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What Is Growing in Your Mind Garden?

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"So plastic is mind, so receptive, that the slightest thought makes an impression upon it. People who think many kinds of thought must expect to receive a confused manifestation in their lives. If a gardener plants a thousand kinds of seeds, he will get a thousand kinds of plants: it is the same in mind." -- Dr. Ernest Holmes

One morning, I stepped out onto our second-story balcony and noticed one of our herbal flower boxes had become host to one of the largest weeds I have ever seen (in captivity). We are talking a major league weed here... as large as a rosebush. I probably could have pruned it and kept it as my prize plant. So large was this weed that it had taken over the entire box, choking out the fragile herbs recently planted by my wife. I thought to myself, How on earth could a weed like this become rooted in a second-story flower box and then grow to this proportion? The answer to how it got there is simple: Either the seed of the weed somehow became commingled with the herbal seeds, a bird dropped it, or perhaps the wind simply blew it into the flower box.

Regardless of how it got there, it is no longer there. I lovingly transplanted it into the recycle bin, where, in short order, its offspring shall find residence in a landfill somewhere. How it grew as large as a Volkswagen before it was discovered and removed is simple too: No one had tended to the flower box for several weeks. Potting soil is incredibly receptive to any seeds introduced to it. It has absolutely no discretion when it comes to playing host to seeds; it says "yes" to all of them. The point: An unattended flower box in April can mean unseen havoc for your daffodils in June.

So it is too with your mind: An unattended mind can create havoc for you because your mind is amazingly receptive to whatever suggestions may be dropped into it. It has been said that the subconscious mind cannot take a joke. This simply means that whatever is introduced to it, it takes as serious instruction to grow that thought-seed into a full-blown plant -- be it a rose or a weed, it doesn't care. Just like that receptive potting soil in my flower box, the subconscious mind says "yes" to all seeds planted, positive or otherwise. When you stop and consider how many thought-seeds are blown, dropped, or purposefully planted in your mind on a daily basis, it may cause you to tend to your mental garden with a bit more regularity. In addition to all the seeds that were planted in your mind before you knew you even had one, your mind hears the radio, the TV, or even others talking in a restaurant irrespective of whether you are conscious of it or not. When you engage in gossip or negative conversation with or about others, your subconscious mind hears it all. Here is the hook: It takes it personally... about you. The only way to avoid this type of mind pollution is to be consciously focused on what you want to have planted and growing in your flower box called life. We are talking 24/7 here.

The action you and I need to take is clear, isn't it? It is proven that the human mind thinks thousands of thoughts a day. Instead of planting a mixed bag of thousands of various seeds (confused and unfocused thinking) that will require a full-time gardener to pull up the weeds, specialize in planting one or two types of seed. Plant thought-seeds about yourself and others that are rooted in reverence and loving-kindness. Plant seeds that focus on Infinite Presence at the center and circumference of all you say, think, and do at work, home, or play. Be mindful. Be skillful in the seeds you plant and how you nurture them. Your life is your garden; keep the weeds out because that is one way in which you can personally beautify our world. You owe that much to yourself and to those who receive the benefit of the seeds you drop along the way.

NOTE: This writing is an excerpt from my book, The Art of Being - 101 Ways to Practice Purpose in Your Life, used with permission of the publisher.