Victoria Day weekend, observed by most of Canada since 1845, celebrates Queen Victoria’s birthday on May 24. Many people are unaware that Canada is the only country in the world to celebrate Victoria Day, often referred to as the ‘May Two-Four’ long weekend. Despite the date reference of May 24, this holiday always falls on the second last Monday of May between the dates of 18th and the 24th. Traditionally, in Queen Victoria’s lifetime, her birthday was celebrated with picnics, fireworks, parades, sports competitions and the firing of cannons.
Canadians eagerly await the Victoria Day long weekend as it is generally considered the time to start planting gardens. Gardeners have been preparing the soil for planting seeds, young plants and flowers with a vision of their gardens filled with bountiful vegetables, fragrant herbs and brightly coloured annuals. The weekend is celebrated with enthusiasm as local garden centres and nurseries bustle with activity. This year is no different other than the endless lineup of people awaiting entry into the buildings where rows of coloured plants and young seedlings are organized in row after row, awaiting purchase to be planted in well-prepared beds of soil.
‘How to Garden’ books, and magazines laying out month-by-month guides for planting vegetable gardens are featured by the cashier’s booths. Coloured boxes of fertilizers for any planting scenario can be found neatly stacked along the front aisles in the stores, waiting to catch the wandering eyes of the next customer waiting in line to pay for their purchases.
On the May 24th long weekend, gardeners envision their summer’s bounty of bright red tomatoes, green bean bushes, butter yellow summer squash, and sweet ripening strawberries sprinkled throughout their golden straw beds. We imagine our flower beds exploding with fresh colour backdropped with various hues of green foliage. Reaping the rewards of having a strong and healthy garden requires that we prepare fertile soil, plant seeds, feed the growing plants and clear out any growing weeds. A garden needs water, sunlight, and nutrition to flourish throughout the season. Only then will we fully enjoy the success of a bountiful garden.
‘Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds’.
For our garden to grow healthy and strong the first step is to enrich the soil by making sure it has adequate nutritional content for the seeds and plants to establish a strong foundational root system.
Our mind is like a garden. To grow a healthy and strong mind we need to take in nutrients and find time to exercise. These are foundational supports for our brain and our body. A healthy diet and exercise create a strong and resilient body and mind. Just as the nutrients rich soil is the foundational support for strong and resilient plants in our gardens, healthy food and exercise create a rich foundational environment for our body and our mind to thrive.
Growing a robust garden requires planning and organization. Creating the garden we envision will require us to choose the right seeds and consider what each plant or seed requires for healthy growth. We need to consider the required space between each plant or seed placed in the soil. If planted too close to each other the garden will be crowded and sunlight to each plant will be limited. Crowded plants also encourage pests and disease.
Just like choosing the right seeds to grow a healthy and robust garden, it is important to choose the right thoughts to create a healthy and robust mind. If the garden of our mind is crowded and busy with disempowering thoughts, we will be unable to have a healthy and productive mind. A crowded mind sets us up for stress and overwhelm threatening our emotional and mental health. To create a healthy, calm and productive mind we need to learn to choose positive and empowering thoughts that supports our body and mind so that we can create the life we envision for ourselves.
It is important to know how deep each seed or plant should be planted in the soil. If seeds are planted too deep in the soil they may not reach the warmth, moisture, sunlight and air that it needs to germinate, come to the surface and flourish fully.
Just like seeds that are planted deep in the soil of our garden, our limiting or disempowering beliefs are often deeply planted in our mind. Once we become aware of our limiting beliefs we can take organized and planned actions to gently expose those beliefs that have been limiting our growth and our ability to live life fully. With newfound clarity we can replant new empowering seeds of beliefs to create a happier and more fulfilling life.
A garden is a great metaphor for our mind. Are you aware of what is growing in the garden of your mind? How do you cultivate a strong and positive mind?
What seeds do you choose to plant in your garden? When we plant our garden with the right seeds at the start of the season we will create the garden we envision. Seeds are like intentions. If you want to have inner strength, be positive and experience joy and happiness we need to start with planting those seeds of intention in our mind. Just like those seeds we need to plant the right intention in the garden of our mind to create a positive result. Get clear about the person you would like to be and what you would like to accomplish and then plant those seeds in your mind!
What do you choose to feed your garden? When you feed the plants in your garden with plant food, fertilizer and water you are nourishing your garden encouraging the plants to grow healthy and strong.. Deprive your garden of the basic nutrients and you pay for it with smaller, less productive plants. Just like the garden we need to feed our minds with healthy food, a healthy environment and water if we expect it to grow healthy and strong.
What weeds will you allow to grow in your garden? Weeds start off small and if noticed early can be dealt with easily. If we ignore those weeds, or if we are unaware of the weeds, it will only be a matter of a short time before they take over our garden and stunt the growth of our flowers and plants. Weeds can take over our garden, just like negative thoughts can take over our mind. Negative thoughts can start small but grow quickly. They can start to interfere with our lives holding us back from the growth that’s available to us and from living life fully. Too many negative thoughts will override positive thoughts. Imagine what happens to a garden if nobody tends to the overgrown weeds? Weed your garden and your mind to provide a healthy environment. Weeding will help your garden bloom.
Awareness is the first step to changing the garden of your mind. Choosing the right thoughts and intentions for your mind is like choosing the right seeds and environment for your garden. Your mind is a garden. Will you grow flowers or will you grow weeds?
Simone Usselman-Tod is a Stress Management and Mindset Breakthrough Coach. She integrates the wisdom and knowledge from her 30 year medical career and a holistic business and coaching practice Simone help her clients to achieve results and change their lives. For general inquiries or assessment tools book a call at https://simoneusselmantod.com/book/
Simone facilitates the Wild About Wellness Community online where members passionate about holistic health and wellness come together to share information, educate and contribute for the purpose of learning and growing. You are invited to explore the site with a free 1 month membership. Get your 1 month free membership HERE