Sweat, dirt and sun are some of the best ingredients for a giggle fit.
A tool that I use, to help assess whether or not Iʼm meeting my basic needs throughout the day, is the “Body Dashboard”. As if you were checking your car dashboard, you check your body dashboard. The dashboard contains areas for rest, hydration, blood sugar level, elimination (sweat, tears, laughing, digestive elimination), time in nature/fresh air, and exercise. Check this throughout the day, and make a commitment to fulfilling these needs as best you can. If you notice youʼre feeling off, mentally, emotionally, or physically, check your dashboard! Spend some time gardening, and youʼll check four areas of the dashboard during just one activity.
Talking to the squirrels, the birds, the worms, and the plants, makes life more interesting, and everything seems to work better.
Relationships are all around us, all of the time. Acknowledging and nourishing our relationships, including those with our furry friends and green allies, strengthens our community and reinforces our sense of belonging. The illusion of separateness dissolves when we remember our inherent interconnection to all things.
Naming squirrels, and then successfully distinguishing between them, is a superpower I have yet to acquire.
Training our senses to recognize details, and testing ourselves with memory games keeps us on our toes and our minds sharp! And at the end of the day, when you still canʼt tell the difference between those cute little creatures, consider that maybe squirrels donʼt need names.
A wheelbarrow is more important than I ever dreamed.
Seriously. Why work harder when you can work smarter? I think of the wheelbarrow as finding the balance between effort and ease, as in yoga asana, where we play with the balance between strength (sthira), and, ease (sukha). As yogis and yoginis, we pay close attention to how weʼre utilizing our energy. We notice when overworking or pushing too hard, or, when we could use a little fire under our ass. We aim towards the optimal balance of effort and effortlessness. So, after carrying that 10th bucket of gravel across the yard, we should probably decide to go get a frickinʼ wheelbarrow.
Digging gravel is more challenging than most things.
Akin to all of lifeʼs challenges, digging gravel is worse when your cursing and resisting the experience, and itʼs better when you have good form and a good attitude.
Why is there so much gravel?
Some questions canʼt be answered. I’m reminded of some advice that one of my teachers gave me, in response to an existential crisis that I was experiencing, and the inquiries that accompanied it. That teacher replied, “The material you are working with can’t be worked through with thinking. You need to be still, and quiet, and let these things unfold on their own”. I’m not sure what possessed those geniuses to dump a couple truckloads of pointy, glass-like gravel all over, what is now, MY beautiful yard, but I’m not going to dwell on it.
Thereʼs stuff buried in your yard.
Just like the random shoes, snorkel and carpet found buried in my garden (yes, I found carpet in my yard), we all have elements of our persona that we donʼt express outwardly, and, sometimes we donʼt even know exist. We can call the collection of all these parts (of our personality) our “Inner Community”. Recognizing and acknowledging the shadow aspects of our own, Inner Community helps to make our life experiences more cohesive and meaningful, and can help us make better decisions. Dig down … open your eyes and embrace all of YOUR Inner Community members.