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Dancing with Possibility

An American In Switzerland

~ a weekly reflection about change

Welcome back to the seventh in a series of weekly reflections on the tiny shifts that change everything

Taking care of the garden we inherited in Seattle quickly became a delightful dance between what the garden needed and what I wanted it to be.

Our garden in Seattle:

Missing that dance, I set out to create a porch garden in Geneva. Finding stores to buy what I needed was hard. Deciphering which plants to buy was harder. Of course they are tagged in French and common and useful info on how big they’ll get and how much sun and water they need is missing on most of the labels. I assumed gardening here would be about the same in Geneva as in Seattle, but as one pot sagged into a soggy mess and the porch boxes wilted in the sun, dancing with this garden felt more like a wrestling match! So I stepped back and focused on learning how to grow plants in this place and in this weather. Some days I still come home to wilted plants and there seems to be mildew or something on the Gazanias, but for the most part the plants are happy and thriving. With a bright and happy place to enjoy and a great supply of herbs that really like it out there, I'm starting to enjoy this new dance with the dirt.

I didn’t go into this project thinking I was an expert, but I still fell into the trap Shunryu Suzuk points to in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, "in the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few." I fell into the same trap when I set out to pick up a sunshade I ordered online. Convinced I had the wrong address when Google lead me to this sidewalk, I ignored the dotted line that lead from the end of the road to my destination. Following slightly different addresses found in their app, I drove around in circles through miserable traffic. Finally I went back to the first location, parked the car, and walked into the pick-up location along the dotted line. That was a possibility I had refused to consider, as no online retailer would offer a location you couldn’t drive to.

Well, they did, and refusing to even consider that possibility had me going in circles. As that reality sunk in, I started to get curious. What other possibilities am I'm missing that keep me going in circles or feeling stuck? Have you ever felt stuck or like you’re running around in circles? If you'd like to get curious about options and possibilities you may be missing that could get you moving forward and towards your destination, take advantage of a discounted session here. If you’d like to explore one-on-one coaching, please schedule a time to connect here. For more on developing a growth mindset and becoming a better learner, check out Trevor Ragan’s entertaining and insightful videos Learning like a jungle tiger and How to be a better learner. Thank you for reading! Steve Hindman +41 (0)79 796 08 97


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