Trimming the Bushes

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“By changing nothing, nothing changes.”
– Tony Robbins

I hate my bushes. They are wild, ugly and unruly. I’m embarrassed when someone walks by or drives into the driveway looking at my downright, no good, ugly bushes.

But, I am stuck with my ugly bushes for now. Since I’m living on my own with my son, paying for my mortgage is more of priority than expensive new bushes.

So I decided to make the best of my ugly bushes. I borrowed my mother’s trimmers and gardening gloves and got right to work. All afternoon I snipped off the frayed ends and rusted branches. Behind the ugly bushes, I cleared away the tall weeds growing into small trees. With a bent rake, I pulled out underneath the dead leaves and trimmings allowing fresh air and light to enter once again.

After hours of hard work in the simmering sun, it was time to clean up and close shop for the day. I took a few steps back and looked at my ugly bushes. And you know what? They weren’t so ugly anymore. In fact, they looked pretty darn good. Maybe not the beautifully manicured bushes I desired, but definitely a remarkable improvement. With a wave of excitement, my soul filled with joy knowing I transformed my ugly bushes into something I was proud of.

Isn’t life like this sometimes? We are handed an ugly bush we don’t want creating stress, frustration and embarrassment. Maybe our ugly bush is being stuck in a job we hate, a tough financial situation, illness or injury, challenging school courses, and or anything causing distress and discontentment. But, these ugly bushes are brought here to teach us life lessons helping our souls grow and evolve.

Whenever an ugly bush enters into our life, we have a choice. We can choose to ignore it and let bush grow wild until it becomes unmanageable. Or we can choose to take responsibility and make changes to create a more meaningful life. Yes, it’s hard work to transform negative situations into positive ones. But, trust me. It’s worth it.

Once you commit to making a change, you’ll learn it’s all about the journey. The joy is in the process, the peace is in the end result. If you surrender to the quest by living in the moment, you’ll experience deep healing for greater personal growth.

When I was trimming my ugly bushes, I felt a release every time I got rid of a dead branch. With each snip, I was letting go a part of me no longer serving me creating the space for my inner light to shine.

If you are dealing with a difficult situation, step-by-step do what you can to improve. There are countless ways to transform any ugly bush into something wonderful.

  • If you hate your career, put your job hunting shoes on, learn new skills to change careers or switch to a different department.
  • If you are dealing with difficult children, find ways to bring in positive reinforcement encouraging appropriate behavior. My son loves the sticker system for good behavior. It works for him, and it might work for your children.
  • If you are unhappy with your health and weight, see your doctor and get started on an exercise program with balanced nutrition.
  • If you are stuck spiritually, find a church to call home. It’s helpful and valuable being involved with a community of like-minded people devoted to faith and God.
  • If you suffer from low self-esteem or feel sad, get creative. You don’t have to be Picasso or J.K. Rowling to be creative. All you need is a willingness to be open for creativity. Start journaling, photography or draw in one of those uplifting coloring books.
  • If you have a negative mindset about yourself, find something to be grateful for. In a journal, write five things in your life bringing joy, love and excitement. After you write five things, I bet you’ll discover more making the list grow longer. Read these any time those pesky thoughts enter your head to brighten your mood.

Instead of looking at your ugly bush wishing it was better, put your gardening gloves on, grab a pair of trimmers and get to work. Enjoy the process of trimming out the old habits, thought patterns and negative perspectives to create a clear and peaceful mind. Cut away and let go of the things holding you back from achieving your goals and dreams.

And when you’re all done, take a step back and look at your ugly bush. I bet you’ll see an amazing transformation to love and be proud of for the whole world to see.


7 thoughts on “Trimming the Bushes

  1. Jodi, I appreciate the symbolism in your writing — how you connect messages of personal growth and betterment with tangible things and situations we can all relate to. I have some ugly bushes, too. But, I am learning to love them!


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