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A well tended life….

March 14, 2013

I recently had the opportunity to catch up with a friend for tea in our garden. It’s a magical little place and brings me such joy to share with others. Since the summer rains everything is fresh, green and brimming with life, I have all sorts of seedlings springing up, beans, tomatoes, herbs, flowers and more. The kookaburra’s have been making themselves right at home on my garden chairs, the perfect little perch from which to scan the garden for treats and all sorts of critters abound.


I listened to a Ted talk by an inspiring young man recently. At only eleven years he spoke with eloquence and with a certainty that I am sure not only captivated his adult audience but gave many pause to reflect and consider their own lives. Many of us might recall being asked the same question as a young person, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” Even for myself at this moment with a lifestyle change in the wings, people ask me, “What will you do now?” I feel the same though as this young man, the question for me is not what I want to do rather it is what I want to be…..and my answer is no different to what is has been – I want to be happy, healthy and a live my life to the fullest.


In his frank discussion about life young Master referenced a concept known as therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC’s) that he was proactively incorporating into his own life to create health and happiness. Dr Roger Walsh who coined the phrase described eight areas or TLC’s that can lead to wonderful outcomes for anyone who would take the time to invest in them. Whilst the eight areas he mentioned are all concepts that I value and invest into on a weekly basis, I decided to research this concept further. TLC’s have been found to have fantastic affects on 100% of people, the vast majority of practitioners however, across disciplines, prefer to prescribe medication. About 10% were found to encourage patients to engage in TLC’s in order to improve their lives. Not co-incidently those who recommended TLC’s  also practiced TLC’s themselves!


So you are probably wondering what are these TLC’s? Well as Dr Walsh notes TLC’s are nothing new, they are just practices that have perhaps fallen by the wayside of a society in rapid pursuit of the perks of modernity. They include spiritual connection, exercise, nutrition & diet, time in nature, relationships, recreation, relaxation & stress management and contribution & service. Not only are most of these fun, they are also mostly free! So why not make some time this weekend, perhaps you’ll brew a nice pot of green tea and sit in your garden and write an old fashioned letter to a friend.

vintage mail

Is there a yoga class you’ve been wanting to try? A friend you’ve been meaning to catch up with, why not invite them for a healthy, home-made lunch with a big rainbow salad. Take your kids out for a bicycle ride and have a little picnic in the park! Perhaps you want to start a journal where you can begin to jot down your thoughts? Is there a meditation group you want to join, or a spiritual journey or community you want to reconnect with?


It’s simply a matter of slowing down, reconnecting with the wisdom of ages past and beginning to tend the garden of your life. I know what helps for me is being around others who are also gently tending a life well lived.  Like an established garden, a life of value takes time and energy to develop – one must sow the right seeds in order to reap the benefits but with time and the passing of the seasons, you will begin to enjoy the fruits of your labours and will discover the joy of making  a safe space where others can also come and find rest.


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