient can be lost because of sun rays. So to protect its surface from sun, soil with no lawn on it, prompts the growth of weeds. This is symbiotic behavior.

The mind is similar to soil. It wants to keep itself occupied with some thought or work. If there is not positive thoughts (lawn) it fill it up with useless or negative thoughts (weeds). There is saying “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. So make sure we keep your self occupied with positive thoughts\ideas. I have some suggestions

  1. Maintain todo list. Whenever you find yourself free do the next item on do to list.
  2. Whenever you done with your work, see if your spouse needs help. Help him or her out.
  3. If done with 1 and 2, see if you can volunteer in your community.

This item will not only keep your mind occupied but also increase your self esteem.

Parallel3

As mentioned early the weeds is big problem. We do not plant weeds, they just grow without invitation. If we like to  have something beautiful and productive like vegetable or flower bed, we need work hard for it. We need to prepare the soil first, plant the seeds. Once seed matures to plant, we need to protect it from pests, rodents etc. We need to fertilize the soil on regular basis.

Same is case with mind. We do not need to plant negative thought they appear from nowhere like weeds. But we need to have positive thought, we need to plant it. We need to protect it from negativity of surrounding. Nurture it so that positive thought can grow into productive output. In short it takes lot of work. The result will be some fragrant rose or tasty fruits.

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My son teachs me…

My son is 2 year old. He is at the age, were he is learning lot of new things. And watching him learning new things, I am learning few things for myself. As adult I have forget few really simple lessons.

 Lesson 1 – Do not quit easily.

Other day he was trying to learn to wear his pants. He almost spent 20 mins in this. He tried different way, first standing but did not succeed. He did not give up, tried to seat down and then wear it. He was finally successful.

Observing this funny incidence, I released that difference between him and me is he does not give up easily. I thought about my childhood and realized that I was also relentless at that age. As I was moving from childhood to adulthood there were invisible barrier put around me.  Sometime self imposed sometime society imposed. I started thinking I really cannot do something and these goals are not meant for me. Lot of times I gave up before putting 100% effort.

 So I have started to remove all these invisible restrictions\barriers that are around me. I would try things which I had thought are impossible for me to do. 

Lesson 2 – Never keep the feeling for to long.

Lot of times when he does not listen to me or his mother, we give him time out. He does cry and feel bad about it. But he does let us know that, does not like us at that point of time. But he does not keep that feeling with him for long time. In 10 or 15 minutes he forgot all about this and starting playing me again.

 As we grow up, we start to keep our feeling for long time, specially the grudges. I learnt we should be like kids, when we feel bad, express it and move on. We should not keep it with us for long time. If we do this we may sleep better.

 Lesson 3 – Lesson in Faith \ Trust 

I do not know if he know concept of Faith and Trust. But he cannot get something done, he come to me or his mother to complete it for him. He comes with such a faith and trust in us. I am surprised\puzzled by this. Sometime we are able to help something not. But his faith in us does not decrease either way.

What I learnt that I need to have similar unshaken trust and faith in God.