The Turkey and the Garden

Uncle Eddie is drinking a little too much and grandma can’t hear. There are too many cooks in the kitchen and your cousin’s kid…just pooped near the compost. Yea! It’s Thanksgiving time! That time of year that many of us cling to the possibility that this time…it will be magical. We will have that special holiday feeling. Everyone will get along (and it is going to be magical, by god…if it friggin’ kills all of us…)! Mmmm. Thanksgiving. It is the holiday time.

During your holiday ritual, allow yourself to drift back and think about the time of season that it is.

It is autumn and damn near to winter. Autumn is a time of dying, falling and decomposing, which is followed by winter. Winter is a prolonged period of seeming and literal death, of sleep, of dark. Few leaves are on the trees. Many animals are hiding or have flown to warmer winds. It’s dark and cold and the darkness just seems to linger—like a house guest who has overstayed their visit. Then…just as you begin to entertain the thought that “maybe this year, spring will not actually arrive”, that perhaps the universe is out of kilter and spring shall be no more, it comes. Then, hallelujah! Newness. Birth. More light. Sweet flowers. Green returns (seemingly on one day). Spring. It is mating season…Out of the lingering fall of autumn, through the death of winter, comes life anew in spring. Nature is poetic and beautiful, yes?

If you are the typical American on this uniquely American of days—you might find yourself, as I do, sitting on the couch with the game drearily chattering in the background. Family members bump about in the blur of your wine and turkey stupor. Your pants beg you to let your belt loose. You do. Wow. That feels much better. Much better. Bloated to the gills, you are sleepy, sleepy, sleepy from too much turkey…Foggy brain time.  If you find yourself in a “this year” comatose, allow yourself to mentally hacky sack with this:

How will you choose to change this year?

There will be a ton of changes you will be a part of, of which, you will have little or no control over, whatsoever. No doubt about that. Death may come into your life this year, sickness, promotion, chaos, love, happiness. Who knows yet? We have a forecast of certain change ahead.

Considering how much uncontrollable change is in our lives, what will you control? What change will you CHOOSE to make? What new-ness, of your own deciding and making, will come out of you, as we enter a new calendar year? What part of you might die, be cleared away and made room for something new?

Symbolically, the garden is a symbol of the soul. Doesn’t that make sense? Every time I read, hear or say that, I think, “Yea. That’s right”. My feelings might stem from my loving to be in nature. In the garden, you see a constant show of “Out of death, grows life”. If you look, if you pay attention, you will see new stuff “going on” every day. It is a living, evolving canvas. Any change you make to that garden is temporary, no matter how permanent your intentions.

What mangy growth do you spy in your garden? What plants have appeared, Have any invasive ones? Time to clean out the waste, unless you want to still have that crap around, come spring time. We cut out the overgrowth, the seasonal plants that have expired, the parasites we find. We want to open planting space and prepare for the dramatic return of spring, in order to encourage new, desired growth. We need to clean out, to weed the unwanted or downright poisonous.

What stands in your way from realizing your higher self and your dreams? Let’s not play games. Here is the answer:  You…of course. Just you. It is a frame of mind.

Some find such a thought difficult to accept and own. But, the sooner you do own it, the faster you will begin to grow. Ever desire to be Superman? Ever desire to fly? Well, until you accept that you can fly and will and then log the hours necessary to “figure it all out”, to learn to fly right (like not into buildings and whatnot), then you are grounded, indefinitely.

Get rid of all that is holding you back—whether unhealthy relationships, habits that led to poor health, poor financial structuring, lifestyle choices, etc. Whatever it is, whatever things those are…which are yours, cast them out. There is no room in the boat. With your greatest of gusto, cast them into the sea, just to feel how fast you can row your boat without them.

In the garden, remember that when weeding, unless you get them by the roots, they will come back. Streamline your life and promote only healthy growth in your garden, only life affirming elements. In doing so, you will find a greater peace, balance, health and stillness. Cultivate the positive, life-affirming relationships you have and let go of all that holds you back in any way. Once you let go of that damn heavy luggage attached to your waste (which you may not have even realized you were dragging all this year…at least), you are going to find that you can then run so fast…and skip…. and hop.

Happy Holidays.

Jim Hart

Jim Hart is serves as Director of Arts Entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and is founder of The International Theatre Academy Norway.

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