In his book, As a Man Thinketh, James Allen writes that “the mind is a garden, and you are the gardener.” This is a powerful metaphor that can help us to understand how our thoughts and beliefs shape our lives.
Our thoughts are our language of the mind and every great philosopher had alluded to the power of this internal language.
Buddha said, “What you think, you become” He also said “The power to change your life lies in your abilities to change your thoughts”
Napoleon Hill stated that “You are the Master of your own earthly destiny just as surely as you have the power to control you own thoughts”
And the famed Stoic Philosopher MArcus Aurelius informed us “You have power over your mind, not outside events, realise this, and you will find strength”
So how do we develop our awareness in relation to our dominant thoughts and the effect they have on our circumstances……take up gardening of course.
Just as a gardener carefully tends to their plants, so too must we tend to our minds. The gardener is intentional with what seeds he plants, some seeds bring forward beautiful flowers and advantageous crops. Other seeds bring forward weeds and poison.
Our mind is a fertile garden where seeds will grow if they are given attention and so it’s not stray or fleeting thoughts but the thoughts we give most attention to that spring forward into the shoots of opportunity or strangling weeds.
If we want to have a beautiful and healthy garden, we need to put in the work. We need to water the plants regularly, we need to fertilize them, and we need to weed them. Similarly, if we want to have a healthy and beautiful mind, we need to tend to the garden of our mind. We need to feed our minds with positive thoughts and beliefs, and we need to weed out the negative thoughts and beliefs that can poison our minds.
This sounds like hard work, but it’s not. Let’s compare this process to literally garden. You perhaps mow your garden every few weeks. A thorough reset to make way for the new. Maybe you water your flowers once per day for a couple of minutes. It’s the same with the mind, take some time each day to zoom out look through the gardener’s eyes. What seeds are you planting, which seeds are you paying attention to? Where in your garden do you need to weed out that which serves no purpose?
The good news is that we are all capable of being the gardeners of our own minds. We all have the power to choose what we think and believe. And we all have the power to create the lives we want.
So let’s start today. Let’s start tending to our minds. Let’s water them with positive thoughts and beliefs, and let’s weed out the negative thoughts and beliefs that can poison our minds.
Let’s create the beautiful and healthy minds that we deserve. Let’s create the lives that we want.
Here are some tips for being the gardener of your own mind,
1. Pay attention to your thoughts – The first step to changing your thoughts is to become aware of them. Pay attention to the thoughts that you have throughout the day. We tend to develop an emotional attachment to a thought if we focus on it long enough. How are you feeling ? What thoughts had you been paying attention to beforehand?
2. Challenge your negative thoughts – Once you’re aware of your negative thoughts, you can start to challenge them. Ask yourself if there’s any evidence to support your negative thoughts. Are you really as bad as you think you are? Are you really going to fail?
3. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones – Once you’ve challenged your negative thoughts, you can start to replace them with positive ones. Think about things that you’re good at, things that you’re proud of, and things that you’re grateful for. For everything that exists, so too does the opposite. If you are thinking thoughts of self-doubt, what does self-belief look like to you ? If you’re thinking fear-based thoughts, what does courage look like to you ?
4 – Practice Mindfulness -Mindfulness is a practice that can help you to focus on the present moment and to be aware of your thoughts and feelings. When you’re mindful, you’re less likely to get caught up in negative thoughts and emotions. Mindfulness is essentially the process of being the gardener of your own mind.
Remember, you are the gardener of your own mind. You have the power to choose what seeds you plant, what you think, feel, believe and achieve.
It’s never too late to take up gardening, but it will change your life is you do.