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How can you use plants to promote more mindful thinking? In this episode, I had the most amazing chat with my longtime plant friend Brittany Gowan (@brittanygowan). Brittany and I go way back to our NYC plant mom days when we used to have plant swaps and brunches together. It is pretty wild how plants can bring people together like that.

Brittany is one of a kind—she blends her skills in psychology and coaching with her deep love of nature. On the show, we discussed how plants can reduce stress, foster compassion, and increase joy.


In this episode, we learn:

  • [03:06] Who is Brittany Gowan? (one of my OG plant friends!)
  • [06:16] Finding peace in a stressful job
  • [10:12] What are some ways that city people can connect with nature?
  • [12:59] Importance of noticing and appreciating “little things” in urban areas
  • [16:03] Celebrate special moments and create lasting memories with Wind River Chimes
  • [17:51] Discover fun, plant-filled projects that add joy to your life with ‘¡Verdura! – Living a Garden Life‘ by Perla Sofía Curbelo Santiago
  • [19:07] How has our ability to focus changed in a multitasking-driven society?
  • [21:53] What are the metaphorical ways light/darkness can be interpreted?
  • [28:20] How to develop compassion through plant care
  • [30:09] Add a touch of spring to your home with Soltech's stylish grow lights
  • [33:42] Finding joy in unexpected, small moments
  • [39:32] How can plants and nature help with anxiety?
  • [43:38] Returning to the wild and reconnecting with our roots
  • [47:06] Meditation and mindfulness


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Growing Joy: The Plant Lover's Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung

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Using Nature and Plants for Calm and Presence

One of the tips Brittany shared is using plants/nature to stay present and mindful. If your office is near a park, for example, you can spend your lunch break there. Taking a breather surrounded by nature can help you reset before returning to the office grind.

You can also take notice of the tiny details in plants and nature around you, even if it’s just some leaves or flowers that you see out a window. It’s also not weird to focus your mind on the colors or patterns for a few minutes; it can actually help you deal with anxious thoughts.


Plants and Light as Metaphors

I love metaphors (I’m sure you know that) and the fact that Britanny has various interpretations for light makes me so excited. So I was immediately drawn to the chapters in Brittany's book Turn to the Sun that use plants as poetic metaphors for light, darkness, and positivity in our lives.

Just as plants can't thrive in direct sun 24/7, we humans shouldn't expect ourselves to live in a state of constant positivity. After all, there's beauty and growth in the darkness too. Like a sunflower, we can choose to turn our faces towards sources of light during challenging times. But we must resist the urge to make fun of ourselves for experiencing shade/shadow. Plants just get this balance, you know?


Plants and Compassion

Instead of being too hard on ourselves when we overwater/underwater, let us treat it with kindness, patience, and care. We can take the time to understand what each plant needs to recover. This caring approach then becomes second nature that we can apply to our other areas of life.

Having compassion for yourself is what allows you to pay it forward to others. The patience and grace we give ourselves when we inevitably make plant care mistakes makes it easier to extend that same understanding to our fellow humans when they stumble too.


Joy and Plants

This chapter in Brittany's book really struck a chord with me and my own plant parenting journey. She explores how the deepest joys often arise from humble, unexpected moments—like the unfurling of your very first fenestrated monstera leaf. Do you remember how exciting that was when you were a novice plant parent?! Every new leaf growing felt miraculous.

We both really liked Brittany's grandmother's advice to choose “joy” as a way of life. Joy isn't just something that happens TO you; it’s a mindset you can consciously choose each day through small actions: pausing to smell your favorite plant, doing a happy dance when new growth emerges, or taking pride in how far you've come as a plant parent.


Using Plants for Anxiety Management

Concerns about the future or feelings of regret about the past can keep us thinking about them over and over again, making us feel anxious. However, multiple studies show that spending time in nature essentially “pauses” that loop and brings our focus back to the present moment. Just picturing your favorite outdoor spot can totally interrupt those anxious thoughts.

According to Brittany, this whole thing works because when you are surrounded by plants, your brain gets totally absorbed in the little things around you instead of getting stuck in your own thoughts. Checking out all the shades of greens, leaf designs, or the feel of flower petals can help you stay in the moment.


Returning to the Wild

When was the last time you let your senses feast on the sights, smells, and sounds of an environment without buildings? Brittany says this awakens your innate desire to reconnect with your roots.

She goes further by inviting us to tap into our “wildness” or untamed energy as humans. Just like how plants grow naturally and authentically, we can also let loose and be ourselves when we are surrounded by nature.

These days, it seems we could all benefit from a little more grounding and a lot more compassion—for ourselves, each other, and this planet we call home. I hope Brittany's ideas and guided meditations have encouraged you to embrace plants as way to improve your mindset and bring joy to your life.



Mentioned in our conversation:


Thank you to our episode sponsors:

Wind River Chimes

Bring more peace, serenity, and magic into your home with chimes. Wind River is a Virginia-based company creating premium handcrafted and hand-tuned wind chimes for over 35 years. If you are looking for a new way to grow joy in your life and find a moment of peace, a Wind River chime is the perfect addition to your home or garden. Plus, it's a perfect personalized gift for your loved ones!

Visit and use code GROWINGJOY to receive free engraving on your chosen wind chimes.

Quarto: ¡Verdura! – Living a Garden Life by Perla Sofía Curbelo-Santiago

Celebrate the power of adding more green to your life with 30 simple and budget-friendly gardening projects that promote well-being through plants. Perla Sofía Curbelo-Santiago of has put together 30 projects found in ¡Verdura! to transform the initial spark of joy from plants into a healthy habit that enhances your life in many ways.

Grab ¡Verdura! at your favorite local bookstore,,, Barnes and Noble or

Soltech Solutions

As we enjoy the spring sun, ensure your plants are still getting enough light indoors! Soltech Solutions offers grow lights with full-spectrum white light that mimics the sun to keep your plants happy and healthy: whether you are looking for a pendant light, track lighting, or a simple bulb to screw into any standard light fixture, Soltech has got you covered. They offer quality products with great customer service, free shipping, and a multi-year warranty. Keep the sun shining and the plants green inside your home with Soltech Solutions.

Check them out at and get 15% off with code “bloom15”.




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