The Garden

What is your favorite place you have visited? Was it a national park, animal sanctuary, flower garden, memorial site, someone's home? What was it about this place that made you feel so astonished? Was it the way it looked, the way it smelled, the way it felt, the way it sounded? What about it changed you forever? There are some places that we visit that will impact us for the rest of our lives.

Imagine if you could live in such a place of magnificence every single day. Would you grow tired of how spectacular it was? Would it become dull to your senses? All of a sudden, you may realize how your perception has grown stale and that you are now not looking through the same eyes of amazement as you once did when you first came into contact with such a life-changing place.

In similar fashion, we sometimes become stagnant. We forget how truly amazing life is and how miraculous our existence is. Our bodies can even become a place that we so often forget to appreciate and give gratitude to. How often do we stop what we are doing and give thanks to our heart for beating the entire time we've been alive? Our lungs continue to provide oxygen that is so vital to our body system. Our legs continue to carry us around. Do we stop to give thanks for everything they do? Being alive is truly a spectacular event to behold.

Much like the child looks around and sees everything with eyes of wonder, we too should strive to continually gaze outward and inward with the eyes of a child. Continually giving thanks for all that our body continues to do for us. I like to think of my body as a garden. When I look inwards, I perceive the most beautiful flower garden I have ever seen. Lush hills of flowers after flowers growing and thriving brilliantly in the sun and growing stronger with the rain.

This place within is my sanctuary of peace, health, harmony, and well-being. When I take proper care to cultivate and love this space within it flourishes and thrives. By giving daily gratitude to my inner space, nurturing it, and giving it what it needs to continue to grow, I am providing sustenance, longevity, and wellness to myself.

On the same token, if I am continually saying hurtful things, being disrespectful, and neglecting my garden, I then must understand why it does not continue to support me in the way that is necessary for me to function in an optimal way. Becoming aware of this internal dialogue is vital to our wholeness. Once we begin to listen to the conversation within, we can begin to make shifts for our lives.

Would you speak to a child the way you speak to yourself? Would you feed a child what you feed yourself? Not only the

food you ingest, but also the thoughts you entertain can be what sustains you or destroys you.

Imagine, as an artist, that you have finally created your masterpiece. You sit in amazement at what you have created. You revel for days at what seems like perfection to you. How would you feel to know that your perfection, your masterpiece, feels that it is ugly? I believe this is what God must partially feel when he watches us hurt ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. What he perceives as his perfect creation is ultimately telling itself how ugly it is everyday. What will you choose to ingest? The beauty that is you or the lies that your ego, society, and fear wish to feed you.

To feel pain is a natural progression of having an open heart. Not everyone knows how to love you the way you should be loved. In cultivating the garden within, we are continually healing wounds as well as making room for more love to be able to come in.

The important work you are doing is vital to living a healthy, fruitful life. What you choose in this moment will impact you. Do you wish to make a sweet and generous offering to your body and soul? I hope you do. Be kind to yourself. Grow your inner garden into a space that can be life-altering. This is the only body you get. Choose to love it. Choose to honor it. Choose to see yourself through the eyes God sees you with. Tend to your garden like you are trying to grow the most beautiful flower that has ever existed because, in fact, you are.

Life and light to all,

Breanne Anderson

Celestine Harmony

"A garden is a delight to the eye and a solace for the soul" - Saadi