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Pruning Our Way Forward

By Cassandra Sales, ILS Program Manager

The vibrancy of Summer is shown in many ways. From the depth of green color in grass, to gardens in full bloom producing the most delicious fruit and vegetables, to sun kissed color on people all around us, Summer’s paintbrush is always creating new masterpieces for us to enjoy. Whether you enjoy heading to the lake on your day off, go camping with your family, or just stay close to home, the long sunshine hours of Summer can really be a blessing.

The Importance of Pruning

The garden’s thriving in the summer sun, are also a cue of the importance of pruning from our lives as well. Pruning reminds us that sometimes to reach our full potential, we must first trim off what is no longer serving us or even may be harming us. With the change of season, it’s important for us to take an inventory of what is working well in our lives and what needs to be pruned. Healthy pruning can come in many forms such as setting good boundaries, getting sober, eating more healthy options instead of hitting the drive through, and having the tough conversations you have been avoiding influencing breakthrough. As you enter summer, what pruning do you need to do in your own life? What could you cut out of your life that would help you bloom even more vibrantly?

Healthy Habits

In addition to pruning, plants need several things to thrive: water, sunlight, and the correct nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. People aren’t that much different. We as humans also need sunlight, water, and the correct nutrients like connection, healthy foods, and good habits to thrive. Our theme this year is Rest and Rise, and a core piece of that process is slowing down enough to create new healthy habits.

One of the blessings of summer is longer light filled days. It’s important to utilize those extra hours of daylight to cultivate healthy habits. Take a walk in the evening with a client if you are on shift or a friend if you aren’t on shift. Switch out your favorite drink once a day for a glass of water instead. Plan time with the people who feel like sunshine in human form. Think of Rest and Rise like a slingshot. In order to propel forward into the years to come, we first have to pull back and get the needed momentum, and that comes from healthy habits.

The best way to be successful with new habits, that will help your garden of life bloom, is establishing an accountability partner. Use your connection time with your Facilitator, Supervisor, or peers to share how you plan to prune from your life, what you plan to add to ensure you are getting the correct nutrients to thrive, and to share in the progress along the way. We all would love to cheer you on as you use Summer to prune your way forward.

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