The Beauty Underneath

You don’t have to go far to be inspired.

Look around you and make it better.

A wooden arbor stands at the entryway of my front yard. Last year, I gazed at it and wondered, “What’s it’s story? What had it looked like in all it’s glory?”

It was covered up with an old vine that had died from cold weather and neglect. I vowed to one day replace the vine and make it beautiful again.

My neighbor cut the dead vine away, and discarded of it. He knew I’d been looking at vines and planned to grow another one along the arbor.

Now that the arbor is no longer covered with dead overgrowth, my plans of a new vine are on hold.

I’m appreciating the beauty underneath.

arbor
The Arbor in it’s natural beauty. 

 

 

 

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.

jar3

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.

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.

magicpot

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.

dontworry

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.

 

 

Now is the time.

The Writer’s Life

“Writing is an act of self-cherishing.”~Julia Cameron

I believe everyone has a writer in them.

They may choose to use it differently than Blogging, or publishing a book, but it’s there waiting to be released. This year I’m practicing having the writer’s life. What does that look like to you?

The Morning Pages are not nourishing my life at this stage of the journey, but a couple of other suggestions in that book do resonate.

Those suggestions will be Blog topics, but today I wish to share quotes from another book I’m devouring by Julia. Everything she say’s in this book feeds the writer, and we need to feed ourselves.

thewriterslife

For me, writing shouldn’t feel like a chore.

When I strive to ‘think something up’, writing becomes something I must stretch to achieve.

I write for the sheer fun of it, along with the hope of inspiring at least one soul. Stop putting everything and everyone in front of your writing. That’s how we tell ourselves, ‘we don’t have time’ to write.

“Taking time to write in our lives gives us the time of our lives”~Julia Cameron

Maybe you’re not in the mood to write.

Julia says, “Any mood is a good writing mood. The trick is to simply enter whatever mood like a room and sit down and write from there.”

My favorite quote by Julia so far is this.

“It is observing and writing something down, not thinking something up.”

I write what I observe. Thank you Julia for helping me believe that we can live the writer’s life.