I've read that gardening is one of the most popular activities in the U.S., and it seems to be equally popular in other countries. We humans have an innate desire to restore or deepen our connection to the earth and its cycles of renewal, growth, completion, and death.
Making things come to life and grow symbolizes the process by which we make our dreams flower. We can learn useful lessons from this physical process to deepen our skills at manifestation.
As any gardener can tell you, sun and rain fall on flowers and weeds alike. They have equal access to the nourishment in the soil. Thus, they have basically equal opportunities to grow. Gardeners, however, have preferences. They devote their attention to encouraging the flowers or vegetables and discouraging or eradicating the weeds.
Imagine if a gardener came to you and said, "I don't understand what's happening with my garden this year. I keep on watering the weeds and giving them fertilizer, and they keep on growing all over the place.
"Oh, and my flowers, I'm stepping on them and neglecting them and they're dying. What's going wrong?"
We might think that gardener needed some basic lessons in cultivation. However, when it comes to our emotional and mental gardens, we sometimes tend them in the same manner.
Gardeners know that whatever they give physical attention and energy to will grow. Our emotional and mental energy and focus creates the same results in our lives.
Years ago I read in the Seth Material (channeled by the late Jane Roberts) a very simple, yet powerful explanation of how we create what happens in our lives.
The example given related to a sore toe. Maybe you landed on it the wrong way, wore shoes that were too tight, bumped into something, or dropped something on it. Toes, like fingers, seem to experience pain disproportionate to their size, radiating sensations that aren't always easy to ignore.
Unless you divert your attention, it tends to be drawn to the throbbing toe. You may look at it more often than usual, touch it to see if it still hurts. You notice that it hurts when you walk, when you don't walk, and at night, it seems to hurt even more. The more it hurts, the more your attention is drawn to it. The more your attention is drawn to it, the more it hurts.
As you go through your day, you begin to notice advertisements for pain relief or perhaps for products designed specifically to relieve foot pain. You seem to see a lot of people limping. And all the while, the condition of your toe seems to be getting worse.
Maybe it's not your toe, it's your life. You wake up and, for no particular reason, the day doesn't look right. It could be a gray sky, thoughts of something you have to do that you'd rather not, or a general feeling of unease.
Wearing a small gray cloud above your head, you turn on the shower and discover there's no hot water. You do the best you can to feel clean, then go into the kitchen to find out there's no milk for your coffee (or no coffee -- an authentic disaster).
You begin to wonder what can go wrong next. This is dangerous question is nearly always answered. The day lurches along from bad to worse, and by its end, you barely have the energy to stumble into bed and hope the following day will be better. This day has been such unrelieved suffering that you're beginning to think some universal force has it in for you.
We have other ways of growing weeds. A gardener wouldn't stand in front of a patch of weeds and say, "I hate those weeds, disgusting, ugly weeds" or lie awake at night worrying about them. We not only do that; we get on the phone with friends and say, "Hey, I have these terrible weeds." Then they often say, "Oh, I have them, too; in fact, I bet my weeds are bigger and more awful than yours are."
Then we wonder why there are no flowers in our lives.
We don't eliminate out our negative thoughts and emotions in the same way a gardener pulls out weeds. The most effective way to eradicate them is to give them no attention or as little attention as possible.
We've all had the experience of physical pain diminishing or disappearing when we distract ourselves from it. The more positive a distraction is the more likely it is to have a healing effect. In the book, Anatomy of an Illness, the late Norman Cousins describes how he healed himself of a potentially fatal illness by watching movies that made him laugh. In vibrational terms, he shifted his attention and energy away from what was negative and turned it towards something positive and energizing. The more he focused on the positive, the more positive feelings came to him.
Often, we've, without realizing it, created habits of negative thoughts and feelings around certain subjects: bills, taxes, unpleasant weather, difficult family members. The mere mention of such subjects turns on the faucet of negative emotion, and it begins to flow.
It's easy to identify these areas. When you think about them you feel depressed or angry, sad or discouraged. That's when it's time to plant some flowers.
Going to the dentist rates high on my negativity hit parade. I recently had to have a tooth pulled by an oral surgeon. I easily fell into old habits of thought about the upcoming torture. I woke up the morning after I made the appointment feeling as if a thick gray curtain had been pulled between me and daylight. Things started going badly the minute my feet hit the floor.
I truly didn't think I had a choice in how I reacted. I hadn't had a tooth pulled in several years, but I knew it HAD to be painful.
Then a voice, hard to hear above the grumbles of suffering, asked, "Why? Why does it HAVE to be?" Having no good answer for that question, I reconsidered the dental issue, deciding it didn't HAVE to be.
My first action to shift gears was to think of every positive thing I could. I took time to appreciate each of the cats (who were very cooperative about being appreciative). I enjoyed the sunshine. I paid special visits to several of my favorite crystals. I put on my favorite oil blend (Winner's Luck Roll-on, which seems to work for any situation in which I want to come out a winner). I did some aerobic exercise.
When I started to work at my computer, I listened to one of my favorite Internet radio stations. I started the day with an easy task and didn't go on to challenges until I felt that my energy had shifted to the positive side.
To shift my mood specifically with regard to the coming appointment, I thought of every positive thing I could about it.
I also envisioned the surgery and the following days as painless, easy, uneventful. I took these visions as far as I could. The minute I began to experience fear or pain, I jumped right out, and didn't go back to imagining until later.
Whenever I found my thoughts drifting towards negativity, I distracted myself with something entertaining. I read more in the days preceding the surgery than I usually do; I watched videos. I collected positive quotes for upcoming Rainbow Reflections articles.
In addition, when I meditated I imagined floods of healing energy coursing through me.
It worked. The tooth departed my jaw in a matter of seconds. "We got lucky," the kindly, skillful oral surgeon said. "It's usually not that easy."
Three days later I returned to his office to have the the extraction site looked at. "It looks very good," he said, sounding surprised. "Gums don't usually heal this fast after this kind of surgery. You must be a good healer."
Truly creative and successful gardeners also spend time imagining how beautiful the flowers will be once they're blooming. They get as much pleasure from anticipating the glory of their gardens as they do when the flowers actually bloom.
The more we focus on our dreams, envisioning them as if they are actually flowering, the more we're able to bring them to life. In a garden bursting with flowers, there's no room for weeds.
Regardless of any of their other characteristics, you want to play with crystals that are shiny, sparkling, and light-filled and/or any crystals you know give you an especially good feeling.
Herkimer diamonds are known as the happy stones A sparkly Herkimer, especially when placed on the solar plexus (where anxiety can gather), heart (for any negative emotion), or third eye (to clear up mental/emotional confusion) can be very effective.
Amber, though less dramatic, can help to dissolve depression.
Any crystal with rainbows can have a cheering effect. Hold one, moving it slightly to watch the rainbows dance.
I've found Merkabah-carved crystals to be very distracting, especially in translucent crystals. My smoky Merkabah is my favorite companion when I want to travel down happier roads.
Smoky and rutilated quartz in general have both a grounding and uplifting effect. They also help us to manifest our dreams.
Think of shapes, too. Hold an egg and say to yourself, "I am creating a new beginning." Gaze into a sphere and say, "My life is complete in joy."
Rescue Remedy is the all-purpose vibrational shifter. Containing Impatiens for impatience, Cherry Plum for breaking free of unwanted but obsessive thoughts, Star of Bethlehem for shock and trauma, Clematis for grounding, and Rock Rose and terror, it can help to handle just about any negative emotion.
A number of Wild Earth Animal Essences can be helpful for your vibrational garden. Playful Otter and Dolphin can be miraculous in shifting the focus of one's attention, and lighthearted Hummingbird can allow the possibility of joy to fertilize your dreams.
Zebra helps us to stop seeing things in black and white, in either-or terms. It helps to shake up our fixed ways of interpreting events and helps us to look deeper, creating a mental space beyond contradiction and conflict.
Sometimes Pine helps to relieve the guilt associated with "I must suffer because. . . ." Don't fill in the blank. Affirm, "I don't have to suffer," or to be even more positive: "My life is meant to be joyful," and take Pine.