365 Challenge, Day 19 Flowers and Garbage

Flowers and garbage are both organic in nature. So looking deeply into the nature of a flower, you can see the presence of the compost and the garbage. The flower is also going to turn into garbage, but don’t be afraid! You are a gardener, and you have in your hands the power to transform garbage into flowers, into fruit, into vegetables. You don’t throw anything away, because you are not afraid of garbage. Your hands are capable of transforming it into flowers, lettuce, or cucumbers.

The same thing is true of your happiness and your sorrow. Sorrow, fear, and depression are all a kind of garbage. These bits of garbage are part of real life, and we must look deeply into their nature. You can practice in order to turn these bits of garbage into flowers. It is not only your love that is organic; your hate is, too. So you should not throw anything out. All you have to do is learn how to transform your garbage into flowers. Thich Nhat Hanh, Your True Home

What is the garbage in your life that is ready to be transformed into flowers?

You may have heard me tell this story…..it is a story that bears repeating.

Once upon a time, I was a landscape designer who was very busy but not very successful. I always felt like there were not enough hours in the day or enough dollars in the bank. As a result, I would accept any client who would have me. One day I received a referral from a good client. The referral was a family that was getting their house ready for sale and required a ‘refresh’ of the landscaping for the photos which were to be taken in just a few days. It was a holiday weekend, and in order to meet their schedule, I rescheduled a couple of other clients. Their budget was in the tight to non-existent realm. The yard was a mess; years of deferred maintenance had rendered the space completely uninviting. To top things off, not everyone in the family was excited about moving. In fact, the person with whom I had the most contact and would be paying the bill for my company’s services was downright angry about the move.

Of course, I jumped at the chance to take this job because I was going to save the day and give the home curb-appeal for a quick and profitable sale.

The outcome was a disaster. The yard looked fantastic but the client dodged me for over a week then paid an amount they deemed our efforts were worth and berated me personally in the process.

The emotional toll on me was tremendous. The financial toll was significant. Here was a job that I had taken with such high hopes and good intentions and the result was a enormous pile of garbage!

It was a turning point for me, for my company, for my future. I did take that garbage and transformed it into flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

It did not happen overnight; I did wallow in self-pity and shame for a bit. But then because I had other jobs that still needed my attention, I began to look at what was working, who were the clients who really appreciated my work, and developing some boundaries. I committed to myself and my company in a new way that included not working for people who did not appreciate the process and my value. And I began to say ‘no’ to clients and projects that were not right for me.

Many times I have thought about this experience, and I am so grateful that I choose to learn from it.

We are all going to experience tough times, really hard moments. How we move through them and apply the lessons learned will determine the bounty of our gardens. Are you at a point where you or your business is giving you garbage? Let talk about how to grow a garden of flowers, fruits, and vegetables from your garbage and compost, kristan@attriniti.com.

In gratitude,



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