The First Seed

As I rolled to the far side of the bed I felt precisely what I was dreading: the first rays of sun pouring through the window.

Another sleepless night of tossing and turning as my mind raced.

A few weeks earlier I split up with my girlfriend and I found myself riddled with anxiety as I desperately regretted my decision.

For me, my anxiety always hits its crescendo as I make my way to bed. You know the feeling where your neck is just a little strained and you can tell your heart is beating a bit faster than usual? Yup - that.

And then you have that moment when you realize that you're a bit anxious and it will be tough to fall asleep and because of that you get even more anxious? Yup - that as well.

And before you know it, 11:00pm is 3:00am, the blankets have been thrashed all over the bed, and the thought shifts to how to make it through work the next day?

Yup - all of that. 

For weeks on end this was happening.

The only way I was able to get more than a wink of sleep had been by self-medicating with alcohol or a joint - not uncommon for both. 

On this particular night when the sun poured through the window, I found myself at my parents house. Both of whom are avid gardeners (more on this in a few months).

So, I pulled myself out of bed and made my way downstairs to brew a cup of coffee. 

"How'd you sleep?" my mom asked from across the kitchen as I awaited my cup.

"I didn't sleep."

"Why don't we spend some time in the garden today, Jordan?"

Somewhat confused by the suggestion, I agreed - anything to distract my mind for a bit.

We made our way out to the garden and my mom suggested a project for the day - constructing a garden bed. I had not spent any time gardening so my mom laid out a plan for building the garden bed: bring over some river rock for a retaining wall, pile in a bunch of soil, and then at a later point we could decide what to plant. 

And then something amazing happened. 

As I started piling rocks into the wheelbarrow, pushing them along the path towards the planned location and filling the new bed with soil - I felt something I hadn't felt in weeks:

Peace. Calm.

For the first time in weeks the clamps of anxiety loosened, my heart rate slowed.

It was one of those moments where you didn't need an explanation from a therapist or a scholarly article, you just intuitively knew. I knew gardening was going to play a special role in my life. 

8 years later, it is this exact feeling that I am looking to bring to more than a million individuals with Mind & Soil.

Now, where did the worms come from? Well, there may be a story for that just around the corner :)

Big love to y'all!

4 comments

  • Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life. Anxiety can be crippling. But it seems to loose it’s grip the more one talks about it and doesn’t hide it is being experienced. Most people are very understanding- because others have also lived through times of mental health issues. It is part of the human journey for many. Looking forward to reading your gardening articles and insight!

    Jan
  • What a wonderful way to ease stress, the garden is one of my favourite places to be for sure.

    Jennifer Gould
  • Thank you for sharing this vulnerable part of your story.

    Ellisha
  • Well done, Jordan!! Lovely to see a sneak peek into the inner workings and how you came to be here. We support you and share your sentiments!

    Sarah Mayer

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