Just as gardeners nurture the soil around their plants, we can encourage ourselves to make each day fertile and lush.
Posted in , May 17, 2018
As the growing season emerges from the vulnerable seedling stage into the fully energetic, productive phase, we gardeners have an important job.
We need to do what gardening books and magazines call “amending the soil,” adding nutritious compost, fertilizer and mulch to the earth that is holding our plants. Without this step, we are giving our plants less of a chance to fully thrive.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader
Amending the soil doesn’t have to be physically taxing work. It could be as simple as gently working handfuls of dark, rich compost into the hole where we are transplanting a seedling. We might mound a thick layer of mulch around the roots of a growing plant. Mixing fertilizer with water in a watering can, we can sprinkle it over each plant, drenching the soil with energizing nutrition.
With our soil enriched, our plants can get the most out of their growing time. Similarly, we can work to “amend the soil” of our own days, adding even a little bit of what we need to be our best selves. Here are three ways to enrich yours today.
1) Feed Only What You Need
Different plants require different nutrients. Fertilizers come labeled with ratios of potassium, nitrogen and other nutrients that specific plants need. If we feed a plant with the wrong fertilizer, our efforts can backfire, burning roots and stunting growth. Ask yourself, what do I need today to have my best day? Don’t give yourself a nap, for example, if you actually need an energizing walk around the block.
2) Mind Your Roots
The purpose of cultivating quality soil is to give roots the right environment in which to grow. Soil that’s too dense won’t give roots space to spread and reach. Soil that’s too loose won’t be able to hold onto the food or water the plant needs to access. Ask yourself, do my roots have what they need to be both strong and flexible? Consider your roots—your home, your family, your career—and set a goal to improve one thing in one of those areas.
3) Don’t Only Look Down
Soil is a complex thing, a living network of microscopic creatures that live in balance and harmony. But the soil isn’t the only element that affects the life of a healthy plant. Gardeners also need to pay attention to the amount of sun, water, even breeze that their plants receive. Similarly, we need to feel grounded in a purpose each day—but we also must remember to tend to the forces that affect our day, forces that may be beyond our ability to control. Ask yourself, what is my mood, my energy level, my sleep quality and my nutrition today? Taking inventory of the full complement of issues you’re navigating can help you set a clear course for growth, each and every day.
What do you do to set each day up for success?