Clear Thinking Coach A Life Without Limitation

Fuel Empathy and See Your Garden Grow

Fuel Empathy and See Your Garden Grow!???

Earlier in the year, three of us friends were asked to take charge of a community garden. As long as we did the work, found the funding, and designed it with the vulnerable elderly in mind, we had free rein.

Or so we thought.?

In my great enthusiasm I invited a locally well received landscaper who works on ‘Chelsea Garden Show’ and ‘Hampton Palace Garden Show’ to help us. We needed specialist help. The garden was going to be a sensory and memory garden…

Or so we thought.?

On the Day

On the day the designer arrived  the volunteer gardener a retired gentleman, was invited to be part of the team despite his earlier reluctance to come to our previous meetings because he said it was not his garden and he had too much to do.

We were joyful to see the retired gardener already present in the garden because if the garden existed at all it was because he raised it from bramble and most astonishingly had done most of the work himself over just three years.?

We were only asked to take it on because he no longer wished to be responsible for it.

Or so we thought.?

At first, he would not engage with the designer or us or even look at our designs. Instead he took out his tape measure and kept nodding his head and measuring the very space we stood on!

But then something changed when the well-respected designer and the three of us changed tact. We stopped talking about the designs that had been shown before to the official management of the organisation. Then began to discuss  access to the garden and safe and suitable pathways that would work around the wonderful plants the gardener had planted. We had to use our imagination. As in February nothing had sprung.

Moving forward

?This engaged our gardener and soon we were following him around the garden while he discussed where he had planted all the bulbs and deciduous plants. Soon we were given really useful information about sunlight, watering limitations and which of his plants could be replanted.

?Our appreciation for his work and putting away the contentious designs helped and as we looped back to where we first stood, he returned to our hard landscape ideas and man to man…the designer and him actually agreed on a possible design for ramps and paths!

Although we had softened the ground and could go ahead Mr Coronavirus appeared and the purpose of the garden became about growing food and feeding the vulnerable. Which is what the community now requires.?

On that day we reshaped our gardener’s heart towards change with empathy. It will remain a great example of using empathy to make a ‘shift’ and  break the vicious circle.?

Where have you used empathy to break the vicious circle?

What other technique do you use to break the vicious circle?

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