You are currently viewing Tend the garden of your mind

Tend the garden of your mind

MY MOTHER likes to plant flowers. If you visit my parents’ house, you will find that she has beautiful small plants which she has neatly put in small biodegradable bags. They are usually the first thing she notices each time she gets home when the gate is open and she drives inside the yard. Before she gets in the house, while still in her formal office attire, she would walk in her small garden, remove some weeds she sees (which are usually very few because she does this almost every day).
I know my mother’s passion for plants but I did not really understand why she loved these particular plants so much. Not until recently, when a lot of people started going to my parents’ home to buy these beautiful small umbrella trees to go and plant at their farms or houses.
If you visit my parents’ house today, you will find a nice umbrella tree and some plants neatly arranged in her garden.
A human mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.
Just like my mother takes care of her umbrella plants by constantly watering, exposing to sunlight and keeping them free of weeds, you equally need to tend the garden of your mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers of right, useful and pure thoughts.
You then also need to constantly water these pure thoughts with good books and the company of good thinkers. Every thought-seed that you sow or allow to fall into your mind, and take root there, produces its own, blossoming sooner or later into act, and bearing its own fruitage of opportunities and circumstances. Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruits.
“A man does not come to the almshouse or the jail by the tyranny of fate or circumstances, but by the pathway of groveling thoughts and base desires. Nor does a pure-minded man fall suddenly into crime by stress of any mere external force; the criminal thought had long been secretly fostered in the heart, and the hour of opportunity revealed its gathered power.” James Allen, As a Man Thinketh.
You do not get to find yourself in jail by accident. Even if you are only guilty by association, the point is that deep down inside you there have been those thoughts of having the easy way through life that you entertained, even for a split second.
It was probably because you entertained these thoughts that you started spending time with criminals in the first place.
You did not start drinking alcohol or abusing drugs because someone put a bottle of beer to your lips or shoved some drugs down your throat. You picked that bottle, maybe you did not buy the beer, but you got that bottle, held it to your mouth and drunk what was inside.
You may have that good job in the bank or any other job where you handle money on behalf of your employers.
You decided to steal because you were tempted and you had an emergency at home.
Be as it may, you entertained the slight thought that came into your mind that said, ‘take it, no one is looking, you will pay back.’
Anyhow, circumstances do not make you; it reveals you to yourself. You do not attract that which you want, but that which you are. It is for this reason that you should make it a point to replace any bad negative thoughts with good positive thoughts.
The author is motivational speaker, writer and behaviour change activist.