One of my yearly rituals is pruning roses. The roses do so much better after pruning away dead wood. Carefully selecting the correct place to prune so that the branches extend out instead of across the center of the bush, where windy days cause the branches to rub against each other. Cleaning out grass, old leaves, and other debris protects the plants from disease. The process takes time. Heavy gloves help protect me from painful pokes. http://gardening.about.com/od/rose1/a/RosePruning.htm As I pulled grass, pruned then painted the tips that I cut from the bushes, I pondered how much pruning is similar to counseling. Old ideas are pulled out, cutting out bad habits, choking belief systems thinned or discarded, keeping the healthy portions of myself to rebuild and allow new growth. Hanging on to old dead stuff stunts my growth. I also painfully learned that when night is coming and you can't tell the difference between a rose branch loaded with stickers and cannas, it is time to quit for a time and give myself a rest. Fortunately, I hadn't grabbed too hard. Overtired or dim view is relieved by giving myself time to finish the pruning the next day. I learned that rushing counseling also had a painful, negative backlash. The pruning process is not fun, however beautiful blooms a few months later makes an awesome difference.