Over the last week or so we have been blessed with the most glorious warm sunny days and cloudless skies which, according to the neighbours, is not normal. Certainly our memory of last February while we were renting in the area was of wet, wet, wet and more wet. So the phrase of the moment between everyone we meet is “Il faut en profiter!” which basically means “make the most of it!” So we are.
Eoin has been hard at work cleaning our roof, chopping down old trees and doing lots of other outdoors jobs. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you will know that I am a passionate organic gardener and that our aim is to grow as much of our own veg as possible here at La Girouette. This beautiful weather has started my green fingers itching as we rapidly approach the start of another growing year and yesterday I completed Phase 2 of Operation GIY (Grow It Yourself) which was to clean out and reorganise the potting shed. As I was taking everything out, cleaning tools, disposing of rubbish, organising my pots and generally seeing what was there, I realised how therapeutic I found this job and how much it mirrored how I approach life.
Phase 1 actually started last week when a man arrived with a lorry full of organic compost for our ‘potager’ (veg garden). Although not the most exciting phase it is really essential because most seeds and plants like good nutritious ground to grow in. In my internal world this translates to the fertile ground which I create and care for with my daily spiritual practices like meditation, chanting and yoga. These all help to quiet my busy mind and to make me more conscious of what I am focusing my energy on.
Phase 2 is all about having a good spring clean to see what I am holding on to or storing which is no longer of use to me. This can be old pots, broken tools or rubbish or, in the case of my inner world it might be thoughts, conditioning or beliefs which are limiting my experience of life. I do this by talking things through with Eoin or my spiritual teacher, journalling or simply practising self-enquiry.
Phase 3 yesterday in the potting shed involved organising the things that I chose to keep in a way that was simpler, more ordered and which allows me to see them easily. My pots were organised in order of colour and of size so that it I can see at a glance where things are. Taking stock like this also helped me to be grateful for all the tools, pots, seeds and other things which I have. In my internal landscape this manifests as me being more aware of what I am choosing to hang on to and being grateful for all that I have.
Phase 4 of this process included my seed box, my garden journal and a cup of tea in the sunshine as I went through all the seed packets which I have left over from last year. Again I was taking stock of what I already have and being grateful that I don’t have to buy them this year. But, in Phase 4, I also started to vision for the future. I drew out the 8 raised beds in our potager and started to plan what was going to be planted where. This is not as simple as it sounds because some plants don’t like each other, some like more sun, some like more shade etc. I had also learnt a LOT from last year which was our first year of growing veg here in the intense summer sun of the Dordogne – a far cry from my previous experience in Northern Ireland!
Little by little, as I sipped my tea and listened to the birdsong, a vision for this year’s growing season started to form in my garden journal and in my mind’s eye. Now that I had chucked out what was no longer needed, appreciated what already existed and created space to focus on the future, my creative energy was able to flow. During Tuesday’s full moon the first seeds will be planted under cover and within a matter of weeks we will start to harvest and eat from them.
And so it is with my life. When I make the time and space to sit down with my journal and a cup of tea and focus on what I would like to see growing in the garden of my life, then I am energetically planting the seeds for my future happiness and fulfilment. It was during a house-sit in the Dordogne in February 2 years ago when I really started to believe that a move to this gorgeous part of the world was possible but I had to chuck out all my old limiting beliefs and create space to visualise what I wanted. This is the reality which I am now living today. And today I am co-creating my future reality, whether it be in the potager or in my life.
Phase 5, however, is probably the most important part of the whole process of conscious co-creation……..lie back and relax! When we are trying too hard to make things happen or we are constantly busy and stressed, things manifest much more slowly. Over the years I have become VERY skilled at the art of deep relaxation and allowing myself to experience joy. As I lay under the warm sun with my shorts and t-shirt on yesterday, soaking in the much-needed Vitamin D after the winter months and being intensely grateful for it, I realised that this was every bit as important as all the action steps I had already taken. It is not always easy to lie back and trust that the Universe has things under control but being a gardener has taught me so many lessons in terms of there being a season for everything and also about the importance of planting the seeds, protecting them, nurturing them and trusting that they will grow. Of course they don’t all make it but the ones that do are SO worth the wait.
What spring cleaning and seed sowing can you do in your life at the moment? If you need any help with getting clear about what needs to be thrown out and what you want to grow instead then why not join us for a bespoke retreat here in our little corner of paradise this year? Find out more at http://www.dordogneretreats.com.
Jenny G x