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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 100

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 100

We made it! Yesterday was the 100th day of the 100 Days for a Fruitful Summer challenge! Today is the first day of fall!

Over the past 100 days we have grown plots of earth or areas of yard from bare patches to complete fruition. Some may have grown a multitude of crops or flowers to be harvested and saved or shared with others.  Whether you climbed fruit trees to gather fruits or stayed with your feet firmly planted on the ground this has been a season of growth.

The rewards of gardening or planting are many. Aside from the actual harvesting of crops, which is the main reward for most people, there are intangible rewards, too. I’m sure the rewards are different for everyone, but here are some of the unexpected rewards that I got!

I got to spend extra time with my family, especially my daughters. From picking fruits to planting seeds and then baking the fruits into amazing treats and preserving the foods for later this is time that we would otherwise not have spent together. I got to spend some extra time with my mother and a couple of my brothers.

I was rewarded with an increase in my Vitamin D from the time outdoors that I would normally have spent inside the house. (I did use my sunscreen!)

I was rewarded with knowledge; I learned so much about gardening and landscaping that I can now have an almost intelligent conversation with green thumbs! I also learned more about canning and freezing foods. I learned more about cooking and baking with fresh fruits and vegetables.

I was rewarded with the joy that came from all of the other rewards that I received!

I was rewarded with a sense of adventure in gardening and landscaping that I hope to expand upon every summer!

I was rewarded with an appreciation for dirt that I never had before.

I was rewarded with the knowledge that I was doing something good for the environment. Big rewards there!

Those are just some of the rewards and benefits I reaped during the 100 Days to a Fruitful Summer challenge. Yours may be different. Oh, and those were just the rewards that I got from the “actual” gardening!

On your climb to the top of the tree of success I hope you realized some tangible and intangible rewards yourself!

I experienced rewards as I climbed toward my goals, too! Some of my goals I reached and some I just moved closer to. I will not stop reaching for new heights and greater rewards on all of my goals!

What is so important for today is that you recognize your accomplishments from the past 100 days. Take note of where you were 100 days ago and where you are today! Reward yourself for your accomplishments! You should always reward yourself in some way when you reach a goal. Give yourself a huge pat on the back for accomplishing what you set out to do. Give yourself something as a reward for that achievement. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be a pedicure or massage. It can be a new book or cool pen. It can be a vacation or piece of jewelry. I like to gauge my tangible rewards (massages are tangible) based on the level of my accomplishment. Oh, and try not to reward health related (weight loss) goals with food. This is a hard one for me. Food is ‘my thing’. I love it! (Not a news flash – I know) However, rewarding a health goal with food doesn’t fit in with the neuroscience surrounding healthy habits and rewards. I want to train my brain to associate health goals with non-food rewards, like new shoes or new clothes!

Today is a day of recognition, rewards, and celebration! Take this day to love yourself and be proud of your accomplishments! Do one nice thing for yourself (reward!) for every one goal you accomplished over the last 100 days! Oh, and make sure to do one nice thing for yourself for every one major shift or forward motion that you had toward the fruition of your goals. Some goals just cannot be met in 100 days. They need a little more time. So reward yourself for your growth!

Today’s Challenge: Reward yourself! Celebrate! Have an excellent day! Be happy!

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Motivation, Uncategorized

 

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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 93

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 93

We are 1 week from the end of summer. We are one week from the end of the 100 Day Challenge to a FRUITFUL Summer!

This is so very exciting to me for a number of reasons! The first reason is because we are so close to saying “Yes! I did it!” Also, we are so close to fall I can smell it. I just LOVE fall! Oh, and of course, there are all of the awesome things that were accomplished this summer! What an amazing summer!

With one week until the end of the challenge there is still time to work on the goals that you set out to achieve.

With that said, this is the time of season for the gardener to put the finishing touches on the garden, harvest what is done, and start the preparation for wintering the garden.

Another way to phrase that is to repair the garden from the summer planting and harvesting. One of the most important pieces to repairing and preparing the garden for the rest of winter is to clean it up. Remove the debris left behind from the plants if you have not already done this. These can be taken to the compost. Turn over the soil by hoeing or tilling. This exposes bugs and other pests so that they are not content to winter under your soil, and the birds can happily remove them for you. It is also a great time to test your soil, and add lime if necessary.

This is also a great time to clean up your flower beds and landscape. Again, remove the debris from dead foliage and plants. This helps prepare your yard for next year, and also removes bedding for pests like mice.

As this season of personal growth comes to an end take time to repair yourself for the next phase of growth in your life.

This piece of repairing myself is from an especially hard couple of weeks when I did the first 100 Days to a Fruitful Summer Challenge. While it is time for me to repair from this summer, it hasn’t been as physically punishing!

The past two weeks at my job have been physically rough and exhausting! Last week (the one prior to the one we are ending now) I drove over 740 miles. That put quite a strain on my back and neck. This week I worked 3 – twelve hour days and one fifteen hour day. That doesn’t include my driving time and the time from getting up to going to bed. Needless to say, I was exhausted by the end of Thursday. I took Friday off. I slept in until 8:30! That never happens! I had a light lunch with my mother before heading off to a massage. It was so incredibly awesome! I felt like a new woman! Repaired! Just like removing the debris from the garden and landscape I removed the stress debris from my body and the toxins that were bedding for pests like a stiff neck! At least it wasn’t mice!

Today’s Challenge: Spend time repairing yourself from this challenge. Relax, get rid of the old debris, and start to prepare for the next phase!

“It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary.” ~Josh Billings

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2016 in Motivation, Uncategorized

 

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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 92

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 92

I know that I have been neglectful in posting this week. I apologize that it took so long, and apologize that it’s a bit lengthy.  Please forgive me.

This was written by me a few years ago, when I did my first Fruitful Summer Challenge. I’m sure it will be new to many who read it; if not, maybe you will gain something new.

During some online searches for information about gardening I stumbled upon something new to me. It is the creation of the Garden of Forgiveness in Beirut, Lebanon. The Garden of Forgiveness is designed to be a place of contemplation and reflection. The idea for the garden came from Alexandra A in 1998. It is inspired by the great human struggle to forgive, particularly in light of historic cycles of violence.

A Garden of Forgiveness is also being planned in New York near the site of the WTC.

I have read about college campuses and individuals creating their own personal Forgiveness Gardens, as a place of healing as well as a place of reflection.

While this is not the kind of gardening I have been learning about or writing about during this 100 Days to a Fruitful Summer Challenge, it does lead into a very important topic: Forgiveness.  Forgiveness is a key element in peace building. When I read that sentence, which was part of a larger sentence and paragraph about the Lebanese war, and forgiveness being a key element in post-war peace building…

I pulled out what screamed at me from the page: “Forgiveness is a key element in peace, building.” Forgiveness is a key element in peace and re-building. Forgiveness is a key element in inner peace and re-building the YOU that needs to forgive and be forgiven.

A couple of years ago I was upset with someone for something they had done. It was just eating at me and making me miserable. I had been doing some personal growth work and had listened to a Tony Robbins CD about forgiveness. I was still upset with ‘the thing’ and ‘the person’. I tried talking to The Hubs about it and he was very supportive. He told me that I needed to forgive and (not forget) get over it. Move on. He then explained to me that I hold on to things that I should let go of. I was pretty well convinced that he was absolutely incorrect and tried to tell him as much. He very quietly and politely told me that I am the only person in the world who holds a grudge against a piece of gum that ruined her shoes over 10 years ago. To my credit, they were really nice shoes.

I immediately started working on forgiveness with great passion. I contacted a pastor about how to forgive. His recommendations were things I had tried in the past, yet I tried them again. Write down the “thing” or the name of the person that has hurt you, or that you want to (need to) forgive.  Then burn the paper, or shred it in the shredder, or bury it in the yard.  Announce forgiveness of the person or thing (if it’s a piece of gum). That was a good start in the forgiveness and healing process for me. It was not the ‘fix’.

I came to realize that there is more to it than forgiving the other person or the acts or things that hurt me.  I realized that I also needed to forgive myself.  I spent a good part of a week doing a major forgiveness cleanse.  I went through my life and thought of the things that I have done that were hurtful and the people I have done them to.  I then thought about the things that have hurt me and the people who have hurt me.  I listed them out.  I talked to Source, God, Spirit, Universe about the things that I have done that hurt others.  It was a painful and humbling process.  I asked forgiveness from the Universe (et al).  I then gave myself permission to forgive myself.  Then, I was able to forgive others.

The next step was meditation. I found some guided meditations that aided me in this process.  http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Audio-Meditations-for-Interacting-with-Others

Once I had forgiven myself, it was so much easier to let the other stuff go!

That was several years ago. Forgiveness is still an ongoing process. When I read about the Garden(s) of Forgiveness and the words screamed at me from the page…the true link came to me. Forgiveness is just like gardening. It is an ongoing effort. It takes all of the thoughtful planning, care, and nurturing that a garden does. It takes vigilance to keep the pests out; bugs, weeds, bunnies, and more. It takes the deadheading and pruning. It means getting up in the morning and turning on the water. It means plucking the ripe fruits and putting them by for later use. It takes doing the work even when it seems too hard, or too time-consuming. Continue digging in even when the ground seems so hard, and the rows too long.

Remember this: Not forgiving does not usually hurt the other party (or the gum). It hurts US, the unforgiving. It eats away at pieces of our souls. Let it go. Forgive yourself and forgive those who have hurt you – to rebuild your soul and restore your inner peace!

As for me; I am going to start weeding the garden of forgiveness. I might also start a Garden of Forgiveness of my own, so that I can work in it and work on me at the same time.

Today’s Challenge: Forgive yourself, and then work on forgiving others, for past hurts.

“Forgiving is rediscovering the shining path of peace that at first you thought others took away when they betrayed you.”  ~Dodinsky

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2016 in Motivation, Uncategorized

 

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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 83

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 83

I was talking with a client one morning about longevity. It’s a subject that comes up frequently in my career. He was telling me that his parents have been married for 63 years; his mother is 90 and his father 92. They still live on the family land and his dad still enjoys taking care of the homestead, gardening, and ‘playing’ on the tractors. 92 and still doing everything that it takes to have a successful garden. I asked the gentleman if the entire family was filled with the same type of longevity. He replied that his paternal grandmother had lived to 104. I asked him what she contributed her long life to. He laughed and said that when asked, she said she believed that she lived that long because she hadn’t died yet.

It’s just that simple.

So, my thoughts for today are a mixture of his families’ stories. First, if a 92 year-old man can get outside every day and work in his garden, why can’t you? What’s your excuse? Second, if you are still alive, keep living.

Way back on day 47, the Eeyore lesson, I looked at excuses. Are you still making excuses for why you ‘can’t’ do something or accomplish something? Or have you created a ‘NO EXCUSES ZONE’ around yourself? When people make excuses for their actions (or inactions) or behaviors they are trying to give themselves permission to be less than; to live a life to a sub-level existence. Raise the bar!

Today’s Challenge: Choose to live life until it’s over with a no excuses policy!

I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse. ~Florence Nightingale

 
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Posted by on September 4, 2016 in Motivation, Uncategorized

 

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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 80

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 80

About a decade ago I got a little tiny book called 212⁰ – the extra degree by s.l. parker. You have probably heard of it. Page 1 sums up the entire premise: At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils.

Page 2: And with boiling water, comes steam. And with steam, you can power a train.

It’s a very simple concept. It is that one extra degree that takes you from being in hot water to powering transportation, tons of steel. Just a little bit of extra effort makes a huge difference.

I like the simplicity of the 212 analogy. In my world I call it the “and then some”. This may be the real secret to reaching your goals, to growing the best garden, to the fruition of your goals.

That little bit extra that you add to your life is the key to unlocking the magic door of the universe! Whether it is one extra phone call a day, one more row you weed in the garden, one more rep in the gym or minute on the treadmill.

This concept is going beyond merely finishing what you start to putting in that little bit of extra effort that shows commitment to the outcome to be the absolute best you can be.

Successful people do what’s expected of them…and then some.

Today’s Challenge: Do what is expected of you to meet your goals…and then some.

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2016 in Motivation, Uncategorized

 

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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 79

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 79

FOCUS

As the summer is winding down, it is time to focus your efforts to the end of the growing season. Time is a commodity now, so don’t waste it. It is time to finish what you started in the garden, not switch gears. Work on caring for what is left on the vines to ensure the best possible outcome. Continue weeding, watering, and nourishing your plants and their bounty.

I love using the acronym FOCUS as goal fruition closes in. Follow One Course Until Successful. This is a good reminder to keep your focus on what’s important – in the garden and the garden of life!

You are closing in on this growing season for your goals set back in June, too. Focus intently on what you want to finalize or accomplish in the last 20 days of summer. Focus on activities that are absolutely necessary to achieve that goal.  Do not waste time on the little things around you, if they are NOT helping you achieve your goal. The high-pay off activities are the ones that bring you closer to your desired result. Success is 10% vision and 90% execution. It is important to continue writing your goals daily, to keep that most important goal in focus!

Today’s Challenge: Decide what you absolutely, positively must finish by the end of the summer! FOCUS! Do not give up or deviate from the goal! You can do it!

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus. ~ Alexander Graham Bell

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2016 in Motivation, Uncategorized

 

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Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 77

Fruitful Summer 2016 – Day 77

Early to Rise…

With the extreme heat that occurs in Kansas summers it’s important to take care of your plants and garden early in the day. It is important to the health of your plants and yourself. Watering in the morning before the full heat of the day prevents burning the plants, known as ‘heat scald’ and keeps the water from evaporating as quickly. Watering in the morning also deters slugs and helps prevent rot. It is also important for your own health to not be in the sun at the peak heat times. You are more susceptible for heat stroke and sunstroke, as well as dehydration during the middle of the day.

Many people believe that the most successful people are also the people who are taking care of business before the heat of the day. Really, before the sun is even up.

Founding father, Benjamin Franklin, is credited with the phrase, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

Many of the world’s most successful people are early risers. Some of those people are Apple CEO, Tim Cook; Disney CEO, Robert Iger; and First Lady, Michelle Obama all wake up by 4:30 a.m.

I am not claiming to be one of the most successful people in the world, but I do subscribe to the early to rise theory. The reason I choose to rise early is to get in my workout, meditation and breakfast all before my morning shower. I can get all of these things done without interrupting the schedule of anyone else in my house. I can take care of myself the way I want and need to, so I can better take care of the people and things I need to take care of the rest of the day!

Studies have shown that morning people are more proactive, get better sleep and are happier. They also tend to be more productive, more creative, have decreased stress levels and increased fitness levels. I attribute these last two to the same thing. Most people who are early risers workout as one of the first parts of their day.

Another key piece of waking up early, is to ensure that you are still getting ample sleep. Falling short on sleep is unhealthy and counteracts the positives of early rising.

While 4 a.m. isn’t for everyone, it is at least interesting to see all of the people who are part of the early morning club.

Today’s Challenge: Get up 30 minutes earlier tomorrow to do something productive or enjoy some extra quiet time.

“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” ~Robert Whately

“The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years”. ~Thomas Jefferson

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2016 in Motivation

 

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