This metaphor is used in so many books! Being brought up in the French educational system, my first thought is “Candide” by Voltaire. But so many more take up this image of our mind as the garden where we cultivate our thoughts, plant new thoughts, remove weeds and create harmony.
Over the next few weeks I would like to use my blog to explore what Robin Sharma, in his book:” The monk who sold his Ferrari” called the seven timeless virtues for an enlightened life.
Cultivating your garden is the first.
” In the fable, the garden is the symbol for the mind. If you care for your mind, nurture it and cultivate it just like a fertile rich garden, it will blossom far beyond your expectations.But if you let the weeds take root, lasting peace of mind and deeper harmony will always elude you.”
Many more authors have taken up the idea that we are what we think about most of the time. Earl Nightingale said, “The strangest secret is that we become what we think about, most of the time.” It all begins in the mind. Thought is the cause. Behavior is the effect. We think, and with those thoughts, we create.
Robin Sharma goes on to talk about the toxic waste we let into our garden: all the guilt about the past, the fear and worries about the futur which siphon off our energy and our self-confidence. We should learn from the past but convert the lessons into positive thoughts. He also mentions ” impoverished thinking” claiming that in general, the average persons thoughts are for 95% exactly the same they had the day before!!! I find that quite scary!
However practically the only thing we can control is our minds. We have a choice how to respond, we have a choice how to interpret what happened to us. But we need to make that choice. Our mind, like our body, needs to be trained to think in a positive way, all the more so if we have indulged in negative thinking and unnecessary and inefficient guilt and anxiety trips.
Concentration is essential to stop those worry energy leaks.
Robin Sharma mentions various exercises to help:
The heart of the rose:
All you need is a silent place and a fresh rose and all you need to do is really look at it, stare at its center, its heart, noticing all the fine details about its structure, its color, design, fragrance. Each time your mind strays to other thoughts, bring it back to the rose. Really relax into it. Welcome the calm, this is your oasis. Start holding your thoughts for just a few minutes then see if you can take it longer and longer: “taking back control of the fortress of your mind”.
Winston Churchill said: ” the price of greatness is responsibility over each of your thoughts.”
Either you control your mind, or your mind controls you.
Enough food for thought for this week! Next week I will continue with two further exercises to cultivate that wonderful garden within, just desperate to be cleared of weeds and enabled to blossom!
So here is to be admiring the heart of the rose and ridding our minds of toxic waste!
Let’s make it happen!