Why I make the time to care for two Dracaena Compactas

When do you practice full self-expression and meditative ease at the same time?

Right now, I care for two plants. To be precise, I care for two dark green Dracaena Janet Craig “Compacta” low-light, indoor plants. (I usually care for three. Though I recently moved; and so one of the set of three unfortunately didn’t survive the move.)

“(The) dark green Dracaena Janet Craig ‘Compacta’ is… a ‘low or no light bathroom plant’.” [credit: https://plantcaretoday.com/dracaena-janet-craig.html]

You care for a couple of plants — so what?

So what? You may be saying, “So you care for a couple of plants… What’s the big deal?!”

Or, you may be someone who immediately thinks to yourself: “I don’t have time to care for… (plants, whatever, fill-in-your-own-blank-here).” Or you may even have a story you tell yourself and others, “I don’t have a ‘green thumb,’ I have a ‘brown thumb!’ Every plant — or goldfish, or whatever — I’ve ever cared for dies!”

So then, well, what’s up? What I want to share about the fact that I care for a couple of plants is really simple — and yet also profound for me.

On the surface, I like green, lush, living life in my space. I am not an “outdoorsman” type of guy, yet I appreciate nature for its beauty and aliveness. So “indoor” plants, and sometimes even bouquets of flowers, are a good compromise for me.

Now, why I make the time to care for my plants is because I’ve realized that the plants are a “prompt” for me. Keeping them around occasionally prompts me to pause, bring my attention to a few simple tasks required to sustain the livelihood and appearance of the plants, and to express a few aspects of my personality that otherwise typically get obfuscated by my more intense personality traits. I get to be creative and nurturing rather than analytical and productive.

What does it mean to ‘care for’ the plants?

So, I gently water the plants, prune browning or cracked tips of leaves, sparsely spray the leaves with POKON leafshine, and sometimes reposition the plants in my workspace or livingspace to provide a new light source for the plants and revitalized stimuli for my creativity.

POKON leafshine, for naturally shining leaves

What is so profound for me about caring for the plants?

The actual decision itself to occasionally make the time for this activity feels soul-nourishing to me. Like I am not only making the plants a priority, but like I am putting myself first in the moment even if just for a short time.

Then there are the benefits of being in action in the moment… The acts of pruning, drizzling water on to a plant, and delicately spraying the leafshine on to the leaves all give me an experience of subtle bliss.

Additionally, for a time, I experience a peacefulness and subdued strengthening of my ability to be slow, precise, attentive, and gentle. You could say that it is somewhat meditative for me. I have also realized that I feel more self-expressed, more complete about “who I am” as a “whole person” if you will.

What do you care for in such a way that it nourishes you, as well as, that for which you are caring?

Do you have a practice that you occasionally make time for that provides you with these benefits? I highly recommend you look for such a prompt and activity for yourself.

Or perhaps, you care for a pet, or you care for a child; significant commitments and efforts being required to fulfill on the caring for these players in your life! Maybe, occasionally when caretaking a pet or a child, you could slow down and ease into your interactions with your child or your pet?

What’s the ‘big picture’ of my story about caring for a couple of Dracaena Janet Craig Compactas?

I want for you — for everyone really — the opportunity to relish moments in your life. This moment, right here and right now, is ALL you’ve ever actually got. This moment IS your life. Being really IN THIS MOMENT NOW HERE, attentive, precise, at-ease with yourself, and even fully self-expressed can be the most rewarding experience you’ll ever have. I want this for you often — and always.

Respectfully,
GREG


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