March 29, 2014
MY GARDEN OF ABUNDANCE
I have this gift of a day to live–healthy, strong in my body and mind. I have the gift of sight to look out at the blue sky–a sheet of pale, robin’s egg blue. The great Maple Tree whose skin grew as though it were a skirt twirling in a dance is silently pumping life into red buds. They are slowly swelling, gathering force. Another day I will find them busted open, dangling tiny green leaves.
As is the land here in the North, so I too am waking up–to new models of reality through which to perceive the world, to new systems of living. As in our gardens here in the North, I am clearing the winter debris–the old models, old beliefs which no longer serve me or others; discarding the Brules that have governed my life. I like this word, Brules. It means, “Bullshit rules”. I also like the word Blisscipline. It sounds so much happier and more exciting than the drudgery of being disciplined!
I have long been a student of the concept that our thoughts create our beliefs and that it is these beliefs that determine our attitudes and thus our behavior patterns. To successfully change a behavior, change the belief. Simple. Never-the-less I have found change a slow and difficult process because beliefs never exist in isolation. Rather, they are part of a larger model, a more complex construct of reality that we create based on what we believe to be true about the world we live in. We all have a huge network of rules supporting entire systems that govern who we are and how we respond to our experiences based on the models, the beliefs, we have adopted. Trying to just change one or a few “nasty habits” without examining the larger picture–the whole model and the system it supports–makes it pretty tough work. It’s much easier if we are willing to simply wake up and ask ourselves the important questions. And answer them, of course.
Why do I do this?
Why am I angry?
What am I afraid of?
What do I believe to be true that I feel the need to act like this?
Is this really true?
Where did this belief come from?
Is it mine?
What is the rule that I’m minding when I act like this?
Is it a healthy rule–or a brule?
Brules are Bullshit Rules that we adopt to simplify our understanding of the world. How do we know the difference between a Brule or a Rule? Ask more questions.
Is your rule based on trust and hope?
Does it serve your happiness?
Does it violate the Golden Rule?
Does it come from cultural or religious systems/models?
Does it come from rational choice or social conditioning?
Early this past winter I read a quote a friend had posted that became a pivotal moment for me: I choose to let go of all that does not serve me, anything that prevents me from thriving. I considered this deeply and realized there were a number of situations in my life that definitely did not serve me nor allow me to thrive, and thus prevented me from serving my family and community better that they also might thrive. Since learning about brules, I realize that I have perpetuated these situations because, after all, one must make the best of life and gain never comes without pain and it’s the cards I’ve been dealt and don’t complain and be glad for all the lessons that your suffering is teaching you and…what a load of bullshit! All I need to do is look around at nature to see that the Creator made everything to work in balance so that all might thrive! We’re the ones who screw it up and cause suffering!
Little green things are poking up above the earth in my garden; perennials planted there once upon a time. Year after year, they return, like beliefs that I adopted long ago that call forth the same responses from me, time and again. I am digging them up and moving them somewhere else…some even to the compost heap. I am re-creating my entire garden. I am disgarding the Brules I’ve lived by and creating enhanced, healthier, happier models and systems for living my life–my one, wild and precious life.
I embrace this work with joy, considering it a privilege; procrastination and stagnation give way to productivity. I get to dig about in my newly awakened garden! I get to create something new! I get to grow my garden into a work of art and I get to receive from it an abundant harvest. As my inner and my outer gardens have become labors of love and gratitude, every stage has become rewarding. The garden thrives and I thrive and all who experience the blessing of it, thrive.
Once there was a woman jogging down my street. She looked unhappy, angry, tense. As she ran past my little front yard garden the sound of water falling into the rock pond must have caught her attention for without breaking stride she glanced over, and her face relaxed into a wide smile. She never noticed me sitting on my porch, only the flowers. As I watched her continue down the block, I noticed her head was higher, her shoulders back.
How much greater might the impact of my inner garden be on those who pass through my sphere of influence? I will not limit myself. I will not allow the weedy beliefs of “can’t” nor the fears of what it might “cost” me to choke out the life of the Creator within me. I’m cultivating joy and gratitude–like the daffodils and lilies and roses that I love. I’m nurturing and growing the gifts I brought to this world so that I can share them–my writing, my art, my ability to teach; like green beans and ripened tomatoes and summer squash and apples in autumn. I’m practicing kindness–random acts of…they are herbs to season life.
I found a penny on the sidewalk today. “Find a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck!” Ahh, yes. In the middle of my Garden of Abundance I plant a Money Tree so that I will no longer be limited by the lack of money. I am rebuilding my model of what it means to live abundantly, without lack, creating a life in which I am thriving.