Like every other part of our body, the mind is a living, constantly changing system. It is an independent organism.
And while the mind isn’t necessarily something we can study as readily as other parts of our body, it is very similar to those parts, and to all life forms in fact.
Specifically, the mind can be understood as a plant.
Read the next several prompts as “the mind” instead of a plant.
- A plant has basic needs.
- A plant has certain wants and desires.
- A plant possesses strengths and weaknesses.
- A plant wants to be treated a distinct way.
Like a plant, the mind has specific circumstances and conditions that, when met, enable it to excel beautifully.
We all know this feeling. The sensation of simultaneous presence, joy, and balance. It’s not so much a science as it is an art, to get to this place.
Much like… growing and sustaining a plant.
The mind needs nourishment.
Like a plant, the mind needs various things to feed it. The mind needs water. Needs sun. Needs food.
The mind is fueled by things that inspire it. By things that make it work hard.
And ultimately, by things that make it feel secure, yet free.
When the mind is nourished properly, it is able to do all the things it is great at.
- Processing complex problems
- Creating inspired solutions
- Free thinking and introspection
When nourished, the mind is free. The mind is free to explore beyond current limitations - whether those are personal, physical, metaphysical, or societal.
The mind is not bound by the tactile or the tangible.
The mind is only limited by its own capacity, which is much larger than anything we perceive.
Yet the mind, when nourished, can also identify issues - with itself, with others and with existence at large.
The mind can generate empathy. It can generate compassion.
The mind is at its most human when it is nourished. The higher mind is responsible for creating much of the great things in our world.
The mind must be trimmed. Like a plant, sometimes things outgrow their use.
Sometimes, the plant must be trimmed in order to generate its fullest expression.
Sometimes, what was once great becomes old and stiff. It becomes like a vestigial organ in the plant.
The same is true with the mind. While growth is a messy process, it is clear after some time which branches are the positive, full ones, versus which are the dull, brittle, and even self-harming ones. The branches that choke off the growth that the rest of the plant needs.
Like a plant, the mind must be cleared of its own unproductive and aging pieces. It must be trimmed of the leaves that have maintained despite their ill-effect on the larger organism.
The mind is also where you keep your memories. And some memories aren’t worth holding onto. These negative memories can assert themselves in your home, in your phone, or in the toxic lies you tell yourself. These old stories must be removed so your mind can grow in the right directions.
Whether they are possessions, long-standing beliefs and thoughts, bad memories, or even people in general, clear the things from your life that no longer serve you.
Clear these and observe what benefits are immediately reaped for the plant that is your mind.
Our minds must be cared for with intention and precision. Take an hour to identify what in your life is robbing you of clarity and/or energy, and what things give you peace and/or vigor. Pick a few diseased branches to trim from your plant ASAP, and seek out more of the daily habits and activities you do that have historically given you true nourishment.
I hope this post gave you something to think about! If you have feedback you'd like to share, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.