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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Recently while I was having lunch with a friend of mine, I realized just how rich our conversation was thanks to a technology-free atmosphere.  A couple of hours of unfiltered and trusted sharing made me think about what it means to be comfortable in one’s own skin.

As we talked about our different experiences with open hearts, a sense of humility and peace washed over me. Within each of us is an inner well of strength that gives us the courage to go forward with the unspoken certainty that tomorrow will shine a brighter light of hope.

Our inner well of peace is always full, ready to refresh our souls at any time of need and yet how little we turn to it, choosing, instead, to turn outward for answers to some of life’s challenges.  Why?

With this question in my head, I knew it was time for me to go to one of my favorite places to think. I started on a walk through the garden and found an area that was in need of a little trimming and weeding. With shovel and shears, I began to work away.  The garden is my place to harness that inner well.  The garden allows me to refresh my soul, contemplate my thoughts, and clear my mind as I dig and prune in preparation for another burst of growth. 

The different seasons of the garden teach me how to continually prepare my heart to walk with humility and understanding that there is something greater than me. The more I understand this gift of grace, the more I am able to grow comfortable in my own skin and be at peace. The strength of a humble heart allows me to flourish like a bountiful garden through the seasons of life. And maybe, it is this gift from above is what fills our wells effortlessly and endlessly.

Recipe for Life
Fill your well with a dash of quiet time, much love and daily nurturing to refresh your soul.
Tap your inner well often, it is your greatest source of strength.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Cut Back in order to Grow

In order to make way for a new season of growth, a gardener will prune regularly. 

Eighteen years ago, I brought a tiny vine clipping from Northern California to my garden. I planted the vine next to a trellis to see if it would take hold. For eighteen years, I've watched the vine climb and spread -- but no grapes. I'd prune and it would extend further and further every year until it completely encompassed the trellis. This year, after all of that waiting, pruning and growth, we finally got grapes! Bunches and bunches of grapes! It is perhaps one of the most exciting moments of persistence and growth I have experienced.

In life, we too must clear away, declutter, give away, and simplify in order to make room for new growth. The act of pruning always benefits us.

If you want change, welcome it. Make room for change in your life.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

What Does Growing Mean?

The garden in summer reminds me just how much we focus on growing in our own lives, growing in age, growing in knowledge, growing in our careers, growing our talents, growing our relationships, growing our dreams, growing our families …I can go on and on. We put so much emphasis on growth yet rarely do we talk about how to prepare for and maintain growth in our lives.

Like a garden, our lives grow through seasons. We, too, experience bursts of energy and growth along with other seasons that are slow and almost dormant. In periods of growth, we must remember the role of the gardener and prune the excess and old limbs to make way for new growth, opportunities and thoughts. A strong, rooted foundation withstands unexpected weather or challenges that may come our way as we are growing.
During the seasons of growth in my life, I am often reminded of the biblical parables and historic references to sowing seeds.  When one’s life is rooted, an abundance of joy is present throughout the journey.

How are you growing your life today? Are you stretching and straining with too much noise and busyness? Are you giving yourself time to rest and to ‘just be’ for a season? Are you pruning out the unnecessary old ways to provide for a strong foundation and a next season of growth, while allowing the deep roots of your foundation to be maintained to your beliefs?

Take time to reflect upon the season of life you are growing into now.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Remember to smile!

Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful. 
One smile causes another smile. 
Share your smile with the world. 


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Just smile

The simple things in life (even though we sometimes think they seem childlike) are really what get us through our day.

This past week, I have had many conversations about ways to build new business models, engage staff, develop secrets of success, balance full schedules and where to cut back the electronic overflow in order to find time to breathe. Yes, just breathe for a moment….

The simple words of one colleague really captured my thoughts. This simple life lesson is her daily foundation. When asked how she maintains her positive outlook, no matter how busy or challenging the day may be, her response is something she learned early on in life: smile. 

Smiling does truly brighten the day and make everything seem better.

A smile is contagious like sharing the gift of joy. To some it may sound childish, yet it really does bring out sunshine no matter what we may be facing.

Smile more! Brighten your day and share the joy with others.


Music by Charles Chaplin, 
Lyrics by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons

Smile, though your heart is aching

Smile, even though it’s breaking

When there are clouds in the sky
you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through
for you

Light up your face with gladness

Hide every trace of sadness

Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile what’s the use of crying
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you’ll just

© Copyright 1954 by Bourne Co. Copyright Renewed 
All Rights Reserved International Copyright Secured

Monday, June 11, 2018

Be free!

On this Flag Day, the red and white stripes fluttering and snapping playfully in the breeze are a great reminder of the freedom and liberty of our great nation.

Take note...then make room for some freedom and sharing with others!

June is the perfect time to break away and be free.  Plan a trip this summer. Do something different. And, if you are the scheduling type, make like crazy and block ONE day that is completely unscheduled.

Remember your childhood joy of looking forward to summer, to that grand expanse of unlimited hours full of unknown possibilities to do whatever you pleased? As adults, that type of extended freedom is hard to come by, so seize a day, here and there, invite a friend and have some fun.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Encouraging Handmade this Summer

In our technology-focused world, I find I am mesmerized by the art of craft. I am in awe of the maker -- those who have been able to shift their focus away from technology as primary. Making things is nothing new. But finding the desire to do so is something we humans are sadly losing touch with.  

This summer I'd like to encourage you to make technology secondary, if not for a whole day, then just for a few hours. During these longer hours, put your screens in another room and challenge yourself to work with your hands.  

Why? Because so much of our creativity and creative thinking comes from working with our hands.  

Draw, cook, write, paint, sew. Take some things out of your "art bag." Fall into a zone. Give your brain the opportunity for a new focus. No machine can take away the curiosity and ingenuity of the human. Working through our senses creatively is something we do best.  

And, as you are humming along, you will find that you have entered another zone. Maybe you even lose track of time. (The ultimate!) When you go back to your screen, it will feel like you've hit your own refresh button.