Pruning The Vine

Pruning bushes removes diseased branches, permits new growth and better air circulation, reduces the height of bushes, etc. There's a technique to pruning to support the tree/bush to heal. In the art of pruning, less is more.
As I strengthen my mindfulness practice that requires a dispassionate awareness of my thoughts, speech and action, I notice a desire to hack away the branches of thoughts that are most destructive to my happiness. I want immediate relief. I may get immediate relief but it's only temporary; often I end up doing more harm than good.  
Pruning implies gentleness, the chance to move slowly, using focused attention so that the cuts I make allow me to heal quickly, with the least amount of down time.
I've observed clients who are hemorrhaging. Their reactions to events or people are so destructive they require an immediate intervention. But in most instances, coaching clients respond best when given baby steps, learning to prune their own branches, whether branches are thoughts or actions.  As they learn to correct and monitor themselves, they also observe constant pruning is not helpful because that results in a weakened structure unable to "hold the changes" they're making. As clients build confidence and competence to change from the inside out, they're more aware of when, where and how to prune themselves.
What part of your life needs attention? Not a complete hack job, but rather, a purposeful approach to evaluate areas of your life that will improve with pruning.  
What new growth would appear if you made this cut? 

Posted on June 11, 2013 and filed under June 2013.