I’m grateful for the small green space that I call a yard right now. To some, weeding, mowing, and clipping may appear to be a chore. Another task to complete as quickly as possible so you can return to the business of enjoying your weekend. Instead of viewing your work as a burden, how about changing your mindset? Is it feasible for you to use your yard work as an opportunity to practise mindfulness on your own? Is it possible to have a self-help therapy session? If you can change your mindset, you can find yourself looking forward to pruning branches, trimming hedges, and watering the hydrangeas.Learn more about this at TruBlue of Sugarland.
Kneeling on the ground to trim the lawn’s edge has the ability to concentrate the mind completely on the activity at hand. What a relaxing and meditative sensation it is to become so absorbed in a particular task that everything else fades away. When you’re out in the fresh air, pay attention to what’s going on around you. Are you able to hear birds chirping in the trees above you? Do you see the small bug colony that lives beneath the leaf you just raked? Are you able to distinguish between the various shades of colour seen in a flower’s petal? Do you enjoy the sensation of physical exertion that comes with pushing that mower over and through the grass blades? How does it feel to run your fingers through damp dirt or to walk barefoot on the ground? Bringing our focus to the present moment reminds us that we can only completely enjoy the richness of life in the current moment.
While doing yard work, we can choose to be totally present in the moment, with all five senses engaged. It can, however, serve to link us to the past. Do you remember the scent of newly cut grass at the neighbourhood park where you used to play as a kid while you were pulling weeds? Do you recall your favourite aunt’s vegetable garden and the scent it gave off when you visited her in the summer? What about your grandparents’ lone fig tree, whose mature fruit was bottled for handmade jam and relished throughout the year? We are associating ourselves with a human tradition and building a link to our legacy by engaging in the labour of gardening in the present. Maybe you grew up in a concrete jungle with few green spaces, but you loved the school field trip to the local botanical garden. We don’t have to look far to establish our intimate ties to nature.