Lately, I’ve been reading several books about the power of positive thinking. As I was falling asleep the other night, after spending a few hours reading and thinking about the power of our thoughts, the image of a garden popped into my head.
The next morning, it came to me that my mind is a garden. I have a kitchen garden for my livelihood. This is where I grow my income: commissions, business ideas, creative projects of many varieties. I have rows for art, illustration, fiction, essays, design, licensing, and so on. I have a cutting garden of a huge variety of blooms to share with the people in my life. This is where I nurture my relationships with family, friends, the world at large.
Like any garden, the garden of my mind takes effort. I have to plant the seeds: picture what I want in vivid detail, experience the feelings I would have if these things were already in my life. I have to water my garden: come up with a written plan, take action. I have to weed my garden: cast out all negative thought, worry, doubt, and fear. And I have to have faith that the sun and the rain will be provided in the right measure: trust that the right influences have already been put into motion in my life so that I will have a good harvest.
I like this image a lot. It helps me to remember to take care of the only things that are truly in my power—my thoughts and my actions. It also reminds me that by guarding my thoughts and taking action, I am making space for the good things to grow in my life.
So what would happen if I expected the garden to yield a good harvest without focused effort on my part? Well, first of all, the weeds of doubt and fear would start to grow. The good plants might struggle and maybe even yield some fruit, but the harvest would be far less than if I had tended my garden. If I then used that disappointing harvest as an excuse not to make any effort at all, the weeds of doubt and fear would take over, choking off every good thing.
But seeing my mind as the most wonderful and powerful garden inspires me to acquire a green thumb. I carefully tend each plant. I ruthlessly pull up each weed and cast it into the fire.
You, too, have a garden. If we each do our part, our gardens will yield ten-fold, a hundred-fold. And together, we can share that good harvest with the rest of the world.