Your Mind Is Like A Garden

Your Mind Is Like A Garden

A mind garden is all about weeding out the bad, and nurturing the good in your life.

Around this time last year I was sitting with my therapist and he told me something that would change how I viewed myself and how I treat the world around me. He told me:

Your mind is like a garden. In this garden, there are flowers, trees, shrubs, any kind of plant you want or like, growing there. However, there are also weeds. The flowers and trees and other plants represent the positive aspects of your life. These could be people, experiences, jobs, whatever that is for you.

The weeds, are negative aspects of your life. These could also be people, experiences, jobs, or whatever that happens to be for you.

Now, it is up to you to take care of your garden. No one can do this for you. You ultimately have the power to choose how your garden is taken care of. If you choose to let the weeds take over and choke out all of the flowers and trees, then that is what will happen.

The same will happen to you in life.

Or you can choose to weed your garden. There is a catch, though, to weeding your garden. See, when you weed a garden, you do not just weed the garden and then sit back and relax and enjoy the view for the rest of your life. On the contrary, you have to continuously weed the garden. Otherwise, new weeds will continue to grow and devour your garden.

You can weed the garden as soon as you see weeds start to grow, which will still make for some work, and the weeds still might have hurt to pull out of your garden, but it will not hurt as much as waiting until that weed grows into a giant thistle, with roots so deep you cannot get them out.

Weeds might hurt to pull out of your garden too. Some have those thorns that poke, but pulling a weed might still be better than allowing it to choke out an entire flower.

However, it is up to you what you choose to get rid of and what you choose to keep in your garden. No one can make those decisions for you, although some people might come along and try to tell you what is a weed and what is a flower and what you should leave and what you should keep, but ultimately, only you can make that choice, and only you can pull that weed.

As we near the end of the year it may be a good time for some personal reflection and a look into our own mind gardens. We may find that our gardens are healthy and happy and thriving. Or, we may discover there are some weeds that need to be pulled.

Cover Image Credit: Anthony Tran

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How a Day of Change Reset My Mentality

Haircuts and hair color and piercings, oh my!

Nike had it right with their slogan all along. "Just Do It" is a perfect mantra for anyone who feels like they're in a rut. I found myself stuck in the mud recently, and the only thing that produced any positive results was a whole day of going for the little things that I had wanted randomly.

I woke up one morning and went downstairs to make some tea. As I waited for the water to boil on the stove, I saw my reflection in the dark glass of the microwave. As I stared at myself for a while I wasn't just unsatisfied with what I saw but slightly upset. Not because I hate my nose or my ears stick out too much, but because of the way I've been acting so unmotivated the past few weeks. Realizing my problem was the easy part. But to fix it, well, I was completely lost.

I was dreading the next two months. Starting three new jobs, going back to school, and moving into a new dorm with a new roommate sounded like a lot of expended energy to me. The problem wasn't that I would be tired after moving all my stuff, or after a couple long shifts. I would be tired after interacting with at least a dozen new people within a week and then continuing to work on my relationships with them for months.

I'm a strong girl so I knew I could do it, that wasn't the problem. It was the foreboding of the situation that left me curled up in my bed binge watching.

I contemplated what I could do for myself and the immediate answers were to clean my room completely, shower and then dress in my favorite sweater and leggings. Great, but then I thought again. That's what I do every time I find myself in a feelings pickle. Sure, the solution is fine for the day but then come the morning I would have feelings deja vu.

Finally, I had a breakthrough. I texted my best friend and set the plans for the day. When we embarked on our mission we joked about how today was a transformation day, but in my head, I was like, "Well, yea duh this is what I need!"

So we first got to the piercing and tattoo parlor. I have always said I wouldn't get ear piercing because my huge hair hides my ears most of the time, so what would be the point? Whenever I saw an ear full of pretty metal I always got a little jealous.

Finally, I saw one more picture of a cartilage piercing and it was over. I wanted it. Just because 75% of the time my piercing would be hidden, didn't mean that I couldn't get it for my own pleasure. Plus, 25% of the time I would be working it. I sat in the chair and cringed a little but acted like a champ while the piece of metal went into my ear. Part one of my mission done.

Next, I went to the local Walgreens and picked out a box of hair dye. I've been wanting to color my hair forever but didn't have the funds for a salon and always just dropped the issue. Well, not today. Part two of my mission halfway done.

We went back to my house and lathered my hair in the dye, which turned out way darker than I expected. I'm not one to obsess over my hair color. I change it pretty frequently so the wrong color was just more exciting to me.

As I washed out the dye I took out scissors and cut off my dead ends. I know this sounds crazy but my hair is crazy curly, get's straightened twice year tops, and I've cut it a million times before. Trimming off dead ends of curly hair makes an insane difference for the curls when it dries. So finally part two complete.

Part three was composed of my original plan of cleaning, showering, and putting on my favorite sweater. When it all was said and done, I watched a movie with my friends and felt way happier than I did a few hours earlier. Oh, and I was eating taco bell. I shamelessly love taco bell so that was just the cherry on top of my cake of a day.

What I'm trying to say is, sometimes you just need some change in your life. I know I can roll with the punches but thinking about the punches that were coming made me want to hide. The whole day helped take my mind off my future two months and just focus on me and being happy.

Even though the changes wouldn't be recognizable to a passerby, to me they were super exciting and that was the whole point. So, does any one want to go to the salon with me? I'm thinking bangs next.

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To The Person Who Still Struggles, Do Not Be Afraid If You Have Something Inside Of You That You Can't Explain

We all know that we've been there.

Life isn't easy.

Plain and simple, there is always something that comes up just when everything is going your way. Whether it be financially, school, or personal. There is always something that comes up. Always.

This makes people feel discouraged and feel like they can't catch a break in life. This is just one more thing that keeps knocking them down on top of everything else a person deals with. Add some mental health problems in and you have a whole mess of problems.

There is a bible verse that directly talks about that feeling of being alone and how through God you will never be alone.

In Deuteronomy 31:8 it states,

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

God is saying literally do not be afraid. Do not be afraid if you're different if you have something inside of you that you can't explain. If you have so much on your plate now and feel like you're about to explode if one more thing happens, it's all going to be okay.

You are never alone. Not today. Not tomorrow. Never again.

That is truly the best way to look at life. Move forward. Go get the job you want. Have a family. Make memories. Travel the world. Experience new cultures. Learn to paint. Go skydiving. Whatever your heart desires are worth going through a struggle period. There is always something else to look forward to, to aspire to.

Most of the time life does not work out the way you want it to. So instead of digging yourself a whole so far deep that you can't see the way back up, why don't you try embracing the change and the chance to live and move forward? Keep pushing, keep fighting.

If you spend your life worrying about everything you do, you are passing through your life without actually living it. New experiences can be scary, life can be scary. It can also be the most beautiful thing if you let it be.

There are so many occurrences in life that make you scared, that knock you down, or disrupt your lifestyle. Just like anything else in life those are the defining moments of the person you will become and continue to be. God doesn't give you more than you can handle, ever.

So instead of feeling discouraged by all of the shortcomings that you face, look at them as learning experiences that will make you a stronger and a better person. If you take a positive outlook on life it can change your luck and ultimately change your life.

Pursue your dreams, live your life, and be happy no matter what gets thrown in your way.

Cover Image Credit: Stefano Pollio

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