Green Healing ~ Heart and Soul

Image of pretty lilac woodland Phlox blooming

Woodland Phlox

I saw my son’s heart while we were working together in the gardens yesterday.  It was beautiful!  Some people have a green thumb, which I believe my son has, but he also has a green heart.

I saw it when he watered the beds where we planted tiny carrot and lettuce seeds last week.  And of course in the bed of Bok Choy.

in horticulture we thrive

BoK Choy coming along

I saw it when he pulled a few weeds from our special bed where the little lizard used to live.  (I guess my cute little friend went on to some greens without gardeners).

one spot so powerful!

Our Special Therapy Garden

I saw his spirit shining when I later looked at the photos I took during class, which included the potted Cacti he made during the first class.  That pot continues to show me his spirit.  It grows on it’s own.  It’s easy for him to have this potted plant, which isn’t the case for all of us.  Some of us have a hard time keeping them alive, much less seeing them thrive without effort.

in horticulture, we thrive

Easy does it...

The horticulture therapist and I had a chance to chat a bit after the earlier week’s class.  My son didn’t feel like going that day and I had gone alone.  “He has so much heart and soul,”  she remarked.

People often say that about my son.  I often forget to remember what is right, when sometimes it feels like a lot is wrong.  It’s easy, I guess, to focus on what I can help change or make better, than it is to spend time being grateful and enjoying all that is okay and good.

working in the beautiful Mother of the therapy gardens

Heart and Soul in the Garden

My son is a quiet person now.  He doesn’t engage in conversation the way he did growing up, which was enthusiastically with almost everyone he met.   This change has been very difficult for me to accept.

Psychiatry suggests that his frequent silence is a symptom and I must admit that ever since he was diagnosed with a mental illness, I believed this was true.  I’ve believed many things that today I am seriously questioning.

I believe my son has a lot to say.  I believe he has been silenced for a long time.  I believe in the right environment he could and would thrive.

Times are changing in the mental healthcare arena.   There is a new language used to talk about madness.  We are finally starting to acknowledge that matters of the heart matter.  The spirit and soul of a person matters.

I’m glad to be alive and a part of the conversation.  Honestly, I didn’t think I would be.

I dream of access to healing and rehabilitation centers, and organizations created to help people who live to a different beat have meaningful work and be able to make valuable contributions in community.

I don’t know if my dreams and hopes will be realized in my life, but a new conversation has begun!

Thanks for visiting Dogkisses’s blog.  Feel free to leave a comment and I hope you also have some ‘Green Healing’ days.

smiling at you

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19 responses to this post.

  1. Your photos are gorgeous! I can think of no better way to lose myself/find myself than working in my garden. My husband likes to joke that I’m happiest when sitting in the dirt rooting around. I lose all track of time. :) This year I have a wonderful student who’s the heart and soul of “The Nature Club.” She has gathered a group of students who spend recess digging and cultivating the soil. They’re learning about the ecosystem and the few trees on our playground. (Their favorite tree is named “Old One.”) Just hearing these children take joy in nature brings a smile to my face each day. That is the healing power of nature.

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    • Hi Jan! I was just thinking of you and then your cheery smile showed up here in my comments.

      I love hearing about children enjoying nature. I participated in an educational course about Horticulture Therapy, and nature deficit in children was mentioned. Studies have shown that children who spend time in nature do better in school as a result. If I come across this research, I’ll gladly share it with you.

      Also, like I told Ash, I’m really glad to know people are enjoying the photos. Nature gives and keeps on giving when it comes to my taking pictures. Plus, I’m pretty tired and sharing the photos is a great way to continue blogging.

      I hope you get to lose yourself “rooting around” many times this year! Have fun :)

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  2. Michelle, I LOVE this post, and the whole Green Healing series, and second what everyone else has said – you seem to be coming to a much better place in your own self since you started the horticulture therapy, and its beautiful to hear your voice strengthening and mellowing!
    I was wondering if you’ve heard of Earthing? It seems to me that that is perhaps having a great effect on the both of you. You can read more about it here:
    http://www.earthinginstitute.net/index.php
    I was going to comment last night but then got wound up in reading their website, including their blog posts, the stories of other people, etc. It seems to me that this is certainly something that those of us with chronic illness ought to be trying. It certainly cannot hurt!
    Sending gentlest hugs & much love!
    Ash

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    • Hi Ash! Thank you. I’m so glad you like my post(s) about the horticulture therapy. I haven’t heard of earthing, but am going to check it out now. I’m also glad people can hear a strenghtening in my voice. I must say many people both online and off have said this, and so, I sure hope that I can hang on to that, you know. I guess I get scared of falling down. I mean I still have pain, and often time severe fatigue, so I’m not up high or anything, lol, but I do have some hope, and at times, I feel like myself again, and that’s so nice to feel. I can’t wait to go read. Thanks for the links.

      Big hugs to you, xoxoxo
      Love, Michelle.

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      • Posted by Anonymous on April 2, 2012 at 3:40 PM

        I decided to blog about the Earthing concept. The more & more I think about it, about the timing of when I got sick, etc, the more sense it makes. Very curious as to what you think about it!

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        • Cool! I was just reading, and was reminded of when we went camping with the girls. I walked across this one field on top of the mountain, up at Doughton National Recreation area, and the grass was wet with dew. I started laughing and one of the girls laughed too, at me for laughing so hard. She kept asking me what was so funny. I didn’t know. I LOVED walking that field barefoot! Also, the Alchemist I see has talked about this, but I had forgotten. Very cool. I’ll come read your posts soon too. I look forward to that. Trying to type in the dark here, so gotta go, but thank you for reminding me to go read. My son and I read about it together.

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  3. Thank you for sharing more of your “green healing:” I’m so glad to read that you and your son have found a peace, therapeutic place that nourishes the soul, and when the garden has grown, will nourish the body as well.

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    • Hi Phylor! You are so welcome and thank you for stopping at my blog. Yes, it is a peaceful therapeutic place indeed. It is so beautiful, with all sorts of new blooms and plants each week. The people are kind, and we get along. Working together in the gardens is awesome!

      I hope you are able to enjoy the outdoors some too. Are you growing any flowers or vegetables? I bet your taking lots of photos. I need to come to your blog! I will try to do that very soon.

      Peace and Blessings,
      Michelle.

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  4. what an excellent post. I really enjoyed this and my heart goes out to you and your son..I hope that your son improves. I too also believe that there is so much we can learn from the earth. All the natural beauty in this world speaks to us. Heals us in many different ways. If we take the time to listen . Blessings.. Beautiful pics.. Loved this..

    dell381

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    • d’381 –Hello,

      Thanks for your comment and I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Also, thank you for your sentiment for my family as well. Hope is a must for me. Sometimes, I have to gather it up over and over, but hopefully, I can always find some. I agree, the earth and nature are gifts and a natural source of so much healing. Like you say, we only have to take time to listen, or look :)

      Thank you again, and many Blessings to you also! Michelle.

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  5. Outstanding post Michelle, on so many levels. I too, think you son has a lot to say. Maybe for now he is just saying it inwardly, maybe next it will be quietly but I think he will say it outloud someday soon, when he is ready. Maybe medications are effecting him, I don’t know if he is on any or not but that could be doing it. He is still your boy, and what a lovely boy, I too like cactus and jade plants. Tough and tender at the same time, I think they are called “succulents.” They are my favorites, I’ve always had a small jade tree plant. I love this series of you and the green earth, mother earth and son. It’s a wonderful language that is personal and yet universal. I know you will continue to grow and so will your plants and your son. Love, your friend, Laurie

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    • Hi Laurie, Thanks for your sweet comment. The “good green earth” sure does have a lot to offer! You know, I’m not sure if medications are the reason for my son’s silence. If so, it would be from past use. He hasn’t taken them for long periods, never consistently and isn’t on them as I write. He’s using natural supplements. I’ve noticed recently that he talks more after being around people he feels comfortable with. Go figure right? I think we all need people. We need to engage, if not verbally, then in other ways. So, hopefully, he will find more ways to fill his time with things and people he enjoys. And, me too :)

      The good green earth! So much to offer. What are you growing this year? Flowers, I bet. I wish I could plant a butterfly garden. I’d have to get my son to do the hard work. And a few tomato plants would be nice to have. Around here, we have to put fences up around everything we grow because of the deer. They eat most things.

      Wishing you peace and blessings, your friend, Michelle.

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  6. Arrgh Sigh….. I felt your Peace as you wove your words inbetween your gardening photo’s Michelle… Such a wonderful feeling and your discription is perfect… I am so very happy that this Healing is indeed working on many levels I see here..
    Wishing you continued Peace, Harmony and Healing vibes my dear friend to you both..
    Sending as always my love to you… Blessing Michelle… ~Sue

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    • Hi Dreamwalker,

      Thank you for reading about our ‘Green Healing’ times, and of course, for sending your love :) I do so enjoy the place and people where we garden. Each time I go I see something new. It’s all very stimulating, and I’m still getting tired afterward, but not as badly this week as before. Maybe I’m getting more used to it.

      I hope you are doing well and still enjoying many good Spring days with your granddaughter. Sending you good wishes.

      Love, Michelle.

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      • Yes still enjoying lots of Fun time with my granddaughter… a true gift to us… Hope that the tiredness soon eases with you constant practice.. Sending you a Drum Beat my friend.. xx Hugs ~Sue

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        • Thank you for the ‘Drum Beat’ Sue. Your beats are strong. Today has been such a pleasant day so I am truly grateful for good energy, and your dear friendship!

          Maybe I told you that both my sisters and my brother have grandchildren, and they have lots of fun with them. They seem much easier than raising your own children. More fun I guess. I feel like my son’s dog is my grand-boy. He is so sweet, and when he gets to see my son, he gives ME kisses. I know he’s thanking me, cause he’s happiest with his true Master.

          Thanks again for the ‘Beat’ and I send you my Love and good wishes, xoxo, Michelle.

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  7. I have really been enjoying your “Green Healing” series of posts. You have such a beautiful soul! The beets and the horticulture classes must be working as post-by-post you sound a bit more confident and secure in your decisions and hopeful for Neil’s future. I hope that what I’m sensing is correct. When you allow yourself to trust in your instincts and replenish your energies with the earth and sky and simpler creatures, you cannot go wrong. Your Native American heritage is perhaps one of your greatest spiritual advantages as your ancestors understood the importance of “listening” to what nature is trying to teach us. Bless you (and Neil) on your life’s journey! The right paths will always be revealed when you listen to nature and trust in your own heart.

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    • Dearest Leslie, Thank you. I sure enjoy my time there, and then reflecting on it. And Neil does too, for sure! You’re right, I do feel more hopeful about things, at least most of the time.

      I love what you said, “When you allow yourself to trust in your instincts and replenish your energies with the earth and sky and simpler creatures, you cannot go wrong.” –Beautiful, and true.

      I went today to water the garden. I loved doing it. A man mistook me for a statue while I was bending over watering the very tiny sprigs of spinach we planted a few days ago. I was indeed very still, because the can was full, so was very heavy. I was trying not to pull a muscle. But he came up to me, and then was surprised when I turned around! “You were standing so still, but then you looked so real,” he said. So he had come to inspect the situation. Oh, it’s such an exciting place to be!

      I’ve been thinking of you. Wondering if I’ve missed a call. Also have looked in my mail, but I figured that you’ve been busy. I’m sorry I haven’t called. I get pretty tired. Today I’ve done chores. It’s hard, but things were building up. Mounds of clothes! I still have your warm invitation in mind, and hope to visit you one day.

      I hope you’re doing well, and your family too.
      Big hugs xoxo
      Michelle.

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