Daniel and I are finally realizing our dream of creating a water garden in our back yard. We, along with a few family members and friends are the primary worker bees that are building this incredible three dimensional art form! Each one of us plays a unique part in it's birthing. My primary role seems to be that of “head motivator”, or as Daniel might say, “instigator” for the project. I have my usual enthusiastic opinion about everything – whether I know what I'm talking about or not! 🙂
The real artists however are my husband, Daniel and Grady, a friend and master landscape artist, who showed up at the perfect moment to spark us into action. Grady is the master mind of how the whole thing works and Daniel is an impeccable artisan with stone.
We are having the time of our lives brainstorming together as we go along … but then the real pleasure for me comes in watching Universal Source, through Daniel and Grady, bring into expression such a work of art through nature.
What a blessing to see such creative minds and hands at work!
You should see this replica of an ancient well site these two are creating! Being a part of this project has brought (and continues to bring) so many lessons in consciousness. I am learning to “draw from the well”, not only water for the plants but also water of wisdom for myself, as well. It, like everything, has become a beautiful manifestation and validation of how the Christ Presence works in our lives.
The idea to develop a garden site originated the year before we married in 2005. We decided we would like a “celebration” garden with a small waterfall/creek to commemorate our partnership with each other and Source. When we sent out invitations to our wedding we asked that donations towards its completion be made instead of more traditional (and mundane) wedding gifts. (We already had all the blenders and mixing bowls we needed!) As a result, we received a generous financial start towards its creation which we set aside for when the “time” was right.
Two years went by … and though we never doubted that it would eventually manifest … very little apparent progress was made. In actuality, Daniel had the big picture in mind all along. And he methodically went about the business of laying the foundation … leveling out the ground here and building a retainer wall there … sort of thing. He layed out a plan on the ground so that we could see where the actual hole needed to be dug and he and the boys would dig on it on occasion. It became known as the “big dig” to us and the “big hole out back” to our 5 year old grandson, Nicolas. That's the way it stayed for well over a year. It gave a lot of room for old stories to surface in my mind about how slow it was going and how it would probably never really happen at all. What a wonderful opportunity it has provided for me to practice surrender!
“Why is this taking so long?! We should be done by now!”, I would rant internally at times. I would then feel frustration and impatience about the snail-like progress and blame Daniel as being the cause of the hold up … “He's a procrastinator … he can't follow through”, I would tell myself. Believing these thoughts I would find myself trying to coerce or seduce him (depending on my mood at the moment) into action using an array of manipulative approaches. These attempts produced only inner frustration and external resistance from Daniel. I would find myself cross with him and feeling alienated towards this man I professed to love. Finally, after getting nowhere with these tactics, I realized that manipulation and judgment are NOT loving acts – either towards him OR myself! I began to look for more constructive ways to handle the negative ideas with which I was tormenting myself. They became the grist for the mill of refining my consciousness!
As I mentioned, I had observed that the negative resistance I was generating did not help move things along in the least. As a matter of fact, I noticed that Daniel tended to dig his heels in and refuse to budge whenever he felt even the most subtle hint of manipulation. No matter whether I used what I thought was disguised guilt or veiled sweetness to move him, he was having none of it. I have learned to so appreciate that about him! How blessed I am to have a man who meets and mirrors me so well! Often my relating to Daniel has served to show me where I am inwardly blocking Universal Flow. Not that he's always aware that that's what he's doing, mind you … he's just busy being Daniel. It's just that I'm learning to look inside as soon I spot resistance. I know that any resistance I feel has only one origin – me – so I've learned to look inside myself for the source of any problem I may be having “out there”.
But still … It seems I can be very slow to remember this at times … .
After several months of exasperating and futile attempts to get Daniel to do what I wanted … I finally began to give up. What relief occurs when surrender melts control enough that something else becomes possible. For me in this case, letting go allowed me to relax a whole string of old negative beliefs. It brought space for accepting myself.
I began to listen closely to what I was projecting onto Daniel — to hear the judgment I was laying on him (mostly keeping it to myself, I hope 🙂 I started seeing that every one of the negative thoughts I was having about Daniel were actually judgments I held against me. For instance, the negative thought, “He doesn't follow through … he starts something and doesn't finish….” That's something I've held resentment towards myself about for years! I made a list of the things in my life, going all the way back to adolescence, that I'd never forgiven myself for not completing. It was an amazing list … and quite long.
I realized that it was me that I didn't trust to follow through. But rather than own it and feel “bad” about myself, I had denied and displaced these unwanted feelings onto Daniel. Lucky guy! 🙂
I recognized that only through releasing the judgment towards myself – through self acceptance and forgiveness – was I going to be able to shift. Compassion for myself increases in direct proportion to my willingness to honestly investigate negative ideas such as these. If I believe I'm a procrastinator, than I will demonstrate through my actions exactly that. The feelings of pain and frustration that goes with seeing oneself as a “failure” would then necessitate having someone “out there” to blame. How else can we live with ourselves, believing such things?! Inner Investigation brought me back in touch with love and acceptance towards Daniel because I could see that my reaction had nothing to do with him.
Life offers us “lessons in consciousness” through such everyday events as these. I find that it takes what it takes – in other words, hardship and internal conflict often bring greater understanding. I have come to view our garden project as a sort of Universal “plan” to induce consciousness. Through it I've uncovered internal blocks to the Universal Life Flow. The water garden project has served to trigger old unresolved issues, bringing them to the surface for my “viewing pleasure”. I've been able to clear old judgments and limiting stories as a result.
Every negative judgment I release frees up that much more inner space for a higher frequency to move through. How appropriate that one of my vehicles for clearing is a water garden. What a great metaphor for self renewal! This water garden, for me, has been a three dimensional model of how to direct and filter the inner stream in order to provide a garden of new possibilities!