Gardening and creativity expert Fran Sorin's Digging Deep does for gardeners what Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones and Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way has done for millions of writers and artists: it shows how to approach your passion with an eye towards freeing your spirit and living a creative and joyful life. If you're yearning to get out of the rut you're in and cultivate more meaning and connection in your life, you'll find the encouragement and tools to make it happen in Digging Deep.
Overflowing with tips, exercises, and resources, Fran Sorin's empowering guide offers much-needed inspiration in today's technology-obsessed and often nature-deprived culture. This new edition features a foreword by Larry Dossey and a new introduction, where Sorin encourages us to discover the magic that takes place every day-in the garden and in life-as we engage in a playful type of creating.
In her acclaimed classic, Sorin, who has spent decades extolling the benefits of gardening as a broadcaster, writer, and speaker, is also a social entrepreneur, futurist, and dreamer whose mission is to empower 1 billion people to grow their own food on pennies a day.
|Braided Worlds Publishing
|New Revised ed.
|5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
About the Author
She spent years as a gardening authority on Philadelphia's Fox and NBC stations, was the regular gardening contributor on NBC's Weekend Today Show, and made several appearances on CNN, MSNBC, HGTV, Lifetime, DIY, and the Discovery Channel.
Fran is also the co-founder and contributor to the highly acclaimed and award-winning blog, GardeningGoneWild.com
Read an Excerpt
Digging DeeplyUnearthing Your Creative Roots through Gardening
By Fran Sorin
Warner BooksCopyright © 2004 Fran Sorin
All right reserved.
The Sparks of Creativity
TO IMAGINE is to see possibilities, to envision realities that do not yet exist, and to map out secret paths not yet charted. Our imaginations are our own personal mental playgrounds, where we release our dreams to romp without risk or fear. It is here, in the inner regions of our psyches, that we are free to explore who we truly are and let our thoughts and wishes run wild. It is here that we cook up all our fantasies, our deepest desires, and, very often, all the hopes and longings that we never share with another living soul. It is from this wellspring that we draw the inspiration that serves as the spark for our creative fires.
When I was a little girl, I had a wild imagination. I spun all sorts of ideas and fantasies around in my head that would brim over into impromptu theatrical performances. I exclaimed! I bemoaned! I exulted! I felt so much, and expressed it all. My mother nicknamed me Tallulah, after the legendary actress and diva Tallulah Bankhead, if that gives you any idea what I was like. But somehow I got the message as a child that it wasn't good to be that way: that I should not let out all my emotions and imaginings for all the world to see. My teachers would often sigh with exasperation and say, "Oh, Frannie, what are we going to do with you?"
I had no one with whom I could share my excitement over very important matters such as finding a fuzzy caterpillar clinging to the windowsill outside my bedroom, or how much fun it was to try on my mother's high heels and parade down the makeshift catwalk I constructed in our suburban living room, so out of the overspill of imagination I created an equally ecstatic imaginary friend named Locky Lee Boom Boom. Locky Lee and I would have fabulous tea parties and make endless lists of boys we liked (and boys who smelled funny), exotic places we planned to visit one day, and whom we would thank when we won our first Academy Award. Locky Lee was always right there, ready to play in whatever scenario I could dream up.
Somehow, life gives us the message loud and clear that imagination is a Sunday-afternoon luxury that we should put away as we mature. As many of us grow up and add on degrees and jobs and all the other stuff that is part of life, we bid farewell to our Locky Lee Boom Booms and dreams of distant memory and do what the world signals as necessary: look ahead, set goals, stick to the game plan. It is the rare few who are able-or who dare-to retain that childlike sense of wonder and become what we eventually call artistic, creative, gifted. Sometimes we even call them weird. But secretly, we sense that they are somehow better off than we-perhaps happier, more blessed.
They aren't any different from us, really, except in one fundamental way: Their imaginations refused to be pushed underground. They live of and through their dreams, not through effort, but by nature. The most miraculous thing about imagination is that it never dies, no matter how many layers of life and work we pile on top of it.
The opportunity to revisit and rekindle our dreams and imaginative powers is always there. Imagination is not something we have to cultivate; it is who we are in our most private realms, and all we need to do to access it is open the internal windows and set it free.
It is there in every single one of us. I promise! I have seen even the most buttoned-down, serious types come alive like little kids in their gardens once they let themselves go and start to play.
Martin, for instance, was one of my first clients. He brought me in to design the landscaping of his new home, which was purchased for him by his employer when they moved him and his family from Chicago. Martin was all business: We met at 8:30 A.M. sharp, and he let me know right away what the budget was and how soon he expected the work to be completed. I can still remember the look on his face when I said, "Okay, then, why don't we start by talking a little bit about what you imagine for this space?"
I could tell this wasn't on Martin's agenda, but I had been referred to him by his new boss, so I think he felt he had to go along with the program. He took off his jacket and sat down at the kitchen table with me, and we started to talk about different ideas.
At first Martin was reluctant to say much, but I sensed there was something under there, so I pressed. Well, wouldn't you know that within forty-five minutes, Martin had pulled out a box of his son's colored pencils and was excitedly sketching out "just a few thoughts" he had? It was amazing to watch the transformation: The hard lines of his face softened, and his whole body seemed looser and more relaxed as he drew. Two hours later, when he walked me to the door, I would swear I was shaking the hand of a whole other person from the one I met on the way in.
A garden can be a wonderful place to reopen the window to your imagination, especially when it isn't yet a garden at all, but rather a blank space that you hope to transform into a garden. An untouched piece of land is such pure opportunity, just like a clean canvas or a fresh piece of white paper. In its nakedness, it is raw possibility. Onto it you can project any vision or wish you like, continually erasing and trying new mental pictures, again and again.
This initial stage is about sparking our creative memories, opening ourselves up to a sense of freedom and possibility, awakening the stirrings of play and spontaneity. The only thing you need to do from the outset is to commit to not having any agenda and not worrying about what will work and what won't work. There is nothing to figure out here-nothing you need to accomplish, no puzzle you need to solve. You can't claim your imaginative powers through force. A sense of wonder is not something to achieve, but rather something to awaken, moment by precious moment.
Even Albert Einsten, whose very name has become synonymous with intelligence, once remarked, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Excerpted from Digging Deeply by Fran Sorin Copyright © 2004 by Fran Sorin. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword to the New Revised Edition vii
Preface to the New Revised Edition xv
Stage 1 Imagining: The Sparks of Creativity 15
Opening to Possibility 41
Stage 2 Envisioning: Giving Shape to Your Dreams 55
Welcoming Solitude 58
Owning Your Unique Style 61
Trusting Your Instincts 68
Setting the Tone 72
Stage 3 Planning: Laying Down the Bones 81
Embracing What Is 85
Being True to Your Needs 92
Living with Ambiguity 107
Bringing Your Vision to Life 111
Stage 4 Planting: Taking Action 117
Making Choices 121
Inviting Support 129
Taking Risks 132
Cultivating Patience 144
Stage 5 Tending: The Act of Nurturing 151
Tapping into Flow 162
Stage 6 Enjoying: Reaping What You Have Sown 181
Stage 7 Completing: Cycling Through the Season 197
Further Reading 207
Gardening Resources 214