For many years, my garden was my pride and joy.
Colors throughout the seasons, carefully tended plantings, well mulched and weeded. Neighbors complimented me, strangers walking by would stop to smile and talk with me.
But frankly if you saw my garden lately, you’d see it’s a bit of a mess.
Weeds and overgrown plantings are the main things on view these days, which doesn’t get much of a smile even from me!
As I was pulling weeds one evening recently and feeling a little guilty about the state of my once lovely yard, I wondered:
How could something that was so important to me become so low of a priority?
Sure, in the past eleven years, I’ve buried a parent and birthed two people, a new career, and a business; but my garden was a big part of how I spent my time a decade ago.
As I stood in the early evening haze, the adage “what’s important gets done” popped into my mind, and I realized it that might be as simple as that: my garden just isn’t really that important any more to me.
Don’t get me wrong: I still love being in nature and beautiful spaces full of bright colors will always make me smile.
But I don’t make time any more for marathon weeding sessions, trips to the community wood chip pile, or meandering visits to the garden store.
My life has changed, and I have different priorities.
I know I need a simpler garden than I used to have, one that still pleases me but doesn’t require so much attention. One that can be a lower priority in my life, and provide joy again rather than a sense of dread or guilt.
I’m reminded that pruning is a time honored way to help plants grow.
Cutting plants back diverts energy into new growth. More open space in a plant allows for better air flow and more sunshine to come in to the darker spots.
While a heavily trimmed plant might look a little rough at first, you can always trust the plant to grow back even more robustly.
Weeding is important for leaders as well: getting clearer about our gifts, what we do well, and what we don’t do as well.
Choosing what we want to grow more of, and what needs to be let go.
Pruning some of our work, transplanting some, and perhaps uprooting some all together to allow for more growth.
So we can grow what is truly fruitful and meaningful to us and the world.
In the Comments below, talk to me:
What does pruning my messy garden have to do with you, and your leadership?
What in your life or work is overgrown, a little weedy?
What needs to be pulled, trimmed back or transplanted entirely?
…. and if you enjoyed this post, sign up to receive more right in your in-box…. it’s free!