I live in a park. Well, kind of.
Our property, which began as an empty lot, now has a bit of a park-like appearance … at least I think so.
Years ago, I set out to create the environment I craved. After we found land that allowed for a larger backyard, my vision required lots of additions:
- About 20 trees
- Numerous shrubs
- Rose bushes
- 6 boulders
- And extensive landscaped areas, separated from the grass with metal edging
To me, walking in our backyard feels like I’ve left suburbia behind. It’s an area where (during the warmer months) I spend time writing, meditating, grounding, praying, contemplating, and just being.
Getting through the tough times
As much as I adore this urban oasis, it takes tons of work, especially in the spring. As winter falls away each year, I have a moment when I experience some mild panic about the task in front of us.
Before it all comes into full-blooming color and lushness, I walk around looking at the work that needs to be done. I observe:
- Landscaped areas littered with fallen pine cones and pine needles
- Rose bushes that requiring manicuring
- Tree limbs that could use some pruning
- Weeds sprouting up faster and taller than the grass, that demand to be dealt with
- Ornamental grasses that need to be divided and transplanted
During that week or so, I know what should be done, but deep down I wonder how we’ll ever do it all.
Always come back to why
But then I anchor into something deeper than thinking about what we should do. I remember WHY we started this project in the first place.
I remember how good it feels to be outdoors, surrounded by beauty. I remember how even the work it takes to clear away the pine cones and branches, or to deal with the weeds can feel wonderful.
Simply focusing on the WHY can be reinvigorating. It can transform how you feel about the process itself.
This is very similar to the process of changing your relationship with food and your body.
At first, when nothing feels different, the changes may seem like they’re in vain. During that time it can be tempting to give up. That’s the exact time to tap into your inner WHY. Remember why you’re doing this. Think about how it will feel to be at ease around food and your body. Remember your why!
And there’s one more thing about why …
Internal vs. External
I also need to mention that it’s imperative for your WHY to come from internal motivation, instead of any external reason.
Doing it for anything or anyone outside of you might sound good, at the time. I’ve been there! In the past, I tried making changes for a variety of external reasons.
Needless to say, that kind of motivation rarely works.
It’s because when you get into the dark days of not yet feeling any changes and wanting to give up, external motivation isn’t usually strong enough to give you a reason to keep going. And even on the rare occasion that it is, that’s usually a kind of motivation that is fear-based and feels constricting and miserable.
Internal motivation however, can feel expansive and positive. It can be a way of feeling good even in the process of change, not just with the end result. And that makes sticking to the process much more possible.
Why not get clear on your why and give it a try? See how different that feels.
Image credit: 1st image from here. 2nd image of roses: taken by me, in my garden.