By Valerie Driscoll, Lead Coach and Coaching Program Developer for Apollo Health

In considering topics for this month, I kept coming back to the word March; it would not leave my head.

I have always considered the name appropriate, since about the time March rolls around, I am ready to march away from the cold and snow of winter and into the green and growth of spring. I love hearing the birds singing as I begin the process of deciding what will be planted or rearranged in my gardens. I am in the second season of gardening in a new space; last year was the year of panic planting, so this year feels much more planful (possibly not a scrabble word, but one used in mindfulness retreats, especially in California).

For the warmer months of spring and summer, my home will be surrounded with beautiful colors and food for the birds, bees, and bugs. I will nourish my body with the freshly picked colors of the rainbow. Then in October, when the growing season slows down or comes to a stop, there will be some food for the winter, both for me and the seed-eating birds.

Golly-gosh, it sounds so idyllic as I write it down, but it is hard work. There will be failure: last year plants that thrived one mile away failed here, something ate my coveted kale, the scarlet sage was a disappointment, the soaker hose got clogged and required a post-mulch rip up, the flowering quince I attempted rooting from my old house failed to take hold, the figs matured late and mostly failed to ripen, there was some creativity needed to store a winter’s worth of squash in a truly tiny space, and there are currently two tiny lilac bushes and a number of ferns living in my bathroom because I did not plant them!

And the failure was okay because I learned from it. I have seen what grew well last year and what did not. What needs to be relocated, and what just needs to be abandoned. It is all being worked into my current state of “plan-fulness.”

By the time October rolls around, I am ready to be done with it, snuggle down into my flannel sheets, and not think about it again until the first seed catalogs roll in.

So … the point of all this garden talk?

Since mid-January, I have been doing short 1:1 coaching interviews and live group sessions speaking with more than dozens of PreCODE and ReCODE participants for the Mastering Nutrition for Cognition with KetoFLEX 12/3 groups I have been co-facilitating with Julie G. Through these interactions with the marvelous, brave, and wildly different personalities in our community, the true meaning of the word march got stuck in my head. At first, I perceived it as a verb: as in these are people MARCHING out of a cold winter where so many of them felt hopeless and isolated, into a spring of hope and connection — these are some planful people!

March, the noun, resonated as I heard participants in every season of cultivating the Bredesen Protocol into their lives, from thriving to stuck in the weeds or from marching to mulched under. Practicing PreCODE or ReCODE is much like gardening: we plan, we plant, we nurture, we reap, we fail, we rearrange, and we start another season. Some of us also occasionally hide under the flannel sheets and wait for some inspiration and the promise of warmth and longer days, and that is okay because inspiration will come if we look for it: through this community, through a coach, and through education on the member portal even if the march feels like a meander, hang in there.

Whatever season you are currently in, know that there will be another because that is just how it works. Plan what and when you need to plant; learn the best spot for and how much nurturing each planting needs. Watch what grows. Rearrange or pull out what does not. Reap when something is thriving. Slow down a little when the season changes. Wherever you are, look back at how far you have come, and get ready for March.

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