When my oldest daughter got ready to attend BYU, we got a letter telling us how to be the parents of a college student. I don’t remember anything else in the letter except one little phrase. “Water what you want to grow”. At the time I took it to mean, if you want them to be social – ask about their friends, if you want them to love learning – ask them what they are learning.
Over the years I’ve used this phrase hundreds of times and observed it in real life hundreds more. Things that you water, grow. In my garden, if I neglect to water my plants (especially those in pots) they get stressed out and become susceptible to insects. If I really neglect them in the heat of the day, they might not recover. It might kill them. But the things that I water look beautiful and are so productive. My watering schedule takes over my life during the summer. Everything in a basket or pot needs to be watered every day. Most things in the ground get watered a couple of times a week. It can take up to an hour and a half to water some days during the summer. It takes time, effort, commitment and consistency. It’s absolutely worth it.
This phrase is true in my life as well. Things I focus on and pay attention to and give nourishment – grow. If I practice loving others, I get better at it. One of the things I am trying to grow in my life is better health. In January, I set a goal to do one sun salutation every day. It was so simple. But the result of watering that habit is that I am stronger and more flexible, and my back hurts less. I can do planks and downward facing dog. My knees are stronger. I am watering my body by paying daily attention to it.
In your life, what’s most important to you?