The Zen of Pruning

The Zen of Pruning

I have been doing some heavy spring pruning lately, and I tend to dislike making big, drastic cuts on plants – it seems so…final. Then there’s a gap where that branch used to be. But this week, as I was removing quite a bit of dead branches out of several lavenders, I thought about how it is beneficial in the end – you are removing what is no longer serving that plant, and as a result, encouraging healthy new growth.

The same could be said for us people as well. Removing nasty old habits, emotional clutter, harmful relationships, and, in my case, negative and deprecating thought patterns in favor of cultivating new, healthy growth is a continual practice. Sometimes its hard..really hard…but that’s part of the human experience. Parts of our lives grow, then begin to fade. Cutting out what doesn’t serve us gives us room for other parts, or new parts of our lives to thrive.

Of course this metaphor only goes so far…our individual problems aren’t branches that can just be clipped away and tossed onto a heap. Instead, we have choices. We are constantly faced with choices, and it’s up to us to pick what’s best. I will end with a quote from actress Meryl Streep – one that I found to be resonant with the message of this post.

“Put blinders on to those things that conspire to hold you back, especially the ones in your own head.”

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