Fire and Rain

I cleaned up the firepit area and ordered curved, metal benches for seating. They were lost during shipment and never arrived. I received a refund for the benches and chalked it up to, God has a better plan, once again!

I’m still looking at benches, but in the meantime, I planted a ground cover around half of the pit. When it rains it gets muddy, so the ground cover is taking root and starting to spread. A few days ago, I noticed something while watering with the rain head. If I start at the top, the water cascades around the half circle and they water one another.

I purchased the fire pit two years ago and you can read about it here. Watering the ground cover was a reminder of the vision I have for creating this space. To sit around this fiery pit with whoever needs watering. Whether it’s a neighbor walking by I’ve never met, or a friend I’ve known for years, we can gather here to refresh.

The meme used as the feature photo in this post was published in the Fearless Mastery FB page. The people in that group are called Firestarter’s who continually light their lives on fire. I help manage the page for Zen Habits, and these souls encourage one another in a manner which mimics fanning each other’s flame.

It’s exciting to surround ourselves with the Firestarter’s of life, but every so often even the fire is required to sit with the rain.

Prop Yourself Up

My feet were resting on the step as I placed the piping hot cup of Joe beside me on the wooden planks. I was watching the day begin sitting on the front porch, and not even in a chair, but on the porch itself. My gaze shifted to the Hibiscus that showed me something yesterday that I needed to keep in my memory bank. This beauty was still propped up.

The tomato plant was done producing for this season, but I wanted to reuse that planter it was in. I saw a slender piece of bamboo in the middle of the plant, and for some unknown reason decided to keep it. Laying it on the porch, I dug the retired tomato plant up and placed a new plant in the planter, leaving the piece of bamboo resting on the porch.

Afternoon thunderstorms were coming in, as the wind began blowing through the yard. That’s when I noticed the Hibiscus hanging over the edge of it’s planter. Two branches that were connected had broken free from one another but could still flourish on their own. One just needed some support to help it stand up straight again.

I remembered the little stick of bamboo from that morning and grabbed a twist tie. I stuck the bamboo into the dirt beside the weighted branch, stood it up and attached it to the stick with the tie.

It was like a gift to take in the morning in such a simple way. Not knowing at the time why I kept the little piece of bamboo, it’s purpose was revealed hours later. The Hibiscus was saying, “Hey Barb, You know how to prop yourself up.” This is true, but I’m at a point in my life where I would welcome a stick of bamboo.

More to Say

It was March 30th when I posted The Grand Finale. Maybe you’re wondering, what happened to the grand finale, Barb? It obviously wasn’t all that grand. I returned a month later, on April 30th with the scattered words. Even though I wasn’t posting, I continued writing.

I took a 30 day break from Blogging, but then a decision had to be made. I received an email from WordPress reminding me my domain name was up for renewal. Recently, I spotted this written in a journal, “Make a decision and it’ll show you a direction.” I renewed my domain name and decided to continue Blogging for another year.

I don’t write when things go wrong, and this month there’s a list! Being a believer of ‘everything happens for a reason’, I wait and share the good that came from it.

Taking a break was good for the soul, and God showed me other ways to use my writing to encourage others. It’s alright to step away from doing what we love, and doing so gave me a renewed appreciation of being here. Guess what my darlings? I have more to say.

If you have anything nice to say, say it all.

Sunday at Noon

Some days I feel like my life is one big Zoom. It started out as part of my job, but now I love it.

I purchased a monthly Zoom account and Zoom with people all over the world. The free version gives you 45 minutes, but we kept running over using a full hour. At first I saw it as an investment in my Team, but we use the time to invest in one another. I’m so pumped once the call is over my daughter steers me away from the coffee bar.

I have a call each week with some part of my Zen Habits community. It made me wonder if I could do something similar here in WordPress. This year, community has been a large part of my heart and you are my community. By reading your Blogs I’m sensing some of you are tired and becoming weary in the well doing.

Sunday at Noon has been on my mind for a while now. I knew it was a Blog title because it was three words, but didn’t know the rest. Then I was checking my bank account and saw the Zoom charge and heard, Sunday at Noon. Starting in July, I’ll hold space via Zoom for whoever needs lifting up. Come and let me see your face, Sunday at Noon.

Bowl of Scraps

There’s a lady who sells these handmade bowls at a farmer’s market I attend on the weekends. They are made from strips of fabric she refers to as scraps. Her display has so many colors and designs it’s difficult to choose, but if that’s my toughest decision of the day, life is good.

She wraps clothes line wiring with strips of fabric and sews them together to make the bowl. Allow me show you how simply beautiful scraps woven together can be.

Yesterday, I was on my Team Call through Fearless Warrior and told them I’ve decided to leave the Fearless Warrior Community. It was a solid investment of money and time well spent, but the heart knows when it’s time to move on. We’ve been meeting every week for several months and feel woven together, similar to this bowl.

We are all different ages with different ideas and beliefs and we live in various parts of the world, but we have a common bond. A mutual love and respect for one another. I have found similar souls here in WordPress. My Fearless Team has decided to continue meeting at least once a month outside the community to continue encouraging one another down life’s path.

When we stand alone we might feel like one strip of fabric, but together we can be woven with love into something meaningful and purposeful. Just like this bowl of scraps.

A Faithful Following

I read a post in my Reader this morning by Mama’s Empty Nest. She doesn’t know this, but she inspires me. She’s been Blogging for 10 years, but doesn’t have a huge amount of followers. (2,000ish) To me, that’s inspiring.

I’ve been Blogging for 6 years, but didn’t get serious about it until 2019. That was the year my views doubled. Today, it’s not about the likes, even though they are nice to see, it’s about the reader. It took years to come to that realization and some days I still struggle with it.

I was thinking of the Fearless Warrior program I joined in July. I’m already fearless because of my trust in God. I trust Him with my life, and He instilled a warrior in me, but there’s one thing in this life I won’t fight. Algorithms.

If you love your Blog, the best thing to do is suit up and show up and give God something to use. Mama’s Empty Nest inspires me by just showing up. She enjoys the simplicity in life and we share the same big God.

Think of your Blog as your own corner of the world.

Once you publish a post, you may see the same readers give you likes and the same writers make comments, but my darling…that is called a faithful following.

Thank you for suiting up and showing up. ~ Barb

Table for Two

My daughter has gone to meet a friend for coffee. They don’t get to see each other very often, because the friend moved, but she sent a text as soon as she hit town.

I encouraged her to go and enjoy their time. Gave her a hug and said, “Go get filled up.” That’s what friends do.

About a week ago, I received a text from my friend that I meet for coffee at least once a month. If we can manage, we meet twice a month. Once we set the day and time, I don’t let anything stand in the way of meeting her. We meet at the same coffee bar every time and it’s our spot.

About a week ago, she sent me this picture.

A Chocolate Chai Tea Latte.

I recognized the drink, the table and even the reflection of light on the table before reading the text. We’ve had many a conversation there and I always feel refreshed and renewed when it’s time to go our separate ways.

Not to mention highly caffeinated.

I wonder if it felt strange that day for my friend to sit at the table by herself. She told me that drink was her reward for driving through Austin traffic. You need a medal for that, but I was happy she thought of that drink as a reward.

It’s a rewarding moment every time we meet and we need those in our life. We need friends who fill us back up and we do the same for them. I encourage you to put that mask on that has become second nature and go sit with a friend.

My friend sat at our table by herself that day, but she wasn’t alone. We both know that table is a table for two.

The Moonshot Goal

In July, I joined a Fearless Community.

Every quarter Leo Babauta of Zen Habits sets an intention, or challenge and breaks it down into monthly increments. The Fearless Training program is where I learned the self trust cultivator, and became serious about a good night’s sleep.

The Moonshot Goals are meant to give you something big to shoot for, which a lot of us resist. It should require you to shift beyond your patterns (otherwise, it’s just a normal goal within what’s already doable for you). It should feel a bit out of reach, and inspiring.

Leo Babauta

We have a Monday Check-in we post every week.

I posted my Moonshot Goal, and was uncomfortable in doing so. Most people are building businesses, or ramping up their online presence, but Barb? She wants to be a great neighbor.

Here’s part of what I posted.

Imagine if you had one house on your street where you knew you could always walk to for encouragement. I can imagine it starting on my street and spreading to other streets. That’s my Moonshot Goal. To be a Fearless Neighbor in hopes that it’ll start to spread by Christmas.~Barb

This is a great time of year to begin this goal.

A row of mailboxes in my neighborhood.

I’m curious about what the holiday’s look like for people. Will they travel to be with family? Airline tickets are made of gold and gas prices will most likely increase. I know three neighbors on my street, and I want to be here for them, but I want get to know every neighbor on my street.

This morning I woke up still feeling uncomfortable about posting such an odd goal compared to others. I pulled up our Slack channel and noticed a mention of my name.

Here is part of the post.

I’ve been reading about others’ moonshot goals with curiosity and attention. I’ve yet to feel moved to set my own, feeling more committed to my process than any specific outcome. Although I do have to say that @Barb Holmes’ goal to be intentional about building community speaks to me. 

MaryAnne-Fearless Warrior

What MaryAnne wrote helped me feel at ease. It sounds like a crazy idea and I didn’t expect anyone to get it. Some may see it as going back in time to the way life used to be, but I believe it’s the way life was designed to be. A good indication is all the online groups we now call community. I love online communities, but what about the one outside my front door?

To be a fearless neighbor, that’s my moonshot goal.

Follow the Breadcrumbs

Once you connect with the dream in your heart, it won’t leave, but it’s easy to put everything else before it. Since posting The Beach Rug, I’ve been following the trail of breadcrumbs.

I’ve had this cutting board for as long as I can remember. Why I took it with me when I left my marriage, I’m not sure, but am grateful I did. I was standing in the kitchen slicing a lemon for a pitcher of lemon water. No matter what I’m cutting, or how much pressure is applied, it just sits there unmoved.

I have a secret to share. When life gets to be a little much, or my job is throwing darts at rapid fire, I make croutons. My daughter will concur, a French Baguette in the house means contentment. I walk into the kitchen, lay it on the cutting board, and pull out my bread knife. I slice it in half, then slice it again lengthwise and continue slicing into the shape of croutons.

Step One of the croutons.

I’ve been doing this since mid March, so it doesn’t require any thought. This is my time to think through some thoughts. With each slice a thought floats by that may or may not need attention. When the slices are complete, I dump them into my red bowl to add garlic, parmesan and olive oil.

Slow the pace to watch your thoughts and only keep the ones of value. By letting go of the ones taking up space, we make room to see what’s important. Focus on that.

Always the red bowl and spatula.

My friend Shawna over at Finding a Sober Miracle left this comment, “This is exactly how my life works! And it happens all the time. And this morning, your blog is another bread crumb in my quest to find out just where I should be focusing my attention.” I found her comment in Spam as I was writing this post. Oh yes, darling check your Spam! Breadcrumbs have a way of hiding.

She left the comment on Breathe It in, and has no idea I’m writing this post which was titled days ago. When I told my daughter about the comment, she asked, “How does it make you feel?” I said, “It’s like confirmation of the path.” Watch for clues that you’re on the right path and follow the breadcrumbs.

Completed croutons in Caesar Salad.

We’ve been talking about living the dream. Here are the posts in order up to now. Thank you for your love and support. ~Barb