The Good Life Institute, LLC » Counseling for Couples, Individuals, and Families

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Your mind garden

I am often reminded of the power of negative thoughts and how easily they can seep into our daily lives. I came across this story recently and felt compelled to share as it offers a great image of these pesky thoughts. Enjoy. -Megan

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“This morning I stepped out onto our second story balcony and noticed one of our flower boxes had become host to one of the largest weeds I have ever seen. So large was this weed that it had taken over the entire box, choking out the fragile flowers that had been planted. I thought to myself; how on earth could a weed like this become rooted in our second story flower box, then grow to this proportion? The answer how it got there is really quite simple: either the seed of the weed somehow got co-mingled with the flower seeds, a bird dropped it, or perhaps the wind simply blew it in. Regardless of how it got there, it’s no longer there, I lovingly transplanted it in the yard waste bin. How it grew as large as it did is simple too; no one has tended to the flower box for several weeks. Potting soil is extremely receptive to ANY seed introduced to it. It has no discretion and accepts them all.

So it is too with your mind: An unattended mind can create havoc for you because your mind is amazingly receptive to whatever suggestions may be dropped into it. Whatever belief is introduced to it, it takes seriously as an instruction to grow that thought-seed into a full blown plant be it a rose or a weed, it doesn’t care. It says accepts all thought-seeds planted positive or otherwise. When you stop and consider how many thought-seeds are blown, dropped, or purposefully planted in your mind on a daily basis, it may cause you to tend to your mental garden with a bit more purpose and regularity. When negative thoughts are planted, negativity flourishes. When critical thoughts are planted, critical thoughts of self and others flourish. There are the noxious weeds of your mind garden. In addition to all the seeds that were planted in your mind when you were a child; seeds get planted as you listen to the radio, watch TV or even sit at a restaurant where others are talking. Your mind hears it all, irrespective of whether you are conscious of it or not. Given what’s going on in our world today this is a vital point to grasp. Even when you engage in gossip or negative conversation with or about others, your subconscious mind hears it all, and here is the hook; it takes it personally– about you. The only way to avoid this type of mind pollution is to be consciously focused on what you want to have planted and growing in your flower box called life.

The action you and I need to take is clear. It has been proven that the human mind thinks tens of thousand of thoughts each day. Instead of planting a mixed bag of thousands of various kinds of seeds, from fearful to confused and unfocused thought seeds, which will require a full time gardener to pull up the weeds, why not specialize in planting one or two kinds of seeds? Plant thought-seeds about yourself and others that are rooted in reverence and loving kindness. Plant seeds that focus on being strong and competent. Be mindful, and be skillful in the seeds you plant and how you nurture them. Your life is your garden; keep the weeds our because that is one way in which you can personally beautify your world. You owe that much to yourself–and to those who receive the benefit of the seeds you drop along the way.” – Dennis Merritt Jones (Excerpt from: The Art of Being–101 Ways to Practice With Purpose in Your Life)

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