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Monthly Archives: July 2016

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 48

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 48

We are already on Day 48 of our ‘100 Days to a Fruitful Summer’ Challenge! We are almost at the halfway mark! I’m so excited!

This is a good place to check your progress. Have you harvested any of the fruits of your labor? What have you accomplished so far?

Different plants are ready at different times. My brothers dug potatoes the other day. I have always loved the potato digging time. Ever since I was a little girl I would get excited to see (at that time, my Daddy) someone go out with the garden spade, stick the tip of it into the earth where the plant had died back, push down with their foot on the spade, and bring up a shovel FULL of potatoes! It always amazed me that the one piece of a seed potato could make all of these potatoes. I was also intrigued that the plant was withered and dying above the ground and here were these awesome potatoes, underneath! Oh, what a delight!

So, what about you? Are your potatoes ready for harvest? Do you feel like maybe you are withered? Well, maybe – just maybe you need to dig a little deeper. Maybe the good stuff is right there just under soil!

Some of the most amazing things have to be dug up from the earth…gold, diamonds and precious gems, silver, and other things deemed ‘precious’. There is some work that goes into digging these things up. Much more work than digging the potatoes out of the garden. It could be an unwritten rule that the more precious the ‘harvest’ the harder you have to dig for it.

Make sure you are digging for what you really want in life. If those precious things were easy to get, they wouldn’t be so valuable! This is exactly the same with your own precious goals and dreams. They wouldn’t seem as precious if you already had them.

Today’s Challenge: 1. Tell me what you have already harvested this summer.  2. Dig deeper! The good stuff is probably just below the surface!!!

Life’s a Garden; Dig it!

Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.  ~Marcus Aurelius

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Posted by on July 31, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day47

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day47

One very strange part of the ‘grass is greener’ mentality is the ‘grass is browner’ mentality. I refer to this frequently as the Eeyore mentality. You know, Eeyore (say it with your best Milne British accent: ‘Eeyowe’) the gloomy donkey from the Winnie the Pooh books. “Why bother”, “nobody likes me”, “her garden is better than mine”, etc. We all know an Eeyore; the ‘woe is me’ type of person who is always dissatisfied with what is going on in their own yard and garden. She looks over the fence regularly to just make sure her neighbors grass is still greener, while hers continues to wither. We all get caught being an Eeyore now and again. Instead of looking at the good stuff we DO have, we focus on the negatives in our own yard, which by default makes everyone else’s grass LOOK greener.

Have you ever been an Eeyore? Have you ever said, “Oh, bother…I don’t want to go to work today because _____________” . In this blank you can insert almost any excuse in the world. I’ll give you a few that I have heard before: I’m tired; I have so much personal stuff to do; I have a hangover; I didn’t sleep well; the weather is (too hot, cold, rainy, gloomy, icy, snowy). Yes, there are some perfectly good reasons to stay home sometimes! Sometimes it is too icy. Sometimes you are really sick. Sometimes you have infants and they were up all night long and you had zero sleep and you just shouldn’t even be on the road. I would say these true reasons make up about 5% of the times most people stay home. “Mental health days” and other things make up the majority of reasons for a majority of people. I do know that we are all amazing women, and these do not reflect our own attitudes.

There are some people who could make excuses to not work, and we know very many do. Yet, they work harder to keep their jobs and maintain their independence without bemoaning the grass in their lawn. They just take care of it, to the best of their abilities.

Today’s Challenge: 1. Think back to a time when you were an ‘Eeyore’ or to a time when you made excuses. 2. What was the outcome? What could the outcome have been if you would have been more positive, or NOT made the excuse? 3. Pay attention today to those behaviors that sound like braying negativity or if you start to make excuses. 4. Bray like a donkey when you catch yourself. Yep, that’s right, Eeyore. Give a good ‘eeyowe’ or ‘heehaw’ sound. Make sure to really emphasize the first syllable. 5. Redirect yourself. Think about John in the story. Put a positive spin on the situation, or quit making excuses. Tend to your withering grass and make it beautiful.

“A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” ~ Eeyore

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 46

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 46

My mind brought this to me earlier and I thought “ah”, maybe I need to explain something to the awesome women. They may be a little bit confused. Notice, this is an “ah” moment not an “A-ha” moment. Small scale.

I have been writing all of these posts about gardening and landscaping and plants and flowers and nature, and then I say that my own yard is not spectacular. Didn’t I write about the garden, and the fruit trees, and the flowers? Yes, I did. I spend much more time in my parents’ yard and garden than I do in my own. My parents’ house, the house where I grew up, is less than five minutes from my own. I go visit my mother as frequently as I can, schedules permitting. It is during our Saturday and Sunday morning coffee drinking sessions that I spend time in the yard and garden. If I need to spend more time there, it is easy to get to.

Another fantastic thing about the yard and garden at my parents’ house is that it ISN’T mine. Some of my siblings do the majority of the yard work and vegetable gardening, and I know that their families help out as well. “Ah”.

With that being said and maybe ending some confusion (or maybe just easing my conscience) I will say that I did spend a brief amount of time in my own yard yesterday. I spent about 20 minutes yesterday morning on my back patio/porch watching the sun come up. I then made a mental note of some things that needed tending to, and later in the day sent the girls to attend to them.

“Gardens and flowers have a way of bringing people together, drawing them from their homes.” ~ Clare Ansberry

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 45

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 45

Grass is Greener…Bloom Where You’re Planted~

Sometimes during my workouts I listen to podcasts or recordings of the motivational variety. I was listening to some Marianne Williamson this morning and she rephrased what I had planned on writing about his morning. I absolutely love how the universe lays things out so perfectly!

Yesterday I posted about looking over the fence (or at pictures on a cell phone) of someone else’s garden and wishing it was our own. My thoughts at that time and as I got on the treadmill for my ‘wog’ this morning were to continue that dialogue.

Many years ago I heard a story, and I cannot for the life of me remember where. What I do remember is that the ‘catch phrase’ and basic meaning of that story stuck with me. The basics were this: A young preacher had been given the opportunity to take on the head ministry position at a well-established church in a different state. The congregation was aging and diminishing, to the point where there were less than 100 members, most of whom were over the age of 70. This young preacher spent about six months at this new church and the member numbers were continuing to diminish. He called a mentor to more or less complain about the situation and say that this just wasn’t working and he was looking for a new church to go to, even if it was as an associate pastor. The mentor listened attentively and finally said that he understood how the young man could feel that way. He went on to say that it seemed the young pastor was looking for an ‘ok’ or ‘blessing’ from this more established pastor. He did not give it. The mentor said that he would understand if the young pastor chose to leave and go to a different church, but his advice would be to “Bloom where you’re planted.”  The young pastor was so conflicted by the words that he pulled his car over on the side of the freeway and thought and prayed. He stayed at that church, and with a renewed outlook made a few changes. Within a few short months the attendance had grown, and within just a few years the membership of that church had grown 10 times.

We can continue to stare over the fence and look at the blooms on our neighbor’s roses (plants, flowers, grass, house, car, etc.) or tend to our own! Without proper care our gardens will not grow. If we do not water, fertilize, weed, deadhead, prune and otherwise tend to our gardens they will not produce the blooms or fruits that we desire. However, desiring someone else’s flowers does not put them into our yard! Rather, focusing on the positive aspects in our own garden (life) is the first step to a more beautiful garden of our own!

I love looking at other people’s gardens and today can more fully appreciate the time, energy, effort, and love that goes into them! As for me and my garden, I’m going to bloom where I’m planted!

Today’s Challenge: What did you think about yesterday? Cultivate your own life, in those places where you were looking over the fence. Do three things today to move you toward a greener garden of your own!

“We’re all assigned a piece of the garden, a corner of the universe that is ours to transform.” ~ Marianne Williamson

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2016 in Motivation

 

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Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 44

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 44

Grass is Greener

The next few posts are going to be a series on a similar theme. I know that the saying “The Grass is Greener” is very well known. I also know that we all know what it means, at least in context. Sometimes it is easier to “know” a saying than to truly understand it. I am as guilty of perpetrating the ‘easier said than done’ mentality sometimes as anyone.

Recently I saw some pictures of one of the most stunning flower gardens / yards I have ever seen. It was a truly magnificent work of art. In addition to the plants and flowers there was incredible statuary and metal works. The love and care that created this incredible garden was visible even through the photos.

Later, when I was home and thinking about the garden I found myself ‘wishing’ that my own yard was a magnificent peaceful respite. Oh, how wonderful it would be to look at that garden and enjoy the view and the peace. Then I realized that I had control over my own outdoor respite. This awesome woman spends her spare time working very hard in her flower garden and finding just the right touches to set it off, so that she can then enjoy the peace, too. I could choose to spend more time working in my own yard to create a magnificent space of my own. I choose to spend my spare time doing other things.

“The grass is always greener on the other side (of the fence)” does not really delve into the depths of what I personally discovered about myself. It isn’t about being envious of the marvelous space compared to my own lackluster outdoor space. It is more about the realization that ‘our society’ really does get hung up on what is on the other side. So many people try to keep up with the Joneses or the Smiths or the Hayneses (not really) instead of embracing what they have currently and if it is NOT what they want or what makes them happy making the decision to change it.

Today’s Challenge: What do you find yourself looking at and wishing you had? Then, think about why you don’t have that. Are you doing what it takes to get it?

…the grass may look greener on the other side, but believe me, it’s just as hard to cut. ~ Little Richard

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Positivity Coating

Positivity Coating

I was having a conversation with someone yesterday about being positive. It feels like our world has become increasingly negative, with a frenzy of negative actions and words spawning violence and more negativity. I started a personal positivity crusade on my social media about 2 weeks ago. The most fabulous thing about it thusfar is the feedback I have received from others.

As the conversation continued I came up with an analogy and visual mantra to maintain positivity, and hopefully evoke a positive mental attitude.

This is something most of us have used at least once in our lives and probably have in our homes (garages) right now. WD-40 (TM). Yes, that blue can of oily goodness with the little red stick thing taped to the side. (It comes attached these days). How can this possibly be a symbol of positivity? Let me explain.

wd 40

What does WD40 do? Actually it does thousands of things. However, it was created to prevent or remove rust. Rust is a reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture.  It was specifically created to coat the outside of rockets and spaceships, to displace moisture and prevent the metal from rusting. Rust degrades the structural integrity of iron; weakens it and changes it chemically. WD-40 is also used as a lubricant. If you’ve ever had a stuck drawer or squeaky door, spraying a little bit of WD-40 on the hinge or slide mechanism stops the squeak and loosens the hinge to swing freely. I have also used WD-40 to remove sticky adhesive from glass. It is easier on the nails and quicker than scraping. WD-40 is great for removing rust from bicycle chains, and preventing new rust from forming.

Still wondering how this applies to positivity?

As a visual mantra, you can look at a can of WD-40 (or a picture of it, or visualize it) when you’re feeling stuck in any situation. WD-40 is a lubricant that makes stuck things move. Visualize the can of WD-40, then visualize the bicycle chain moving in a forward direction; now visualize the situation that you feel stuck in, and see yourself moving in a forward direction. With a new coating of positivity and confidence you can also prevent yourself from getting stuck in the future. The same visualization can be used with the door. The hinges are squeaky or stuck. Visualize the WD-40 to loosen the hinges so that the door opens easily. Visualize yourself swinging that door open smoothly, allowing you to move toward new opportunities! If you are in a situation where you have to make a decision to follow your heart (mind, soul, gut)and someone is pressuring you to do the opposite or follow the crowd, visualize WD-40 to help you protect your own structural integrity. Sometimes we get worn down with the words and pressures of outside sources, the same way iron gets barraged with salt water. Use your WD-40 to remove the layers of damage and stand up strong for what you believe in. Stay positive in your beliefs.

I could write a thousand more uses and analogies for WD-40 being a perfect visual mantra, but I would rather know if you can think of any uses for WD-40 in your positivity crusade! Please share your uses, analogies, and positive pictures.

Let’s all coat the world with positive, free-flowing awesomeness!

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 43

Fruitful Summer 2016 ~ Day 43

Brand You…Squirrels 2

As odd as it may seem, the white squirrels have me so intrigued! I have read all about them on the City of Olney’s website.

In addition to the aspect of their uniqueness, I think it is phenomenal that the City of Olney has taken their unique would be pest and turned it in to their own brand.

As you are reaching for your goals and trying to pick the fruits from the branches, whether you are looking to expand your business or just expand your life, having a ‘brand’ that is unique to you helps define YOU.

By creating a personal brand you are able to create a set of expectations for you to follow. It allows others to have an idea of what to expect each and every time they see or meet with you. Having a personal brand does not mean that there is nothing else to you; it just means that you have invested the time to identify your core brand attributes. There is more to the City of Olney than white squirrels, but they have chosen to develop their unique quality into their core brand. Developing a personal brand allows you to be consistent in your dealings with others and ultimately saves you time and hassles. You have set the precedent for what other people are to expect and you deliver on those expectations.

For some, personal appearance is a big part of their brand. Part of my personal brand is the color pink. I wear pink frequently in my outfit or accessories, and even carry pink pens, wallet, purses, phone, etc. If I show up without any pink on I have some clients who call me on it. When that happens I have not lived up to my brand. I have an awesome friend who wears sparkly accessories every day. Sparkly is definitely a part of her brand. Maybe your personal brand has something to do with your hairstyle or just having totally awesome curly hair.

Another part of your personal brand is all about values. Are you a person with integrity? Are you honest? Are you nice? Look inside of yourself and determine what your core values are and make them part of your brand. Maybe you are trustworthy and loyal. Maybe you live by the Golden Rule. Maybe you are giving and charitable. Who you are at the core is a big part of your brand. Other parts of your brand are not necessarily values, but character traits. Most of us have a good idea of some of our basic character traits. Decide if that is something that you want to be a part of your brand.

So now it’s time to start creating your own personal brand. You are the president or CEO in charge of You, Your Business, Your Company; Create Brand You. You want your brand to be reflective of not just who you are, but who you want to be. You also want your brand to be unique, unto you. You want your brand to help you stand out from the competition. Create a brand centered around the best parts of who you are. Then ask yourself some questions to ensure that you have created the brand that suits who you are, where you are, and who and where you are going.

Take out a piece of paper and start developing your own personal brand. After you have come up with your brand, spend some time marketing yourself. Deliver on the promises that your brand offers. Take note: if something isn’t quite right or doesn’t seem to be working, don’t be afraid to make some modifications! After all, the greatest companies in the world have made changes to their brands over time.

You’re branding the most awesome product and company of all time – YOU!

And YOU are even more intriguing than a white squirrel!

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” ~Jeff Bezos

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2016 in Uncategorized