A fresh year lies before us, it's pain and pleasures lie tightly furled and hidden from our eyes and ears. As we are swept into the year it can be easy to focus on productivity and tasks, questions like, what do I want to achieve? What do I want to do? How many people do I want to reach? May be circling around your head. Before you get lost in the pressure to create measurable outcomes stop a minute and think about what happens if you view your life as a garden. If as we enter the year we focus on tending the garden (tending our own being), then a premature counting of the fruit (measurable outcomes) is removed. Instead we need to think about the seasons, the soil, the conditions and the needs of the plants. We then arrive at a different set of questions to focus our year. We can think about who we are and who we want to become, we can think about what strengths and virtues we want to grow and the values that we want to express.
We can focus on what we want to grow in ourselves rather than what we want to achieve.
Here are some questions to think about
- What character traits or virtues do you want to cultivate? (For me it is patience).
- What needs fertilising or extra energy? What type of fertiliser works best? (I definitely need lots of silence!)
- What needs pruning? (Sugar and caffeine for me!).
- What is feeling dry and desiccated and needs a watering schedule? (my IRL relationships need some work)
- What tiny buds of strengths and character do you see in your children or people you work with that you need to notice and nourish?
- What needs to lie fallow? Which areas of your life are depleted and need to rest?
- What is your watering schedule? How will it change as the seasons change?
- What is the Holy Spirit saying about which areas of the garden are full of unnoticed life, that may be going to bloom this year?