Grow a Life You Love

How? By weeding and seeding your personal ‘garden.’

By Dr. James Rouse

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Now that spring has sprung, it’s a great opportunity to take a look at your personal “garden”—how are you create, build and grow a life you love? One way to do this is a practice I call “weed and seed.” Take a piece of paper, and label two columns: “Weed” and “Seed.” Under “Weed,” note things that no longer serve you that you would like to remove from your personal garden. Under “Seed,” write down what you want more of in life. Then work to follow each list, weeding out the unhealthy habits and behaviors that are choking your garden and planting seeds of healthful and happy rituals that will lead you to grow a more fulfilling life.

Looking for ideas to write down? I’ve broken it down into “power of three” subcategories—physical, mental and spiritual—to get you started.

1. Physical

Science shows the more sedentary our days are, the shorter our life expectancy. In the “Weed” column, consider noting things like too much time sitting behind your desk, excessive TV watching or not getting enough exercise. Ideas under “Seed” could be working at a standing desk versus sitting, doing 25 jumping jacks during every TV commercial or getting out for a walk over lunch whenever possible.

2. Mental

In this category, weeds could be negative people, gossip, and interacting too much via email, texting or social media. On the flip side, seeds could be uplifting relationships, affirmative speech and face-to-face engagement without cell phones or computers. An interesting study of people talking in person revealed a rise in levels of stress hormones when a cell phone was visible any place nearby during the conversation.

3. Spiritual

Negative self-talk is a large weed in many personal gardens. The average American has 50,000–60,000 thoughts daily and, according to research, the majority are fault-finding, discriminatory and self-oppressive. To counteract this, add “mental floss” (clearing out bad thoughts) and mindfulness as seeds that will help you remove any dialogue that hinders growth in your personal garden.

The cofounder of  Optimum Wellness, Dr. James Rouse has a doctorate in naturopathic medicine. He is an inspirational speaker, personal coach, author and the cofounder of Skoop, a line of powdered superfoods.

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