The Life Gardener is a fictional story I wrote about seven basic gardening principles and how they can be applied to our own lives to help us grow into a more authentic version of ourselves. And to help the readers better understand how those principles can actually be applied, I share with them my actual journey and how I used those principles to make difficult, but positive changes in my own life.
All of the characters in the book, with the exception of “The Life Gardener”, are based on actual people from my life. However, some of the details have been changed (including their names and how we met) so that those characters could be better integrated in this fictional story. But the discussions and lessons that were shared and learned together are all real.
The Life Gardener is this wise old man who’s responsible for looking after the gardens in a large city park. Each spring he hires apprentice gardeners to help him look after the beautiful gardens. He intentionally hires people who know very little about gardening so they can make mistakes and be more receptive to his teachings. At the end of the summer he sits down with each one of them (if he judges that they would be receptive to what he’s about to share with them) and shows them how what they’ve been working on for most of that summer can actually be applied into their lives.
The Life Gardener was written to help individuals grow into their authentic self. You see, most of us have lost touch with parts of our true self by living by what we believe others and society expects of us. I know my personal experience has shown me exactly that. But by living in such a way, not only are we preventing ourselves from experiencing true happiness, we are also robbing the world of our special gifts. You see, each one of our seeds is different. And when we take the time to explore the essence of what that seed is and what it has to offer, that’s when we understand that our life, or our garden as I refer to it in the book, does not have to be limited to one type of flower. Because as I mention in the book, “The most beautiful gardens on earth are not limited to one type of flower.”
The “matrix” I use in the book to allow the readers to apply those seven gardening principles into their own lives goes like this… “Your soul is the seed. Your body is the flower. Your life is the garden. You are the gardener.”
I’ve been a singer/songwriter for most of my life. But at age 18 something happened that made me give up on that passion completely. Following that incident, which is fully detailed in the book, I moved to another city and started my own painting business. I experienced quite a bit of success my first year running a business and slowly started to see money, possessions and status as the “real” definition of success. With the years that passed, I got so invested in this false sense of personal success that I dug myself deeper and deeper into debt as I tried to convince the world that I was “successful” by displaying a lifestyle I simply couldn’t afford.
But one day it all caught up to me and I simply couldn’t ignore it anymore. I knew I had to make drastic changes in my life and attempt to reconnect with the real me and redefine this image I had of success. That’s when I started to play and write music again.
I’ve always written music to help me through difficult times. And this journey I undertook years ago brought me lots of those. And while this was not something I had planned or anything, as I was sharing my story in my book it only seemed fitting to have those songs, which were instrumental in helping me overcome all of those obstacles and turn them into “Lessons Learned”, to be part of it as well.
Both the book and the CD can be appreciated individually like they would any other book or CD. However, they have been designed to complement each other and create a unique experience for the reader. When reading the book, the music will help the reader understand how the character was feeling in those demanding times. And while listening to the music, the listener will be able to appreciate each song much more after knowing the details of the events that have lead to the writing of each song.