When I first began researching Adaptive Gardening, I’d already been introduced to the concept, so I knew what the term meant, but I recognized many people didn’t get it at first.
At seminars, participants would say to me: “I know what ‘adaptable’ means, but how does that apply to gardening?” I explained: “When someone is adaptable and resilient and they experience physical issues that keep them from doing their favorite gardening chores, instead of throwing in the trowel, they look for new ways to get things done.
Physical challenges can leave us exhausted and questioning our ability to push forward. That’s why I created these guiding principles for all of us to be resilient gardeners:
- We are creative and we recognize that we have choices.
- We can overcome our issues to find another way to get something done.
- We never give up.
Expanding from Adaptive to Resilience
For many reasons I love the phrase ‘Resilient Gardener’. What does it mean to be resilient?
When you have a resilient disposition,
you’re better able to maintain a healthy attitude
in the face of life’s challenges.
Resilience won’t make your problems go away—but it can help you to see past them, find joy in life, and handle setbacks when they strike. You may still feel anger, grief, disappointment, and pain, but you can keep functioning and moving forward, which is the key.
When we strengthen our resilience through times of discomfort, it becomes our path to inner peace. We can’t stop the course of things and how they show up in our lives, and quite often we have no control over what happens, but we do have control how we respond to what happens.
The good news is that resilience is a skill that can be exercised and strengthened. This will help you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.
How to Grow Your Resilience
- Start by being aware of how you’re feeling.
- Be patient with yourself; practice self-compassion and self-care.
- Take time to be still. If you don’t have a meditation practice, start one today.
One Final Thought
Many of us keep our problems to ourselves, or try to figure it out on our own, but reaching out to others for their ideas and suggestions can be an integral part of becoming resilient.
The National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH) is a consortium of industry leaders who are promoting the benefits and value of horticulture. NICH brings together academia, government, industry, and nonprofits to cultivate the growth and development of a healthy world through landscapes, gardens and plants — indoors and out.
Toni Gattone is a passionate gardener, an enthusiastic speaker, and the author of The Lifelong Gardener, Garden with Ease & Joy at Any Age (Timber Press, 2019). Gattone overcame debilitating back pain so she could keep doing what she loves to do. Reach her at www.ToniGattone.com.
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