“Your mind is a garden; your thoughts are the seeds. The harvest will bring either flowers or weeds.”

Robert and I enjoyed a much-needed retreat at one of our favorite places, The Timber Creek Retreat House.

During our stay, founder and director Tom Jacobs shared this quote with me. He said it was from Dr. Seuss. (I wanted to verify and found it was either unknown or attributed to William Wadsworth.) Anyway, it’s a great quote and sounded rather “Seussy” to me.

This stunning picture, by the way,  was taken at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada. It is a full- time job caring for this garden and keeping out the weeds to keep it this beautiful.

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Tending to the Weeds

Returning home from the retreat, this: “Your mind is a garden; your thoughts are the seeds. The harvest will bring either flowers or weeds” subject came up overhearing a conversation at a restaurant over dinner. Robert and I had the entire section of the restaurant to ourselves until an older gentleman came in and sat down at the table next to us.

The waiter greeted his customer on a first-name basis and proceeded to take a beverage order from him. When he returned with the man’s drink, the waiter asked him if he had a computer and if he spent time on the Internet. The customer said, “Yes.”

The waiter proceeded to tell him that over the weekend he had gone on the Internet to catch up on some things including looking at his Facebook account. Before he knew it, two hours had flown by. The waiter said, “Isn’t it crazy how time seems to fly by in double time when you get on the computer?” He continued, “We’ve had so much rain that my garden was getting overgrown with weeds. I only had so much daylight to work with over the weekend and I really needed to get out and tend to the weeds or they would have taken over my garden! I had to stop wasting time on the computer!”

Robert and I both heard this exchange and looked at each other. Without saying a word, we smiled because we had grasped the true meaning of the dialogue. The waiter brought our food, and we ate our dinner without sharing our thoughts. The next day I told Robert that I needed to write about the conversation that we overheard at the restaurant. Robert immediately asked, “The one with the waiter and tending to the weeds?”

Are Weeds Taking Over You?

This story was a great illustration of how we choose to spend our time and what is truly most important. If the waiter had spent all afternoon on his computer, the weeds would have continued to take over his garden. He knew that he only had so much time to tend to his weeds and he made the right choice to put an end to his time on the computer.

We live in a busy time with new technological gadgets and media sources popping up every day. Taking enjoyment from a good movie, television program, having a laugh from the latest cat video, reading blogs and keeping up with people on social media is all good as long as it’s not a substitute for doing things that matter. We can use being busy as an escape from some “weeds” that we have to deal with.

What Areas in Your Life Need Tending?

In our lives, what are we not tending to? When we ignore spending quality time with a friend or loved one, our relationships are going to whither. If we fill up our time with mindless, time wasting activities, we will miss out on learning and growing.

We all have gardens that need tending. How does your garden look? Is it beautiful and inviting, or is it overgrown and turns others away? What are areas of your life that need some attention?

If we don’t nurture our mind and have healthy thoughts, we will have no harvest, only weeds.

So, make those seeds of thought blossom.

If racing, anxious, obsessive thoughts clutter your mind, and you need to let go of some weeds, this free Letting Go Meditation can get you started. It’s a great way to sow seeds of peace and clarity.