Self Care & Gardening: Our Story and Love Affair with Plants
I've been utterly obsessed with seeds sprouting since the first time I pushed a seed into the soil at the ripe age of six or seven. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I was in first grade, and the satisfaction I felt when that little seed sprouted new life was overwhelming. It was a symbol and little green sign-waving, "I'm alive and here!". That same feeling is what pushes me now to sprout, plant, and most importantly tend to my growing garden. Running my fingers through my plants stems, leaves, and flowers has become a type of mediation. An affirmation and reminder that life is precious, and we're so lucky to live on a planet that has all the resources we need to thrive. Air, water, sun, soil, wow! New life is truly a blessing.
self care: the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
Self-care, we hear it often, but what it means to each person is totally up to their interpretation. For a while the definition of self-care didn't speak to me, on the contrary, the term sparked feelings of frustration, which I later realized was my way of dealing with the fact that I didn't know what self-care meant to me. Of course, I understood the definition, but I've never really been the type of person that loves activities, and by that I mean I'm a do-er. I do things because they feel right, not necessarily because I love them. Now don't get me wrong, I don't do for the sake of doing. There are a lot of questions I ask myself before agreeing to pursue something, but once I've crossed "the checklist" things move pretty quickly. I realized I needed to push myself to find my version of self-care. Moments of bliss and moments of solitude is where my self-care flourished. I tried different things and a lot of them I didn't enjoy as much as I thought I would.
Then one day, I started rearranging my plants. I placed them all together on my front porch on a table we weren't using. Some of the plants weren't thriving. Some were doing great. Moments of arranging and rearranging, planting and replanting, watering, and clipping became my moments of self-awareness. I was able to connect with plants, soil, and nature. I started planting herbs to cut back of plastic food waste. I replanted pieces of trees and stems I saw on the ground. I asked friends and strangers for clippings of their plants, scoured thrift stores for planters and pots, searched high and low for eco-friendly alternatives to plastic planters. Friends supported my growing interests in gardening by gifting me books and gardening supplies. We started composting. I was having my moment. I found my form of self-care that not only helped me connect with all plant like things, but something I could share with my friends in the form of knowledge and plant gifts. Gardening became my self-care and a gift back to mother earth. It gave me the ability to provide safe spaces for birds, food for insects, and a new home to lost or broken plants.
Are you interested in gardening yet?
We hope this inspires you to think more positively about the experience of gardening. There are tough times where things don't go as planned, but watching plants give back and be a part of nature is truly rewarding. Gardening gave me a positive place to put my energy. Someone to say hi to everyone morning (yes, I talk to my plants) and something to care for. But gardening really does help nature, planting specific flowers and herbs will give hungry bees and hummingbirds places to pollinate. Those same herbs and veggies will help you cut back on your plastic waste and will help you save money and resources. We encourage you to find your green thumb. If vegetables are too complicated, get some succulents from friends. There are plants everywhere, no need to purchase new, use what's already in existence.
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