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thoughts are like seeds plant flowers pull weeds

Removing the Weeds

The B. Well garden is growing! I am amazed! As a novice gardener, I was not confident that anything would really grow; but, then…IT DID! I went from a patch of dirt, to a patch of dirt with plants growing from it. It is a wonderful experience!

There were plants blossoming in a row and there were also plants growing outside of the rows. As I am new to gardening, I was hesitant to pull the weeds because I could not differentiate between the weeds, I did not want, and the plants I wanted. I concluded that I would wait a few weeks for everything to grow more before I started weeded the garden. Within two weeks, I could distinguish the plants from the weeds. With the help of my assistant, Ellesse, and my awesome interns, Saniah and Kimmy, I weeded the garden….and that got me thinking about weeding in every aspect of life.

Weed is defined as, “a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants.” I realized that wild things grow in every aspect of our lives and we must be intentional about removing weeds from our mind, body, and spirit. As an integrative wellness and life coach, I will explore weeding in the four areas of well-being:

Mental

It is often said, “Your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.” Mental weeds include negative thoughts, engaging toxic images or music (ex. pornography, music with negative messages), living in the past (depression) or in the future (anxiety). Remember what you put in your mind, is what will come out. What are the weeds in your mind that impede your mental health? Be intentional about protecting your mind. Listen to positive music, place affirmations around your desk and home, speak kindly to yourself, focus on the positives, and practice gratitude. Plant positivity throughout your life.

Emotional

Emotional weeds develop when we choose to stay stuck in “negative” feelings for too long. Feeling angry, sad, disappointed, depressed, or even anxious sometimes is normal and healthy. However, ruminating on those feelings is unhealthy. Get out of the weeds! Staying angry about the past will negatively affect your life. Weed the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s from your emotional garden. If you want to grow the emotional flowers of love, acceptance, joy, peace, and abundance you must pull the weeds of anger, disappointment, and judgement from your life. Weeding is hard work. Gordon B. Hinckley reminds us, “Without hard work nothing grows but the weeds.” Though it might be difficult to release it, because letting go is hard, it is necessary for you to feel good again.

Physical

Toxic relationships, unhealthy food, disorganization, or unfulfilling work are some of the weeds in the physical aspect of our lives. If we want to experience more productivity, it behooves us to create organization where there is a mess. This might mean organizing your car or garage, or cleaning up your house. It could also mean removing the weeds of negative people from your intimate circle. Remember, reaching your highest potential has everything to do with removing the weeds.

Gardeners have to remove the weeds because the weeds have the potential to suffocate or overwhelm the plants. The weeds get in the way! The weeds have to go! To meet your weight goals, you must remove the weeds of junk food from your home, and replace it with healthy foods that honor your body. To attract a new relationship, you have to pull the weeds of the old one out of your garden. Pulling the weeds does not mean just getting out of the relationship, it includes getting rid of the mental and emotional stuff that the relationship likely left behind: unforgiveness, resentment, anger, and negative thoughts. Eliminate the things you don’t need. They will hinder your growth.

Spiritual

There are also weeds in our spiritual lives. It is important to clear your energy on a regular basis. Otherwise the spirit of depression, unforgiveness, poverty, abuse, or laziness can overtake your life. Clearing your energy should be a daily practice. There are lots of options to cleanse yourself spiritually. These include:

Burning sage in your home.

These are just a few of many options. Pick one and add it to your daily routine.

Remember, removing the weeds has to be part of the gardening process. Where there are flowers, there will be weeds. It is your job to commit to removing the weeds regularly. If you need support in learning to tend to your mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical garden, I am here. Tend to your garden. Keep growing!

#46 The Mind is a Fertile Garden

“The mind is a fertile garden – it will grow anything you wish to plant – beautiful flowers or weeds. And it is with successful, healthy thoughts or negative ones that will, like weeds, strangle and crowd the others. Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind, for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.”

Bruce Lee had a really strong practice of planting seeds of beautiful flowers in the fertile mind. Often we have people come into the office to look through Bruce’s journals and they wonder where his writings on his doubts and struggles are, and Shannon tells them that these don’t exist. Bruce had a regimented practice of keeping his mind on the things that he wanted instead of the things he didn’t.

Sometimes we find ourselves complaining, to others, in our journals, and in our thoughts. Our thoughts are energy, so if you are repeatedly bombarding yourself with negativity, then you are repeatedly creating negative energy.

We are more willing to keep track of our failures rather than our successes. Bruce would turn anything that did not feel like success into a learning moment, converting it into something that would lead towards success. He would keep focused on the things that he wanted saying:

“You will never get anymore out of life that you expect.”

Optimism takes effort, it is a practice, especially in the face of difficulties.

“If you think a thing is impossible, you’ll make it impossible. Pessimism blunts the tools you need to succeed.”

If you’re constantly worrying about all the possible bad scenarios, it takes you out of the moment. These “what if” scenarios might never happen, but they can distract and worry us.

“Suffering is mostly self-manufactured.”

There is an illusion that thinking of all the ways something can go wrong will somehow defend against it. This is a really depressing way to live and it takes away from your ability to be spontaneous and takes away your faith in yourself to navigate your own life.

“Suffering itself does less to afflict the senses than the anticipation of suffering.“

We waste a lot of time on the anticipation of suffering, and this act actually causes us more suffering. If you’re always guarding against any kind of suffering, you are guarding against the ability to learn and grow. We often go into these thoughts automatically, and part of the practice is to plant the good seeds into fertile mind, make a practice of putting the right things in your mind.

“What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”

Your habitual response is in your subconscious mind, so if you make an effort to shape that in a positive direction, then more outcomes will be positive.

You have to become aware of your own negative thoughts and self-talk. Take these negative thoughts and convert them to positive thoughts or to neutral thoughts if that is too big of a leap.

For example change “I don’t have enough money,” to “I am in the process of earning plenty of money.”

It’s good to know your negative thoughts because then you can change those thoughts to neutral or positive ones. The awareness is the first process towards changing those thoughts to positive ones.

Your words have power, whether they’re in your head, written on paper, or said out loud. Bruce was always intentional about the words that he chose and would constantly rewrite and refine his writings. Use the words that you want to use that are positive, because they have power and energy.

The mind is neutral but it will grow anything you plant, including negative or positive thoughts. So much of why people feel distracted these days is because there are so many negative thoughts rolling around in our heads and these thoughts distract us from what we’re supposed to do.

“The thought of a distracted mind cannot be sincere.”

“One who is possessed by worry not only lacks the poise to solve his own problems, but by his nervousness and irritability creates additional problems for himself and those around him.”

Every time we retell our problem stories to others, we are putting that negativity on that person too. It is important to be aware of that, even though it is good to have people close to us we can vent to, if we habitually dump our negativity it can wear down those around us.

“Without frustration, you will not discover that you might be able to do something on your own. We grow through conflict.”

We try and cocoon ourselves against any sort of pain, but it’s through struggle that we learn. It builds your confidence if you pick yourself up after falling, but if you never allow yourself to fall you become too afraid to try anything.

“Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”

We create almost all of our own suffering; we manufacture it in our own minds. You have the control over what you allow to make you suffer. It’s not what happens in our life but how we react. We experience pain and hardship, but we can create how we respond to that pain and hardship. Once we’ve worked through hardship, we know that we can do it again and it helps minimize our fear and anxiety.

“I begin to appreciate now the old saying “he can because he thinks he can.” I believe that anybody can think himself into his goal if he mixes thought with definiteness of purpose, persistence and a burning desire for its translation into reality.”

With your mind as a fertile garden: If you imagine yourself in front of a rich soil garden, with a handful of seeds (your thoughts) ask yourself each day, what are these seeds going to grow?

“Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind.”

Take Action:

Become aware of your negative thoughts. Know what they are, think about any place in your life where you are struggling. Take anything you are having negative thoughts about and make a list on a piece of paper. Then on the other side of the paper take the time to write the negative thoughts as positive ones. Example: Change “I don’t have enough money” to “I am in the process of finding a way to make more money.” Or whatever the positive version of that negative thought is, and then you can return to this list to affirm what you want. Allow yourself to be in the process of attaining what you want and revisit this list once in the morning and once at night. This will help shift everything.

If you’d like to share how you’re doing with this action item you can email us at [email protected]

(Awesome Asians and Hapas)

Steven Ho

This week our #AAHA shout-out goes to Chinese American Steven Ho, martial artist, stunt coordinator, stuntman, director, writer, co-founder of interior design firm, and member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He has followed his passions with a positive attitude, and he came to prominence in martial arts as one of the first martial arts tricksters in open martial art competitions. He is well regarded for his stunt work as Donatello in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He and his wife founded Plush home, a successful interior and furniture design firm. Steven, we admire your positive, Bruce-like energy, and we want to say you’re awesome!

#BruceLeeMoment

This week we our #BruceLeeMoment is from listener Anthony S.:

“Hello Shannon and the Bruce Lee Foundation family,

I just wanted to say thank you for what you are doing, especially with Sharon and the podcasts. I’ve listened to half of them and they give me motivation through your father’s message and affirmations. I’ve recently graduated college at the untraditional age of 28 and sometimes it’s difficult to stay motivated, often feeling like “my time is running out” or “I’m not 20 anymore and the world is not quite as open.” I have many ambitions whether it would be music, martial arts, acting etc. and I only seem to get to the “dream phase” of what my life could be. These messages you share give me hope in a way to say to myself “it’s never too late,” and I am grateful for that. Yet, half of me still wants to settle and take the first job/career that just gets me by. I know I would never find true happiness and serenity choosing that path. I firmly believe if I engrain or instill your father’s message over and over my subconscious will take over and I will follow my own path to happiness and peace of mind.

Pulling Weeds and Planting Flowers in Your Mind

Imagine your very own, private flower garden brimming with the brightest, most beautiful of your favorite flowers. See it in your mind. Mine is full of happy yellow sunflowers. If you don’t weed your garden regularly, crabgrass and all kinds of unwelcome weeds will sprout up. Without any maintenance, the weeds will hungrily take over choking out all the beautiful flowers.

Your mind is like a garden. With regular practice, you can learn to take care of your mental sanctuary by pulling weeds and planting flowers in the garden of your mind.

To gradually replace negative implicit memories with positive ones, just make the positive aspects prominent and relatively intense in the foreground of your awareness while simultaneously placing the negative material in the background. Imagine that the positive contents of your awareness are sinking down into old wounds, soothing chafed and bruised places like a warm golden salve, filling up hollows, slowly replacing negative feelings and beliefs with positive ones.

You know that pesky, ongoing, negative mental chatter made up of your subconscious thoughts, beliefs, and feelings? While some of the material is from the present and some from the recent past, most of this background noise is made up of implicit and explicit memories of childhood.

Hanson suggests that we become aware of and familiar with our “usual suspects” or the recurring thoughts that cause upsets and problems for us. To continue with the garden analogy, you have to find the root of the weed. Once you do, you need to infuse positive material, the weed killer, onto it.

You don’t want to resist painful memories and experiences grasping at more pleasant ones because this practice will only lead to its own kind of suffering. The goal is to pair and eventually replace the negative material with more positive emotions and perspectives, the blooming flowers in your mental garden.

How To Plant Flowers In Your Mind

For example, if not feeling good enough is one of your common negative themes, when this thought shows up, consciously recall a specific time when you felt more than good enough. Really recall the feeling of it. Give the experience the power of language and verbalize it or journal about it. Make it into an affirmation. Do this a couple more times in the following hour and every time you’re aware of the “not good enough” feeling showing up.

Scientific studies show that a negative memories are especially vulnerable to being changed after they’re recalled.

For me, my most troublesome weed is a general fear of the future and dread of the unknown. Can I handle it? How will it turn out? “(Whatever “it” is.) What if the worst happens? When these anxious thoughts pop into my head, I remind myself that I have recovered from a serious brain injury with no professional guidance by sheer determination and tenacity. If I can do that, I can handle most anything that life throws at me. I know that I’ll figure it out. And you know what? I really do believe that!

You can pull weeds and plant flowers in your mind anywhere at any time. Over time, through neuroplasticity, the ability of your brain to change its structure and function based on your repeated behaviors, emotions, and thoughts, this practice will actually change your brain building new more positive pathways –and some beautiful gardens!