Find peace and joy in the present moment

If we live our life regretting the past or worrying about the future, we’re likely to miss out on our life altogether. Everything we need is here, right now. We don’t have to wait to love or be loved. We need only to open our hearts to one another. This post is the final in a series on what we’ve learned through our ten years of Tending Your Inner GardenĀ®. This lesson is one the hundreds of women who have participated in the program have taught us, one another and themselves, over and over again.

One of the best ways to tend your inner garden is to discover the joy in each moment.

In our chaotic, fast-paced world, we easily conclude that we’re not quick enough, smart enough, nimble enough, connected enough to keep pace. Yet such a perception is born out of fear, prompting us to cast about for the right job, right relationship, right home, right income to make everything okay. We can let go of those worries when we stay grounded in now and here. We see the beauty around us and, in a place of non-judgment, discover the beauty inside of us.

Through Tending Your Inner Garden, we’ve turned to nature to provide that sense of worth and adequacy. Trees don’t question the value they offer in providing shade and homes for animals. Rain falls without doubting its role in nourishing plant life. The soil accepts its important role in grounding all of life. Yet we do call into question some of our basic functions as humans on Earth. Gifted with the ability to reflect, our minds can both serve us and hamper us.

Children study ants with focus and intensity

When we turn from over-analyzing to appreciating, we first notice that all parts of creation work together harmoniously. We can be part of that harmony through recognition and gratitude for our inner-connectedness, not only with one another, but with all life forms. We can relax into the grace of the energy that permeates everything. We can trust that by paying attention, we also affirm our own valuable contribution to the world around us.

While Tending Your Inner Garden encourages women to look inward, we also encourage appreciation of the “other.” That appreciation allows us to let go of our self-conscious and often limiting perceptions.

If you want to find peace and joy in your life, try these approaches for starting down that path:

  • Take one routine, simple task you do every day. Make it a spiritual practice by first setting an intention, focusing on the sensory aspects of the task, and then expressing thanks. How would that change folding the laundry, putting away the dishes, changing a diaper, or preparing supper?
  • Take ten minutes and study one thing–a flower, the birds at the feeder, the vegetables you will cook, the picture of a child. What do you notice that a casual glance overlooked? What is the value of this new detail?
  • Commit to a spiritual practice that quiets your mind–meditation, walking, yoga, breathing. Do it every day for a month. Notice how your relationship to yourself and the world around you has changed.
  • Every night, identify three blessings of the day. If possible, share them with someone.
  • Do a breath prayer. Say one part of the prayer upon inhaling, the other part upon exhaling. Example: May I be at peace (inhale) and find contentment now (exhale). Practice it whenever fear, anxiety or restlessness set in.

We hope you will consider participating in Tending Your Inner Garden in some way. Check out our website for opportunities.



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