Therapeutic Benefits of Gardening

gardening

An inspiring young poet I met on Write Out Loud, who now resides virtually on Instagram as @BIGSALPOETRY, asked me a to do a collaboration poetry book with him. He likes to team up with poets to publish books that help charities which is right up my alley.

I asked Big Sal what topic he was thinking of and he said, “I don’t know, how about the therapeutic benefits of gardening.” Interesting topic, especially since I’m into the plant-based lifestyle and have been wanting to get back into gardening. I used to love to garden, but stopped years ago when “making a living” became my priority and everything in life seemed to take a backseat including spending time with my family, tending to my health, and getting my hands dirty.

Now that I am working from home and getting clarity on my priorities, I see the compounded results of neglecting the important things in life… obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue and other serious health issues, fractured relationships from a platonic marriage, to self-medicating “Cats in the Cradle” kids to family and friends that communicate big life events through social media instead a visit or phone call, to apathy for the environment and devastating world events.

Neglect seems small, insignificant at first, but over time it adds up to catastrophe! The reality of it all feels overwhelming and makes you wonder what you can actually do to make a difference. I think the solution is so simple that it is often overlooked… BACK TO BASICS!

For me it doesn’t get much more “back to basics” than planting a garden! So, that’s exactly what I am doing starting yesterday. The ripple effect is already beginning. I feel slightly sore muscles like I spent an hour lifting weights in the gym. It doesn’t hurt, it actually feels good, like my body is thanking me. And, I’m inspired to write which hasn’t happened in a while. Growth already!

I plan to continue taking notes as I grow my garden and get my priorities straight, which I hope can not only become inspiration for the poetry book, but a life transformation for the matriarch of a family that continues into the next generation.

Write on!

WriterKat

 

Gardens provide us with a profound sense of connection to something that is eternal and beyond us. ~Tom Spencer

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Write Through Tragedy

Most of us have two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us. (4)

“Write every day, even if your house is on fire and your grandmother just died.” ~ Tom Robbins

I saw this quote on a copywriting course I am taking with Kaia Van Zandt and it stopped me in my tracks. I had to share the quote with my writer friends and talk about how writing has saved my sanity. Both of those things in Tom Robbin’s quote have happened to me.

My grandmother was my rock. I held tight to her as she clung to her faith and somehow by osmosis her faith transferred to me. It is a beautiful thing to leave a legacy of faith. My grandmother (who I am named after) almost always had a notepad in her lap when I would visit, especially in her later years. I often wondered what she wrote in those notebooks. I happened upon one years after she went to be with the Lord. She kept a journal of mostly who came to visit her that day, upcoming birthdays and anniversaries. I was a little disappointed as I wanted to see the juicy stuff. What was she thinking? That’s what I wanted to know! She was such a quiet person and didn’t go out much except to church. I knew she had to be expressing her thoughts somewhere, but it didn’t appear to be in her journals. She loved to write letters to her family. She had six children that lived in different states so she sent a lot of letters. Writing letters is a lost art!

I’m glad that in addition to her faith, my grandmother modeled a love of writing. It has kept me sane over the years, especially in 2014 when our home, business, vehicles, pets, everything we owned, burned to the ground. Everyone kept asking me how I was staying so calm and optimistic throughout the ordeal. I didn’t really know in the moment, but in hindsight, I can clearly see that it was faith and writing!