Friday, December 21, 2012

Peace

It’s December 21st. Here in the north, the sun rises late and sets early. Water temperatures have plummeted but not yet frozen solid. The creek flowing below me gives more indication of what the day will bring than anything I can see by looking up. I am no longer able to see the sun because it does not rise above my tree tops this time of year. Today there is a pile of new snow around my home. The wind is briskly whipping, making it difficult to see out the snow-covered windows. Gladly, the woodpile has grown to a decent size. The splitting maul has been retired and this winter white is welcomed to stay. The smell of wood smoke reminds me that I can now rest. Even while the local news reports this “threatening,” “dangerous,” and “perilous” winter storm, this is how I experience peace, in nature.  

Finding peace within ourselves contributes to peace within a community, within a country, within the world. Finding peace within ourselves and sharing that sense of peace with our neighbors starts with identifying our own fears. What are you afraid of? Who have you been listening to or reading that has fed your fear? As you allow your fear to thrive, you inject yourself and those in your life with anger, resentment, dread and panic. And these are passed on. 

Give the gift of peace and goodwill this holiday season by addressing your own fears. Perhaps you need to understand that fear is about a future event that may not even happen. Maybe you want to face that which you fear and understand it has no control over you. Possibly you will spend more time in nature and understand that it is the source of all Peace, no matter what is swirling around outside your window or inside your head. Perhaps you just want to release your fear without needing to understand its dynamics, simply trusting and letting your anger dissolve. And just maybe, for awhile, you will turn off the TV and the radio. 

Whatever way you choose to ease your fears, know that you are gifting the world. Without our fears peace has a chance.  

Peace and Love Deb  

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” ~Peace Pilgrim

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Lost and Found

It is still Summer. But I can smell and hear and feel the change coming. There's fog in the mornings as the colder evening air creates more moisture. Steam rises off the creek. The Bluejays are louder and more vocal, one of the first signs around my home that fall is on the way. Unusual fall fungi have begun to grow in my woods and on the trails I walk. I love getting up each morning and putting on a sweatshirt, no longer waking uncomfortably warm by the uncompromising July nights.

The DogletsThe change is within me too. I've been lost. Almost two years ago I lost my Jersey Girl. Now, at the end of July, I lost Boo too. No matter how much I prepare for the death of an old friend and the loss of our relationship, I am always left speechless. And so I wander the house going to the front door to open it when I hear a noise on the front porch, thinking Boo wants in. I reach for his bowl to fill it with fresh water each morning. I hear the beep of my cell phone, telling me I've got a message and I rush to end the noise, remembering that it made Boo nervous. I go internal, finding no words.

But I have been reminded recently, by a quote that came to me in an email, "Getting lost is not a waste of time."

Jersey and Boo and I got lost a lot. Well, truth be told, they were likely not as lost as I was. We got lost sometimes because we were not paying attention. We got lost sometimes on purpose.

Now I don't want to define our kind of "lost" as not knowing where we were. We had some vague notion. Generally we were lost in the Michigan woods or the Canadian bush somewhere. And we most often knew in what direction we needed to move to become less lost. But we were lost enough to feel hesitant about what to do next. Should we plunge further into our adventure (the dogs most often voted for this) or make a move to better get our bearings?

Fortunately we rarely found ourselves so lost we became immobile, not wanting to move farther into the gap between having a vague sense of where we were and not having a clue. There was always a rock or hill to climb to get a better view. There was always a stream to follow that we knew was plunging toward something larger. There was usually the sun or the moon or the stars.

Boo and Jersey were my trusted guides, not the other way around. If I allowed myself to relinquish the mental reins, give in to being out of control, they would point me in the right direction. They provided this direction not only on our walks but also when I felt lost emotionally and spiritually. They gave me the anchor of their unconditional love and a sense of purpose, even if that purpose was to simply get their dinner or stop working and take that overdue walk.

And so with the backup of my pups, with that knowing that I could get lost and Jersey and Boo would lead or even pull me through, being lost often became a good thing. It allowed me to step away from the popular opinion that advancement, improvement and progress meant knowing exactly where I was and where I was going. And so, in not simply being lost but in embracing lost, I become present and I became found. I found myself through those two wonderful friends and I will be forever grateful.

"Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves." ~Henry David Thoreau

Friday, May 04, 2012

The Lusty Month of May

Here's to May and all the new growth it has to offer! Now do this quick read and get out there. There's something coming up for you. I promise.
 
Boom! Crash! Boom! Crackle! Today we are in the middle of a delightful May thunderstorm. It started in the middle of the night and has continued into an electrifying day. I love the noise. I love the rumbling and the rattling in my comfortable home. And admittedly, I love the adrenaline rush I get each time there's a close hit. One minute I think it's all over as the sky brightens some and then the next minute it's as dark as a full-moon night. The creek is swelling and I am grateful.

Aside from the rumbling and clattering of days like today, May has a soft side too. The Lilacs and the Lilies Of The Valley are just about to bloom. Soon their sweet smell will be wafting through the air wherever we go. Until that happens, I'm delighted with the aroma of the Trailing Arbutus, or what Mom called May Flowers because of their appearance by May 1. In the wee hours of each May Day morning, before the neighborhood woke, she would leave baskets of May Flowers on porches; this, some ancient tradition left from the pagan celebrations of May 1st I'm sure. Now, the Trailing Arbutus are blooming in the woods around my home. On damp warm days like today, they fill the woods with their scent. And the wild leeks. Oh, my. This time of year I travel with a small trowel, gathering new, fresh leeks as I go. I don't need to look too closely. Their aroma leads me to their hiding spot.

And this note can only be complete with a discussion of the tastes of May. The leeks of course go into everything. Scrambled eggs with leeks, potato and leek soup and potato-leek pie are three of my favorites. They are especially good with the wild asparagus I find volunteering itself to be picked in open fields where once an old farm garden stood. I'll see and eat fiddlehead ferns before this month is over. Their delicate taste goes well with just about any dish that needs a side serving. And my May flavor favorite, the morel mushroom. The temporary warm temperatures in April confused this delicate fungus. But I've managed to pick a few pounds and make some mouthwatering treats. Their flavor is so distinct and full that I prefer them on the side or on the top of some of my favorite dishes. I just can't bear disguising the flavor of this granddaddy of all May edibles. Oh, and did I mention fresh spring Walleye? My first May fish fry will complete the grazing opportunities this month has to offer.

 Okay, got to go. I'm drooling. I hope your May is just a little Lusty too.  

The Lusty Month of May  
Tra la! It's May! 
The lusty month of May! 
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray 
Tra la! It's here! That shocking time of year 
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear  

It's May! It's May! That gorgeous holiday 
When every maiden wishes her lad would be a cad It's mad! 

It's gay! A libelous display 
Those dreary vows that everyone takes, everyone breaks, 
Everyone makes divine mistakes, the lusty month of May!

Whence this fragrance wafting through the air? 
What sweet feelings does its scent transmute? 
Whence this perfume floating everywhere? 
Don't you know it's that dear forbidden fruit? 
Tra la la la la! That dear forbidden fruit!  

Tra la! It's May! The lusty month of May! 
That darling month when everyone throws self-control away 
It's time to do a wretched thing or two 
And try to make each precious day one you'll always rue!  

It's May! It's May! 
The month of "yes you may," 
The time for every frivolous whim, proper or im-  

It's wild! It's gay! A blot in every way 
The birds and bees with all of their vast 
Amorous past gaze at the human race aghast! 
The lusty month of May!

From Camelot
Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe

Hugs, d

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Feelin' Groovy...A March Mix

The Light is Back! We have more daylight. But that's not all. It's a different light of brightness, crispness and tinges of color. There is a warmth to the light I have not seen in awhile. No longer the dull light of winter, this the new light of March triggers a change in my perspective. As I notice the spaces in my home dramatically altered by the way the light inhabits them, I too change in response to the way it inhabits me.

With the brightness, my eyes wander from one new perspective to the next. Gone is the desire to hunker down with a good book as a way to change my perspective. I get edgy to do something and I no longer can much tolerate a passive pastime like reading. I must get out and move in this light. It has so much to give me.


Albert Einstein's Birthday was this month. So in the spirit of Feelin' Groovy, here are some quotes from a man who got it!

Imagination: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Reality: "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

Intuition: "The only real valuable thing is intuition."

Education: "The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."

Peace: "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding."

Problems: "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

Curiosity: "The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

Truth and Knowledge: "Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."

Death: "The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there is no risk of accident for someone who's dead."

Mystery: "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom his emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: His eyes are closed."


The Waters of March. This one always makes me skip and dance lightly. The Waters of March written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and performed by Susannah McCorkle




Now go with the flow and I'll see you on the flip side of Spring.

Hugs, d

Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Best of All Possible Worlds

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Relax. No resolution suggestions will be shared here. I am a Resolution Free Zone. I just don’t make them. And I've come to accept that I cannot convert everyone to my way of thinking. Make your New Year resolutions. And have fun.

And if you still have some inspiration left over from the new leaf we all turned when January 1 came around the bend, here are some ideas that are not really resolutions at all. Take only one, or one a day, or one a week, or one a month, or create your own. It’s your choice. The question is:

What can I do or who can I become, this year, that will help make this the best of all possible worlds?

101 Suggestions:

  1. Be happy
  2. Love openly
  3. Plant something
  4. Meditate
  5. Talk about the things you love
  6. Pass on conversations about the things you dislike
  7. Pamper someone you know
  8. Pamper a stranger
  9. Turn off the TV
  10. Turn off the computer
  11. Reuse more and dispose of fewer things
  12. Use freecycle
  13. Give away some books
  14. Give away some clothes
  15. Give away some food
  16. Give away some time and energy
  17. Play in nature
  18. Support something you know is right
  19. Stop supporting something you know is wrong
  20. Help change something bigger than you
  21. Think before you buy
  22. Share an insight
  23. Share this list
  24. Make more of the things you use and eat
  25. Take a nap
  26. Take your time
  27. Take a trip
  28. Take the train
  29. Support another’s dream
  30. Add a splash of color
  31. Laugh
  32. Help an acre, or a few thousand acres, of earth be free and wild again
  33. Help a person, or a few thousand people, be independent again
  34. Help a needy animal, or a few thousand animals, be safe
  35. Give of yourself
  36. Gift to yourself
  37. Downsize your home
  38. Become curious
  39. Stop tolerating junk mail
  40. Learn something
  41. Then become good
  42. Then become a master
  43. Then teach it
  44. Then break the rules
  45. Speak up
  46. Write about something important to you
  47. Thank everyone
  48. Become patient with someone
  49. Become patient with yourself
  50. Smile at friends
  51. Smile at yourself
  52. Smile at strangers
  53. Follow your heart
  54. Give your heart
  55. Make something for someone
  56. Create some wacky solutions to your dilemmas
  57. Allow others to do as they please
  58. Ask for a better reason than “Everybody’s doing it.”
  59. Clear your clutter
  60. Use the things you love
  61. Fix that which needs fixing
  62. Create some freedom in your day, week, year
  63. Create some freedom for someone else
  64. Understand that which you fear
  65. Be silent
  66. Become conscious
  67. Bake something for someone
  68. Aspire to the TED Prize
  69. Climb to the top of something
  70. Climb to the bottom of something
  71. Take naps
  72. Move naturally
  73. Live and work in a walkable community
  74. De-convenience your home
  75. Meditate
  76. Share a meal
  77. Create your own Blue Zone
  78. Focus on what's important for YOU each day and let your legacy take care of itself
  79. Learn a language
  80. Send a stranger some silent love
  81. Visit someone you know and admire whom you've never met in person
  82. Write a letter of appreciation to your favorite author
  83. Write a letter of appreciation to a politician who has supported something important to you
  84. Write a letter of appreciation to yourself
  85. Write a letter of appreciation to someone who has supported you
  86. Write a letter of appreciation to a stranger
  87. Grow something
  88. Raise something
  89. Notice the amount of disposable plastic you buy
  90. Throw a party
  91. Know what's in the food you eat
  92. Be aware of your food miles
  93. Kiss the ones you love
  94. Kiss the cat
  95. Kiss the dog
  96. Kiss a fish
  97. Kiss a stranger
  98. Take a risk
  99. Take a break
  100. Call your Dad and by all means...
  101. Call your Mom!
"I don't like that man. I must get to know him better." ~Abraham Lincoln

"If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity." ~John F. Kennedy

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." ~Albert Einstein

The List Coaching

If you find value in this list and would like to experience some group coaching around this list and additional items we come up with as a group, zip me an email or give me a call at 231-879-4178.

I would be happy to provide 9 sessions (55 minutes each) of group coaching via teleconference for only $150 per person. Calls will be recorded should you miss one.

We will explore in depth many of the items on this list, create some of our own, and support every person in the group to create their personalized list and focus for 2012. If 2012 is the year you want to help make this the best of all possible worlds, consider joining us.

I need a minimum of 5 participants and a maximum of 15. Days and times will be determined once we have our group.