Lay it Down

My favorite time to meditate is at night.

I’ve been drifting off to peaceful sleep like a child, listening to mindful sleep on Simple Habits.

Oren Jay Sofer is the narrator of this meditation and his voice alone will soothe you to sleep. Lastnight, he discussed Contentment. How does that feel?

contentment

Something he does in every session is this.

Once you find your comfortable sleep position, he suggests 3 deep breaths. Inhale and exhale until your breathing resumes a normal rhythm.

My favorite part is when he says, ‘Lay it Down.

Anything you left unfinished today. Lay it down.

I can feel my body sink a little bit deeper into the mattress when he says, “Today is over.” Just hearing those three words gives me confirmation of where I am. Laying in bed and getting ready for sleep.

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Do you believe meditation looks like this?

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How a lot of people envision meditation.

You don’t have to sit in any one position to meditate. You can meditate while standing, walking, sitting or lying down. It doesn’t require specific clothing because I’m literally laying in bed in my pajamas.

He always goes through a full body scan, but lastnight he dug deeper into the feeling of contentment within the body. He acknowledged parts of the body and paused to thank them.

Beginning at the top with the eyes.

I take for granted what all my eyes do throughout the day. The same with most parts of my body. Just like sitting here typing and watching my fingers flutter over the keys making this post possible. The eyes and fingers are small, but do great things.

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As we did our body scan, Oren would pause on a particular body-part such as the eyes, neck, shoulders, arms or torso. Literally breaking down specific parts and he would bless them by saying…

“Thank you for all that you do. May you be strong and well.”~ Oren Jay Sofer

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So tonight my lovelies, as you prepare to fall asleep, take a moment to let it go and lay it down.

Get Really Dirty

I don’t know if my fingernails will ever be the same after today. They are compacted with dirt.

In this phase of life I embrace it.

Living near small towns, I have experts in every field nearby. The hardware store has a garden area where I go in search of Megan. She educates me.

My front yard has lots of rocks. They are on top of the earth and deep underneath. To plant flowers I need to make dirt since digging holes are fruitless.

Megan showed me two bags of what I need to make really good dirt for happy flowers. I would need to mix the two bags half and half in a large bucket.

“Fill the bucket halfway with one and then the other. Dig your hands in all the way up to your elbows and mix it by hand.”

The look on my face was priceless I’m sure, but Megan never leads me astray. What she says works.

I took her guidance to heart and dug in.

flowers

Looks like a trail of happiness to me.

But first, I had to dig in and get really dirty.

A Gratitude Jar

I didn’t do my Morning Pages this morning.

It’s all good though. My daughter has classes, and I chose to spend time with her before she left.

we-can-decide

Thank you for your encouraging comments yesterday about These Two Jars. I found a shoe-box and dumped the pieces of paper inside. It lost all appeal. It was like the shoe box covered up the idea. I’d probably forget about writing on a slip of paper a day using the box, so back to the jar we went.

Walking away from the shoe box with jar in hand, I just plopped it down on top of the coffee bar to ponder it’s placement. Seeing the jar sitting there this morning, it looked at home, even though it was not planned. Scooping up the pieces of paper from the box I placed them back inside the jar.

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Sometimes I make things more complicated than they should be. The gratitude jar was a simple idea I read about, and then tried to make perfect.

The first idea is the best idea.

Stick with the original idea. That is called inspiration when the idea of adding something meaningful to our lives first strikes. To hear that still small voice and follow through. Logic is overrated in my opinion because by following your heart there doesn’t seem to be a lot of logic to it.

By  paying attention to what’s around us, we can instill the simplistic beauty of a gratitude jar.

These Two Jars

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the beach.

From that short, little trip, I brought home a ton of fresh inspiration, and these two jars.

They were sitting outside of a little ‘hidden treasure shop.’ That is my way of describing junk stores. 🙂

It was love at first sight, and the price was right! (Hah! That rhymed! The extent of my poetry skills.)

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Aren’t they darling?

I had a couple of ideas about using them, but if nothing else, they would remind me of the beach.

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The small one sits on the coffee bar. Maybe it will be used for coffee beans, but it’s a little large for a pound of beans. I’m thinking cookies instead.

The large jar is sitting on the coffee table.

My big idea last week was to make it into a gratitude jar. Oh yes lovely. To write down something you’re grateful for everyday and drop it in the jar.

jar2

I even went all anal and cut out pretty pieces of paper to write on, but then I had this vision.

What if my neighbor came by for a visit?

She would notice this large jar with pieces of paper in it and I would refer to it as a gratitude jar.

If she stopped by a few months from now, the jar would probably be half full, or more. That would be impressive, right? Looking at it today with just a few pieces of paper laying on the bottom, I would feel led to tell her it is something new.

Implementing something new starts small.

Either scenario feels embarrassing for both of us.

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I’ll find an old shoe box to use instead and keep jotting something down each day. It will be interesting at the end of the year to go though the slips of paper and read what I was grateful for.

There is a better purpose for these two jars.

Take a Stroll

I don’t enjoy the word ‘exercise’.

It just sounds like zero fun to me.

There is an older gentleman that strolls by my house. He uses a cane, or walking stick, and just strolls down the road. One morning he noticed me in the yard, and stopped to chat for a bit.

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Photo by Sebastian on Pexels.com

He told me about all the weight he has lost. He felt better since he began walking but he walks at a slower pace now because he doesn’t want to lose anymore weight. He must walk less frequently as well because I haven’t seen him recently.

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In Julia Cameron’s books, she recommends walking twice a week. She doesn’t indicate for exercise, she suggests it to clear the mind and become inspired.

I’ve began to stroll my neighborhood.

When you think of it as a stroll instead of exercise, it takes away all excuses. I don’t need fancy running pants, or shoes. When the mood strikes, I grab a jacket or scarf and walk out the front door.

My daughter smiled at me for walking out with my reading glasses still resting on top of my head.

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As I was typing this, I saw a reflection move across the laptop screen. It was that gentleman walking by.

Be inspired my lovelies and take a stroll.

The Magic Pot

My daughter returned home from England with new ideas. One was, she asked me to buy instant coffee. I guess they drink instant coffee in England?

Our coffee paraphernalia had outgrown the intimate kitchen, so I began setting up a coffee bar in the breezeway. We needed an electric kettle.

Here enters the magic pot.

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Isn’t it pretty? It’s rather magical as well.

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This morning I walked by and flipped the switch of the magic pot for the water to begin heating. After drinking one cup of instant, I wasn’t satisfied.

It also left a foul taste in my mouth.

I went in search of the Chemex.

There is nothing quick about making a Chemex. The pour over kettle heats slowly. You place a Chemex filter in and splash it with warm water, then grind the beans and pour them in. Making a Chemex takes about 15 minutes and patience.

After it’s all prepped you get to watch it make the coffee. Yes lovely. You get to stand back and watch.  

That is how life is.

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Really good things don’t happen instantly. Give it time. One example is, my Virtual Assistant job.

The man I work for surprises me with bonuses. It’s not that I did a spectacular job for him one particular week. No love, it’s that I try and do my very best every week. The time and effort add up.

Out of nowhere he sends bonus money.

I never know when he will do this, but it happens a couple of times a year. It’s not something I depend on by no means. It’s his way of saying ‘thank you’ for spending quality time on his business.

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Another example is our writing.

Just like the Chemex, we tend to our Blog and consistently click ‘publish’. We pour everything into to it and it takes time, but at some point, we get to stand back and watch it bless other people’s lives.

Like my bonus, we don’t know when that magic will occur, but everything worthwhile takes time. 

I wish for you a Chemex life over the magic pot.

 

 

It Took Years

I started pondering my front yard after Christmas. Taking the Christmas wreath off the front door, I wondered about having a year round wreath.

Everything is so pretty on Etsy.

wreath
Brickhouse Design Co. made this.

My daughter and I have a french theme sprinkled through the house. The front door is the entryway to our home, and that french theme, so it makes sense.

That door is where this all began.

Today, I’ve been playing in the yard.

This journey with this front yard began with, A Simpler Life. An update to that post is, I found the perfect bird-feeder. It didn’t take much time.

birdfeeder
Vintage Scrolled Birdfeeder.

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About two years ago, I grew Boston Ferns on our front porch per my daughter’s request. That was the first time I had messed with plants in years, beside growing some Canna lilies while living on 40 acres.

You see, my ex husband and I owned a landscape company during the most trying part of our marriage. We designed, planted and built outdoor living spaces in people’s backyards. We installed some magnificent yards, but he practiced on ours.

Toward the end of our marriage we no longer spoke to one another. The yard was his safe haven and he created such beautiful yards, but the well manicured yard left a sore spot in my heart.

When we moved into this house, I completely ignored the yard and let it go. It was an interesting experiment to see what would happen. I’m pretty sure UPS was scared to walk through the yard to the front porch to leave a package. It was a jungle.

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But remember darling…2019 is the year to bloom!

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Vintage Flower Cart

A friend had this lovely flower cart for sale.

It adds to the french theme don’t you think?

Time has passed and my yard heart has healed. I look forward to planning and planting again. A yard that will bring joy to people as they stroll by.

It will look quite different from last year and they will see this transformation after only one year.

You know the whole story my darlings.

For me to love a yard again. It took years.