There are times in our lives when we allow our inner selves to get bogged down (as Chickadee would say) with all of the “mad things, bad things and sad things” that stick to us on a daily basis.  Our worries and fears, anger and sadness, frustrations and pain–all of that builds up until we can find ourselves on the edge of a precipice, ready to fall into a funk (or sometimes standing knee deep already).  An almost (or mild) funk can actually be healthy from time to time as a wake-up call to change, if we hone in on its causes and face them directly.  We can tend the garden within–from pulling the weeds of our discontent, to planting new seeds for change.

This is my meditation for the times when dealing with life gets in the way of living–when the anxiety builds up over the little things (or the bigger things outside of our control) and when I get too caught up in the external conditions of momhood or school or work or whatever and forget about my inner self, and need to deal with the crud that has built up.

The meditation:

Center yourself and imagine yourself in an overgrown garden where weeds choke out the plants trying to grow.
Each weed is different, and each weed has a name–for some, the roots go deep into hard earth and on others, they spread in a shallow smothering mat. This garden is your psyche, and you are its gardener. Perhaps you have a trowel or rake to help, or maybe you are just using your hands.

Grasp the weed and name it–the bill you haven’t been able to pay on time, the 15 pounds you obsess over, the bad habit you just can’t let go of, the fight with your mother or your boss, the fear of losing a job, etc. Pull it out and look at it, look at your problem with honesty and own it. Is it something you have control over and can change? Or is it something you need to just let go of? Toss the weed into a bucket or wheelbarrow and move on to the next one. Repeat.

Once you have identified your most pressing problems (I usually stop at 3-5 depending on how in depth or emotionally draining they might be), take your wheelbarrow of weeds to compost.

Reclaim the energy that all of those things have been draining from you and focus it instead on turning those weeds into fertilizer. Does your problem have a solution? If not, are you prepared to let it go? If so, can you identify what realistic steps you can take to minimizing or eliminating the problem?

Work the weeds into the compost pile and see them turn into something useful.  Fill up your wheelbarrow with compost and return to your (now cleared) garden. If there are plants there already, care for them. If there are not, plant ones representative of the things that you would like to foster in your life, particularly if they are tied into some of the potential solutions to your problems.

Work your garden until you are satisfied with the results. Then sit in its center and regroup, ground your left over emotions into your garden and let them be transformed.  Come back from your work feeling lighter and more positive.