When my husband Michael and I missed out on the spring season, we decided to wait until fall to dig up parts of the lawn and plant new trees, shrubs, and perennials in its stead.
Over the summer, the weeds took over and outpaced the few plants that we do have.
This week, with fall approaching, I finally tackled the overgrown weeds to make space for existing and soon-to-be plants.
Weeds are invasive, vigorous and aggressive. They are not sown intentionally and grow where you don’t want them to be. They compete with your plants for space, water, sunlight and nutrients. They usually spread and fill in faster than what you actually planted. Weeds produce by themselves very easily. But plants take effort on your part to grow.
Weeds are like the unhealthy habits, negative thoughts, limiting beliefs and toxic relationships that dampen your mood, drain your energy, and stunt your growth.
Plants are like the habits, thoughts, beliefs and relationships that inspire you, strengthen you, and add beauty to your experience.
To cultivate a spectacular garden, you need to weed out unwanted plants. Similarly, to create a sensational life, you need to chuck unnecessary things that weigh you down. ‘
Here are lessons I learned from weeding that you can apply in your life to make space for what you want:
First, get clear on what you want and what you don’t want. If you just sit back and let nature take its course, you could end up with a huge mess.
The longer you put off weeding, the harder it gets to distinguish what you want from what you don’t want. But no matter how long you wait, your deliberate choice between what you keep and what you throw out is the first step.
Second, weed out what you don’t want – one at a time. Start small. Pull up, dig out and dig through what you don’t want, one by one.
The magnitude of the weeds won’t intimidate you if you tackle them individually. If you take on too much, too quickly, you will feel overwhelmed, exhausted and outmatched.
Third, weed out what you don’t want – often. Pull up what you don’t want before it goes to seed and spreads like wildfire.
Weeding took me a couple hours or so because I neglected the task for months. It takes a shorter time if you make it into a regular habit. Check back often and nip weeds in the bud from the get-go.
Fourth, dig into the roots. Remove what you don’t want from the roots, rather than just prune the top parts that show.
If you ignore the roots, which can be very large and deep, the weeds will likely return, sometimes stronger than before.
Fifth, nurture what you want. Without proper tending, gardens get overrun with weeds that stunt the growth of the plants.
Likewise, if you don’t attend to your valued relationships, important projects, and creative ideas, they will wither and die. And your life will get cluttered with things you don’t want.
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After I was done weeding, the hostas finally came into full view. Noticing the change, Michael said he had forgotten we had so many. You could barely see the hostas when the weeds surrounded them.
By pulling out what you don’t want, you make space for and get to enjoy the things you do want.
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Photo by: woodleywonderworks