Following the question from part #1, now it’s time for some practical examples from my personal journey (which is still ongoing). If I had to pick only three fruits …
- Love yourself.
(Be kind to yourself, as if you would be kind to a beloved partner.)
- Embrace your fears.
(Do not fear your fears. See them, accept them, play with them – they are a part of you.)
(Stay in touch with yourself, and thus also with the world around you – they are the same.)
Now … great. It’s not like we haven’t heard that numerous times! And yet these are the three things I would pick. I’ll elaborate later. As for the approach to grow these fruits:
- Be patient and persistent.
(Be patient about the results, and persistent about cultivating the roots.)
Almost like a gardener! – Now, which tools can the gardener apply?
This one method worked out particularly well for me:
- Write things down.
(“If it’s not written, it never happened.”)
Write down your ideas, plans, goals, experiences, successes etc. as clearly and precisely as possible, with a reference to the time and (if possible) your circumstances, sense impressions, etc. – and read them occasionally. Writing things down can help you clarify stuff, and it can make your priorities, feelings and dreams visible. Reading them can help you remember and refine your essential discoveries. You may also find recurring patterns. Add detail – the more detail, the easier for your body and your mirror neurons to res(t)imulate the state of mind you once had.
When writing a diary, I’d recommend a “stream of consciousness” mode, in order to be as honest as possible. Don’t premeditate your words, just keep on writing whatever comes to your mind. Be as precise and detailed as you can, because your vague entries will be of little value – you won’t know later what you meant. When I am going through my old diary entries, I find details and honesty very helpful.
Another surprising effect is that the dreams and visions you write about might just happen soon. But more on that later. Let’s get a bit more playful:
Play. Learn like a child. When I juggle, balls keep falling to the ground. I pick them up and continue. How does a child learn how to walk? It keeps falling, and it keeps standing up again. Until in one glorious moment it takes its first real steps. So just be like a child, and play yourself free. It will change your self-perception if you know and feel that you can learn things just like that. You will inspire yourself! And if that serves you, go get more of it:
- Get inspiration.
Whatever truly inspires you, or energizes you, get more of it into your life. Whatever distracts you, or drains you, let go of it. This includes living beings. Little by little you will create an environment in which you can thrive. In this space you can grow your fruits, or vegetables, or crops, or flowers, whatever you wish.
So many ingredients already … and there are more.
I also used to read productivity and self-development blogs, and I surely benefited from them. I got inspiration from “zenhabits” and used “Joe’s Goals” to track my goals. One of my favourite resources for self-development and spirituality was “The Urban Monk”. That was all fine and helpful, but to be honest, it didn’t cut it for me. I achieved much, but I still sabotaged myself. So this was just one ingredient among many.
For me, it took a severe burnout with hospital, fear of death and all that, followed by a cascade of realizations and experiences, until I finally got a grip on what I deem the most important of all ingredients:
- Love yourself (some more).
Oh yeah, we had that already. I’ll get back to it again in part 3.
For now … enjoy your journey. :-)