Gratitude in the Garden

 In Well-being

Did you know that gratitude has actual scientific benefits to the body and mind? According to Anima Mundi Herbals, “Just being in a state of gratitude releases toxic emotions. Studies have shown that the hippocampus and amygdala, the two main sites regulating emotions, memory, and bodily functioning, get activated with feelings of gratitude.” How awesome is that? Gratitude has also been proven to be pain relieving and stress regulating. Armed with this scientific knowledge, I invite you dear reader, to a simple exercise in Gratitude that can be practiced year-round.   

A simple exercise in Gratitude.

Take a walk through the Garden. Tune into your senses. Let your inner knowing guide you as of which path to take. What do you see? Smell? Hear?

Feel the cool breeze. Hear the crunch of the leaves.

A brisk walk in nature clears the mind, brings us back to the essential.

Rustling leaves, bright colors, birds in flight.

Strength in lying down and letting go.

What is natural is beautiful. 

As I walk through the garden I take a moment of reflection. I watch the light dance through the leaves. I stand in awe of the statue “Breaking Ground” and Mirror Lake. What does the Garden mirror back?

Caring people.

I smile at the early Camellias adding color to the landscape.

I am grateful for bright berries.

The smell of Eucalyptus in the floral room.

Meeting dedicated volunteers and workers.

Art lined hallways.

Friendly waves.

Relaxed breath and body.

A smiling sculpture.

A visit from a cardinal.

Twinkling lights.

Opportunities to learn more about the plants that surround us and how to care for them.

Diana Davis (our wonderful watercolor instructor) bringing delicious brownies to an early morning in the tollbooth.

Speaking of the tollbooth, there is a squirrel that serves as a bit of entertainment. Some of our amazing staff here fondly refer to him as “Admiral Acorn”. I chose to call him Gratitude. And every day this squirrel scurries by I say “Hello Gratitude”. Gratitude makes life better. And there is a lot to be thankful for here at Norfolk Botanical Garden. I hope you find a quiet moment to walk through the garden this week and find a few things to give thanks for.

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