Something happened here but it didn’t happen overnight.
As a gardener I have been working on an old homestead garden for two days every week for around two years. When I first started, the garden was in bad shape. Over grown with weeds, dead trees and sick looking plants it needed a program of consistent attention and recovery.
There is an old rose with branches the size of my arm. Thick stems tangle themselves over a fence with a few red roses at the end. Over the last two winters I have pruned the old dear. Wire brushing away the old bark, moss and lichen, and giving it fertiliser, there are now new buds appearing and lush growth.
In a few years time that old rose will have blooms all over it. It will be spectacular.
Over time the garden is recovering. The plants are looking healthier, roses are growing and sending out new and beautiful blooms.
A large compost heap, watering system quenching thirsty summer roots, and harsh but needed pruning.
The garden is alive because there has been a consistency to the care.
It isn’t haphazard, it is deliberate, well thought out and actioned on.
It is being mindful of what can be done today and focusing in on that.
Recovery from a traumatic event and growing a bountiful life whilst having a mental illness is possible. Though it won’t happen at the snap of your fingers or anyone else’s.
It’s a case of being consistent in a few small life building habits. Repeated they are so ground into your brain so much that if you didn’t do them you would just know that something is not right.
In writing this blog it has been a consistent habit of mine to write every week now for the 4 past years.
When I have finished writing, editing, doing the images etc I push send and it feels good, real good. My brain has picked up on the this ‘good feeling’ and so now when I come to thinking about writing the next post it’s like something is sown in me.
My mind starts to dwell, churn and mull over it. Round and round it goes until I just have to write it down. Then I start to build on it, pour over it. When I don’t do this it’s like this pressure builds up in me. I just have to write and get it out.
What habits are you building on today that with consistent repetition will bloom and bless in years to come.
Here is an idea I have been mulling over the past few months. I would like to write a daily devotional ebook focusing in on the principles of recovery found in the Book of Nehemiah.
If you’re not familiar with the story of Nehemiah it is a story of recovery, a rebuilding of a nations sense of who they were. The city walls of Jerusalem had been torn down and destroyed. The personhood of the city had been violated, corrupted and left exposed.
Go deep into the soul of anyone abused and traumatised and you will soon discover a city where the walls of the self have been scaled, pulled apart and left as rubble.
Nehemiah, an exiled slave to a foreign King, is burdened by a call to rebuild the glory of the city. So, with the blessing of the King, he travels back to Jerusalem and begins the rebuild. The people join him and stone upon stone is laid down. A consistency of construction rings out. I can imagine a song is being sung by the labourers that chimes in perfectly with which stone being laid. The work has its own pace and beat until it is finished.
One of those principles from Nehemiah is this
Recovery happens stone by stone, one at a time, layer upon layer.
The consistency of construction builds a life of strength.
There is a rhythm to this rebuild. As sure as Spring follows Winter, there is a rhythm that we need to connect in with.
I have isolated these rhythms to five core beats that we can build around.
- The Rhythm of Rest
- The Rhythm of Nourishment
- The Rhythm of Alignment
- The Rhythm of Connection
- The Rhythm of Creativity
Here is the challenge
What is the one thing you can do in each of these rhythms everyday?
Not hope to do, should do, or might do, but can actually do.
Make a pattern of a building small little ‘can do’ habits into your daily life. Grow your life into flourishing garden. Build a life of resilience, power and strength.
Quotes to consider
- The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine. Mike Murdock
- It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently. Anthony Robbins
- Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals. Jim Rohn
- What I do every day matters more than what I do once in a while. Gretchen Rubin
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