„The Garden teaches us abundance. We find ourselves in the Garden – the Earth says „Welcome back child!““
– Vandana Shiva
Since the lock-down, I have been spending most of my time in the Garden at our new house with my husband Winni and our children. Being a full time yoga teacher, I am unable to do my normal „work“ at the moment. Like many others, the corona crisis has brought me the unforeseen blessing of pausing – and I have gratefully used this as an opportunity to listen to what my heart is telling me, and act upon it.
In the Yoga and meditation scene, there is a saying: we are humanBEINGS not humanDOINGS. Taking a pause from doing has been a huge blessing for me. But still, I dare to disagree with this aphorism – I feel we are both.
I feel that there is a shadow side to the spiritual belief that being is superior to doing. The shadow is complacency – for example, when I sit in meditation and join in global prayers in the morning and then feel the job is done for the day. For me, being, or more accurately, continuously giving my best shot at being, a „lightworker“, change-maker, lover of life, a full humanbeing is a full-time job. And one that requires all of my capacities.
And while I feel deeply in my heart that prayer and meditation, especially in these times, are of utmost importance, I also deeply believe that Peace is something we need to actively create, not just with our minds and our hearts, with our good vibes – but with our hands. With the physicality of our bodies.
I have friends who are actively out there right now, being of service, like my healthcare hero nurse friend who took up a 4-week contract at a hospital in Brooklyn, NY. I bow down to these people. Since the lock-down, I have spent some time asking myself: what it the most meaningful way I, as a mother of 2 small children, can contribute in this moment to planetary healing?
My heart answers: plant a garden for the new earth, full of medicine for myself, my family and the people. Aligning with nature, practicing gratitude, and giving back to the Earth by building the soil and creating habitats for wildlife feels like the most meaningful thing I can do at this moment.
And with the knowledge that transforming and healing our food systems has the power to heal the world, building a garden is also one of the most radical tools of activism and peace work available to us right now.
As I spend time in the Garden and connect with her vital energy I begin to ground myself in Her peace. I still feel the waves of existential angst ripple out to me through Society’s web, but as my roots grow deeper and deeper, I become like a strong tree who is touched by the wind, but not bowed down or blown over by it.
So this is my prayer for us all: may we remember that the earth is waiting for us, and follow the call into the garden of the mother, where we can sow seeds for the „more beautiful world our heart knows is possible“.
I’d like to close with some more inspiration from my hero Vandana Shiva:
„In this period of the end of the world, how do we sow the seeds of a possible world? The first: every young person should recognize that working with their hands and their hearts and their minds interconnected, is the highest evolution of our species. Working with our hands is not a degradation, it’s our real humanity! Start a garden, create a playground in the way you grow food. Save seeds. Cook. Create communities. We are not automised producers and consumers, we are part of the Earth family, we are part of a human family, we are part of a food community. Food connects us. Everything is food. And finally, never be afraid of deceitful, dishonest, brutal power. That is true freedom“