The world seems full of strife these days. Social media has allowed us to get into global conversations. Some of them funny, some insightful, while others, can launch a stream of raging comments, each with a different point of view.
What if, however, we all decided to focus on something that we agree on? Maybe start with something simple. Something we can all relate to. How about breathing? Can we all agree that we enjoy breathing?
As a nurse with nearly thirty years of experience, I know a thing or two about the importance of breathing. I have cared for many patients tethered to an oxygen tank, their mobility range limited to the length of their oxygen tubing. I've witnessed people on their deathbed speed up their breathes, then take a long breathless pause, then repeat this until finally they are completely lifeless. No breath, they lay still and their face slowly fills with a molten blue color from the lack of oxygen. I've rushed to get an asthma patient their inhaler as their eyes spring wide open with fear and they clutch their chest, desperate for a deep breath. Breathing is vital to live.
For those of us who have taken a yoga class or gone scuba diving, we know the importance of the breath. The power it has to calm us, take us deeper, allow us to explore.
Yes, breathing is important to each of us. Can we agree on that?
If we agree on that, can we take this a step further? Can we agree healthy, clean air is important? Did you know that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 91% of the world’s population lives in places where the air quality exceeds the WHO limits?
Let's just start with contemplating on this, if we all agree, breathing is important.
The choice to grow from seed, versus buying a plant already started, brings with it some particular attributes. Let's take a look at these, shall we?
First: As we discussed in the second episode of the Healthy Green Thumbs™ campaign, growing from seed allows for a much greater choice in variety of plants. Take lettuce for example-arugula, butter lettuce, iceberg, and romaine are just some of the varieties we can choose from.
Second: Will it grow? There is something thrilling about the anticipation of seeing if a seed that has been planted will actually grow. Ask any seasoned plant grower, and they will tell you that they still find it exhilarating when they go to visit their garden and notice that the seeds that they planted are actually sprouting! Couple that with the joy of then watching it grow and bloom into a flower, or produce a red, juicy tomato, become a tad tree that produces much needed shade on a hot summer day.
Third: Knowing we are connected to something much greater. We may prepare the soil, plant the seed, and water it, but experiencing a seed transform into a magnificent plant is a humbling reminder that there is a much greater power supporting all living things. Research shows that those connected with nature, something called nature connectedness, are happier.
What are your thoughts? Do you grow plants from seed? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Learn more about how growing plants can help your health and wellbeing by subscribing to our free, biweekly Healthy Green Thumbs™ e-newsletter: Learn more.
Everyone, even those who claim to have 'Brown Thumbs', can learn to grow healthy plants. The key is providing what plants need to grow well. The funny thing is, plants and humans require some of the same basic needs: light, a growing medium, nutrients and water.
Light: Plants need light exposure or sun to grow. If we are growing plants indoors, a sunny window may be enough. But for some plants, special lighting is required. When we grow plants outdoors, we need to plant seeds and plants in a setting that offers the amount of sunlight they need. Light and sun allow the plant to perform a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is essentially when a plant takes the energy from the light source and converts it into chemical energy (food source) that the plant can use later to fuel its activities. Just as we poop and pee, most plants give off waste too; oxygen. Good for us, because we need this to breathe!
Growing Medium: We need a home to grow in. So do plants. The type of home depends on the plant. Most plants need soil to sink their roots in so they can flourish. Other plants, however, can grow in water, or air, if they have somewhere to anchor their roots.
Nutrients: When we eat well, we feel well, right? The same is true for plants. Plants require essential nutrients. Knowing what they need and ensuring they get these nutrients will make your thumbs greener and your plants happier.
Water: Even the plants that thrive in the hottest desserts need at least some water. Water is an essential nutrient that no living being can thrive without. Finding the balance between providing enough versus overwatering can be tricky. Be sure to look up the water requirements for the plants you want to grow.
Getting in sync with what your plants need to thrive can take a little time and patience. Just as raising a newborn infant or puppy, we need to rely on others for advice, search for instructions, and just get to know this living entity we are connecting with.
Over the next year, the Healthy Green Thumbs™ campaign will dive in deeper to help you with tips on how to provide these four essential components needed for successful plant growing. We will also grow a community of like-minded people trying to enhance their health and well-being by connecting with nature through plant growing. Whether you choose to grow herbs in your kitchen window, keep an aloe plant alive or take on a full outdoor vegetable garden, the Healthy Green Thumbs™ community is where you can get information, share your successes and find support during the inevitable failures.
Join now for free: Healthy Green Thumbs Information
On June 21st, at 11:54 EDT, those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere will experience the longest day of the year, while those who live in the Southern Hemisphere will experience the darkest day, and the beginning of winter. Just the word, summer, conjures up images in all of us. Playing flashlight tag, sweet, juicy watermelon refreshing our parched throats, and hours surrounded by water.
Mention summer and water immediately comes to mind for many. Trips to the beach, fishing on a lake, hiking to a gushing waterfall deep in the forest, diving into the clear, blue tranquility of a pool-the options are endless. As we indulge in the fun and joy of water this summer, perhaps we will also consider expanding our awareness of water does for us.
In case you missed it last fall, I shared a series on water and the healing benefit it offers. Feel free to take a look.
Part 1: Water-The Big Story
Part 2: Is Water In Your Wellness Toolbox?
Part 3: Wow! Water Can Heal That?
Let's soak up this precious resource as much as we can this summer!