It’s planting season. It’s spring. Blossoms are popping all over the place. LOVE this time of year.

Racks of seeds in the garden centers—green beans, zucchinis, tomatoes, basil, oregano, eggplants… So many possibilities waiting, dormant, in tiny seeds—sometimes minuscule seeds like basil.

For our purposes, imagine packets of happiness, joy, serenity, peace, creativity, love…

Oh yes! I’ll have one of those and one of these and a couple of those red packets.

We check out, little bundle of seed packets in hand and home we head. Oh we know, we just know this is going to be terrific. We’re going to have a garden bursting with bounty in no time at all.

Trusty little trowel in hand, we dig little hole after little hole and deposit those precious seeds. And then we wait. We water. We weed…

Plants start to appear. They grow ¼ of inch tall, some make it to an inch and then they wilt.

Another batch makes it to “adulthood” but not a single green bean appears.

Disappointment sets in. You look at the other gardens. They’re growing. They have green beans and tomatoes and zucchinis. What happened to yours?

No matter how fabulous your basil seed stock is it won’t grow if it isn’t in the right environment. If you throw it on a slab of concrete it won’t grow. If you plant it in 50 degree weather it won’t grow. If the soil pH is way too high or way too low you won’t get the basil you wanted.

It’s really easy to get caught up in the excitement of “seed packet” season and forget all about the conditions for those seeds to take root and thrive and give you the harvest you want. Again, read “happiness, joy, serenity, peace, creativity, love…”

A less than perfect seed can take root and thrive in the right conditions but a perfect seed can’t do so in sub standard conditions.

What does your internal pH look like? Are you creating conditions where creativity and love and peace can thrive? Or is it set up for plants to wilt and bolt and die?
Complaining kills happiness sprouts.

Comparing chokes serenity as surely as invasive vines do.

Ruminating on negative thoughts and giving them the power of super weeds stifles geraniums (did you know you can eat geranium flowers, the organic/pesticide free ones on salads and other things?).

So what are you to do?

After all, there’s a lot to complain about—the traffic, the unfair hours at work, the irritating boss, the financial tightness of your budget…

Comparison moves in before you even get going in the morning. An outfit that doesn’t look right—but “she” wore it oh so well the other day.” The work that didn’t get done over the weekend but the neighbor’s did and so on and so on. It’s a never ending list if you tend to it.

Ruminating… well that one you know all about. It can start with the tiniest little flicker of a negative thought and the next thing you know you’re surrounded by the United Nations of Negativity and they’re going on and on and on and on. There are stacks of documents and resolutions and declarations all about this one tiny, really tiny, flaw of yours. Now this tiny, tiny flaw of yours is everywhere. It’s suffused every millimeter of the very fiber of your being and it’s pulling you under, down, down, down…

Enter mindfulness stage left…

Enter intentionality stage right…

Enter awareness stage xxx? Hmmm…. I’ve run out of stage sides. ☺ You get the idea.

All it takes to start creating an environment where happiness, joy, serenity, peace, creativity, love—all that good stuff you want—to thrive is the intention to do so. That may sound like not much of anything, but I assure you that’s far from the case.

When you set your attention to something, when you turn your head toward something, the Universe conspires to give you more of that. In fact it will trip all over itself doing just that.

You want to create an internal climate where good things can thrive. You want to focus on the positive and begin to find the negative “not so interesting” and gently redirect.

At first this may take a lot of effort for what may feel like very small results. New habits are sometimes hard to get going and training your mind to do something different is no exception.

But I promise you, if you stay with this, very gently redirecting when you find yourself caught up in the United Nation of negativity; very gently feeding yourself with things that make your heart smile like looking at a flower or petting a dog, or rolling in the grass, slowly but surely the conditions of that internal garden of yours are going to shift. And then, you won’t be able to stop the zucchini and the green beans and the tomatoes from growing. You’ll end up with such a crop of all that good stuff that you’ll be giving it away by the bushel. And that my friend, is the definition of happiness.

Happy gardening!