They say that April showers bring May flowers. All of that budding potential relies on a consistent amount of rain as an essential resource to its growth. Mister Rogers says that we can grow flowers in the gardens of our minds. All of our budding potential relies on a consistent amount of support as an essential resource to our growth. So what are we showering our flowers with?
You’ve heard it before: You are what you eat. What if there’s a little more to it than that? We are what we consume not only thru our mouths, but in all of the ways we absorb the world around us. We consume media, information, and even people thru various forms all day every day. In what we watch, what we read, what we listen to, what we talk about, and especially the people we are around the most. Proximity is power, meaning the people and the things we are closest to most often are likely to have the largest influence on us. Power to effect how we speak, how we move, basically how we are. How do you want to be?
And by comparison, what are you absorbing? Or perhaps who? I like to do a monthly scan on my consumption to ensure that I’m spending time with the right influences. From the podcasts I listen to and the style of music I play, to the thoughts I let parade around in my mental space, and the feelings they will themselves into. It’s up to us to notice if what we are consuming, thinking, feeling, and believing is actually feeding (more importantly, sustaining) our overall system. This requires us to tune in to ourselves and observe. …am I moving toward my growth? …My betterment?… My goals?
Not to say that we always have to be growing, getting better, or making our way to goals. Sometimes we are just fine working to maintain. I’m with ya! But goals or no goals, we can all stand to improve our mindset. My Mom always told me to “Be good.” You might spend a minute unpacking the various layers of motherly wisdom that those two little words could imply, but let’s just keep it simple. In my many years of research, I’ve found that the easiest way to be good is to seek goodness. Goodness in, goodness out. It is science.
Speaking of science, perhaps you’ve heard the sentiment “Be a fountain, not a drain”. A fountain has a certain amount of water that keeps getting recycled. It doesn’t demand a constant supply. It takes what it has, lifts it up, and lets it rain down all over again. Everyone around feels the joy of that self sustained system as it goes with the flow. A drain, on the other hand, lets things slip away. There is a suction that seems to pull everything close down with it. Womp womp! The point? Work to let the things we consume fill us up and overflow to share that goodness: watch things that bring you joy, listen to music that inspires you, and hang out with people who are doing the same thing.
However, a realist out there might be thinking how that’s fine and good to see the rainbows, but what about that terrible storm? Of course we can’t ignore the awful and inevitable things we will hear and see in the world. That’s obviously not possible. What we can do is create an awareness of what we consume by choice so that we can make more conscious efforts to find balance in the harshness of what our condition subjects us to by chance.
This might be where yoga comes in. Yoga gives us a tool to fine tune our observation skills, on and off the yoga mat. So much of this practice teaches us about balance. Not just on one foot, in a physical sense. More in a general, little bit of this and a little bit of that sense. Inhale and exhale, root and rise, movement and stillness. If we can apply this balance to our consumption, how would that effect the garden of our mind? What do you want to see blossom?
Speaking of the garden of the mind…we discuss this topic on the new podcast: Write Here, Right Now(specifically episodes 10-11!) In the podcast, my friend KT & I play with a creative writing exercise(that we invite you to participate in!) to help us go with the flow and make space for possibility. Is there a possibility you would…listen to the podcast!? Click here!
Please feel free to email me with input or questions towards this discussion! You could also share your comment below… maybe you’ll inspire a fellow reader. Speaking of readers, thank you for being one. It is a fantastic and fortunate habit to have.