I’m not sure where it comes from or from where I first heard it, but there is a common analogy of comparing one’s life to a garden. If you plant seeds in a garden and then care for those seeds and resulting plants, you can enjoy the beautiful flowers and or bountiful fruit that they produce. However, if you ignore your garden and don’t take care of it, the plants may grow and prosper, but they may also die out or be choked by weed plants that grow when someone is not weeding. Similarly, if we want to see something come to pass in our lives, if we aptly wait for it to happen, it may or may not happen; however, if we plant the seeds of something we want to see happen, and then we water them, shelter them, protect them from weeds, and care for them, chances are we’ll get a pretty good harvest. How do we look after and care for a desired manifestation the way we would for a crop or plant. We have to feed it with the same passion that made us desire it in the first place.
Let us take the example of martial arts and the martial artist. One who is a martial artist probably wants to become good at martial arts. How does one go about doing that? Well, just like some fields are naturally fertile and grow plants easily, some people are naturally talented and take to martial arts very well. But that’s not enough. It still requires continual focus and care to become a good martial artist.
If a fertile field is left unattended, it will still grow plants well, but it will grow all sorts of plants. The winds are full of weed seeds. For the martial artist, these weed seeds are distracting forces like television, video games, gossip, social pressures, etc. These seeds can come into a martial artist’s field, and take up a lot of room in the field if left to grow. It is easy to sink time into these things instead of pursuing one’s craft, but it hurts how many martial arts plants one can grow. One must be sure to not spend excessive time or energy on these non-important things and to weed these out of their garden once they start to grow too big.
There’s also the looking after the desired plants. All plants need healthy amounts of nutrients, sun, and water to grow. A martial artist needs to ensure that one is feeding one’s martial arts plants in order to get the fruit they can eventually produce. This is done in the form of continual practice, periodically attending class, and doing other things to keep the passion alive. You can’t water a plant well for a week, stop for several weeks, water it again, and expect it to grow well. A plant requires continual looking after, as does a desired endeavor such as martial arts ability.
You’ve got to make it your own. No fruit tastes better than one you’ve grown yourself. If you don’t believe me, you’ve either never grown your own food before or you’re really bad at it; both cases would require remedying. Going to your martial arts class is important because that gives you good seeds to plant and good fertilizer to add to your garden. However, if you don’t take the time to practice by yourself outside of class, then you never give yourself a chance to add these seeds and fertilizers to your garden. There’s a kind of magic that occurs when we pour our own energy into something. Sometimes it takes just a few minutes to feel it too.
This life is an opportunity to do and have great things. We have all been given a fertile field from which we can grow anything our hearts desire. Will we grow beautiful gardens and bountiful crops, or will be have weed choked lots. The choice is ours.