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A Soulful Garden
by Nancilee Wydra

A garden connects us with the wheel of life in a direct, measurable way. Because our endeavors are only in part influenced by our input, we experience that effort doesn't always equal reward. Sometimes, weather patterns, creatures or what seems like the whims of fate deal us a bad hand. Be certain that the process is as satisfying as the sought-after result.

While "now" is the only moment we have, we are trailed by the sum of our past and are connected to the future by the force of effort and inspiration. In both cases, the leap is propelled by energy transmitted through what surrounds us. We can benefit by being encircled by positive messages.

The Chinese would describe this process as the Tao, (the way things are and the way they work.) We are no more separated from the sum of our past than we are from the potential of our future. Although we cannot see what lies ahead, the way we seek to propel ourselves into our future influences the outcome. Creating gardens to express our heart's desires connects us the energy and opportunity of all things. The unlimited potential of the Tao is expressed in every moment we share with a garden.

A garden can be both a catalyst and a mirror of our personal energy. Creating a garden helps balance our lives. To be outdoors involved in an activity that requires physical and mental activity is sorely needed in a culture that orchestrates most activities indoors. Time spent outdoors gives us time for contemplation, time to refurbish our path with those ingredients likely to propel us towards happiness.

A garden of the soul transforms the moment and shapes the future.

In my book Feng Shui in the Garden, I help you understand the principles of creating eight gardens which fulfill deep seated needs. Here's a taste of one.

A Lover's Garden
(Compassion, Liberation, Devotion, Consecration)

A garden for lovers is one that is heavy with fragrances and layered with a mélange of colors, while tucked away in a setting of privacy. Love is being able to lay bare one's soul without concern for ridicule or recriminations. With full acceptance we can dare to be who we genuinely are. Privacy gives us permissions to be comfortable and reveal our inner core.

Creating a garden to honor love is a testament to life's highest purpose. A lover's garden is the mirror we hold up to reflect what we give hence what to anticipate receiving.

Let's walk though the experience of this garden.

Just beyond the path's curve or a door's swing, is a gateway that springs from the earth. It is an enticing threshold that attracts you like bees to flowers. If with a loved one, you are compelled to grasp their hand, and duck underneath this first arbor, in the same way as square dancers crouch underneath the upraised hands of other dancers as their wend their way around a circle. Emerging from the threshold, you are surrounded by slender stalks that roll in the breeze and strain to greet you. The air is filled with fragrances as you follow this path until reaching the next threshold, which is thicker, lower and more mysterious. Inside the second chamber is a square clearing edged with thick, full vegetation that guarantees privacy. In the center is another garden called the circle of two. Whether the circle of two is large enough to lay down in or whether it is so small that it contains two single plants is less important than the fact that you see a place to perch and contemplate. Be it a bench, a velvety blanket of grass or a boulder, there is a place to reflect inside this inner sanctum. A place to spend time with thoughts of the appreciation of love. Thus, this space calls you to its embrace and your love is reinforced by the magic of nature. 

To uncover the secrets of the eight layouts for gardens of the soul, enjoy a signed copy of Nancilee's book, Feng Shui in the Garden, by e-mailing her at Windwater8@aol.com.

Nancilee Wydra, Feng Shui Master and most published American author of feng shui, will be traveling around the world in 2000 lecturing and consulting. She is the founder of the Feng Shui Institute of America that has developed the first nationally certified professional training program on feng shui in the country. Visit Nancilee’s website at: Windwater.com or e-mail her at NancileeWy@aol.com.


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