Grounded in Nature

Today is one of those days! Good days. As I write this, it’s a full moon and this moon-child is reflecting on the many wonderful gifts she’s been given. I have in mind, especially, two wonderful friends that have each been my dearest of friends since the day we met. Yvette was my next door neighbor when we were twenty-four years old and Cathy since our daughters were in the first grade together. That’s 45 and 37 years ago, respectively.

Only today, after all these years, did it dawn on me that Yvette and Cathy, who hardly know each other, have something very special in common and perhaps it’s what makes each of them such loving and thoughtful women. They are both master gardeners. And, please excuse the pun, they are probably the most grounded people I know. Their connection to the earth, more than even they may realize, appears to have given each a perspective on life that is simple, honest and firm. As an observer, one who is curious about human nature and been studying, in recent years, the connection of all life on our planet, I’m very fortunate to be close to these two remarkable women who are naturally so close to nature.

Yvette does most of her own gardening to this day (even the heavy lifting) and you would not see more beautiful landscaping in Architectural Digest or Better Homes and Gardens magazine. A visit from Yvette means a huge bouquet of a variety of flowers in a lovely vase will be brightening my living room. Her roses and hydrangeas are magnificent as are all her flowers, shrubs and trees. Hummingbirds and butterflies are happiest in her gardens. And so is Yvette. The beauty of nature is her life’s breath.

Cathy owned a large organic vegetable/produce farm for much of her young life. She can manage a crew of workers, haggle with buyers and sweep you off your feet with her earthy, witty, sense of humor. Organic produce wasn’t in all the markets in the 80’s. Most of us know now that the most beautiful produce is probably genetically modified to resist bugs, etc., or waxed to look picture perfect. I remember her telling me, “Don’t worry about a few flaws in the lettuce, if it’s good enough for the bugs, it’s good enough for you!” Today Cathy is in high demand by people who know her by reputation for her expert advice whether they’re starting a new garden, putting in new landscaping, or just wanting their gardens to thrive. She manages to help them all with a smile and her sage Mother Earth advice.

Being grounded is a physical thing as much as an expression of a mental state. We don’t need to get into quantum mechanics to observe nature and notice that everything in life is connected and, therefore, precious. Looking out my window I see the blue sky, the sun and passing clouds that nourish life in all its forms. I see birds that connect from the sky to the trees. Trees and plants that are rooted in the earth and home to the birds and other life forms. The trees and plants give us oxygen and we, along with animals, give them Carbon dioxide so we can all live together. Underground and in our lakes, rivers and oceans the life is tremendous. When you look at the grass or the street or the floor in your home, the fabulous life underground is not obvious. It’s actually one miracle after another if we use our imagination and visualize what’s happening under there 24/7. It’s all connected to us, we humans who are fortunate to be able to recognize the beauty of it all.

Stop and smell the roses is just a beginning. Consider how that rose is connected to you and the beauty of it all. Makes you feel beautiful, doesn’t it?

You don’t have to be a master gardener to get grounded. You just need to take a few minutes, everyday if you can, and be still. Be quiet. Listen to the silence. If you can’t take a walk in nature, think of a tree. There’s silence there even when the wind is blowing, the birds are nesting and the earth it grows from is teaming with active life. The tree is silent. The tree is peaceful. You will feel peaceful thinking of the peace in the tree. That’s being grounded. Life is easier when you’re grounded. Makes you want to hug a tree! Can’t believe I said that.

Caregivers need to be grounded and peaceful.

I wish you peace and beautiful walks in nature.

Hugs,

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Sometimes a Light Comes On!

Watching a video about the benefits of meditation the other day, a reference to multi-tasking related to stress caught my attention. That morning, my older daughter had mentioned that she had gotten distracted from our conversation because she was multi-tasking. Synchronicity?  When a subject comes up twice my antenna goes up.  Was something telling me to write about Caregivers and focusing on the task at hand?

Then, as I sat down to write, A LIGHT CAME ON, oh my, I’m the ultimate offender.

I don’t turn my phone off when I’m meditating. That’s ridiculous!  I get one or two calls often, early in the morning, and a text or two.  No wonder I’m always frustrated that I can’t get my meditation done early enough.  And what would the quality of that meditation be if I didn’t always have the thought in the back of my mind that I may be interrupted at any time?  There’s voicemail for heavens sake.  Ok.  That’s it.  Phone off from now on during meditation.  It’s a new day.  Namaste ;)

Caregiving, like any other important task, requires concentration and focus.  After all, we’re often dealing with medications and medical procedures.  We shouldn’t be cooking and doling out medication at the same time.  Even dressing someone or serving them meals could be more creative and pleasurable with full attention.  Tasks that become mundane could be less so if we were paying full attention instead of thinking about all the next things we have to do and becoming overwhelmed.  We would have less stress and frustration.

It’s just a thought.  If you’re a multi-tasker and life works well for you and those around you, that’s great. Keep going.  We’re not all the same.  However, if any of this discussion hits home, maybe it’s time for a LIGHT TO COME ON.  Maybe life could be more peaceful and enjoyable.

One aspect of this subject that I happen to be working on lately, with visibly nice results, is paying more attention (full attention) to the person with whom I’m speaking. I must admit my mind often wandered and I could feel less than interested in a subject someone else wanted to discuss.  I would often be thinking about how I would be able to solve their problem instead of just listening.  Sometimes people don’t need to have anything solved. They just need to be heard.

There is real pleasure in knowing that someone with whom you’ve engaged in conversation is enjoying being heard, maybe for the first time in a long time. Their eyes sparkle when they know their words are received with interest.  Putting other tasks aside to focus on another human being is most rewarding for all involved. I think we then go on to our next task ready to do a good job, by focusing on it.

It’s Spring, enjoy the season.

Hugs,

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