Whether it’s in your backyard garden or a farmer’s field, the fall is the time when we gather up the last of the harvest from the summer season. Hay bales dot the fields, carrots and beets are pulled, herbs are dried and pumpkins are brought inside to await their Halloween transformation.
There is something particularly satisfying about the harvest – even if it’s only one little pumpkin or a handful of carrots. That’s because the act of harvesting pays homage to the hard work and attention that has gone into the growing season. It seems like a natural thing in the garden. You sow seeds. You tend the plants. And then you enjoy the fruits of your labor – whatever they are.
Often we skip that step in other areas of our lives. Sure we focus on the sowing of ideas and plans and then step by step we do what it takes to grow our goals. But rarely is there a harvest. We simply move on to the next goal or ruminate over what is still left to be accomplished.
We don’t do that in the garden. We don’t start planting the next seeds right away. We don’t worry about what didn’t grow. We take in what did, enjoy it and then wait for the next growing season.
Go ahead and take a minute to have an inner harvest.
Begin with a list of your accomplishments during the past spring and fall. Don’t worry about what you didn’t do – focus on what you did get done. Admire the qualities that contributed to your success – perseverance, courage, commitment, discipline. Savor your achievements for a moment.
Think also about the small successes you created in the past few months. Don’t skip over them because they seem insignificant. It is often the little things that actually allow us to steadily move forward.
Then mentally gather up those things for which you are grateful. Imagine filling a large basket with all the blessings you currently enjoy.
Step back and take in your inner harvest. Pretty satisfying, isn’t it?
Even though we think of the harvest as something that happens in the fall, we don’t have to be limited by the seasons. In his quest to embrace the simplicity of life, Henry David Thoreau recognized that we can have a continual inner harvest.
The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
If we simply take the time to be mindful, we can notice and appreciate all of the little gems that are right in front of us. The harvest becomes a daily ritual that reminds us of the abundance of the present moment.
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What’s in your basket of blessings?