Taking time out of a busy schedule

So much of Silver Grey Foliage is rooted in my love of weeding!  

As a training doctor, with children and exams and so much to do and to achieve it often felt like there was little time to breathe and think.  Some of my colleagues ran.  Many of my friends and colleagues went to the gym. Others ate, shopped and drank.

I tried some of these, but none of them left me feeling calm. And then I discovered weeding!  We inherited a garden full of weeds. At first it was an irritation.  Next it was productive. Then it was satisfying.  Finally it was escapism.

Weeding by hand or with a hoe is repetitive. I always focus on one area at a time. Sometimes you need to change your angle and approach, but it rarely requires genuine thought. 

If I follow the process through, I guess there is a sense of purpose in weeding that centres on removing things from the ground that crowd the plants and flowers that you want to see flourish.  Removing the competition of weed growth allows space and freedom which in turn permits you to plant more in those spaces or allow establishing and established plants to increase in size without being restricted.

Time out for me is very similar.  It’s less about what you are doing.  It is more about what the process of doing it allows. Let me explain. When I went out to weed, it started with an intention to make a part of the garden more tidy. It continued with thinking about which green things were weeds and which were plants! I would then set about digging up the weeds and because so many of them were the same it soon stopped being work and quickly gave me a chance to let my mind wander.

Mind wandering? Yes, just allowing my mind to wonder freely as I completed this repetitive activity.  I don’t know about you, but my world is and was so full of busy schedules, deadlines, targets, meetings, school runs, homework, housework and helping/responding to others.  None of these things are bad. And all of these things are necessary to varying degrees. But my brain aches and no matter how many apps I try using to help there are so many things to think about that my mind races constantly. Does this sound familiar?

The process of weeding slowed my mind. It took a while to realise that I was choosing to go and weed!  It took me even longer to work out that the value wasn’t the tidy garden. (I hadn't learnt about mulch then so the weeds quickly grew back!) I was choosing to weed because I enjoyed the freedom and space that it brought.  In modern terms weeding for me was about mindfulness. 

It’s ok. I’m not suggesting that you should go out and start weeding, I know it’s not everyones cup of tea. 

Silver Grey Foliage workshops and kits all involve working with flowers and creating with your hands. The purpose of our workshops and kits is to create a process, and when we are allowed to a space, where you can let your mind wander. You’ll always make something beautiful! You’ll always finish calm and with more space in your mind to bloom and flourish.

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