I left the house the other day for my morning run and noticed that there were nearly 100 dandelions that emerged from my lawn, ready to cast their seedlings to the wind. I stopped and pondered the impact of 10,000 seedlings finding their way across my lawn, to populate another bourgeoning colony of noxious weeds. Being a bit OCD, I sprung into action and grabbed my weed-digger and attacked every weed. About an hour later, all the weeds were extracted, lying in a pile on the sidewalk. I surveyed the weedless lawn with a certain satisfaction but then I had an epiphany. What a powerful metaphor for how we can manage the landscape of our mind.
The “weeds” that infiltrate our mind come from many sources. The biased media, the constant information-flow from our smart-phones and our small-minded friends. It’s like we are bombarded daily by 10,000 seeds of thought that threaten to take root in the garden of our mind. The result of an untended “garden” is thought activity that is fearful, highly critical (of self & others) & depressive. When too many weeds take root, they reproduce rapidly and begin to choke out all that is beautiful. Our love, our hope and our joy begin to suffer due to being overwhelmed by the weeds of fear, doubt, depression & hopelessness.
We need to tend the garden of our mind. We must first acknowledge the weeds that have taken root and pull them out by the root. If the root remains, it will grow back. In most cases, the root is found in the lies we believe about ourselves, about others or about a particular situation. Here is a 3-step strategy to initially locate & extract the weeds that prevail in our mind:
- Ask God, “what are the lies that I am believing?” Listen in stillness and note all that comes up. If there is something you are unsure of, ask again, “is this thought true? Can I be completely positive that this is true?”
- Next, give up the lies (weeds) to God by stating “I give these lies to You, never to return to the garden of my mind”.
- Finally, ask God “what is the truth you want me to receive at this time?” Note the inspiration and meditate on it.
The key to a mind that is beautifully arrayed is to continually tend to it. Be aware of every weed that threatens to germinate and remove it quickly. We must also be intentional in what thoughts we plant by being very careful of the media we partake and the information we heed. We must also be very intentional about planting rich, true & beautiful thoughts by what we’re reading, watching and listening, careful to select enriching and uplifting content. This is especially important when we first uproot the many weeds (lies) that have lived so long in our mind. The bare space left from what was uprooted is especially vulnerable to new growth, positive or negative.
You are the Master Gardener of your mind. Tend it carefully and a beautiful & fruitful mind will feed a life that is richly abundant, joyful & filled with love.