• Lizzie Shutt

Pruning for the Soul (Fruits & Relationships)

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, timing plays a major factor in pruning, specifically that of fruits and flowers (aka relationships, careers, other achievements) because if done incorrectly, the outcome can be highly detrimental. The plant and which type of pruning is needed determines the best time and the method. Like plants, humans are all different with various things they may need to be pruned. Depending on what these are (relationships, bad habits, processed junk food, material items, etc.) there will be various times to prune that are unique to you!

The more difficult type of pruning centers around commitments that involve other people. I draw the connection between nature and human relationships by using pruning— selectively cutting off growth for plant manipulation — as the metaphor.

Celebrating my cousin's 21st birthday we visited a botanical garden and winery in Canada!

In contrast to pruning branches and leaves, flowering and fruiting trees are specifically pruned depending on the season and species. You may question why would anyone want to cut back flowers or fruits: growers cut back to allow other flowers and fruits to absorb more nutrients instead of competing with many others. Thus, the fruits can flourish to their maximum potential. This type of pruning for humans is more difficult and is unique to each individual, as well as requires much more self-awareness and reflection.

Looking at a flowering tree you see the potential for many flowers to turn into fruits, but at this moment in time they cannot all develop into quality fruit to feed your soul. You, as the farmer, realize you must prune some flowers in order to produce higher quality fruit (the result of a fertilized flower ovary). This is critical because instead of all of the flowers blossoming into juicy nutritious fruit, without pruning, the tree’s resources will be divided among many flowers leaving the majority of the fruit unable to reach their full potential.

Be a proactive farmer for your own fruiting tree of life!

I want to grow as much as possible in this lifetime. Pruning metaphorical flowers and fruits is a very hard concept to accept and actually put into practice, I am not saying I’ve mastered it, but I’m setting an intention to live in this way so that I can reach my highest quality fruiting potential. If the idea of cutting flowers or relationships seems harsh to you, then think about this: just as flowers will grow back stronger next season, so too will the relationships you feed. By removing ones that take away too many nutrients and clutter the tree, making it more susceptible to disease and pests, you as the farmer are strengthening the tree.

Put your resources into relationships that help you flourish!

If you don’t feel it is your time to cut off a particular in-person relationship, I suggest you try the pruning method with your social media accounts. This is a smaller step to declutter your mind and redirect your time to inspiring, uplifting content.

Pruning Social Media:

  1. Next time you’re scrolling, notice how you feel and when you feel the urge to scroll.

  2. Feelings of comparison, desire, judgement, jealousy, exclusion etc. may arise by looking at famous people and models living in luxury or perhaps even people you know seemingly living with perfect ease, but remember this: you have no idea what goes on behind the scenes.

  3. When you feel yourself starting to draw comparisons between yourself and others, pause for a moment to ask yourself if viewing this is serving my soul or sucking from it.

  4. If it’s not serving you, consider unfollowing the account or if you know the person and don’t feel comfortable unfollowing choose the option to hide their photos from your news feed.

I encourage you to come back to this article if you don’t feel ready to prune for your soul yet, but for those that are, let’s jump into it!

Pruning for the Soul

  1. Make a list of your top five people you interact with most. EX: This summer my list would include: Mom, Dad, Sister, Boyfriend and my online Radiating Souls girl tribe.

  2. Reading each person’s name, how do they make you feel? Close your eyes and repeat their name. Notice what emotions or bodily sensations arise?

  3. From this experience ponder if this person is helping you grow or spreading your nutrients too thin? Should you prune or let them help you grow?

  4. Deciding to prune is difficult and necessary. This process could take weeks or more, but once you allocate your time to someone/something that nourishes your soul it will be worth it!

Human systems are parallel to ecosystem systems found in nature, which is so helpful because we can learn daily from our environment. Since this is a time when school starts again and work may pick up, you want to have the most nutrients feeding your flowers. I encourage you to look at the things in your life to prune this fall (whether big or small, each step counts)!

Continue to share your thoughts, progress and questions with me :) I would love to help you! You can comment directly on the blog post, share your process though Instagram, or email me at lizzieshutt3@gmail.com so I can help fertilize your tree in any way I can!

Live Dirty, Eat Clean & Green,

Lizzie Shutt


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