Getting Clear

My hands are in the dirt. The sun peeks out from behind a cloud and warms the top of my head. The birds sing and chatter in the nearby trees. Seedlings sway in a gentle breeze. I smell the sweet smell of roses as I weed around them.  It is 72°. This is a perfect summer morning in my garden. My senses dance with delight. 

I speak to my plants as I pull weeds. I read somewhere that it helps plants when you talk to them. Maybe this is a sign that I have been spending too much time alone. My garden looks better this year, than it has for a long time. It is a result of staying home and sheltering in place. I hear the same thing from other gardeners who have more time at home.

For me gardening is about connection. Here I connect with my mother and aunts who loved planting flowers. I connect with Divine energy that pulses through everything. I connect with the rhythms of life. I am at peace.

Harmony is hard to find these days. Shockwaves still surround us as our world jerks from pandemic to racial tensions. My heart longs for places of peace. I find them when I garden.  Nature always offers a way to connect with the larger patterns of life.

Journaling, mindfulness and HeartMath are techniques I find helpful to maintain inner-peace. Recently, I discovered Nonviolent Communication. Immediately I was interested. Our world has lost its way when it comes to communicating. Words seem more like spears that we hurl at each other. We need to rediscover how they can help us to connect.

Non-violent Communication has been around for decades. Marshall Rosenberg created the process and has taken it into many war-torn areas. In those places communication has been completely lost. As I read his words my eyes and my heart were opened to a deeper way of speaking. I love the basis of his work. He says that humans have a deep need to contribute to each other’s aliveness.

Did you ever notice that expression of your feelings is not the whole story? When we drop under a feeling there is an unmet need. This is what Rosenberg is so good at pointing out. Identifying that unmet need helps us get clear about what we want. When we become clear about what we want, we are more likely to receive what we need.

I especially love his statement about needs. Most of us look at our needs as a burden for others. He said, “Needs are a precious gift that allow others the chance to contribute to us.”

I really encourage you to take time to explore Nonviolent Communication. The organization’s website: He has written many books and has lots of his teachings on YouTube. We need to learn how to speak to each other with our hearts open listening carefully to each other.

What I have learned already has helped me. It is not only war-torn countries that have difficulty communicating. Even couples that have been together for 60 years hit communication bumps. It happened for us last week. I could identify my feelings. It was not until I looked a little deeper that I discovered an unmet need. Communicating my unmet need to Don helped me get unstuck. It takes practice. I will keep reading and listening to Dr. Rosenberg’s teachings.

Tomorrow morning, l will return to my garden. I will pull weeds, deadhead flowers and whisper to roses. I will gather a bouquet to bring into our kitchen. And I will pray for all of us that we find places of peace. May we also discover what we need. May we speak our needs as we align with our hearts. May we be curious and caring about each others’ needs.