Garden and Weeds: What They Mean About Your Health

Does it ever seem like the stress in your life never seems to end? And that if you could just get over this and this and this stress that you would finally be able to take care of yourself, have the love you want, the finances, the body, the energy, and everything you want in your life?

Well it’s true.

Life and stress is always going to happen. There is no escaping it. It is a fact of life and it is also needed (I’ll explain why later in this post).

However toxic stress or consistent stress that promotes dis-ease to later become disease in the body is harmful. Yet, when we build capacity and resiliency we create the space inside us that allows stress to MOVE THROUGH our body rather than get STUCK in our body.

Let me explain what I mean with an analogy.

Imagine a garden.

Here you see my sister and I clear out the grass clumps from our freshly tilled garden back in 2015.

Imagine that the garden is your BODY and your NERVOUS SYSTEM.


Now, imagine a big garden with lots of weeds in it, and here's a little graphic representation.

This garden has a lot of weeds in it of different sizes, different colors, and different varieties. It's completely jam packed. Take note that the weeds are everywhere and that you aren't going to be able to move in them or grow in the space very well or at all, and it is even hard to take many of them out. There isn’t even room for anything else that can grow in this garden.

The parallel here is to imagine your BODY and your nervous system as the garden.

The weeds are your stressors that are TRAPPED in the garden, or in your case your BODY.

When there's a lot of stress and when a lot of stress is stored inside of the body, there's not a lot of space inside, and without space, we get a lot of rigidity and tension, both in our mindset, and also, in our tissues, in our organs, in our gut, and in our muscles.

In our rigidity and tension, we then tend to SHUT DOWN.

Shut down can look like a wide variety of issues, but some things that happen is our metabolism goes down. Our ability to have energy goes down, and fatigue and lethargy are a result of that.

Also, our bodies shut down when they are in constant chaos, when there's just too many things, too many stressors and too much of life going on. Chaos brings confusion and overwhelm, and if you think about the garden with all those weeds in it, that is shows the reality of being chaotic.

It’s what one may call wild, crazy, intense and completely overwhelming.

When there's too many stressors, there's very little resilience.

There is no room for anything. There’s a feeling of not being able to breathe and that everything is being held inside. When we don't have resilience and there's too much stress inside of us, we become over-sensitive and sick making it hard for us to bounce back because we're so rigid.

Things inside can’t move and there is no flow. When our body holds a lot of stress, we have low energy, illness, pain, are quick to outbursts, are over-sensitive, highly anxious and deeply depressed.

To overcome this we want to create resiliency, which means to create more movement. We want to create more flow. We want to create more space to allow more movement to get at the weeds, our stresses, and remove them.

When there is too much inside there is no flow and no movement.

Our bodies need movement.

Our veins and blood flow, our lymphatic system, and oxygen to the cells are needed to reach all the systems in our body. We need to have a constant healthy flow to excrete the toxins and products to make room in bringing in good nutrition to be absorbed.

It looks something like this.

Here pictured is my farmyard last year. You can see the easy created pathways in and around all the things planted, plus barriers like the fence, the white cloths, and the biodegradable paper that broccoli is planted in to reduce the stresses from weeds and other stressors such as bugs and other pests.

This garden shows the opposite of stagnation. This garden represents having lots of oxygen, lots of productive edible greens (representing growing the things we actually want in our life that is productive to our well-being), lots of room to move through and around the garden. This is what we want in our bodies. This garden is the resilience we want to have.

We want to have the space to grow what we want in our life whether it be more love, more acceptance, more health, more joy, more safety, more etc.

We need to have the barriers in place to take on outside stressors, but we also need to know when, where, and how to put up boundaries in our life. Boundaries we set could be in our relationships, our home, our career, and our health to pursue the balance of good stress vs. toxic stress.

Life is always going to have some form of stress. There's always something, but resilience is infinite, and that we can grow more, and more, and more.

Just like the third garden image shown, the more resilient we are in how we grow our body, how we grow our life, the more stress we can actually take in, and it can be good stress.

Good stress is like a healthy dose of rain and shine, these all stress a plant to grow and blossom to produce fruit.

Stress doesn't always have to be bad stress.

Stress that challenges us to go into different zones of uncomfortableness that might move us to a different levels in our relationships, our career, our passions or other aspects of our life.

What does good stress look like?

  • Good stress looks like making time to make a good meal, taking care of your health and perhaps your families health.

  • Good stress looks like setting boundaries in a relationship when a new level of harmony is necessary to both individuals well-being.

  • Good stress looks like having the courage to speak out about who you really are, your needs, and the experiences that have impacted you to be a more loving, kind, and compassionate human being.

However, keeping all our stress inside, all those weeds, uses a lot of energy reserves.

From a human system perspective, when we keep emotions and other toxins stored inside, we use a lot of energy, and it leaves very little energy for anything else. These stored stressors is what creates chronic illness, and basically leads us to not be living at our best potential.

Your nervous system and really all of your body wants to thrive, but with excess stressors inside, it cannot.

A second way to reducing stress is to create CAPACITY.

Capacity looks like having a bigger garden with the same amount of weeds.

Even though you have the same amount of stress you are able to move more around the weeds. There is more space. Things aren't as cramped. If you want to take a walk around the garden, you could and you could get out more easily.

You want to make the garden bigger, your internal felt capacity of your body bigger, and then we want to take the weeds, your stresses, out of the garden. We want to start actually taking these stressors out, our external stressors (unhealthy diet, unhealthy relationships, unhealthy career, unhealthy immediate environment, etc.) and our internal stressors (stored difficult emotions, stored traumas) out.

We want to create exit paths in our bodies to get our stresses out, and how we do that is going to be very dependent on each person's individual physiology.

My primary goal is to help people who struggle with chronic illness make more capacity and resilience, and then work towards how we can add no more stress in. When we combine the two the weeds, the stresses, find ways of dying off on their own. At least that's what I've seen in my experience working with people in this.

It’s time to start taking responsibility of our bodies, our health, and how we process, move and react to the world around us.

If your ready to move forward, let’s chat.

You can book a free 45 minute coaching call under my "Services" tab/ Book an Appointment.

If not, no worries, keep learning ways to be your best YOU, for you.

As we all pursue to be better versions of ourselves we heal our bodies, our people, and our planet.

Thanks for reading.

Peace, Love, and Light,


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Ariel Zimmerlein is a Holistic Health Coach and Farmer. She uses her B.S. in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and her lifetime learning and experience with chronic illness and childhood trauma to empower others to live life fully regardless of the circumstances they have been given. She runs her farm, AZ Farm and Wellness, and loves to grow food for its inner and outer healing benefits. She currently helps people build inner and outer capacity and resilience, allowing them to finally heal from chronic mental, physical, and emotional conditions they’ve tried everything to fix. This deep rooted healing work is done online and on the farm, and will provide horticulture therapy to children with special needs and adults with chronic illness starting the summer of 2018.
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