Through the spring and early summer, I have been passionately and, perhaps, madly collecting plants for my garden. The lawn is strewn with potted herbs waiting to be placed and Andrew and the lawn mower have been begging for mercy as they dodge through the plant-life obstacle course.

I have been collecting manically:

  • When we closed the teaching space, I brought all the plants that were there, including two potted beech trees, back to my house.
  • A friend took a sabbatical and left for England. She thinned her perennials before she left, and I happily took a bunch.
  • I asked my sister-in-law if she was splitting daisies this year and got some of those as well.

A few weeks ago, I realized I had crossed some invisible line– abundance had become overgrowth. I was determined to get everything planted, which meant digging new beds and moving existing plants, while launching two new websites, working with a full roster of clients, and visiting with my family who are in from overseas and out-of-town for the summer.

Since I had bit it off, I thought I had better keep chewing.

It took the beech trees getting burnt in the hot July sun for me to realize I was on the verge of leaving a trail of plant-death in my wake.

I took a deep breath, and, for the first time in my life hired someone to do some gardening.

This morning I checked the beech trees to see how they are surviving their near-death experience. They are planted behind the house and, while they had browned-out pretty badly, are slowly recovering and sprouting some green.

As I sat with the trees, I realized that I was on the verge of doing to myself what I had done to them: burn-out. As I looked at the months to come, it became apparent that I was on my way to becoming more brown than green.

So I took a deep breath… and I gave myself permission to put a few projects down. I’m an idea person and after the idea forms, I want to do it, all of it, right now.

So I spent the morning glancing out the window at the brown beech, reinforcing for myself that I didn’t want to go down that road. I reminded myself of the simple joys that I would lose if I allowed myself to become Manic Maia– no time for morning tea, or watching the sun stream through the window from the comfort of my bed. No time to play ball (rather poorly!) with my nephews or walk the beach with my sister.

It’s hard for those of us who are used to juggling everything to put a ball down without feeling like it was dropped. Luckily, there’s a an herb for that. Oak flower essence supports us in slowing down and taking off the super-hero cape. If you, too, are about to let your maniac-self take over your life, join me in a few drops a day.