We can live quite contentedly in a home without a garden. However, at some point, we may feel the need to connect with nature and a garden can be an excellent complement to our homes. A garden can beef-up our homes’ curb appeal, add beauty to the harsh concrete surroundings, inspire us to appreciate the wonder of nature and provide a level of comfort, contentment and fulfillment to our lives. Of course, we don’t happen upon a lovely garden. It takes a decision, a vision and a design before we can set to work and grow a garden.
In the midst of the complex busyness of our daily lives, we might detect a growing dissatisfaction with the hurried pace and harsh realities. We might yearn for something more, something different, to give our lives purpose, generate passion and infuse excitement. After much thought, we might decide that a dream will provide the perfect complement to our personality, our abilities, our interests and the seeming ordinariness of our daily lives. Of course we don’t happen upon a dream.
Sounds familiar? Much like we grow a garden to add curb appeal and complement the exterior façade of our homes, we can grow a dream to enliven and fill out our lives.
Identify it. To grow a lush garden you should know the kind of garden you want and why you want it. And it is the same with a dream or you could find yourself knee-deep in a dream that does not flourish but strains and drains your internal and external resources – creativity, time, commitment, physical and emotional energy and finances. It may elicit negative attention and attract toxic people. The dream doesn’t have to be grand, responsible for changing the world or making you rich and famous. However, it should be intricately tied to your heart and reflect the essence of who you are and what makes you happy. It should be a representation of your ideal life, your purpose and passion. The dream you choose may materialize exactly as you define it. Or, it may blossom wild, beautiful and sprinkled with extras you never imagined.
Picture it. What begins as a thought to linger over or an idea to pursue needs a visual representation to keep the details in sharp focus – how you want it to look and how you will incorporate it into the design of your life. If you don’t create a visual of your dream with specific details, you may miss vital elements that could affect how you plan to achieve it and use it. Don’t limit your vision to a picture frame. Stretch the image to give it height, width and depth. Make sure that it is so realistic that you can walk through it and experience it. Take some time to sit alone, close your eyes, conjure the image and walk through it in real time. See, hear, smell, taste and touch it to see if it fits you and if you can live the dream.
Design it. Before the work begins you must have a design or blueprint to help you decide on the estimated completion/achievement date, work schedule, resources, support team and contingency matters, which may stall the process or force you to alter your plans. Keep in mind that the design should incorporate as much detail as possible. A detailed design helps to ensure that the actual work phase moves along smoothly and problems can be dealt with expeditiously.
As a garden complements a home, so a dream can complement your life. Why don’t you grow a dream?
(Published in the Womanwise Magazine, Sunday 18th November 2012)