As I tend to the woefully neglected yet still green plants in my office, I suddenly wondered…
Does the state of my surroundings reflect my mental state?
In my office where so many hours are spent, I focus on calming zen items. A fish tank (with no fish right now), a zen sand ornament – brush and rakes included, soothing scent beads, and plants.
Sometimes my desk is a sheer chaos of piles. (For me, out of sight is out of mind.) Today, I noticed the plants that needed the dead leaves removed, roots sticking out of the pot, dirt as dry as the Mojave desert. My fish tank was also half low because I bring the water from home and kept forgetting. As I tended to these items, I could feel the change in my space here, suddenly felt the feeling of hope – though I’m not sure why. I even planted some tomato seeds.
I’ve been pondering this and realize that the space I’m in, if its in a neglected state it so often coordinates with my feelings about where I am. Work – why am I here? Am I motivated? Am I challenged? Is this the right place to be? Neglected, often reflects I’m doing just enough to get by, though often barely. That I’m not looking for opportunities, studying new things, that I’m caught up in Groundhog Day and my brain is turning to goo.
I have plants at home too. Home should so often be a place to feel safe, to rebuild, to feel comfortable and content. These feelings don’t come from the outside, they come from the inside. Here I tread in difficult waters. So many people have suffered deeply. Sometimes there is no way to shut out the horror around you, not completely. Hopefully for those they have found a way out, a positive environment. It may not be easy, but hopefully it’s safe. Me? I’m in the middle. It took me years to learn that I shouldn’t have to change for other people, walk on eggshells, stop doing what I enjoy. Sometimes I can find my home a haven, sometimes I can’t. That is my journey I’m still working through.
I used to have a large garden, raised beds, meticulous planning. I’d been studying homesteading. Honestly I could eat out of that garden and wouldn’t need much more than that. I also had chickens too with fresh eggs. The chickens grew old and died, the garden now overgrown and neglected. Many repairs are needed but I’ve made none – at times because I wonder where I will be in the future, other times I thought the repairs were beyond me but now realize I have to be the one to do them if they are to be done.
But, what I notice is that my plants in my home once vibrant and green barely receive my attention. That I shelter within myself, am functioning within the real world enough to get by but no more than that. My plants reflect that.
I have plants in SL too, ones that grow. Even in a virtual world, I can feel their essence and their energy – as I can with my plants in real life. They too at times suffer neglect.
Whether at work, home, or in SL at times of stress, confusion, withdrawal, I ignore them, I shut out those feelings, that connection. Sometimes I shut down, almost completely. Sometimes its only work, sometimes its only home, sometimes its SL. My surroundings, the state of my plants, reflect the chaos and the feelings inside of me. Kind of like the defense departments own security status. Defcon 1 – everything is going good. Defcon 5 – everything has gone to hell in a handbasket.
I realize too, that when I’m not nurturing my plants, I’m probably not nurturing myself either. Long baths, painted nails, face masks, updating my wardrobe, updated color before my dark roots are no longer roots.
Plants have an energy, mint is uplifting, chamomile is soothing/tending. We live in a symbiotic relationship with plants and trees, so for me it makes sense that my own mental and emotional state reflects on those I’m charged with nurturing. (My pets don’t fall into this, they are always nurtured and cared for – this seems specific to my surroundings, plants included)
So…perhaps consider this. For each space where you spend time, what is your environment like? Does it foster comfort, creativity, stimulation, safety? Is this a reflection on your own emotions and mindset?
Perhaps you can surround yourself in an environment that stimulates creativity, inspiration. Include the people around you in this. Perhaps, you too will find this an enlightening moment.