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Garden of Serenity

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

My garden of serenity

Today is the end of my eight week challenge. This challenge made me understand the profoundness of the Serenity Prayer below and I would like to share how this treasure of wisdom is starting to change my life.

Serenity prayer
God grant me the Courage to change the things I can change,
The Serenity to accept those I cannot change
the Wisdom to know the difference.

This past 8 weeks I learned that the things I can change are the things I do have control over; my thoughts and actions.

The things I cannot change are the things I don’t have control over such as the death of my parents, diagnosis of cancer, losing my job or people’s reactions.

How do I know the difference? Very simple, just by asking “what can I do about it”. If the answer is “nothing”, I recall an action in the past that appeared to be a mission impossible at first and that brought me satisfaction and happiness in the end. The following is one of those actions that I am proud of.

It all started with a passion and conflicting thoughts:
“I miss nature and quietness while living in the city but we cannot move right now; I want a pond but we cannot afford it; I need this pond to create serenity in my life but we have no means; I am so restless but I see no way to change our situation”.

I was stuck between my passion and reality.

First, I do have control over my thoughts, so I changed these thoughts and stripped the negative words until only these constructive thoughts remained: “I want this pond because I need it to create serenity, nature and quietness in my life”. This change of attitude helped me to get unstuck.

Second, I also have control over my behavior. So March 2009, I started digging in the mud and clay using everything we already have like our kiddy pool liners instead of buying expansive pond liners.

Instead of buying fancy Rocks, my husband and I collected pretty rocks from rivers and creeks in our backpacks. That was a good work out carrying all these rocks. I also transplanted the small evergreens to give the pond a nice green frame on one side.

The old kiddy pool pump appeared to have enough power to produce a small waterfall that makes soothing sounds.
Small goldfishes were growing into beautiful healthy fishes that helped us in our battle against mosquitoes that were attracted by the pond.

On the other side I grew a raised flower bed from seeds that I started inside to protect from frost.

Every flower that bloomed felt like a personal reward.

Apparently I was not the only one who enjoyed this spectacular colorful show.

I also learned that every action has the potential to become a habit and every habit has the potential to become an addiction. After creating a water garden, my husband and I created our organic vegetable and fruit garden. For the past half year I have been getting daily exercise by working in the gardens and we have been able to eat our own homegrown veggies. Finally a healthy addiction…

Yesterday, I noticed a little bulb on the water surface when I was looking out of the kitchen window. At first sight from a distance, it looked like a frog. A couple of hours later this bulb got bigger and more colorful. Something was unfolding in the pond and I had to take a closer look.

Our first water lily was opening right in front of my eyes. It was breathtaking.

When my husband came home, she was already closing her delicate petals. I felt honored to witness this mysterious beauty and personal reward for following my passions and making all the necessary efforts to make my dream come true.

This pond reminds me every day of the Serenity Prayer and its wisdom. In just 6 months time a plain grass garden transformed into three different gardens. All it took was doing what mattered to me and not getting stopped by anything or anybody. These gardens will only grow and become prettier with the years, just like our own potential can grow and develop. But it won’t happen when we are stuck in our way of thinking.

This challenge may be over but I am ready to enjoy all the unfolding surprises of life. Focus on what you can change and I promise you that you will find both Courage and Serenity.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, this was amazing to read (and view - great pics!)...

    I have been toiling with this concept of change and the motivation to change. I do acknowledge the things that I can and cannot change. I'm finding it hard to find a point / reason / motivation to change the things that I can.

    I feel like why bother? I don't think it really will make a difference.

    Any insights you could lend?

    At any rate, even if not, I did want to mention that I really enjoyed this blog entry. Peace be with you...
    4261 days ago
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