Monthly Archives: April 2018

It’s Time To Do Some Gardening In Your Life

Spring Gardening

I have spent the last several weeks working in my gardens.  My activities include pulling weeds, pruning, raking, planting, fertilizing, watering and admiring.  One of the first things I did as I started on this journey of refreshing my little plot of land was to cut back all of my rose bushes.  And let me tell you, I went to town on them.  I gave them a proper trimming.  Yesterday as I was doing some watering I noticed that every single one of these rose bushes had beautifully exploded with new growth.  The leaves are a deep green, and there are scores of buds that will soon break out into a stunning display of exquisiteness.

Gardening can be challenging.  However, the results of a well-tended yard no matter the size, are gratifying.  All five senses can be satisfied with the fruits of our labor.  I find it a valuable way to spend time.  I also believe that many domains of our life can benefit from some intentional gardening.  Let’s have a look.

Relationship

Whether you have chosen marriage, a life partner, or a significant other, relationships can be a beautiful dance through life with a loved one, and they can also be challenging and in some cases unhealthy.  Regardless of your current relationship status, I will remind you that it is not anyone’s responsibility to make you happy except yourself.  So, if you are in a relationship or seeking to enter into one to be satisfied, don’t do it.  It doesn’t work

Does Your Shadow Know?

Morning Shadow

Early on Sunday morning, I was walking back to my house from the barn after I fed my horses. My constant companion and handsome Austrailian Sheperd, Twosocks was by my side enjoying the scents of the new day. As we walked along, I noticed our shadows. The rays of first light cast our silhouettes against the ground making us look taller than we are. Thinner too. I stopped to consider our profiles that were interrupting the waves of radiance gracing our sunrise stroll.

A Metaphor For Life

Our shadows are a metaphor for life. Similar to a tall building providing shade from the sun on a hot day, we too can offer relief to someone who might be having a challenging day. The sun that isn’t blocked by that lofty structure can also provide warmth on a day when there is a chill in the air. We too can step out of the way and grant comfort and warmness to someone in need.

Be The Light or The Shade

I urge you to put pauses in your day that allow you to be aware of yourself and those around you. Supply enthusiasm, affection, and kindness in a world that is fast-paced and chaotic. Make an effort to improve ones day because their path crossed with yours. Do things that bring you joy. Hold the space for others to feel appreciated by you. Shine bright when someone needs your light. Courageously step in and exude the coolness and comfort so desperately desired by those

Why I Made Fear My Friend

Keep Your Ass In The Saddle

I remind myself often to ‘keep my ass in the saddle.’ What does keep your ass in the saddle mean? Well, I use it as a metaphor for staying centered and present. As anyone who has ridden a horse knows, if you don’t sit solidly and squarely in your seat, the ride can be uncomfortable as well as unsafe. I find the same to be right in life. When you allow your life to careen off the road, you often find yourself in the ditch.

Fear

We all have those things that we allow to pull us off center. For some it is living in the past, for others, it is jealousy or feelings of unworthiness. For me, it was fear with the focal element being money. I grew up on a farm. Farming is a no guarantees vocation. Mother Nature plays a starring role in the success or not of your hard work and endeavors to make a living. Money was always tight in our family, and this worried me as a young child. Old, stubborn habits that don’t serve you die hard. I drug the penchant of fretting about financial matters into my adult life. Stewing as a child never improved the situation nor has it ever facilitated a constructive outcome as I have evolved through life.

I Made Fear My Friend

A few years ago, the money fear monster reared its ugly head as it had done plenty of times in the past. That day I

Leave No Trace

American Culture

Recently I had a discussion with a friend who spends a good deal of time in Europe.  She was telling me how the Europeans comment on the American culture, and it’s lack of poise.  For instance, in the Italian culture, the meals are meant to be savored, revered, and unhurried.  Lunches and dinners last at least two hours and in many cases longer.  The French have many of the same habits as it relates to food.  They grow much of their food and prepare meals with fresh ingredients.  They eat small portions of food and take their time during meals.  Most European cultures get plenty of exercise because they walk or ride a bike to the places they go.  They appreciate nature and the cycle of the seasons.  They live graciously and gently.  Whereas, for the most part, Americans live heavy-handed and at a pace that is frenetic and stressful.  We seek immediate gratification with little or no patience for ‘waiting.’  We are often mindless in our consumption of just about everything.  And frequently we choose distraction over stillness.

Zen Master Dogen

As I considered the truth to these cultural differences, I remembered the wisdom of the ancient Zen master, Dogen.
He said that when birds fly in the sky, they leave no trace. And when fish swim in the water, they leave no trace. With this metaphor, Dogen encourages us to understand how to express spirituality in our everyday lives. He is saying that there should be nothing left over from