I have a green thumb. My father, a master gardener and Landscape contractor, taught me this love for nurturing our green allies. I am so connected to my plants that I use them to gauge my own well being. If my plants are dropping leaves, yellowed, spotty or anything other than a healthy green, then it’s a cue for me to inquire about how I am. They act as metaphor for my life. This year, I planted a small raised bed vegetable garden. Getting started late in the season and having limited space, I kept it simple and planted mostly kale, some lettuce, lots of basil and one cucumber plant. A few weeks ago, after some neglect, I went in to clean up this sweet little plot of earth and profess my love for this garden. She was very happy to see me. I felt her gratitude instantly. I told her how beautiful she was growing and that I was sorry for being away for so long and promised I would be more attentive. And, I have been. Last week I marveled at how much she was thriving! A couple days passed. I looked out the window and couldn’t believe my eyes. I went out to get a closer look and was horrified to find that the caterpillars had devoured not one but all of my Kale plants! My heart broke and for days I couldn’t even look at the garden as I blamed myself for not taking better care, and questioned the significance it might have in my life? My energy began to deflate as the stories I told myself suggested that something was wrong. It was true that I had not been taking the best care of myself, and I needed to get back on track, which I am happy to say I am more focused upon. Even though I needed to make changes, I had been feeling pretty good, alive, and hopeful. This didn’t make much sense to me. Yes I know, caterpillars are voracious eaters and that’s just the way it is, but this is “my” garden and in my garden, my plants talk to me! Maybe I was missing something? Maybe things are not that great, and I’ve been convincing myself otherwise as not to face it? No, I couldn’t even entertain that “story.” I feel good. Life is rich and I have been truly inspired as of late. There must be something else. Then today as I cleared away the last of the devoured leaves, got a slight sting from the Nettles that are now growing profusely, I realized that I just fed and supercharged the next generation of Butterflies! Yes, I prefer this story of feeding beauty and can see the significance with my work of “Healing The Stories We Tell Ourselves.” Releasing the weight of our heavy stories frees us up and allows us to fly. In this case, I feel much like the caterpillar soon to be the butterfly and I look forward to taking flight and spreading my new colorful wings. P.S. I noticed new kale leaves are growing.