Learning to Dance in the Rain

 

One of my male friends once told me that a woman is ten times sexier with her hair wet. And then there is the iconic love scene where one of the lovers appears at the door soaked through because whatever they had to confess couldn’t wait until the sun came out. Well, I call bull shit on appearing sexier with unwanted water dripping from my hair into my eyes. I feel like a drowned rat. And being rained on is actually really uncomfortable, especially if you are wearing jeans. I live in Florida, but that doesn’t always mean it’s a “warm” rain. So I’m cold right now. There is a reason for umbrellas and raincoats and boots – to keep us dry. Rain can also be accompanied by lightening. Do you know how dangerous that can be? Deadly.

And, yet, rain is necessary, peaceful, and truly beautiful. A night sky filled with jagged lightening is miraculous. The power behind a thunderstorm is just a part of nature’s divinity. Rain is growth.

Today I decided to accept that I was soaked to the bone, wearing those uncomfortable wet jeans, but instead of complaining, I decided to dance in the rain. I looked up into the gray clouds and let the raindrops fall down my face. I welcomed the wet grass beneath my bare feet. Sure I got a little muddy, but I also found peace in the  musical pitter patter. I thanked God for the rain because my orchids were getting a much needed drink of water. The rain saturated the soil and made all my gardens very happy.

I have seen some of the most stunning displays of rainbows in Florida. And during the soft rains I sit on my lanai and meditate to the raindrop orchestra.

 

Today wasn’t really about the rain or getting wet. It was about taking a chance to feel uncomfortable, so that I could appreciate being in a new moment. We all struggle with this. How many times are you planning your next meeting while someone is trying to share a story? Or you’re worrying about what a friend thought, when you could be taking in the flavors of a home-cooked cuisine? Or you ignore your emotions because all you hear is a television, radio or phone? The list could go on.

If we don’t slow down, we’ll burn out; we’ll lose ourselves; or we’ll forget why we’re living. Not every moment is adventurous or filled with pizazz. But it’s your moment, on your journey, and if you don’t truly experience it or the person sitting in front of you, it will disappear. You won’t get it back. So, let’s try to be present in this moment. And don’t be afraid to get a little uncomfortable dancing in the rain.

“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” -Anonymous

Sisterhood Within – Women’s Soul Retreat

 

amazing-balance-blur-312839I’m so excited! There is no way I can convey my joy in words. But I will try…I am proud to present: The Sisterhood Within, an event that I’ve co-created with my former PDC (Permaculture Design Course) ladies. Lori Anne Mayor, founder of Be Leaf Family Co-op, created this vision, which will take place on November 8-11, 2018 in Brooksville, FL.

It’s a retreat created for women to explore their inner power. Because that power exists inside us. Sometimes it’s masked by our demanding schedules, screaming little ones, or lack of space for a quiet moment. But it’s there.

Please join us for an exploration of the chakra system through spiritual connection in art, writing, meditation, yoga and dance. I look forward to meeting everyone! Find all the details for the event here!

P.S. Letting you in on event details is also letting you in on another amazing project in my life…

To find peace, sometimes you have to be willing to lose your connection with people, places and things that create all the noise in your life.

Learning to Let Go

Letting go is hard. It can be painful. It can be challenging even when we know it’s good for us. Some things we need to let go of because it’s a toxin to our lives (i.e., alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, abusive relationships, etc.). Some times we are forced to let go of things because we move on in life – we get a new job, graduate from college, get married, have children. Here we may let go of former co-workers, friends, familiar landscapes. But we let go because we know it’s time, and we’re ready for the next stage in our life. Sometimes we’re blind to the idea of letting go, and when we finally realize we need to, it can cause great sadness. No one can avoid letting go, and it’s rarely easy.

I’ve lived in Florida for 5 years and before I moved I knew my life was about to undergo a profound transformation. Of course this was a given because I was moving hundreds of miles away from everything familiar – my friends, my house, my church, my entire life. I was scared, and I didn’t want to. It was the first time in my life, I let go of my own wants and completely surrendered everything to God. This was difficult, but I knew there was a reason God was moving my family to Florida. That reason didn’t fully come to life until this year when I discovered my true inner potential and was awaken with a Divine guiding hand to a bigger purpose in life to help victims of human trafficking. In this process, I have explored who I am and what life means to me. It’s been a spiritual journey where I have learned to grow and let go of many things.

What I’ve let go:

  • Anger: Anger is a difficult emotion. It covers up what’s really happening inside. This one was a challenge for me and very painful. I uncovered rejection, abandonment, competition and disappointment. These emotions are far harder to deal with than anger. By understanding my own anger, I have learned to respond, not react. This has been much healthier for any relationship I’m involved in.
  • Fear: We are all afraid of something. My biggest fear is being abducted. Do you know how hard it is to read about kidnappings of human trafficking victims? But my own fear has pushed me to take a positive action step to help awareness for this cause. I am also afraid of failure. I think we all are. But I’ve recently decided to take a huge risk, and I’m seriously hoping to open a business within the year. I discovered once I took the first step toward my dream that I wasn’t as afraid as I had thought, and I’m having a lot of fun watching things come together.
  • Expectations of myself and others: We all do this. Unrealistic expectations tend to cause disappointment. We should all have standards, but keep in mind that these standards reflect the reality of the relationship, the situation, the feelings. And we must realize no one is perfect and expecting perfection from ourselves is impossible. So let’s give ourselves some slack and let go of the stress that comes with unattainable expectations.

Bryan Divisions, a musician, inspires and encourages to let go in his song entitled, Let Go. Please check out his song. It’s been a great reminder.

Sometimes we let go and never look back. Other times, we let go and shortly after run right back to that which we let go. It’s not always the letting go that we must understand, but instead the lesson to be learned and knowing that we’re walking toward something that is happening just for us at the right time. Find peace in the process, and it will take you a step closer to true joy.

What is something in your life you need to let go of?

“We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.” ~C. Joybell C.

Dear Mr. Repairman:

Nothing is ever wasted in nature. Every dead corpse is recycled as food for life; everything has its place and contributes to a very sophisticated balance in the system. ~ Giovanni Dienstmann

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Photo provided by Pexels

Dear Mr. Repairman,

You ruined my garden. I appreciate all you’ve done in replacing my water heater for a more energy efficient water heater. This will save me money. This will help save the planet. Still, you killed my plant.

How did you not see the beautiful purple shrub I had planted? I feel as if I lost a precious treasure. I grieve for the new blooms that will not be, the roots that may still move underground, but have no branches to forge new leaves. There is an empty space where there was once life. The plant will live on as compost creating nutrients for it’s fellow neighbors, but that had not been it’s intentions. It was supposed to inspire beauty through it’s own soulful blooms. Yet, that can not be.

I do not ask you to replace my shrub. I merely ask that next time you look where your big boots step before installing a water heater because you could be squashing the soul of a poor defenseless plant that can not even scurry out of the way.

With a heavy heart,

A Mournful Gardener

 

Learning to Grow with a Puppy

My love for the flowers blossomed into this precious puppy.

Yup, I bought a puppy last week. Meet Orchid – my new writing and gardening buddy. She’s a 9-week-old German Shepard puppy. And I’m in love. I know, I know…where do I have the time to take care of a puppy with four small children, writing, gardening, PTO, and trying to forge a career? But I used a very reasonable mind while making this decision. (This was by far the most spontaneous thing I’ve ever done. I usually process the fun out of so many things – this alone means I’m growing!)

Reasons why buying this puppy was a good idea:

1. I’m already potty training a 2-year-old. What is another accident in the house?

2. I’m not pregnant. Need I say more?

3. I grew up with German Shepards and have wanted one for years.

4. Kids love puppies. And I have a few of those.

5. Puppies love kids. I can provide a few of those.

6. And I’m pretty sure the Universe wanted me to have a puppy. There is no arguing with the Universe.

How this puppy will help me grow:

1. Patience. Much patience.

2. I will be reminded how to love unconditionally.

3. I may be persuaded to trade in a chore for some playtime once in awhile.

4. Puppies find joy in a shoe or chasing a child. It’s a good reminder to appreciate all those little blessings in life.

A dog will teach you unconditional love. If you can have that in your life things won’t be too bad. ~ Robert Wagner

Look to the Sky for Serenity

 

Before I moved to my current home, my family rented a small condo on a golf course. While the two-bedroom condo became quite snug for our family of six, the view was stunning. My favorite time of year was the rainy season. I could watch storms move in across the sky. The sunsets were amazing. I had a camera always ready for my sky shots. The clouds painted like a well-trained artist many evenings.

Now I live in the Pineapple House – my Hawaiian pineapple yellow home with the Caribbean blue door. A blank slate that is transforming into a jungle retreat where I meditate to the sound of my backyard fountain. My sunsets were replaced by mangroves swaying with blue herons, night herons, squirrels and lizards. It’s no less beautiful, but I miss the angry clouds suddenly filled with soft pinks, blues and purples.

 

Now it’s my front living room window where all the magic happens. And it’s all about the sunrises. Thanks to my two-year-old, I’m up with the sun, and I find that the sunrise sings to my soul. The night’s darkness finds a new day, a new start and a glowing light to help get all that started. It’s a cup of tea in the early morning, standing barefoot in the chill. And it’s just as stunning as any sunset.

The sky is an infinite movie to me. I never get tired of looking at what’s happening up there. ~ K.D. Lang

School Garden Project

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.

~Elizabeth Andrew

On Saturday, I led my first-ever gardening project. I’m a planner, an organizer, and really good at supporting other leaders, so taking lead was stepping out of my comfort zone. I also still consider myself a beginner Florida gardener and had hoped to have a more skilled gardener to guide me. But sometimes, we just have to leap and go for it.

My vision was to incorporate a gardening experience that required little or no maintenance and to add color and educational opportunities throughout campus. So I studied my Florida planting books and then travelled to a few local nurseries (4 Bees Farm, Crowley Nursery, Florida Native Plant Nursery) to purchase Florida-friendly plants. I came away with an array of butterfly plants, wildflowers, herbs, grasses and vegetable seedlings. We were set to begin.

I joined forces with 15 volunteers and the school to start phase one. The project included: constructing raised beds filled with vegetables and herbs, removing dead shrubs, and designing two butterfly gardens. In the future the plan is to incorporate more edibles to the raised beds, add fruit trees to help provide aesthetics and educational opportunities, and to integrate color with wildflower gardens throughout the campus.

This project transformed more than just a school’s landscape. This blog is mostly about me growing plants, but it’s also about growing as a woman. This project allowed me the opportunity to share my spiritual connection to plants, and, in turn, I learned how amazing volunteers can come together; that my knowledge of Florida plants exceeds what I read in books; and that I’m not only learning, but retaining information. Most importantly, I learned that I CAN.