April 2017 e-Newsletter: Cultivating the Garden of Life

In March, we experienced our first thunder of the year, as well as some hail and lightning! In Indigenous communities, this first thunder marks the beginning of the New Year. Thunder activates the Earth, awakening the roots and seeds to begin a new life cycle, once again. So, happy New Year! It is spring! 

It is important to plan for our own “garden of life,” just like our Mother Earth gardens. What seeds are you planting for this New Year? You’re going to be cultivating this garden all year, tending it and watering it to sustain life. What good things do you expect to harvest from it at the end of this life cycle? What are your “heart’s callings” in this, your new year?

I took a desperately needed vacation in March, finding calm, inner peace, quiet, relaxation and rest. While I was away, I thought about the habits in my life; where do I get distracted, or seem to fall asleep and seem to be running on auto-pilot and what are the good self-care habits that I want to cultivate in my daily life? I realized that it’s these habits, both good and bad, that create much of our day-to-day lives. Some are helpful habits and many are not. We become such creatures of habits, since they feel familiar and provide comfort. Yet, many of them may not be true to our intentions, like putting on that excess winter weight or spending so much time on internet and Face Book.

Creating new habits usually feels difficult, sometimes bringing up weird feelings. While we know it feels wrong, we may continue with the old habits just because they are comfortable, familiar and we’ve been doing them repeatedly for years! This is what often keeps us repeating cycles in our lives, expecting the familiar (control), wanting comfort and safety. In fact, many of our addictions are just that! Using “comfort foods” to wall off feelings, projecting anger to control and avoid our own insecurities, shopping in order to feel value and worth, and the list goes on and on and on. Often, we are just following subconscious habits, not even thinking about what we are doing!

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, and your values become your destiny.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Do any of these questions resonate with you?

  • Am I constantly running behind, never seeming to have enough time?
  • Am I staying up too late watching TV or spending too much time browsing the internet?
  • Do I find myself wishing I was taking better care of my health and wellness?
  • Do I regularly feel overwhelmed and not able to “get it all done”?

If we answered YES to any of the questions above, it’s important to realize that these are the result of habits that keep us from achieving our goals, the seeds of intention for our new year’s life cycle.

Remember this: 100% of the time, our habits will determine our outcomes…

Where we are today is a result of our habits and routines, both good and bad. So accomplishing what we want in life, means eliminating bad habits and replacing them with new, healthy ones.

Try these exercises:

  1. Write down new habits you are calling for this New Year. Choose 4, one to focus on per quarter of the year. Be specific with the new habit. Write it on a card and carry it with you in your wallet, in your Day-Timer or place it by your bedside. Read it several times a day and visualize yourself already doing it.
  2. Make a 100% commitment to your new habit.
  3. Act as if you are living these new habits right now.

When we allow these positive visions and thoughts in our lives to become habits, what a profound impact that shift can have on our lives. So, whether it’s the actions we take in the world, or our focus on self-care, by being aware of old habits we can break the bad and start over with the new.

Wishing you joy and creativity in cultivating a garden of healthy habits!
Dr. Melissa

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” – Albert Einstein