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Garden Therapy

Getting in Touch with Your Roots

Exercise: Connecting to your Roots:

Your roots are the equivalent of combined experiences, belief systems, familial influences and your values system. Take a few moments to examine the health of your roots. List all of your values, qualifying each one with a short sentence or two about what that value means. (i.e., if we both had “freedom” as a value, it would mean different things to both of us, so what does it mean to you?). Be specific.

eg :

  1. Freedom – to be able to work for myself and live my life according to my own terms

  2. Trust – to be surrounded by people I can rely on and to live by the code of being trustworthy myself

  3. Laughter – to always have a sense of humor and see the bright side of things

  4. Nature – to surround myself with the outdoors, with plants and natural things

  5. Spirtuality – to connect with the Divine in my daily activities

  6. Creativity – to approach life with a sense of the creative – originality, surround myself with beauty

  7. Self-expression – to always be true to myself and my own style and take opportunities to express myself in various ways.                                                                                                                    

Next, rank them in order of importance, with #1 being the most important. Then look at how you are living each value in reality and rank it accordingly. If you say freedom is #1 for you, yet in reality you are stifled, stuck in a job or relationship you hate, doing the same thing every day, then you are not being true to that value’s importance - you are not living in integrity.


Ranked in Importance                 Ranking in Actual Daily Life

  1. Freedom                                                         1

  2. Trust                                                                7

  3. Laughter                                                         3

  4. Nature                                                            6

  5. Spirituality                                                      5

  6. Creativity                                                        4

  7. Self-expression                                              2


Once that’s complete you have a pretty good picture of your values and where you are falling short with being in integrity with those values.   In the example above, “Trust” was ranked second in importance for this person, but she is experiencing it in her everyday life in 7th place.  Something isn’t right.  She needs to explore why this is.  Is she surrounding herself with untrustworthy people?  Is she being untrustworthy herself?  Many times this simple exercise will expose areas of incongruence that will explain why you may be unhappy or unfulfilled.

Next look at your belief system and life experiences. Are there any self-limiting beliefs or past experiences that maybe at one time served you in some way, but no longer do? Get rid of them! This is the equivalent of weeding. (This is where coaching and garden therapy can be used, as this can sometimes be difficult to achieve without help.) Incidentally, even negative experiences contribute something positive – it acts as fertilizer for our roots and becomes part of which we are, so acknowledge its contribution, and then send it on its way.

Finally, make a list of things you are grateful for in your life. Be specific and take your time. You may want to build your list a little everyday. A daily practice of gratitude puts us in a positive frame of mind. This positive energy acts as water for our roots, helping us to grow as people and leaving us with a spirit open to accepting love and abundance in our lives.



For more information on Garden Therapy, call me at (401) 486-0159 .

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