Episode 013 of the Cultivate Your Life Podcast was released on April 3rd, 2019. Listen here!

Do you feel like you need some fresh air? Let’s go in to the garden together. You know all those things you’ve always wanted to do? You should go do them. The things that last longer than you, the things that run deeper, and are more thrilling than skydiving. The things that make you come alive.


Welcome, to the Cultivate Your Life podcast, where each week we talk about how to uncover what matters to you in the big picture, and start acting like it today. Whether you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or in need of some refreshing truth today. I’m Lara, and you are in the right place. Let’s cultivate what matters, together.


Welcome to the garden. It is so good to be here with you. It’s so beautiful out here. It’s kind of crazy to think back, because when you and I first started coming out here earlier this year, there was a whole lot of nothing. There were winter weeds, which they’re still here. There were old pansies leftover from the Fall, and we had quite a few ice and snow storms, that really tore those panties up. I really didn’t think, that they were going to do anything out here, and yet, I stand here looking out over this garden with you, and it is magical. I put all of our bulbs in pots this year, and lined the garden beds with those pots, and all those pansies. Their name is wrong. They are not pansies. They are strong, and resilient, and amazingly hardy. They weathered all of that snow and ice, and they have just filled these beds out. They have bounced back in ways, I couldn’t imagine. It is glorious out here in the garden.


The pansies make this springtime perfume, that is intoxicating, and mixed with the daffodils … don’t get me started. It’s pretty nice. But as beautiful as this is, if I were to leave this here, I wouldn’t have any room for anything else. Like all of the mops and bops, and golden glops, that we talked about in our last journey in to the garden together.


If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go back a couple episodes, and listen to Joshua’s list of things he wants to grow, in the garden this year. Among the golden glops, we also have a whole host of flowers, that I can’t wait to sow in this soil. Tomatoes and peppers, and all kinds of vegetables, berries. Our list … it is long. So, as beautiful as this is, I know that I have to first, pull this out, to make room for even better things ahead, and that is really hard to do. It’s hard. I look, I hear, and I think, I don’t want to mess
Why get rid of something that is good, and isn’t that the same with our lives? Are you there right now? You’re thinking to yourself, there is something I want to grow, or change ahead, or something you want to do. Something you want to pursue. Something you want to focus on, and yet you know, you know deep down that, that also means you’re gonna have to say no to something else, because when we say yes to one thing, it means we’re saying no to something else, and vice versa. When we say no to something, it allows us, to say yes to something even better. We can’t do it all, and do it well.


I can’t plant my garden here in this current soil. There’s no room, but don’t we try to do that with our lives. We try to plant it all at once, in one small space. Just speaking from experience here. I’ve done it. When we do that, things pull valuable nutrients away from each other, and really nothing ends up growing well. So, in order to grow something new, you have to pull something else out first, to make room. I’ve thought so much about this in my life lately, and I’m going to tell you the whole story of letting go of something really good, letting go of Southern Weddings Magazine, the magazine that we produced for 10 years, but I’ll tell you that story in a few weeks.


Just recently, I’ve been thinking so much about how we can either, intentionally choose to make room for new things, or we could be in a season of overload, where we are forced to. I’ve been in so many seasons, whether it’s transition, or having a new child, or a season of illness or hardship or whatever it is. Those seasons, they force you to pull stuff out. You are forced to just focus on what’s essential. Survival is what those seasons are about, right?


I’ve been in one of those seasons over the last, I don’t even know how many months, a season of so much transition, and change, and hardship, and being on my knees, and now coming out of that season, I see that it’s actually a gift. I know you didn’t want me to say that, I know, but we’re friends, and so I’m here to hopefully tell you the truth, which is that, these difficult things that we walk through, and I don’t know the difficult thing you’re in right now, but I do know for me, that these difficult seasons, force me to do what’s essential, to do what really, to use our phrase, what really matters. Matter, like we talked about in our episode on how to plan your year, matter means something that takes up space.


What are you going to choose in your life, that’s going to take up space? My garden teaches me this lesson, with every season that comes. Right now, as we look out on these beautiful purple, and blue, and yellow, and lavender colored pansies, that are just perfuming the air, it is really hard to think about pulling these things out. They’re beautiful. Why pull them out? It’s the same with our lives. It can be really difficult to look at something, that’s growing really well in your life and think, ah, this is hard, but deep down you know, that you’re making room for something better. Even if you can’t see it yet, or feel it yet, or touch that thing yet, the risk is worth it.
What in your life’s garden, needs to get cleared out to make room for something new? Maybe it’s emotional clutter, physical clutter, routines that aren’t working anymore. Just get your thoughts on paper right now. Grab a scrap piece of paper, and write down what you want to make room for, and then write down, even if it’s hard, the thing you think you need to let go of, to make room.


Even again, if it feels impossible, because there are things in my season right now, that I’ve thought, I don’t know how I’m going to make room for that, but you got to start somewhere. What do you want to make room for, and what do you think you need to move out of the way to make room? When we do the same things we’ve always done, we get the same results we’ve always gotten. If I were to just leave these pansies here, you know what’s going to happen come June, when the weather warms up a whole lot? They’re going to fry, and by that point, it’s actually gonna be too late, for me to plant a lot of the things, that we want to grow this year.
It’s time. I wish you were here with me, so that you could actually like hold my hand while I do this. Do I sound like the crazy plant lady? Yes, I am emotionally attached to my plants, and I own that. Thank you very much. But yeah, I wish you could be here, to pull these out with me. It’s hard. It’s hard to just grab a handful of prettiness, and yank those roots out of the ground, but I just keep saying to myself over and over, “I’m making room for better things. Making room for better things.” And you know, for me, it’s not just about plants.


I know that I’m making room for experiences, for these sweet kiddos coming up, whether that’s harvesting our sweet potatoes in the Fall, or eating tomatoes right off the vine, clipping flowers for neighbors, that really need some encouragement, and making way to love people better. So, we’re in this together, my Friend. I’m digging in to my literal and proverbial soil, right alongside you, to clear the clutter.


So, start with just one thing. What is just one space in your life, that needs some margin? Just pick one spot, whether it’s physical clutter, relationships that need mending or tending, emotional clutter. Maybe you just need to get all your thoughts down on paper, where you can do something about them, or maybe you need to step outside, and smell the roses. Get your hands dirty, and get some fresh air. I’m here cheering you on, as you take that first step. Until next time, get out there, and cultivate your life.