The other day while I weeded and pruned my garden, I was amazed to realize that this year it feels like the garden and I are in sync. I am in tune with what needs to be done when. Even more importantly for the flowers—I actually do it.

The next memory took me back to other years when I could look at my garden and know that it represented my stage of life. For example, the year my mother took ill and later died—so much didn’t get done in my garden. Early spring’s plantings never happened, and vegetables were late getting into the ground. Weeds were plenty that year. Each time I stepped into the garden, it was a reminder of my internal and emotional overwhelm.

The garden seems to be one of my external barometers of what and how my internal life is running: how grounded I am, how my self-care is doing, and how much I am tending to mental, emotional, and physical needs.

In my practice, I find that people often have their own barometers that lead them to come for a session. It might be a physical pain or symptom, the state of their desk, the event that happened “coincidentally” for the third time, a lack of joy in something that usually brings great joy, or their self-care routines are faltering or non-existent. We all have things that we can track that reflect our own internal states. Yours might be an external or—as equally valuable—an internal barometer that things aren’t quite right.

Listen to yourself. Address this imbalance sooner rather than later and see if your barometer shows you that you are headed in the right direction.