“You cannot always control what goes on outside. But you can always control what goes on inside.”
I read a book recently called The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – which is absolutely incredible and a brilliant read for anyone interested in personal development.
A lot of the book was centred around the importance of meditation (I’ve included a short practice in this blog). But a key part that really spoke to me, was the importance of tending to your ‘inner garden’.
We often get caught thinking that when we fix things in our outer world, that’s when we’ll be happy, that’s when our mind will reflect it. When we quit that job we don’t like, or move into a house that we can call our own, or finally find someone we can share our life with.
But reality is, it’s the opposite. You can’t fix external things and assume that’s when you’ll find peace internally. We need to learn to find peace within first, so the external factors become simpler. That’s when you’ll find the clarity to make the decisions you need to, and chase the changes that will get you to where you want to be and who you want to be.
We need to tend to our inner world because that’s when things will fall into place in our outer world.
If you spend 10-15 minutes daily tending to your inner garden, you will have the tools to deal with external circumstances that aren’t working for you. Even if even if you aren’t able to change them immediately, you’ll find them easier to manage.
Your mind is a garden
Your thoughts are the seeds
You can grow flowers, or
You can grow weeds
A simple practice for beginners:
Start with the breath (you’re probably sensing a pattern here with my posts at this point…). Befriend. Your. Breath.
Sit down in whatever way is most comfortable for you, but ensure that your spine is tall, your chest is open, you relax your shoulders and gently draw your shoulder blades towards each other to lift your sternum.
Begin by noticing your body, scan it from your head to your toes – slowly. Notice any parts your awareness is drawn to – and why.
Notice your breath, is it shallow? Deep? Fast? Loud? Soft? Then begin to slowly extend your exhale and slow your breath.
And then simply count your breath. A deep inhale followed by an exhale is 1, then 2, 3, etc.
Try and get to 10 by focusing on only your breath.
If you find you’ve lost concentration on it and your mind has wandered – go back to the start. Begin again.
‘Easy peasy!’ I can hear you saying. But give it a go, and let me know how you go. I found it difficult to get past the count of 3 the first few times, but slowly you get better and your mind stills. Also notice your posture and if it slips, try and make it the whole way through the practice with the alignment cues I mentioned above.
That stillness you find, that’s where peace comes from. Being solely in your body, at one with your breath.
Make your inner garden the most beautiful space that you can retreat to whenever you want – fill it with the most stunning and delicate flowers that catch the light and capture the beauty of your life.