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Sitting by my pond yesterday…

Taking some time out with a cup of coffee to reflect and process my last meeting with a coaching client… I realised that my small water fountain had stopped working. Of course, it is solar, but even in the full sunlight, it sat there sad and still.

On closer inspection, it was obvious that too much duckweed was the reason the water had stopped. At this time of the year, duckweed can multiply in the pond, and as we have lots of tiny tadpoles still in the pond, we had not cleared out the weed for a while. Weed in a pond is one of those finely balanced elements. Some weed keeps part of the pond in the shade and gives the frogs somewhere to shelter. Too much weed, and in warm weather, it can take over everything – and clog up the water fountain!

I don’t want you to get the impression that this is a massive pond with a massive fountain – we are not talking the size of a pond in Kew Gardens, more the size of a small paddling pool! It really isn’t the size of my pond that is important; it is the peace and focus it gives me. Time watching a dragonfly dip and fly around the buttercup flowers or a tiny frog finding its very first feet on a rock beside me.

‘The fountain had no hope’

Sorry I got distracted even in my reflection there for a minute. Taking the water fountain out and seeing all the duckweed made me reflect on how I can come overwhelmed by something so small if there is too much of it in my life. The weed was everywhere, the small petals of the weed sticking together to make a blanket. The fountain had no hope of pushing the water through. I needed to take it away from the pond and run it under flowing water to clear out all the middle of the system. I have now given it a holiday on the patio with clear water and open space, as you can see in the photo.

‘It can happen to all of us’

Of course, it isn’t only pond fountains that get overwhelmed. It can happen to all of us. While washing the fountain, I reflected on when I last felt ‘clogged up by weed’. I had been trying to please too many people all at once and suddenly released I hadn’t left enough time for ‘me’ in the week. I always try never to work over the weekend as I personally need the space to process all the conversations I have had during the week. Still, I also know I need space in the day or evening just to think over things. For me, it isn’t so much when I have a lot of tricky or messy things to do – I actually know I need more space if it has been an exciting week for me. Excitement fills my head, and I start thinking of even bigger and brighter things I may be able to do. All that excitement is lovely, but it also takes energy and needs time to refresh and replenish.

My golden rule is:

that what has drained my energy is not what will refresh it on that particular occasion. So if lots of conversations leave me with a full head, I will go for a walk alone and just free my head to be still. On the other hand, if I am drained from trying to read too much sitting on my own, I know I need to surround myself with people and conversation.

My final thought while on pond reflections is I am going to be on ‘clog up’ watch for a while.

Rachel Robins

Rachel Robins

Dr Rachel Robins is a qualified Coach and Mentor. Rachel is passionate about helping individuals and organisations to reach their full potential, through proven and innovative coaching and delivery style.

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