How We Improve

I started planning this year’s small garden over the past couple of weeks – I’ve been making diagrams and plans in my head, walking out back with a measuring tape, and reading up on the new varieties of vegetables I plan to grow. As our outside space is fairly small, I’m growing in containers, and last year I decided to move them up onto a table for less stooping and hunching. The added height worked great, but the table I had wasn’t designed for such uses and it fell apart just as the gardening season came to a close. So this year, I was on the lookout for new outdoor tables that would serve my purposes and last. I ended up finding some inexpensive tables that fit the bill, but they are not quite sturdy enough to support the kind of weight that my containers will impose. So, I needed to adjust the vision, and build some type of support underneath them to...

Resting and Refocusing

It feels natural to rest in January after the busy holiday season. The gifts are all opened, the travelling has ended, and even the dishes are finally finished from those big holiday meals. Hopefully we are left with some good memories and fun times with those we love and care about. But even those fun times can sometimes add to the exhaustion we typically give way to at the beginning of the year. And rest is good! Even catching up on sleep helps us in a number of ways, including improvements in memory, metabolism, mood (from studies cited by the January 2006 Harvard Women’s Health Watch Newsletter). The body has its rhythms of activity and slumber, and so do the seasons. When the activity of summer comes to a gradual and graceful stillness in the winter, it’s usually after the holidays that we pause to reflect on this natural quietness. The hustle and bustle that seems to begin...

Fear

Last time, I mentioned that the only thing I have found that keeps me from saying “Yes” in my actions is fear. I mean, if you say “Yes” in your thoughts, no one can judge you because presumably, you’re the only one inside your head. But saying “Yes” in action is a whole ‘nother thing. When you say “Yes” in action, all of the sudden people can see you. They can judge you, they can say harsh or critical things about you, they can even do things which hurt you. No wonder we often stop saying “Yes” when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road. Who wants any of that heavy stuff! The reality is that despite the sting of hurt feelings and disappointment, we aren’t able to be permanently damaged. Inside of us lives a core spirit which is absolutely unharmable. It does not judge, it is not vindicative, it is not...

Saying Yes, Part II

Last time, we talked about how just saying “Yes” to our current unpleasant situation, allows us to stop resisting and to begin seeing the solutions that offer us a way out. Today, I want to touch upon another way in which saying “Yes” is immensely important. And that is in growth. If you desperately want out of a dead-end job, and fail to send out resumes or apply for new positions, you will not likely get out of your crappy position. If you hate being single or lonely, and you never take steps to meet people, it’s unlikely that your love life will change. Sure there are exceptions, when Providence seems to drop a huge boon in our laps without any type of effort on our part. But I think much more commonly, we help make our changes by being open to saying, “Yes.” Saying “Yes” means updating your resume. Saying “Yes” means...

Saying Yes, Part I

I’m not sure how many times this has happened to me, but it seems to have happened plenty – and I can’t be the only one. Let’s say I was angry or disappointed about a situation that had failed to live up to my expectations. I would find myself kind of stewing in my feelings, even after I was aware of them. I would find myself resisting moving out of that feeling. Why? Maybe it felt too comfortable in some strange way, maybe I didn’t feel like expending the energy to feel better. No matter the excuse, the result was the same. No movement out of that uncomfortable feeling. No relief. That is, until I said “Yes.” I had to first acknowledge where I was. I had to claim it, I had to say “Yes, this is the way I’m feeling or acting right now.” Once I said “Yes” to where I was, I was much more easily able to say...

Notable Quote

Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. [ssba_hide]

Viktor Frankl