A Date in the Garden

basil-200I recently made a date with my basil plants, all six of them, that I carefully planted in the raised beds soon after we moved into our temporary rental house this past May. I remember what fun it was picking them out at the organic nursery soon after a very intense move from the home my husband and I had shared for over 10 years.

Now several months later, these lush, green plants were calling to me to prune their unmannered heads before they would go to flower. I looked at my calendar and was feeling a little resentful that Mother Nature expected me to shift gears and carry out Her work. I noticed myself considering this task as an unwanted chore that was stealing time from my schedule of business priorities. The time I set aside had arrived for me to pick a grocery bag full. This finally was starting to feel fun again, clipping the fully formed leaves stem by stem with the sun warming me. After what felt like a short time in the garden I was faced with several hours worth of washing and picking the leaves from the stems and turning it into the green paste that would make many delicious meals between now and next harvest season.

Focus on What You Value

My guess is that you’ve had this experience, where once you focus on an unappealing task, it suddenly transforms into a timeless, peaceful and energizing activity where the clock seems to stop. With a conscious decision we each have the opportunity every day to take these tasks and encounters we find in front of us and turn them into uncommon, meaningful experiences. When we shift our attention to what is of value to us and look for where it shows up, we bring more of that experience in.

Find ways to capitalize on the law of nature that dictates that we can only focus on one idea or feeling at a time. To increase the pleasure and possible joy spent in any activity look for the parts of your task that please you. For me with the basil, it was the tactile feel of the leaves, the sun on my back, the meditative plucking of each leaf from the step, the smell of the basil essences and tasting the luscious pesto as I put the finished product into jars. And it was also giving myself a deserved break from my office and computer to a task that would give me a very special meal at the end of the day and in the months to come.

Even when your tasks involve people you would rather not have to deal with, look for something positive that encounter offers you. It might mean remembering that you’ll be contributing something important for that person’s development. Or if you decide to recruit a friend or family member to help you brainstorm the situation you can feel how sharing the burden within our community lightens our load and helps us create the results we want.

It’s Your Turn to Focus

Focus on what you uniquely value and experience how uncommonly meaningful moments blossom! Where will you turn the common parts of your day into uncommon experiences for yourself and those you touch? Pick just one right now and see what happens? I invite you to share your uncommon stories with us. Post your comments so that others can learn from your experiences.

“When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” George Washington Carver


WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Certified Life Coach and Philanthropy Consultant, Mary Radu, guides midlife individuals and couples to discover how to share their unique gifts and be positive change makers. Let Mary and Pathmaker Coaching help you design and execute your unique path, aligning your life with your passions and values. If you’re ready to get moving, check out our Resources or contact Mary to discuss how you can get supported to make a bigger impact 707.824.8836.