Episode 63: A Surprising Spiritual Self-Care Practice

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When we think about spiritual practices, we often compartmentalize these to certain days or a penciled-in time on our schedules. Carving out time for ritual and contemplation is wonderful, but we can also look to our daily activities to bring more spiritual awareness. Finding the connection between our physical chores and the spiritual lessons contained within these necessary tasks allows us to keep the energy of evolution flowing even during the busiest seasons in our lives.

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A SURPRISING SPIRITUAL SELF-CARE PRACTICE

AS WITHOUT, SO WITHIN

I’m a big believer that the things we have to do as souls living in a human shell can be spiritual practices if we shift our perspective. Everything can become a spiritual teacher if you allow it to be!

❓As you wash your sink, can you quiet your mind and observe your throughs?
❓And as you observe your thoughts, can you identify the ones that no longer serve you and allow them to be washed down the drain with the dirty water?
❓Can you choose a new thought more aligned with your path to replace the one you are ushering away?
❓As you mop the floor, can you envision with each stroke wiping away a situation or even a memory that is no longer relevant in your story?

I love inviting my daily chores to teach me spiritual truths!

NURTURING NATURE

A spiritual practice near and dear to my heart might be surprising to some, but it’s a hidden gem in my life that has brought me so much joy, peace, and healing:

Caring for houseplants!

I know I’m not alone in my love for bringing nature indoors to nurture my soul, but I think it’s underrated as a powerful spiritual practice. I want my home to support my soul’s evolution and be surrounded by things that allow me to connect with nature and my roots.

Houseplants are a fantastic tool for healing. As you care for the plant, you also remind yourself to care for yourself. My plants assist me in self-care by giving me a visual reminder to nourish my body, mind, and soul.

ONE FOR YOU, ONE FOR ME

You may be familiar with the studies and experiments testing how plants respond to positive and negative speech. One plant will be spoken to in a nurturing and encouraging way, while the other is insulted and ridiculed. The plant receiving positive affirmations will thrive, while the plant being verbally abused with wither and die. It’s a powerful visual tool showing how those energies affect all living things.

This is how our mind, body, and soul work. When I tell my plants I love them, how excited I am to see them grow, and how grateful they surround me with love, they send that vibration back to me. I'm also sending that vibration consciously to myself because when I say I love you to them, I'm also saying it to myself.

🌿When watering my plants, I remind myself to nourish my body with water and quality food.
🌿When I’m wiping their leaves, I remind myself to clean my body and nourish my skin.
🌿When I’m speaking kind words and encouraging my plants to grow, I’m reminding myself to remain aware of how I talk to myself matters.

As I attend to my plants' needs, I have a physical reminder of how I can care for myself, mind, body, and soul.

HAPPY MEMORIES

My love for houseplants goes back to my childhood and my memories of the beautiful array of greenery my grandmother kept in her house. When I would go to her house, we would water her plants together. This is one of my happiest memories from childhood and is now a spiritual practice that cares for my inner child.

I loved her plants so much, and I remember thinking, “I’m going to have these plants when I get older and have a place of my own.” I did just that. I started collecting plants in my 20s without realizing why they brought me such joy. It wasn’t until much later, when I gave myself permission to investigate what brought me happiness and peace, that I made the connection. I was nurturing my inner child each time I revisited such happy memories from my past while living in the present moment.

When I'm watering my plants, I envision my inner child watering her plants. I also invite my grandmother’s spirit, though she is still alive, to come with me in conversation as I walk from one to other giving them a cool drink. This practice nourishes my soul in a completely different way than other practices I also enjoy.

Taking care of my plants supports my inner child in a really happy memory.

SHEDDING OLD PARTS AND PIECES OF OURSELVES

Another thing I love about connecting plants to my spiritual life is the opportunity to honor the role of death in life. Just as I celebrate each new leaf unfolding and the new buds appearing, I also applaud the shedding of the leaves on my potted friends.

When I see the plant has shed the leaves and the stems no longer support its system, it reminds me we need to do the same with things from our past that no longer support us. While the roots might be intact, that leaf is no longer part of the plant's growth. The plant is ready and willing to let go of the dead parts to allow for new growth.

When I observe a healthy plant shedding dead leaves, I celebrate it. I say aloud:

"Yay! You're letting go. You're making space for more growth and fullness.”

The plant’s life cycle perfectly mirrors our human experience of growth, death, change, and allowing the old to fall away to make room for the new!

GIVE IT A TRY

You may not consider yourself a plant person, and that’s okay. I encourage you to consider bringing some nature into your home and your life with three low-maintenance varieties that even those with a black thumb can keep alive!

One is a Snake plant, also called the mother's tongue. These thrive in low-light conditions and are known for staying alive even when forgotten for months. They are hearty and easy care plants.

Another is the Pathos plant which is also versatile in lighting needs. It can be in low light, direct light, or a window. It’s popular because of its low maintenance, yet it’s so beautiful.

The ZZ plant, or Zanzibar Gem, is a third easy-to-care-for variety with a forest vibe to its upward growth. It’s often referred to as “thriving with neglect,” so it’s a perfect choice for a first-time plant parent.

As a self-professed “plant person,” I am always excited to share their joy in my life and encourage others to try it.

But if you know you aren’t a plant person…

  • What other ways can you bring more spiritual awareness to your everyday life?
  • What tasks can you use as a reminder to care for yourself, body, mind, and soul?
  • How can you invite your inner child to play as you navigate your adult responsibilities?
  • What can you have as a weekly practice that allows you to remind yourself to take care of yourself, that brings you joy?

 
Take deep care of yourself. Tell yourself daily that you are beautiful and loved and to keep growing!

If you enjoyed this episode with Amy Robeson, we would love to invite you to check out other inspirational episodes by clicking here. Enjoy!

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Full transcription of the episode:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to today's episode. I'm a big believer in when you allow yourself to shift out of chores and into practice, and what I mean practice, I mean spiritual practice, it allows you to have a different experience with that particular chore. I believe everything can become a spiritual teacher if you allow it to be.

So, if you're washing your sink, can you allow yourself to be the observer of your thoughts? And as you're observing those thoughts, you're observing the thoughts that don't serve you that isn't true, can you wash those thoughts down the drain and choose a different thought as you clean the sink? As you mop your floor can you allow anything that's coming up that doesn't allow you to evolve, to be wiped away with each mop stroke you take? I love practices like this, and I love making everyday things a spiritual practice.

And there's a spiritual practice I want to share with you today that I hold near and dear to my heart that assists me in my self-care. And I think this is maybe a hidden gem. Maybe it's not, because I know there are lots of people out there that love this particular thing I'm going to share, but I think it's underrated. And I think sometimes people also do this thing because it brings them joy, and they don't know why it brings them joy. And so I want to share a perspective around the very practice I want to share with you, and that is taking care of house plants.

I believe houseplants are an amazing healing tool. It's an amazing self-care spiritual practice because it reminds you to take care of yourself. And let me explain what I mean. Well, one is, I want my house to support me in my soul's evolution. I want to have things that I'm surrounded with that bring me joy, that bring me peace and allows me to reconnect with nature and my roots.

And one of those things is houseplants. They have roots. They have nature. They bring me great joy. But how they assist me in my self-care practice is they remind me to nourish my body, mind, and soul. There is a study that was done a long time ago where they would yell at the houseplants. And if they were yelling at the houseplants, it would stunt their growth. They didn't particularly like it. They wouldn't grow at all, or they would die when they did this study. And they found that if you spoke nicely to the house plant, you loved on the house plant, they would grow and they would flourish.

And for me, this is how our mind, body, and soul works. If I'm walking around telling my house plants how much I love them, how much I just am so excited to see them grow, how much I'm so excited for them to surround me with love, they send that vibration back to me. I'm also sending that vibration consciously to myself as well. Because when I say I love you, I'm also saying I love you to myself.

When I'm watering the plant, I'm reminding myself I have to nourish my body as well so that requires food. When I'm also giving it water and wiping the leaves off, that also reminds me to take care of my body. I need to clean my body, I need to shower my body. I need to take care of my skin. Because if my skin is not good, which is the largest organ in your body, you're not going to feel the best.

When I'm watering the plant, I'm reminding myself I have to nourish my body as well so that requires food. When I'm also giving it water and wiping the leaves off, that also reminds me to take care of my body. I need to clean my body, I need to shower my body. I need to take care of my skin. Because if my skin is not good, which is the largest organ in your body, you're not going to feel the best.

And so when I'm taking care of my plants, I'm reminding myself to take care of myself. The water and the dirt have minerals for the plant to grow, but that's not good enough. We can't just put food in our bodies and that's going to be the very thing that's going to solve all of our health issues. And when I say health, I'm talking about body, mind, and soul. If you are not speaking kindly to yourself, but you're eating the right foods and you're not feeling good, it has nothing to do with the food.

The food is going to help you feel better. But if there's a missing piece in the puzzle, like kind self-talk or mental health that allows you to feel good about yourself, you're not going to flourish. And so when I'm taking care of my house plants, I'm reminding myself on a consistent basis that I have to also take care of my mind, body, and soul.

I'm also a big believer as I'm walking around telling my plants how much I love them and I'm so excited for them to grow. And I celebrate every time I see a new leaf or a new bud pop up, I'm like, "Yeah, you're doing great!" And then this reminds me to celebrate my wins as well. This also is an inner child self-care spiritual practice for me too. I fell in love with houseplants when I was a little kid. I would go over to my grandma's house and we would water her plants.

I loved her plants so much. She moved away when I think I was in like maybe 6th grade, 7th grade she moved away. And when I graduated high school, I got to go visit her for the first time in the state that she lived in. And I was so excited to see her house plants. She had them draped across her ceiling because there was like this really long veiny plant that was apotheosis and I just remember saying to myself, "I'm going to have these plants when I get older."

And I did. Like, I started collecting plants in my 20s, but then I didn't realize why I was collecting them. I just knew that I really enjoyed looking at them. I knew that I just enjoyed having them around me. I knew that they brought joy to my inner child. But at the time, I didn't have the words that, "Oh, this is an actual self-care practice." And as I've gotten older and I've really allowed myself to be supported by things that bring me joy and allow myself to analyze the things that bring me joy and why they bring me joy and then go, 'Oh, that's why I like doing that very thing. It reminds me to take care of myself." It also supports my inner child in a really happy memory.

And when I'm watering my plants, I envision my inner child watering her plants. I also sometimes will even envision my grandma's spirit with me walking around us talking about the plants. My grandma's still alive, and I'll actually call her and talk to her about house plants because it brings me joy, and I know how much she loves them too. But it's just something that nourishes my soul in a completely different way than other things that I do.

The other thing that I love about this particular self-care practice is I get to celebrate death. And I know that sounds like, "What do you mean, Amy? You just got done talking about how you get excited when the leaf grows." Yeah, I also get excited when I see the plant has shed the leaves, the stems that are no longer supporting its system. Just like us, we have things from our past that no longer support us, and it might still be in the root system, but the leaf no longer needs to be around. Like, there are going to be leaves that die on house plants. And you don't need to get sad about it. It wants to shed its leaves.

Now, if you're not taking care of it and it's dying because you're not taking care of it, that's a completely different story. That's a reminder, like, "Hey, I better start taking care of this plant, or hey, I better start taking care of myself." And trust me, I've had some house plants that have not made it because they weren't in the right conditions or I didn't understand how to properly take care of that particular plant.

And when I have just a regular house plant that's been growing, that has leaves growing, and it has a leaf that dies, I celebrate it. I go, "Yeah, you're letting go. You're making space to be more full." And that's true. Like, if you cut some of your houseplants' leaves off, it allows them to grow and get fuller and bushier, depending on the type of house plant. I also love cutting leaves or propagating the leaves or the stems, depending on what type of plant it is to grow more plants or to grow more plants to give away and not keep them in my collection.

So I want to encourage you to want to find a self-care practice that brings you great joy, that allows you to make it spiritual. Also, if you are already taking care of house plants and you're like, “Maybe I can shift my perspective around taking care of them,” awesome. I really want you to also see it as a self-care practice for yourself.

If you're the type of person that is like, "I cannot keep a plant alive." I want to tell you that you can totally keep a plant alive. There are several plants that are very low maintenance plants that you can totally keep alive. One, you always want to make sure you have house plants that you understand the lighting requirements it needs. Also, if you've never kept a plant alive, you want a very low-maintenance plant. And there are two very low-maintenance plants that I believe are very easy to take care of.

One is a snake plant, which is also called the mother's tongue. If you're watching the video to this episode, I have a big snake plant right behind me, right here. These will thrive in low-light conditions. You can also put them in highlight, medium light, and indirect light. They're a really hearty plant that's easy, easy to take care of. I've been told that some people have left them in the basement with no light for months and months and months and forgot to water it and it still was okay. So it is a plant that is easy to take care of.

The pathos plant is also this plant right here. I'll put some pictures in our blog. So if you haven't checked our blog out, you can go to the website, theamyrobeson.com or you can also click on the show notes and go to the website that way as well and I'll have some pictures of these plants as well. So this is a popular plant, super easy to take care of, it could be an indirect light or low light doesn't necessarily always have to be next to a window, and it will still do pretty well.

And then the ZZ plant as well. I have a beautiful ZZ plant that's on top of my refrigerator cabinet. And I went up there this weekend and I was so excited because it has these new buds coming in and they're so beautiful. I'm like, "Yes, you're doing great. I'm so excited for you. Keep growing. You can do this." And those ones are pretty easy to do. They're low to indirect medium light that you can do with those plants as well.

If you are afraid that you won't take care of a plant, I am not here to convince you to become a plant person. I am definitely a plant person. But if you feel that you're like, "No way.' What can you have as a weekly practice that allows you to remind yourself to take care of yourself, that brings you joy? The main message that I'm trying to get across here is that it's really important to nourish your body, mind, and soul.

And you can have everyday practices that allow you to do that. And for me, that's taking care of my houseplants. For me, it's also inviting my inner child to play with me while I'm doing it too. And so it's like a double self-care spiritual practice for me too because I'm nourishing my inner child. I'm allowing her to do something that's really, really fun. And when I tell my plants that they're beautiful and I love them, I'm telling that to myself as well. And so take deep care of yourself. Tell yourself daily that you are beautiful and that you are loved and to keep growing and to keep going because you got this. I hope you enjoyed today's episode.

I look forward to seeing you in the next one. Please make sure you like and subscribe and I will see you soon. Bye.

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