As I was pruning some bushes by my workshop door, amazed at how tall and full they had grown in such a short amount of time, I had a flashback to my first adult experience of gardening.
Years ago, When I was a flight attendant, I met a man on one of my fllights who became one of my spiritual teachers. Even though he was retired from a fortune 500 company, Phillips had spent many years working with nature spirits and earth religions. I soon spent many quiet, peacefiul weekends at his private nature reserve on Van Couver Island.
A few mornings after arriving on one of my visits, Phillips asked me if I would enjoy spending time that night in his outside hot tub, underneath the winter stars. Thinking about how cold it would be getting out of it after, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do this. So I didn’t give him an answer.
He wanted me to help him weed this pitifully, overgrown -no sign of even one vegetable- plot of land. As we went about pulling out the weeds, he asked me very quietly and calmly why I was so rude to him earlier.
I could feel my feathers start to ruffle- “Me rude! I am NEVER rude”- I roared out! How dare he say that! As we continued to weed- me getting angrier by the minute, he gently asked me why I didn’t answer his question about using the hot tub. This stopped me for a second and then I blurted out “well I didn’t know if I wanted to or not-does that make me rude?” I asked.
“Why didn’t you just tell me that?” Phillips asked calmly. “By not answering, it was like you were ignoring me- like I don’t matter. Can you understand how that feels?”
And then I realized that in a very loving way, without judgement, Phillips was helping me to really see myself. He was “weeding” me.
And he was so right- as innocent as my blunder might have been, I was dishonoring him–the way I felt I was dishonored as a child. Like I wasn’t important.
I apologized and grieved -looking inside at my weeds as I continued to helped clean out this garden.
One week later, I flew back to his sanctuary and Phillips called me to see the garden. I couldn’t believe my eyes- never had I seen such gigantic, healthy vegetables. Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Lettuce- as full and tall as the shrubs I was pruning today.
It was magical- and it showed me that if we take time to weed out the bad stuff in our lives, we can grow more vibrant and healthier then we’ve ever dreamed…
And I feel that I am well on my way…are you?