Literally, a Rabbit Hole. Motion to Action and getting unstuck

January 16, 2023

I’m not going to apologize for this note arriving a day later than intended.

(Silly pet peeve: when creators imply they think I’m paying enough attention to notice or be bothered if they miss their own arbitrary schedule – whew, NO)

But mostly I’m not apologizing because I have a really good excuse.😉 Plus it’s a holiday weekend here in the USA and it still feels like Sunday to me anyway.

My Really Good Excuse: Matt and I finally have lift off for a collaboration that we have flirted with for nearly a decade. 🤯🎉

It only took a couple cups of coffee, some red flannel hash and four poached eggs between us, a little bit of yogurt parfait and an epic 8+ hour, butts in chairs kitchen table session where each of us was so engrossed that my family actually left us alone, even tiptoed around us, and neither of us even had to get up to pee more than just one time. 😳

We were in the zone.

This all happened yesterday – completely sidelining me from what was probably going to be a much more boring note.

I was going to write this newsletter about Motion vs Action.

Motion is like:

  • Planning your garden design
  • Buying seeds
  • Drawing sketches
  • Shopping the nursery
  • Googling plants
  • Reading blog posts
  • Taking classes
  • Teasing (but not actually following through) with a collaboration project with your best garden mate for ten years.

Action, conversely is:

  • Laying out the garden – actually, getting a shovel and sticking it into the ground.
  • Planting the seeds.
  • Putting the nursery plants in the ground (rather than just letting them sit on the corner of your driveway while you figure out where they will go)
  • Digging in a new bed.
  • Hiring a contractor if you need
  • Sending this email to tell you about our upcoming projects and inviting you to join in.

You see the difference, right?

James Clear, Author of Atomic Habits describes it this way:

When you’re in motion, you’re planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they don’t produce a result. Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will deliver an outcome.

James Clear, Atomic Habits

I make my living mostly doing motion activities and teaching people how to be better at motion activities. We need motion because it helps us to do the action better. But it can be really easy, (so easy!), to get stuck in motion. You can even start to convince yourself that your motion is action, when it isn’t.

Action releases the pressure. Action gets the job done. Action is what we really want.

We get stuck when we don’t now where to start.

We get stuck when we are overwhelmed.

We get stuck when we don’t take action.

I am excited to tell you that Matt and I got ourselves unstuck yesterday. Oh, it feels so good!

Here is proof:

We are launching a podcast (It is tentatively called “Literally, a Rabbit Hole“. – We aren’t sure if that name will stick, we’ll see).

We’d like you to invite you to be our guest.

Literally, a Rabbit Hole, is a podcast where gardeners and garden makers get their questions answered.

It will be weekly and it will help you design and grow something special. It will evolve. You can expect us to go deep and discuss your questions in the best way we know how, by going way down the Rabbit Hole. Literally.

To start, we will answer three questions from you to help you overcome your challenges and accomplish your goals.

We will share advice based on proven strategies we’ve used to grow our own amazing plants, and that we’ve use to build beautiful gardens and long careers in design.

Want to be a guest on an upcoming episode?

Click here to apply and let us know what questions you’d like to ask.

Your questions can be specific to your own projects or more general if you prefer.

Thanks for your interest! I hope we might be able to shift you to action if you need.

We are expecting white out snow conditions to commence here (outside of Boston) at any moment -it is a nice motion time.

As we move through winter and into spring, and this time of planning and inspiration gets into full swing – If you find yourself getting stuck in the spin of motion and not making actual progress (action), here are few things I find helpful.

  1. Change the scene. Rip something out, clear the air, move stuff, make space. I find that a new perspective can often rattle me out of a spin.
  2. Remember that the biggest reason why we slip into motion rather than taking action is that we want to delay failure. Try not to fear failure – its only a garden. And even if it is something else… it probably isn’t that big a deal if you fail.
  3. Call a friend.

P.S. We are also launching a seasonal twist on The Garden Design Lab – it is tentatively called The Garden Lab Sessions (they will be a set of original masterclasses for the garden enthusiast). There will be at least a couple sessions a year and first one will start next month. More details to come next week.

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REgister now!

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