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Would This Yoga Teacher’s Lesson Help You?

May '18

My yoga teacher brought an interesting idea to class yesterday. At the beginning of each session, she usually tells us a story about some challenge she faced during the week and the learning gained from it. She started by describing her gardening talents with the comment that she possessed a “purple thumb,” so doesn’t give her garden much attention.

However, after gazing on her garden this spring, it seemed so drab she ordered 2 cubic yards of mulch to dress it up. Those of you who have ever spread mulch realize 2 cubic yards is an enormous pile of mulch, which entails significant work to spread—not to mention the weeding necessary to prepare the beds for mulching.

She explained that whenever she tackles a big project, she dives in with gusto to complete it. After her first day of using this familiar approach, she found herself both exhausted and sore despite her daily yoga practice. (May I also note she is 75 years old, in excellent physical shape, and looks about 50!)

Evidently a long, low sigh escaped her lips when she saw the “pathetic” size of the dent she made in that mulch pile after expending so much energy. She determined her method needed to change. The next day, instead of using an attack approach to weed and spread mulch, she went about it more slowly. She sniffed the air and enjoyed the feel of the sun on her back. She moved her focus from completing the task to enjoying the task. In lieu of sighing over the size of the mulch pile that still remained after her work was done, she admired the beauty of the garden patch she just enhanced with the dark brown mulch.

As the project continued in this manner, she finished each day’s work, relaxed with a smile on her face. In the future, when faced with a big task, she decided to slow down and enjoy each step as she moved forward to completion instead of her usual charge-ahead mode.              

This seemed like a simple and beneficial lesson—especially to me.  Flowers are blooming in my garden beds, but I’ve been looking at the weeds there with a mild sense of chagrin. Since the slowing-down-and-enjoying lesson was valuable for me, I decided to share it with you. You might also find it helpful for tackling big projects. And, after all, next week (June 3-9) is National Gardening week here in the US.

Enjoy these upcoming summer days!

P.S. If you have any gardening tips, I’d love to hear them.


  1. Maribeth said on June 1, 2018:

    Thank you for sharing this story. It’s exactly what I needed to hear, not only regarding my very weedy garden (who knew dill plants seed like rabbits?) but a large career & life changing endeavor. I often place deadlines on things making it difficult to turn off that “gotta reach the finish line” switch.

  2. Bonnie said on June 30, 2018:

    Thanks, Maribeth! Love your dill plants comment: ) Bonnie

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