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Water Your Flowers, Not Your Weeds

An earlier version of this post was written in 2019 (pre-COVID) and was available on

One of my yoga teachers mentioned this in a recent class I went to. I’d had a bit of a shitty week and to say it resonated with me would be an understatement! It was one of those ‘whoa!’ moments. During the day I’d been thinking about cancelling my class and spending the time trying to destress. But I decided to bite the bullet and go, and I’m glad that I did.

Like a lot of people, I’ve spent many times concentrating on what is going wrong or what is difficult in my life ‘the weeds’, rather than spending my time focusing on what was going right and all the positives in my life ‘the flowers’.

I’ve been beyond lucky this year to be able to pursue interests and activities that have helped me make positive changes in my life. They have helped me to grow and develop, especially in the past six months or so, and I do feel that I’m well on the way to living a more positive and happy life. But in doing so, I’ve also been a bit naive in thinking that I’ll no longer encounter any negativity, either from myself or from other people.

Just because I feel happy, content or positive in any given moment, does not mean that everyone else is going to be feeling the same way. And just because I’ve become a bit more self-aware and choose to tackle situations in a certain way doesn’t mean that everyone else will do the same. My own ego had got in the way of me being able to see that. It meant I’d spent longer in a negative situation that really was bringing no joy to me, and during that ‘shitty’ week had brought nothing but sadness and frustration into my life.

However, we can choose to continue feeding the negatives, or we can choose to help our positives to bloom so we can overcome those types of situations. The yoga class helped me to remember that, and one of the ‘flowers’ I’ve cultivated this year is my yoga practice. I went to the class even though I had been having second thoughts, but I ended up feeling so much better after the class and thinking a lot clearer about the situation I was in. It reminded me that I had so much to be grateful for and that negative people and negative situations are not welcome in my life any more. It reminded me that my time was better off carrying on with my positive activities rather than trying to fix negative ones that were out of my control.

When we start to make changes in our lives, we can have the best of intentions. We can remove toxic influences from our lives, be that people or situations. We can choose to stop engaging with people or behaviours that don’t lead us to positive results. We can choose how we spend our time, by prioritising our development or happiness over unwanted or unnecessary obligations. But what we cannot control is how other people treat us, or the situations that may bring out our negative emotions. Sometimes when that negativity is encountered it can tend to drag us back to the old ‘us’. But, we have to put our egos aside, and remember why we started on this journey to a better and more positive life in the first place.

For a lot of us, myself included, we want to be happier, to enjoy life a little more than maybe we have in the past. To do that we have to continue looking at the positive changes we are making in our lives and nurture them. So, continue watering your flowers, not your weeds…

Harmesch x

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