How’s your head these days? Find yourself in a funk lately? Uneasy? Anxious? Stressed? Maybe it’s worse than that? Depressed? Angry? Unhinged?
COVID-19 is here in the U.S. and only getting started, and yet, already, everyone’s had enough, most of all our healthcare professionals. There’s no escaping, though, that this virus is here to stay for the foreseeable future and its impact on us individually and as a nation is permanent.
The words to a certain prayer come to mind: (paraphrasing) God, grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change. Acceptance is key here. We’re “in it” and will be for quite some time. And while we are, we need to get a handle on these feelings having their way with our heads.
Perhaps the biggest and best action we’ve taken so far this past month to deal with the anxiety and negativity of our newly changed COVID-19 world has been to plant tiny little seeds of hope in our newly created garden. Actually, they are seeds of yellow and green squash, carrots, lettuce, beans and radishes and they have finally taken root, as has a bunch of happier feelings in our heads.
In a pandemic world punctuated with death, our little seeds give us the hope of life. We initially thought the garden would be great for providing a steady flow of healthy food on the table, but we didn’t count on it putting a steady flow of healthier thoughts in our heads.
Each day, we check on our seedlings, watering them, nurturing them. It’s downright exciting to watch a tiny, bent stalk poke up through the dark earth or to see a hint of teeny, tiny lettuce leaf emerge from the dirt and reach for the sun. If only we tended to ourselves as well as we would a tender plant trying to get it’s bearings in a new world.
Something about this garden is doing that for us, yet we’ve hardly been conscious of just how much it has been helping us. When we’re in a funk, though, we find ourselves numbly wandering back to the garden, hoping that something new has emerged. We wander back there to look for hope.
Plant a seed; change the world.
It’s occurred to me recently that these emerging seedlings aren’t here by accident. WE planted our seeds a month ago. WE took some kind of action that seemed to come to us instinctively—as though it were in our DNA to do something positive, to help something grow. It IS in our DNA. It is in NATURE’s DNA to sprout seedlings from charred earth, to turn death into life. It is in human DNA to give hope to others in times of despair and unrest by nurturing positive feelings in ourselves and spreading that to others so that they may have and nurture those positive feelings too. All of this is necessary for our survival as a species. It allows us to make good choices when unruly emotions can wreak havoc and make things worse than they already are.
In the beginning we had nothing more than a bed of dirt and a bunch of seeds; we had no idea if anything would come of it. But something HAS come of it. We won’t be able to harvest anything from the garden for a few more weeks (radishes first, YAY!)…
… but we’re reaping the benefits of doing something positive in a time of negativity and that has fed our heads with exactly what will keep our heads clear and our resilience high enough to endure the long road ahead–a road packed with changes and challenges that we’ll deal with in positive ways and ultimately overcome.
What’s in YOUR garden?
In the meantime, why not give it a try? What have you got to lose? A few minutes of your day? A handful of seeds? Why not plant a seed and from that process, feed your head instead?
Stay smart. Stay safe. Stay centered.
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