In December last year, we bought a new home. With the white snow cover, it all looked beautiful and held the magic of the new. As spring came and the snow melted, we discovered a large patch of lawn that wasn’t greening up as expected.
So instantly, coming from Germany it brought up a lot for me…
- What are the neighbors going to say? The lawn needs to be perfect. Anything less is a reflection on our worth as a human.
- It is all about keeping up appearances. It can be messy inside, but the outside needs to be flawless.
- Women are responsible for the flowers and the garden and it is a mirror of reproducing and raising the new, so obviously I failed as a woman and a wife.
- The external beauty is the only representation of our happiness and abundance. Where I come from in Germany we have annual contests for the most beautiful garden.
Now my soul searching begins, looking at the old way and a new way of being.
This is where shame shows up for me. I teach people that the outside nature mirrors the inner. And here I‘m staring at a big wound in my backyard. What does that say about me and how do the old wounds influence the way I see the world?
I reacted as we all do: I was in denial about it for weeks. I looked at the beauty around it and marveled at the flowers. Until I could simply not deny it anymore.
There was a big dead spot in my backyard.
I looked at it for countless hours. Sat close to it and gazed at it from a distance. I was sitting wondering: “Don‘t we all have that dead spot in our internal backyard that we keep denying?”
Now it’s time that I practice what I preach. What does that say about me? Let‘s face it: In the past 16 months I have moved countries and left everything I have behind: Culture, belongings, my career, my closest friends and family, my native language. People very close to me have passed. I let go of a physical place that gave me sanctuary. I have transplanted myself on all levels.
Listening to all the above, the dead spot in my yard loses its grip. By naming what it is and what it is standing for, I open up new ways and perspectives.
What I looked at as flaw, shaming me, turns into endless opportunity. It just is. It is an ending, that needs to be grieved. A liminal space before the new comes.
I went out and bought new seed and spread it on the lawn. The past two weeks I have been caring for it. Practicing patience and knowing that it is not an outward symbol of my failings as a woman and wife. I can choose how I deal with it. I can choose to see the beauty where there is none for now. For something new to grow I need to acknowledge what ended and not just cover it up or trying to fix it.
It is about seeing it, owning it, figuring out what the seeds of the new are, spreading it and tending to it patiently.
I know the outer mirrors the inner, so it made me wonder where each of us have a dead spot. What are we willing to do about these dead spots in our lives? Are we allowing the shame and the fear to control us, or do we work up the courage to see it, grieve it and plant new seeds?
I know that what I planted in my backyard will take time to grow and needs care and love to flourish.
With my sharing I encourage you to reflect on:
What is it that is ending for you?
You can use an intentional walk in nature to reflect on the question. Take your Journal with you and write down thoughts. It does not have to be perfect or complete. For some people drawing is a way to get to a deeper place. Naming it, getting it on paper in whatever form is the first step to your healing.
Are there places in nature you find that mirror your wounding, pain and possibilities?
Go and explore these places. What intrigues you about this place? Observe nature. Take different perspectives. Up close and further away. What do you see and what does nature teach you about incorporating wounds? It can be a tree that was struck by lightning or something that you see in your backyard. Get curious. Observe and reflect.
What are the old beliefs that hold you back to really look at what is obvious?
We all have beliefs that are deeply ingrained in our system. Be it cultural or through our upbringing. For me it is this need for perfection on the outside. I have recently rephrased my core belief in: “Things do not have to be perfect on the outside. I can be vulnerable, that is what makes me authentic.”
What are beliefs you have? Start a list and see which one stands out the most. Rephrase it into something positive and work with it as a daily mantra for the next 30 days.
These are just some ideas and it is a starting point of going deep. As a coach myself I do get help when I go into deep work. I work with my Coach to help me reflect. There are a lot of places we can go alone, but with some guidance on our side we can be braver and more effective faster.
The deeper we go, the higher we fly.