Soul Gardening in Covid-Time

The call into the garden is strong at this time of year.

It is the space of verdant growth and energy that delights the senses. For some the garden is realized in a large cultivated space, for others it is wholly wild, still others have clustered pots and containers holding their beauty and bounty.

Within a strange year and a season of change, you may find this energy is amplified and you are aching for as much time outside as you can get. For many, navigating a global pandemic, the notion of getting out into the world leaves us in an ambivalent state.

In a time of enormous intensity, which we are certainly experiencing personally, collectively and globally, it is vital to feed the soul and create space to cultivate dreaming, desire and delight. A, art journal or collaged deck may reflect states of confusion, dismay, deep grief and a call to activate or participate in change, and with that there is a tremendous need to discover and restore the creative spaces where one can re-connect, rest and grow.

In the mythic sense a garden is something that is filled with dreams, delights and desires. In the midst of change, greening and growing energies will offer you new insights and energies. Taking the time to cultivate your dreams and desires is a powerful way of creating and connecting to what you need most.

“I find gardens essential to the creative process…All of us have had the experience of wandering through a lush garden or a timeless desert, walking by a river or an ocean, or climbing a mountain and finding ourselves simultaneously calmed and reinvigorated, engaged in mind, refreshed in body and spirit.”

– Oliver Sacks

Within one’s own creative exploration, you step into experience and benefit from the energies that are revealed and rising within your art. So how can creating with intention serve the soul?

As life brings the unexpected, turning toward image can be a supportive approach to finding your way back to what is true for you. When change happens, vision can become blurred, not because your vision is blurry but because loss or grief often brings forth dynamic change or metamorphosis. Like the cycle of the life of a caterpillar there must be a death and rebirth to become the butterfly. Through your own energetic transformation, the lens of your life is being altered, changed and cleared to be able to see through it again with more clarity and consciousness.

The vision and values you hold for your life must root themselves deep, what better place but to grow them in the garden of dreams and delights so that when disruption comes, you can dig down and find the source of your vision.

Parts of self will become active when we invite them to be seen. They invite us to explore our life-path, assisting us in finding lost pieces of our own stories and bringing them back together to reveal a new recognizable image of wholeness. By bringing your intention to planting a garden of Desire and Delights, with your own favorite art and process. Try collage or art journaling to see where and how you are bringing missing pieces of your story back into wholeness.

Seek the distinctive gardener, a part of self, who is inviting you to create this garden. Bring new images into your space and ask:

  • Who will assist me in planting this garden with seeds of clarity?
  • Who comes forward to help me to discover and uncover dreams and desires?
  • What special gifts do you have for dreaming this garden into being?

Creating an intentional garden within your own artmaking practice may be new to you. The dreams you seed, the desires living in and through you, do change over time. Just as a call to dive deep into shadow can elicit new light, the dreams and desires calling you to come closer to them now will guide you to discovering the energy that offers your soul growth.

“Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the action stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.”

– Anais Nin

Discover where your dreams and desires can be planted to nurture and enliven your life. Bring dreaming into your creative process and connect to deep desires that have been buried or are missing. Invite them into the garden and see how they grow. Notice what dreams and desires bring you into relationship with delight or emotions that feed your soul. How can this art garden bring you what you need most?

Ask your art and images to bring you into the garden that is ALL yours.

Create collaged cards, paintings or art journal spreads that hold different aspects of dreams, desires and delights.

Map out a “garden space” and plant your art/cards into this sacred space to see what gathers there and what emerges. Invite these reflections of your gardener, the seeds, the dreams and the desires, to guide you deeper into the garden of your vision, where dreams and desires will grow into living energies that inspire your life.