Pruning: Not Just For Plants — How You Can Benefit

Spiritography Day 1: Imaging the Sacred in Everyday Life

Photography is one of my spiritual practices.  Though I am but a mere amateur, I enjoy the challenge of trying to capture a reflection of the transcendental.  Photography allows me to find the sacred in the ordinary.  It’s not about the product; it’s about the process. Whenever I view the world through a camera lens, my mind quiets, my body slows, and my appreciation deepens.  It serves as an effective form of meditation and contemplation.  The camera’s eye becomes my eye and together we compose and capture moments that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Pruning Shears and Coreopsis by Penny McDaniel

“Pruning Shears and Coreopsis” by Penny McDaniel

In “Pruning Shears and Coreopsis” above, I was struck by the contrast between the shadows and light, the harshness of the shears baring jagged teeth juxtaposed with the frailty of the flowers sprawled on the ground. But in their frailty, the flowers seem to embrace — almost forgive — the shears for their “assault.”

And so transcendence begins.

We deal with our fair share of pruning on the spiritual path and it hurts like hell at times, but it is necessary to improve our overall spiritual health. If we are honest with ourselves about our lives, we will find that there are areas that siphon off our nourishment and prevent us from growing and living an abundant life. Sometimes we need to refocus our efforts, energy, and gifting; pruning allows us to redirect our spiritual growth into other areas where we’ll be more effective.

Sometimes we have to cut away any relationships, attitudes, behaviors, habits, and beliefs that are spiritually sick or dead.

Sometimes we must cut away anything that is unnecessary, distracts us, or clutters the spiritual process. If it’s unfruitful, it can’t serve us or our highest good.

Take a good look at your lifestyle and any conflicts that may have arisen. Which habits, beliefs, or attitudes are you holding that may have given rise to these conflicts? When we let our ego run the show, our inner world becomes distorted and disillusioned.  We start to live according to an image we want to protect, thus causing separation on many levels. If we want to live a more simplified and unified life, we must seek to make the necessary changes, no matter how difficult or frightening they may appear.  Deep down, we know what needs to be done if we want to find the connected thread that subtly unites the moments of our lives.

I shuddered at the thought of taking shears to my coreopsis plants because they had bloomed so beautifully throughout summer, but they were beginning to look haggard and were blooming less and less. If I wanted them to thrive again, I knew I had to cut them back, and now a few weeks later, they are blooming abundantly, even more so than they were in the beginning of the season.  The flowers didn’t cry or complain about the process; they simply accepted it as part of their blooming potential, a lesson not so readily accepted by me in my own life at times.


“Coreopsis in Bloom”

Pruning doesn’t only involve cutting away the dead branches of our lives; it involves cutting off some of the healthy branches as well, forcing us to focus on our roots — our priorities and our values. Sometimes we are spread so thin in many areas that we can’t concentrate on fully growing in one area. If this is the case, then the wisest action is removing something that is preventing what we want more of, rather than adding more to our plates. Less becomes more, and space opens up to areas that can make a bigger and better difference in our lives.

Pruning our lives is a spiritual discipline that helps us cut back to grow more and create the results we most desire.

We have the power to change ourselves in any given moment, and when we do, our relationship with everything around us begins to change.

Give your life a healthy trim.  Cut out the superfluous parts that no longer serve you.

What are the heavy boughs or empty branches that are weighing down your life? 

6 thoughts on “Pruning: Not Just For Plants — How You Can Benefit

  1. anonymous

    Its so true to prune away negative feelings…the other day you told me to see why worms were coming out of me in my dream…what is rotten??…n that night I had a dream about what was at my core n I saw that I wasn’t deserving or being worthy of my life…so the next day I cried an ugly cry because I was worthy n deserving of things but my core was believing something different…n I was releasing by crying…once I was done tons of weight was released…its still shock me that im still draining…but I now see things differently n extremely happier….i still amazed by my transformation…..
    thank u so much…love you my friend….

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hello there, my friend…

      Indeed, you’ve have been purging, pruning, and transforming in many areas of your life as of late! What a blessing to know that you face it with courage and openness. You deserve all good things and may the Universe bless you abundantly as you continue your transformation.
      Love and Blessings,

  2. elly stornebrink

    Now that I finally vacuumed – haven’t at all this summer – I would say clutter of paper, some in piles that are weighing me down. I was hoping to attempt clearing that up today…ideally would have been best before the ultra blog challenge! 😉 By the way, I love what you say about the process of photography being more important than the product. Expressive arts therapy is about just that using various art modalities including photography! 🙂 <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted…An Ultra Blog Challenge?My Profile

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hi elly.

      Expressive arts therapy…I like that phraseology. Spirit works through us to express itself using various mediums. How beautiful is that? I’m glad to hear that you got your vacuuming done. Cleaning out the clutter frees up energy so it can move and create. 🙂

      Thank you for dropping by and sharing.

    1. Penny McDaniel Post author

      Hi Corinne.

      Here’s to continued growth for all of us, my friend 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by.


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