On cultivating your own garden (and this is no gardening article)
My friend V often talks about her garden and how keen she is on “protecting it” from intruders. However, she is actually not talking about a real garden with peonies or roses, but “her garden” is a metaphor for her own peace of mind. V is a very wise woman (it’s important to have friends that are wiser than you) and she knows how important it is to work on yourself to feel contented and balanced, even if it is an arduous task like growing plants in your garden.
V usually reminds me that “my garden” is precious, and that I have to be careful who I allow in, because after all, it’s been years of serious hard work and commitment.
As wise as my friend V is, she was not the first to come up with the notion of “garden” as a metaphor, but actually another famous V (Voltaire) once said: ‘One must cultivate one's own garden’. This famous quote can be interpreted in many ways, but what Voltaire probably meant is that since our minds tend to wander, we need to keep ourselves busy and find our own “project”, which doesn’t have to be a big or ambitious, just something that makes sense to us, and keeps us focused.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to set new intentions or goals, and choose our project(s). In 2021 I kept myself busy with little “mental projects” such us keeping my plants alive or not skipping my weekly therapy session, so I was metaphorically and literally looking after my garden.
Also, it helps if you visualize your garden so that you actually cherish and protect it. Mine, for example, is a garden full of beautiful purple flowers. What does your garden look like?
I hope this article convinced you to start gardening, because I am sure the moment you do, you will be able to appreciate the beauty and hard work behind any garden, your own and other people’s.