Thursday, February 28, 2008

How Does Gardening Soothe Your Soul?

I finished the second draft of my book proposal for The Gardener's Soul: Nature's Path Toward Inner Peace this morning. I am ready to send it on to two new readers. (These are innocent friends who have agreed to take a look without knowing what they are getting themselves into. Or, perhaps they do know, but are too kind to refuse?)

I sat down with a cup of chamomile tea at my side and felt the jitters of possible rejection. Yet, as I dove into my subject I could feel myself relaxing. Was it the chamomile tea kicking in? I think rather it was the thoughts of warmth and the garden calming my soul.

My book's central focus is that the garden is a place to commune with nature and soothe your soul. I know how it soothes mine and I met fourteen other gardeners last summer who expressed how it soothes theirs. Here is what I know:
  • Being out in nature reminds me of a bigger picture and helps me reflect on what is really important in life.
  • Gardening helps many acknowledge a higher power and/or to seek spiritual enlightenment.
  • Feeling the warm sunshine on my face makes me happy. There is no need to explain this further. The sun just makes me feel happy.
  • The vibrant colors of the garden also make me feel happy. I have always been attracted to color.
  • The act of creating a personal space in the garden makes people feel content and boosts self esteem.
  • Gardening encourages creativity in the garden and provides inspiration out of the garden.
  • Growing our own food makes one feel closer to the natural world and more in touch with what we put in our bodies.
  • The sights, sounds and smells of the garden refresh our spirits.
  • The creatures we encounter in the garden also soothe us and make us feel closer to nature.
  • Experimenting in the garden feeds our natural curiosity and encourages more curiosity about the world.
  • Gardening encourages a nurturing instinct.
  • Gardening encourages a playful spirit.
  • In the garden we often feel connections to loved ones and many generations past.

How does gardening soothe your soul?

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