A Pruning Season

A pruning season

When I think of the season we’ve been in during lock down, the metaphor of pruning comes to mind. Pruning a tree involves selectively cutting back or removing unwanted branches in a way that results in improved health, greater fruitfulness and better shape of the tree. Pruning could look like an unwise thing to do – after all, the tree gets smaller, not bigger! But cutting off branches which don’t bear fruit means energy is directed to those which do and removing old or diseased branches makes way for new, healthy growth. So, less results in more.

Doesn’t this sound quite like how it’s been for many of us, and perhaps for the world at large? Such cutting back can feel like loss and vulnerability (and I know for some there has been real hardship, which I’m not wanting to ignore.) But the result can, if we let it, result in us being in better health, having a better ‘shape’ to our lives and ultimately, perhaps, being more productive.

I’ve been using this time to re-evaluate my priorities in life and work and even relationships. All of these have been changing during this time and the helpful changes I intend to continue with. A few examples are regular walks in the countryside, more volunteering alongside coaching, more frequent intentional connection with some of my friends. I’m going to be radical in some changes and not go back to how things were before.

How about you? What are the things, and who are the people, that have shown themselves to be really important to you during this time? And what are the things you’ve lost but which you’ve hardly missed at all and can easily do without? Taking this further, what are the dreams you’ve had which have been buried or overtaken by other things – things which have perhaps drained you of time and energy but which are no longer necessary in the season ahead? Why not be radical in removing those things that are no longer ‘life’ to you, to make way for those things (and perhaps people) who are?

photo courtesy of hudson-hintze, Unsplash