The Beautiful Garden of Life…Why Planting Seeds of Kindness Produces Lifelong Blooms
In her own words…
“Since I was a little girl, I have viewed my life as one big, exquisite garden filled with the people I’ve encountered throughout my experiences. As a child, playing among the oversized lilac bushes framing my suburban backyard, I’ve loved being around flowers. Their sweet fragrance and bright colors always brought me an overwhelming sense of tranquility, joy and happiness. As I grew up, I recall becoming giddy receiving flowers from thoughtful friends and loved ones who knew how much blooms brighten my world. In my adult life, I began my own tradition of grabbing simple bouquets at our local French market to place in vases around my home and to greet me each day on my office desk. That simple ritual continues to bring me peace and a constant reminder to be grateful to for the gift in witnessing the world’s beauty.
During my 47 years of life, the hundreds – more likely thousands – of friendships and business relationships that I’ve made have been rooted in planting seeds of love, kindness and goodwill throughout my personal and professional interactions. I genuinely love the ability to meet someone, have an authentic connection and uncover a way to support or serve them in some small way. It’s just how I’m wired and perhaps why I’ve excelled in a career in the field of public relations and marketing. I regularly marvel at, and am truly humbled by, what has bloomed in this “life garden” of mine. In fact, as I’ve gone through various seasons of change (marriage, motherhood, love, loss), I’m constantly in awe of how those simple “seeds” have grown and sprouted at just the right time to provide just the right color and context when I needed it most. When I experienced some of my darkest days (work challenges, an unexpected divorce, the loss of both of my parents within 14 weeks) those blooms sustained me and offered hope during the many mundane parts of life that we all experience. Relationships provide deep beauty and personal growth, just like flowers do.
My fiancé and my kids will tell you that I am definitely NOT a gardener, but I am familiar with the term “annual” and “perennial” – annuals are plants that pop out for just one season where you get to enjoy all of their splendor. On the other hand, perennials live for three or often many more growing seasons, ready for you to nurture and prune them and pass them on, even for generations. In my relationship garden, many “flowers” in my life have bloomed for a long time, and they’ve continually reminded me of the joy they bring and how fortunate I am to know them and love them. Other people I’ve met were “annuals,” which makes them no less beautiful or appreciated. These timely blooms gave me beauty or a blessing for just one important season in my life – to teach me something, connect me to someone I needed for my next chapter or create a bridge to a bigger garden in my future. So although these gorgeous blooms may not return next season, I’m grateful I could appreciate them for the moment.
As we enter springtime where the world begins to bloom outdoors, I feel a wonderful sense of excitement for what beauty will be revealed this year. I’m also reminded how grateful I am for the beautiful garden of people my life. I encourage you to plant seeds of love and kindness, too. It will yield countless colorful experiences and a gorgeous setting to appreciate the various seasons of your life.”
*** Please follow along on instagram as well and learn more about Kathleen. This year for my birthday, I am embarking on a weekly photo essay project highlighting 52 Phenomenal Women. This is week 31 of 52. Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!**