Pruning your Life

Sun, Nov 6, 2011

All Posts, Personal Development

Pruning your Life
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The first signs of spring are finally here and as soon as I have finished this post I will be out in the garden starting to prune the plants, pulling up  the weeds and planting new seeds.  The thought of pruning has also got me thinking about life generally because spring is a wonderful time to do the same thing with your life.

Now those of you that know me, will know that I have a fascination with astrology.  Whilst there are many skeptics out there, (and quite understandably from the rubbish they print in the magazines and tabloids) I just wanted to share with you what my astrological forecast says as of March 2010 because this is truely bizarre.

Not only is the title exactly the same but get this….

‘Pruning your life’ - Saturn conjuction Saturn - Mid November 2009 until the end of August 2010

Birth_Chart “…..this is one of the most important times in your life….a major experience is closing and great changes are about to take place.  Have you been living as you feel you should or as others want you to?….Over the last few years ,many aspects of your life have begun to change; your relationships, your residence, your job and you have been dominated by an urgent feeling that if you don’t do everything you always wanted to do, you will never have another chance and now at about 29, you feel that a substantial portion of your life has passed and that you better get on with making it work….consciously you are pruning your life of everything that is not relevant to what you really are as a human being….do not dwell on the losses they are necessary in order to clear the decks for the major period of action in your life….this is a time for endings and new beginnings.”

These words will either mean nothing or everything to whoever reads them. I don’t know how you will interpret them  but I do know that these words do mean something to me, the same way that people get meaning from poetry, a book, a conversation, or a film they watch.  Mid November was when I set up my blog  and since then I have been on a wonderful journey of self discovery and I have also definitely been pruning my life.  I have been getting rid of all the deadwood, the meaningless and non-productive aspects  of my life and making space for the journey ahead and so today I would like to talk a little about pruning.

What is pruning?

Well, normally we refer to pruning to explain the art of helping plants shrubs and trees become vigorious once more, a time when we can assist in its  growth.  It is the act of removing the dead, diseased and unwanted limbs from a plant  with the results of pruning having a wonderous effect….the same act can be done with your life.Pruning_Picture

However, there are some big misconceptions about pruning; both in our lives and the lives of our plants.  You see, many people think that pruning is just like getting a hair cut, getting rid of the dead and split ends to make your hair look more neat and to control its size and shape.  But when a plant gets cut or trimmed the whole physiology of  the plant is changed.  Pruning is not about what is simply removed, but  about what happens to the plant that is left.  Pruning by its very nature is designed to produce branching in new directions, not to simply control the size and shape.  Just as we prune a plant we too must prune our lives so that we can make way for new opportunities, new ideas, new ventures and to allow us to meet new people.

What is the deadwood in your life?

  • Lifes little distractions
  • Negative thoughts
  • Negative people
  • Unproductive time and activities

By cutting out the deadwood you will allow your life to flourish in other areas.  Get rid of those little distractions that knock you off balance.  Get rid of those self-limiting thoughts, feelings and people that pull you down and start to think instead, about the direction that you want to go.

‘The more we cut back the more we will grow.’

Pruning helps us re-evaluate where we should be spending our time and it gives us the space to make a bigger difference in our lives.  Apart from identifying non-productive  and non-rewarding activities, one of the simplist ways to prune, is to start to use ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ more effectively.  Saying no to your boss, partner, friends, family and children and being a little selfish once in a while isn’t something to be ashamed off.  We all need ‘me-time’ and maybe saying yes to a new challenge or something  that you haven’t done before is a great way to branch out in to a whole new direction.

I would love to know your thoughts on my post today and please let me know what you are doing with your life to make it more meaningful and productive  for you.

“Natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience.”

(Sir Frances Bacon, English Lawyer and Philosopher (1561-1626))

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43 Responses to “Pruning your Life”

  1. Shekinah Says:

    Hey Beth! What a wonderful post. First let me say that I did not know that pruning was not just for aesthetic reasons and that is was so that branches and leaves could grow in new directions. Being that this is a metaphor for life it is HIGHLY INSIGHTFUL! And let me say also that it sounds that the law of attraction has been in your favor being that the astrological forecast was so much in line with your blog post. It seems to me that you have found a way for the universe to move in a way that favors your thoughts as well as your emotions! BRAVO! I am impressed and in total awe. I have started pruning by becoming more focused and reading more personal development and I see the laws at work since I have started!


    Beth Hewitt Reply:

    Hi Shekinah,

    Yes I too have been gobsmacked at the amount of law of attraction and intuitive thinking going on in my life right now. I guess I am now more in tune with my thoughts then I ever was before. But I agree, totally strange but such a wonderful feeling at the same time.

    Great to have you in the tribe,
    .-= Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..Pruning your Life =-.


  2. Teresa Ivory Says:

    I’ve been going through the same pruning process in my life, and this gardening analogy makes it feel so much easier. I love caring for my plants and doing what best for their growth - thanks for the reminder that I’m giving myself the same opportunities.
    .-= Teresa Ivory´s last blog ..Intuition and Computer Bags =-.


    Beth Hewitt Reply:

    So true Teresa,

    We care so much for others including the plants that we dont take much time to dedicate to our own self growth.

    Good luck with the pruning.
    .-= Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..Pruning your Life =-.


  3. Val Wilcox Says:

    I really like this analogy of pruning your life to grow better with the pruning of plants. Never thought of it that way and it’s so true. To be our best in life, we have to shape and grow in areas that need nurturing.

    .-= Val Wilcox´s last blog ..The Power of YOU! =-.


    Beth Hewitt Reply:

    We sure do Val…I am glad you liked the analogy and thank you for taking the time to comment, it’s much appreciated.

    .-= Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..Pruning your Life =-.


  4. Don Enck Says:

    I’m glad to know that you’re a gardener. Both my wife and I like to “scratch” in the dirt too. Working with plants is so comforting. It helps to clear the chatter out of the head and opens the door for an enlightened thought to come in.

    A few years back I had to make a tough decision for myself. I was in a group of friends that were not the most positive and somewhat stagnant in their own growth. I began to feel uncomfortable around them. So I decided that it was in my best interest to separate myself from them. Looking back it was one of the best things I did as in doing so opened new doors in my life.

    Happy Pruning!
    .-= Don Enck´s last blog ..Honey….Did You Pack The Bags? =-.


    Beth Hewitt Reply:

    I totally hear you Don, I recently had to do the same with a friend of mine. It was unfortunate but the negativity was just too over-bearing that I could see no benefit in the friendship continuing down that path. Thankfully I have only had to do that once or twice in my life and since moving on I have met so many more wonderful people. (you included :-P )
    .-= Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..Pruning your Life =-.


  5. Beth Allen Says:

    What a beautiful analogy here. I absolutely love this, Beth!

    Two parts particularly caught my attention:

    “do not dwell on the losses they are necessary in order to clear the decks for the major period of action in your life.” ….and….
    “The more we cut back the more we will grow.”

    I couldn’t agree more with this. While it is not EASY, once through, the rewards are magnificent. You are on a journey of a lifetime, and I am so thrilled and honored to be on it with you my friend!
    .-= Beth Allen´s last blog ..Successful Weight Loss & Long Term Weight Management =-.


    Beth Hewitt Reply:

    Right back at ya!..From the moment that I found you, I knew we had a special friendship, I hope that doesnt sound too crazy but I know you know what I mean. If only you lived round the corner we could go shopping for flashing kids shoes all the time.

    Thanks Sister
    .-= Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..Pruning your Life =-.


  6. Nancy Burke Barr Says:

    Hi Beth,
    This is a wonderful article. There is a lot of dead wood in my life, so this came at a really wonderful time. It helps to clear your head so that you can really see your vision.

    You really brought us a great analogy and I for one intend to get pruning!


    “Mentor Mama”


    Beth Hewitt Reply:

    Hey Nancy (Mentor Mama) <———I love that hehe!

    I am so glad that this analogy means something to you, it makes what I do so much more enjoyable and meaningful, knowing that I can help in some way, however little.

    I hope the pruning of your deadwood isnt too big a job for you and I look forward to getting to know you better.

    .-= Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..Pruning your Life =-.


  7. Kimberly Castleberry Says:

    Thank you! I know you know what I mean when I say that post hit home. I’m actually going through some very very large pruning both currently and in the upcoming months. Its hard at times, painful even, but oh so necessary. It can be so easy to let our destiny be shaped by others hands instead of taking it into our own hands and claiming it. It can be scary to let go of the security and clip back areas that we enjoyed but no longer serve us. Our potential for growth is limited not by others, but by how far we will give up our power and responsibility in exchange for a temporary security. Thank you :)
    .-= Kimberly Castleberry´s last blog ..How To: Change Your Twitter Name Without Losing Followers =-.


    Beth Hewitt Reply:

    Absolutely Kimberly, whilst it seems daunting and unclear right now have faith that everything is going to turn out just right for you. You are a wonderful person and I can see only good times ahead.

    You are pruning, not just for the sake of pruning but because you already have a vision, you already have faith, you already have a support network and you already have a future!….You are half way there.

    Anytime you want to sound stuff out with me you know where I am.

    Thank you for your comments, your time and your friendship sister!
    Beth :-)
    .-= Beth Hewitt´s last blog ..Pruning your Life =-.


  8. Edward Says:

    Great post Beth,

    Thanks for sharing this with us all.
    This part jumped out of the screen at me… “…when a plant gets cut or trimmed the whole physiology of the plant is changed. Pruning is not about what is simply removed, but about what happens to the plant that is left.”

    I have had the experience of the physiology changing within myself as I pruned and took care of the things in my life. I believe that we have the opportunity to live a full and rewarding life through all that we do. It is our choice to move in that direction and along the way we come across some dead wood and things in our lives that need pruning.

    I practice this art of “pruning” on a regular basis, bringing things to my awareness and asking the questions:

    “Do I need this in my life any longer?”
    “Do I need this in my life in the same form it is now?”

    These help to keep me growing in the direction of my vision, goals, and dreams.

    Thanks again for sharing with us all.
    Make it a great day!
    God Bless,


  9. Bruce Backman Says:

    Hey Beth…very well done. You know I grew up in an area where there is mostly wine grapes growing everywhere. I spent some time pruning these vines when they were very young.

    The pruning of young vines is different than the old vines…unless the old vines were never pruned properly when they were young. What we did is look through all of the canes and figure out which two or three on each side seem to have the most potential and then cut the rest out. We would tie up the remaining and care for them throughout the coming year. Plus…depending upon how healthy the plant was the previous year you would keep more or less buds for the coming year on the canes preserved.

    For example…if the plant was not very productive the previous year you would cut it back much more than if it was productive.

    In other words…keep what is working and moving you in the direction you want to go and get rid of the hindrances. The older you get…the more painful the process.

    Thanks for the insight Beth…keep up the good work!
    .-= Bruce Backman´s last blog ..Crush It–musings inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk’s book on following your Passion with a passion =-.


  10. Debbie Says:

    Hi Beth,

    Thanks for reminding me that pruning, although painful, is a necessary part of healthy growth. I always feel guilty when I have to prune the negative people out of my life. But the more I have learned to say no, the healthier I have become. Thanks again for the reminder.
    .-= Debbie´s last undefined ..Response cached until Wed 10 @ 18:01 GMT (Refreshes in 23.19 Hours) =-.


  11. Jose H. Caraballo Says:

    I admit I don’t know much about the subject but the way you brought it all together was superb. I actually did some MAJOR pruning in my life recently in order to open my life up to new experiences and directions. I just never gave it a name.

    Thanks for the new angle, I always appreciate it.
    .-= Jose H. Caraballo´s last blog ..Forget Your Why…Begin With Your Purpose! =-.


  12. Darlene Davis Says:


    While I knew that cutting a plant back allowed it to grow fuller and stronger, I wasn’t aware of all of the nuances of pruning. The analogy you drew to our lives is right on! If we don’t continue to learn and grow (and experience some pain along the way) then we’re just like a scraggly plant.

    Your post was particularly timely for me today and I’ll share it with my son. He was in a car accident this morning, totaled his truck, but walked away with just a severe whiplash. Pain … growth …

    Thanks for your beautiful analogy!
    .-= Darlene Davis´s last blog ..The Phenomenon of Time =-.


  13. Amy Posner Says:

    Beth - I love the analogies and the life lessons and I love the synergy too! You have to make room for the new experiences you want to come into your life, and what better way to do it than to ‘prune’ your current existence. We have two acres of perennial beds and fruit tress - I pruned an apple tree last week and as it was taking shape, I was thinking about how it’s shape was being revealed, it’s beauty was showing up by getting rid of what wasn’t serving the tree (6 foot water shoots). Same with us and you so wisely point out….

    Just before I read this, I wrote a piece about yes and no, more synergy - ya gotta love it! I do. Thanks for this piece and your wisdom!
    .-= Amy Posner´s last blog ..Increase Productivity – Say Yes, Say No =-.


  14. Karin Says:

    I never realized the great parallels between gardening and keeping your life in order, but after reading your post I do.
    I so agree with you that it is good to regularly prune and decide what activities add value and what activities you should eliminate or at least cut back on. In the online world I hear it all the time. “It is too much work”. Anybody who says this, should read this post. It helps to focus on the right things and make the decisions that we all face every once in a while.
    .-= Karin´s last blog ..Why some articles attract more traffic than others =-.


  15. Stew Shaw Says:

    Beth you beautifully drew out life lessons from the gardener - oh and by the way half the world’s going into autumn (fall)! - which is actually a preferable time to prune rather than spring, yes?

    Here’s one big pruning exercise I’m gearing up to do - chop myself off scores of email lists. Gurus and non-gurus alike, if they aren’t serving me well, they’ll be pruned out of my online life. This will remove the distractions and dead-ends they often lead me into. Anyone else relate?

    Thanks again for the reminder to keep serving our needs.
    .-= Stew Shaw´s last blog ..Massive Effort and The Flying Pig Syndrome =-.


  16. Johneal Rouse Says:

    Amazing post Beth!.. Particularly love the Francis Bacon quote you end the piece with about our Natural abilities being like natural plants that need to be pruned by study and grounded in action and experience..
    This is excellent and very insightful writing..
    Thanks for sharing!


  17. Krista Abbott Says:

    Great thoughts Beth! I can think of some unproductive things I need to prune from my life…as well as some negative people. :-)

    Insightful and wonderfully written. Thanks for sharing!

    .-= Krista Abbott´s last blog ..Social Media Management Tools: HootSuite =-.


  18. Eiji Morishita Says:

    Thanks Beth for a fantastic post!

    It reminds of a pattern that I noticed when interviewing people who achieved success both financially and emotionally.

    What I found out was that most of their success came not by adding new things but more by pruning the things that weren’t working in their lives. It was truly addition by subtraction.

    Look forward to your more posts!

    .-= Eiji Morishita´s last blog ..How to Experience Abundance Anytime Anywhere =-.


  19. Eddie Espiritu Says:

    Love the message of this post Beth! We all need to “prune” what is not productive or leading to positive results in our lives to maintain our progression forward!



  20. Beverly Monical Says:

    Pruning is something that needs to be done regularly to grow more evenly. I prune myself often.Loved this post Beth.


  21. Young And Fabulous Says:

    I see pruning similar to decluttering. Getting rid of things that no longer serve you is the same as removing habits, beliefs, even people that are no longer aligned with your current values. Very informative post, Beth.
    .-= Young And Fabulous´s last blog ..Living Longer And Healthier All Starts In Your Head =-.


  22. Lynne Says:

    Very insightful post Beth! I definitely need to sit down and evaluate the areas where I need some pruning…


  23. John Robertson Says:

    Hi Beth,

    I’ve spent the last year ‘pruning’ various elements of deadwood out of my life, activities that were just unproductive and wasting time, scaling back certain relationships with negative people, and more… and after a year i am still finding new area’s to prune and better refine my life - it’s a process with no end :)

    Awesome post!

    John Robertson´s last [type] ..Online Network Marketing Systems- Why You Need Them


  24. Louise at Beauty Tips For Face Says:

    Hi Beth, I remember reading this with great interest earlier in the year, and it inspired me very much. First things first though, now we have passed the end of August, how did the astrological prediction pan out? I also agree that some of the rubbish the tabloids publish gives astrology a bad name.

    Anyway, I read this a while ago at a time when things in my life were a tad more chaotic. To cut a long story short, this inspired me and things are better now because of it. Now the autumn is setting in here, and now I have ‘pruned’ successfully, I carry on your spring pruning analogy and use this time to ‘prepare’ for the future. To stock up and make provisions, to prepare the soil for a hard, but exciting winter ahead.

    Anyway, I have rambled, but thank you for a wonderful post.
    Louise at Beauty Tips For Face´s last [type] ..Home made facial masks for skin pron to pimples


  25. Nicole from Life Coaching Courses Says:

    You article reminded of a wonderful quote I cam across recently that says in effect when we decide to do one thing, we are deciding to not do a hundred other things. Even in the act of pruning we must be deliberate and do what is essential to the the benefit of the plant (and our lives).
    Nicole@Life Coaching Courses´s last [type] ..Life Coaching and NLP – Differences and Similarities


    bethhewitt80 Reply:

    Absolutely true, it is only in the taking care of what we already have, trim back and giving ourselves room to flourish in other areas that things really start to flower for us! Beth :)


  26. Milissa Kornhauser Says:

    I totally accept as true with everything you have mentioned. In reality, I browsed through your various other articles and I believe you are totally correct. Congrats with this particular online site.


  27. Karl from mindset Says:

    This statement really caught my eye, “do not dwell on the losses they are necessary in order to clear the decks for the major period of action in your life.” ….and….
    “The more we cut back the more we will grow.”

    Thanks fro sharing..


    bethhewitt80 Reply:

    Thank Karl, pretty powerful words aren’t they. :)


  28. Nathan Says:

    Impressive pruning advice.

    Trash clutter in your life and you actually don’t feel it unless it’s already overflowing. Pruning regularly should probably make a decent change out of one’s life.

    Though I still don’t have much believe on astrology


  29. Yorinda Says:

    Hi Beth,

    thanks for the reminder to check my Transits. I have found those a very useful way to read black in white something I kind of knew grey in grey.

    Great article and I love your pictures.

    Love and Joy.


  30. Jackie Gibbons Says:

    Hey Beth!

    Love this piece. While some people like to prune only once a year, there are also people who like to prune daily (the more familiar term being “cleaning house”). Unfortunately those later people get so obsessed with the pruning process that they’ll have nothing beautiful left to admire. Everything in moderation!

    Just checked out your site today. Curious to see if you wrote anything about the sun sign changes. Wondering what your thoughts are on that.

    Much love,


  31. Steve-Personal Success Factors Says:

    These are such wise words. One of the best tools for pruning I have found is the Artist’s Way workbook. Mind you, I have to make some pruning time available in my schedule to write in it, but it develops the pruning talent within! Of course, it does take practice, but writing freestyle has a way of unlocking what’s going on inside of us. Great post!


  32. marquita herald Says:

    Enjoyable post Beth. I’m a minimalist - if anything I have a habit of sometimes tossing/cleaning and pruning a little to quickly sometimes. Re astrology - hum, I find some validity with the characteristics of the various signs, but not so much as far as the predictions. In fact sometimes I just make up my own predictions about what a fabulous day it’s going to be and post that on the side of my computer!


  33. Linda Thomas Says:

    Hi Beth,
    I read with interest this post about Pruning your Life. And the lesson that stands out is the actual pruning process of “branching in a new direction!” I never thought of pruning in this way before. And I know I like cutting out the dead so I can flourish because I love scratching things off of my “To Do” List!
    Be an Entrepreneur, and Fly Like an Eagle!


  34. adrian campbell Says:


    i enjoyed reading your post and discovered the good thing about applying the concept on dealing with life.

    I’m up to make a way for new opportunities, new ideas, new ventures and to allow us to meet new people and as you advised I’ll start Pruning!

    Thanks for this.


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