You are the vehicle that undertakes this voyage. The places to which you are invited will be ever changing. The possibility of pursuing your life experience therefore depends on constantly taking care of yourself. Take a moment with us to examine what fuel nourishes your life.


Cultivating Life
By Élaine Drolet

“We reap what we sow,” as my mother used to say. This old adage is especially meaningful when fall arrives. Fall is bright with color, both in the environment and in our lives. It is a time to admire both inner and outer landscapes. Because everything slows down, people do too. Nature is wise, as it arises from an immutable and fundamental essence. Its rhythm of life is not interrupted by imposed duties—it follows an organized sequence of stations without changing course, which ensures its equilibrium across time and events. Although we are part of nature, we tend to observe it outside ourselves, either to better control it or because we rely on it. In both cases, nature becomes of secondary importance while, patiently, each day, it resonates with who we are. When harvest time comes, and we are worried about ecological, social, and cultural realities, what sort of gardener have we been?

Prepare the Earth
We are the fertile ground through which actions come to perpetuate or limit life on the planet. Every day, our body, heart, and mind can draw from the life that is here and now. This may be easy to say, but putting it into practice is a major challenge. Being attentive to the essential life that animates all things is not a question of willpower but of inner programming. Just as the earth prepares to receive seeds, humans prepare to make nourishing choices. This vigilance is achieved through silence and stillness. Beginning the day with movement and action decenters our internal energy and orients our physical, mental, and emotional forces toward dispersion and reactivity. Do you love your life enough to devote 15 minutes each morning to your awakening? Listen to your body and breathe deeply while making the air circulate in each of your organs, muscles, and cells. Visualize images that make you feel good and bring a smile to your face, and feel peace and joy in your heart. By preparing your being to live in all its dimensions, you will make life decisions more carefully.

Sow the Right Seeds
To harvest the right fruit, we need the right seeds. We often perceive what life has brought us as the cause of our state of being, but is this always the case? Of course, the Earth experiences bad weather, but with the exception of unexpected events, it is fair. If we plant a flower, a flower grows. When taking stock of what is “growing” in our life, what seeds are at the origin of our harvest? We can spend our lives complaining about bad weather, which we have no control over, or we can assess what we have reaped in order to be aware of what we have sown. How do I treat my body (diet, exercise, rest)—am I tired or relaxed? How do I treat my mind (reading, music, work)—am I apathetic or stimulated? How do I nourish my heart (interpersonal relationships, emotional expression, artistic expression)—am I stressed or calm?

Take Care of Plans
The care given to the seeds we sow ensures their growth. We are often invited to scatter seeds in many directions. In our desire to please others and be recognized, we make many commitments and divide up the care we must give to each of them. If we do not always see the fruit of our efforts and feel we are disappointing others despite all our efforts, it is time to ask some questions. Have I sown more seeds (family, work, personal projects, leisure, friendship, etc.) than I can really take care of? Have I been taking care of my needs so that life is renewed in me? Without sustained and ongoing attention, there is little or no harvest.

Respect the Stages of Growth
The Earth is patient and forgiving. It knows that to give life a cycle must be respected. Humans are in a hurry to see results. They like to rush through the stages of their projects so they can move on to other things sooner because, after all, we only live once! But taking on too much is not the same as taking on more life. By going too fast, we don’t see the true scope of things, and we miss out on the beauty of our present moment. Growth is slow and progressive. Am I moving through life too quickly? Am I appreciating all the nuances life is offering me for growth (both in my personal life and at work)? Do I feel I am making progress, treading in place, or moving backwards?

Give and Be Thankful
The Earth is generous and grateful. It welcomes what we share with it without judgment. In its interaction with humans, the Earth is completely humble while giving Life. For human beings, this reality is a call—
or a reminder. Openness to others, absence of judgment, and humility are basic elements of the Life force that unites humans and the Universe. It is often easier for us to criticize what is taken from us than to reflect on what we can give. Movement back toward the self is not supported by a narcissistic streak, but by a desire for greater communion with the world. By going deep into the self, we can measure the immensity of our energy and life, which is like that at the center of the Earth. At the end of the day, we should take stock of what we have given our selves—more joy or more fear? And when we go to bed with an awareness of what we have received, we are prepared for a night of sleep marked by hope and abundance—whom can I thank on this day, and what can I be thankful for?

Am I a gardener of Life or have I become an industrial machine that produces more quantity than quality?