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Garden lessons for eating disorder recovery

garden office view thru screen

A kind of circle develops between my patients, my garden and me where we share and appreciate the giving and receiving that is happening naturally for the benefit of all of us.

*pix View from my office window. Patient waiting area is to the right in the shaded area not visible.

A kind of circle develops between my patients, my garden and me where we share and appreciate the giving and receiving that is happening naturally for the benefit of all of us.

*pix View from my office window. Patient waiting area is to the right in the shaded area not visible.

As we appreciate the undeniable life forces around us and which include us, the therapy flourishes and so do our lives.

The garden teaches, soothes, inspires, heals and nurtures.

It's a playground for children and adults. My dogs take joy and pleasure in protecting it from squirrels and rodents. It's a place to write, read, dream, nap, think and visit with friends. It's a sanctuary and waiting room for patients. It's a home for hummingbirds and the Monarch butterfly. It provides shelter and shade as the heat rises in Los Angeles. It's mystical when I can stand on the grass at night watching clouds float across the face of the moon or in the early morning when the leaves and flowers sparkle with dew.

The garden gives riches by being and taking what it needs to thrive. I give it what it asks for. It's a loving reciprocal arrangement that benefits all who are involved. The flowers call the hummingbirds and bees. The plant roots take out nourishment while injecting nourishment for others. I cut flowers for my home and office. Friends, family and patients delight in the beauty and marvel at details they might have missed outside.

Real generosity and reciprocity in your heathy life is like the garden. You recognize and respect who you are and what you need to thrive: no more and no less. As you thrive you benefit those around you who receive gifts from your natural strivings and from your being your healthy natural self. These are gifts. The environment, including the people around you, give what they have to give to you. If it's nourishing you stay and thrive. If it's not you change your environment by either fostering more health in your surroundings or moving to what does sustain you.

All the while you add to the world, your friends, neighbors, family, strangers, animals, elements of your nature which enriches the environment so it can continue to enrich you.

The people who enjoy my garden, including patients, first experience beauty and, over time, a spiritual tranquility that informs their hearts and bodies. Their appreciation not only moves into nourishing their own lives, but affects their ability to perceive. Their new and expanding perception goes into the world based on how they integrate the gifts they've received. Perhaps they plant a garden of their own or have a few pots on their patios. Some write poetry. Some get more active in local sustainability projects. Some get political in environmental ways. Some notice imbalance in the world and move toward social justice activities. And some add more balance to their work and families by expressing, often nonverbally, the tranquility of the natural give and take they've experienced from the garden.

This sense of generosity and inner balance is a hallmark of eating disorder recovery.

Self Exploration Questions:

  1. Do you consider yourself a generous person?
  2. Do you respect yourself and not give more than you can afford (money, time, energy, emotional experience) ?
  3. Do you respect yourself and take what you need to thrive?
  4. Do you honor your environment (people, place and things) and nourish what nourishes you?

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JoannaPoppink Newest Poppink Eating Disorder Recovery Daily is online now. Read. Subscribe. Share.... https://t.co/r7XGMX1Lty
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JoannaPoppink Latest Poppink Eating Disorder Recovery Daily is online now. https://t.co/6xODTMUmYg Thanks to @WaldenBehCare @MoreLoveOrg @RenfrewCenter
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JoannaPoppink Eating Disorders in Children https://t.co/m3p7B1Rnqn
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