Kinesiology and Intuition
by Richard Price

There was a problem that came up in the garden this summer that gave me a chance to learn more about working with nature.

The pond in the garden has a biological filter that discharges water into a small stone pool which then re-enters the pond via a waterfall. When I built the pool, I lined it with the same vinyl liner that the pond is made of, but due to the irregular shape, it was necessary to use vinyl patching tape to make it watertight. The week before our last open house of the season, we noticed a lot of moisture behind the filter house and determined it was caused by leaks in the vinyl liner. The tape had come loose and was allowing water to escape through the stone walls. I asked nature if I should repair the vinyl liner or look for a better alternative. I was told to repair the vinyl liner for a short-term solution, but also to look for a better long-term solution. I looked in water garden catalogs and tested to see which options I could use. Two different possibilities tested positive. The first was a liquid vinyl that could be painted onto the stone, the second was a pre-fab hard plastic pool. I wasn't exactly thrilled with these options because using the plastic pool would mean rebuilding the stone walls, and the liquid vinyl was very expensive. I waited to ask nature which was the best solution because I wasn't ready to hear the answer. A few days later, while I was checking the pool for leaks, a thought popped into my head: Pool plaster! It's a pool, why not use pool plaster? I now had a third option, and this one I liked.

Now that I had three options, I was ready to ask nature which was the best one, but I thought I should run the whole thing by Machaelle and Sandra, Machaelle's garden assistant and my wife, first. They reminded me that using a cement based product would affect the pH in the pond and suggested that I research how to avoid any harmful effects to the pond. I spoke with an experienced water garden installer and was told that leaching the plaster over a three- to four-week period would protect the pond. Even with the added problem of how to accomplish this while keeping the filter operating, I was still leaning toward the plaster. I knew I needed to ask nature what the best solution was, but by now I was feeling so personally involved in the answer that I was afraid I would influence the testing. I went back to Machaelle and Sandra to tell them how I felt. Machaelle suggested that Sandra test because she was not as involved in the answer as I was. I gratefully agreed.

Sandra tested the next day and when I asked her what answer she had gotten, she told me that before she would tell me, she wanted me to test also. I felt like I was being set up and tried to get her to give in and tell me, but she wouldn't. I begrudgingly went off to test, knowing that I was leaning toward the plaster.

When I opened the coning, I stated that I didn't care what answers I got, but I wasn't sure I had convinced myself. When I first presented the three options, I tested positive for using the plaster, but then my self-determined need for open-mindedness kicked in and said, "No, I need to test again." This time, I tested positive for the plastic pool. I was satisfied that my open mind had worked, so I closed the coning and went off to find Sandra. We were in a sort of "you show me yours, I'll show you mine" type of situation, but Sandra gave in and said she had tested positive for the plaster. I looked at her and knew she was right and realized that my leanings had not just been my personal desire. I told Sandra that before I tested I had decided that it was my desire to use the plaster, so I then manipulated my testing to come up with using the plastic pool. Boy, did I feel stupid. She laughed and said that she was surprised by her answer because she thought using a plastic pool would be easier.

What I now realize is that I failed to consider that nature will give us insights or impressions and you can then validate them by using kinesiology and asking, "Is this what I should do?" or "Is this a balanced option?" I learned two very valuable lessons through this experience. The first is that if I can't honestly be an impartial tester, I should ask someone else to test. The second is that I need to be comfortable with nature speaking to me through intuition and learning to listen.