Grow Your Life: Past, present and future

I know I cannot change any elements of the past events and experiences, and I get to choose how I react or respond to my memories

Each year, I keep a written journal that highlights when the leaves begin to blush on the trees; tender, young fiddleheads break through the soil; the beautiful sight and aroma of the lilacs appear; and the seeds go into the vegetable garden. It felt like we had a longer, colder winter this year and, indeed, the dates are slightly different from last.

This was my forty-ninth experience of spring this year and, as I remember a number of them, I feel  a sense of gratitude and curiosity upon my reflection of not only nature, but my own life.

I know I cannot change any elements of the past events and experiences, and I get to choose how I react or respond to my memories. This quote from the late Maya Angelou is a powerful reminder: “We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and sow forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate — thereby making the present comfortable and the future promising.”

Each of us has a garden full of memories from the years we have been blessed to be on this earth. We have had countless opportunities to create our own reality by making choices every step of the way. If you are like me, there were many choices I made in the past that I now believe did not serve me or nurture my happiness, health and long-term growth.

I shake my head, saying to myself: “What was I thinking?”

Dr. Milton Erickson, a foundational pioneer in the field of psychiatry and the power of the unconscious mind, based his practice and teachings on five principles: 1. People are okay as they are. 2. People already have all the resources within them to achieve what they want. 3. People always make the best choice they can at the time. 4. Every behaviour has a positive intention. 5. Change is inevitable.

These are interesting to consider, even though you may or may not agree with all of them. It is a reminder that, today, we get to choose what we create and how we respond; and we can choose our perception of our memories. That’s powerful!

Elizabeth Shopland is a horticulturist for Homefront Essentials Gardening, a Certified Solution Focused Coach, author and speaker, and the owner of Banyan Tree Solutions. She can be reached at 250-342-8978 or

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