Roots Run Deep. Get Your Shovel.
It’s that time again…
All forms of life springing up from the earth.
Baby deer coming out with their mommas.
Bird nests coming to life on my front door wreath.
And I adore it.
It’s the awakening from the drear of Winter.
As many of you know, a significant amount of the population struggle in the winter with symptoms of “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” a myriad of depression-like symptoms that begin surfacing as early as September and continue through February.
One of my absolute favorite things to do, is landscaping.
I adore getting my hands in the dirt, pulling up the unwanted weeds by the roots, trimming back excessive new growth, and laying out fresh new mulch, like the finishing touch on any good effort given.
I always had to help my parents with this as a kid…and I LOATHED it.
NOW, it’s become a form of THERAPY!!
Check this out, so we bought our new-to-us (70’s ranch) fixer upper, with landscape that was filled with boxwoods and holly’s the size of a Volkswagen.
We uprooted, transplanted, scrapped our resources and created a pretty legit landscaping situation at our house.
Around the same time, I had some health issues I was facing, and watched my unhealthy habits show up at certain times of the day, namely after my kids went down for bed at the end of the day and I felt a mad rush inside to consume anything sweet I could find.
It was at that moment, when I realized that I was seeking comfort and reward after surviving a day of….LIFE. (The joys of having a counselor’s brain… you just see your juju everywhere and pick it apart)
I HAD to break this cycle.
I HAD to find something that released the same chemical hormone of dopamine on my brain that allowed me to experience immediate gratification, and pleasure, but was healthier than ice cream, or brownies, or whatever I could get my hands on!
So, I slowed down after I got them in the bed the next night.
I fixed a big glass of ice water, and I went OUTSIDE!
I watered my new landscaping in the moonlight.
I pulled up weeds that had surfaced.
I sprayed unwanted ground coverings that emerged.
I pruned trees and shrubs.
I picked up sticks.
And after about 20 minutes of this…. I would take a few proud steps back and see the beauty I (we) had created.
Making this ordinary old house our HOME.
Taking what WAS and making what IS!
THAT was rewarding.
THAT was satisfying.
What I was also doing, was GROUNDING work.
For those of you less familiar, the term “Grounding” this refers to the process of slowing down, intentionally reconnecting with the earth, drawing your energy inwards, and reducing anxious externalized energy.
In the fall, I often encourage my clients to take a walk to the mailbox in their bare feet and crunch the leaves under their feet as they walk.
So pay attention…..
With the wonderful onset of this beautiful season…also comes with it some more obvious weeds and unwanted growth….
Like over-spending, indulgent eating, smoking, drinking, saying “yes” to too many things and not practicing good boundaries.
And just like that… unwanted growth in your landscape…. Don’t just cut them back.
UNEARTH and UPROOT those things and how they got there.
Contact a therapist.
DO THE WORK.
Growth and Self-improvement is not a one-time effort to master.
It comes back in different waves and seasons of life, demanding your attention.
JUST like those weeds.
You’ll have to get back in after a few weeks, and clean it up again.
Stay with it.
DO THE WORK.
Enjoy the results.
At the very least, slow down your response and use of unhealthy habits, and get your hands in the dirt and toes in the grass….
Happy Spring Friends! Come join us on our porch for an early morning coffee session!