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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Harvesting and Empowering Health

Aug 30, 2020 01:52PM ● By J Garnett
Across the country, millions of people are involved in harvesting crops this month. Whether the crops are coming from acres of land, a backyard garden or small pots of herbs on a windowsill, there’s something about harvesting that nurtures the soul. It’s the reward after weeks and months of nurturing nature. Also, there is nothing much better than eating something freshly picked or right off a tree, vine or pulled from the earth.
   
Autumn brings cooler temperatures, a new season and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Living in the Sonoran Desert has numerous benefits. One of the biggest advantages of living in the southwest is that there are multiple growing seasons. Fruits and vegetables can be planted and harvested a couple of times per year. Becoming involved in planting, cultivating and harvesting produce is one of the best ways to remain healthy in body, mind and spirit. It is perhaps the best self-help activity that can be done.
   
There are countless self-help books, classes, seminars, videos and conferences available for people to turn to when the desire for change is strong. Over the last six months, millions of people have had hours, days, weeks and months of idle time. Losing a job, or being limited as to where one can go, can lead some people to a state of extreme boredom, stagnation or lack of motivation to do much of anything. With stay-at-home orders still in effect in many places, being quarantined in one’s house can lead to some positive things, rather than just free time not knowing what to do.
   
SA lot of people have found themselves doing some soul searching and evaluation of beliefs, actions and even the meaning of life. Change has taken place for millions of people as they come to realize that there is more to life than just following the same routine for years without any real gain, growth or enlightenment. Perhaps in the future, people will view 2020 as the year of self-empowerment—a time in history when people took stock of what’s really important—and in this worldwide pandemic, health is on the forefront of our mind.
   
As one of the themes for this month’s issue, self-empowerment is an important topic, vital even, for a healthy lifestyle. Self-empowerment is a process that someone goes through where greater exertion is taken to make positive changes. Sometimes a new skill set will be learned, other times a change in ideology may occur. No matter the means, the end result usually brings about new perspectives, a greater sense of self and focused direction in life. Health, whether it be spiritual, mental or physical, or all three, is usually always improved after a self-help process has been worked through.
   
There is a difference in feeling self-empowered, however, and actually being self-empowered. Anyone can feel empowered after attending a high energy lecture or workshop, but unfortunately after the experience, a lot of people slide back into the same old routine and the excitement fizzles. Being self-empowered takes action, it takes making a choice to take charge of one’s life. It’s a difficult process, but one that has countless benefits. Perhaps the first step in taking control of one’s life is to become self-aware. Taking an honest inventory of one’s actions, goals and desires is a necessary step in order to bring about positive change.
   
People’s stream of consciousness has changed over these weeks and months. The 40 million people out of work don’t have “the job” or its tasks and responsibilities to think about every day. New responsibilities and tasks have arisen. Children who are attending school virtually are now home and bring about a whole new set of tasks and priorities for parents. Worry and stress pertaining to employment and sustainability in uncertain times is prevalent. Through all of this, awareness has shifted and has given many individuals a new perspective on life. Small steps have been taken to set new goals and to empower oneself to be better in many areas. Health is most likely one of the more popular desires for empowerment, especially when remaining healthy during these uncertain times is on most minds.
   
Can there be anything more empowering or rewarding than taking control of one’s own health? A great way to fill some idle time, or to change up the routine of a mundane day could be to do a little reading or researching on the grow seasons here in the desert. Not only can knowing what grows best during the fall and early winter season here in Tucson be beneficial, but putting that knowledge to work can have multiple rewards. Parents with children at home can get them involved in a small garden project. Talking about what fruits and vegetables are the favorites of the family, discussing what health benefits the plants have on the body, and deciding if it’s possible to grow some of them right at home can all be tasks that are educational, empowering and lead to a healthier lifestyle.
   
With the right amount of motivation, a dose of ingenuity and a few seeds, self-empowerment can become a process that leads people to see the food that is eaten in a different way. There is no better satisfaction than planting a tomato plant and watching it grow. It gets even better when its healing and medicinal properties are explored. Excitement levels grow when the tomato plant begins to bear fruit. Watching the fruits of labor ripen is a heart-warming experience.
   
The tomato is also a powerful antioxidant that can help ward off heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Knowing that eating a tomato that’s been planted at home can bring about improved vision, a boost to digestive health, help control diabetes and improve and protect the skin, just makes the fruit that much sweeter. Empowerment through planting a fruit or vegetable is a marvelous thing. It allows someone to experience the stocking of Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet.

J. Garnet, M.Ed. is a writer, teacher, speaker and healer. Garnet’s passion is helping the public see that nature is medicine. Connect at 520-437-8855 or [email protected].
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