Only Yellow Tulips

Every spring a little patch of red and yellow tulips pop up in my backyard. I didn’t plant them, perhaps it was the previous owner. Regardless of the years, the weeds, the fall leaves that never get raked in that part of the yard, they manage to find their way through. This year I found only yellow. Where did the red go?

Tulips for Kim 2I can’t say that I’m sad to see only the yellow, I actually prefer them. My dining room is yellow anyway. It’s like living in sunshine.Tulips for Kim 1It’s nice to know that even though my gardening days are finished and the weeds are taking over, some elements of beauty survive and break through. It’s kind of like a metaphor for life – leave something beautiful behind that will blossom anew year after year.

 

New Challenge

Winter is a difficult time for me physically, mentally and emotionally, so I try to find ways to challenge myself. In the past I could challenge the physical elements of snow and ice by just getting out there, shoveling, sledding, driving, photographing, whatever. Now I still try to do those things, but less than before because I have more physical challenges than in the past.

Challenges that limit us can weaken us mentally and emotionally. To strengthen myself I’ve given myself other positive challenges, like yoga. Since I started attending classes last October, I’ve been able to gradually, very gradually, build strength and health physically, mentally and emotionally. It has not been easy and my class attendance was not always consistent for the first couple months, but I have persisted. Now I’m attending classes twice a week and beginning to practice at home as well.

One thing that helped me with my yoga practice was following a beginners yoga challenge on yogajournal.com. I received daily written inspiration on will power, and a weekly video of yoga practice. It was quick, easy, motivational and free.

In March I will be starting a new challenge, and I invite you to join me if you wish. It is a free 21 day meditation course sponsored by Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey. I know that sounds kind of commercial, but it looks like it could be valuable. Of course, if you’re already a meditation master maybe you don’t need it. But if you are looking for some guidance to start meditating, some ideas on improving your mental or physical health, or just a little inspiration, then why not try it? It can’t hurt, it’s free, and it’s completely accessible at your own time, location, pace and comfort level.

Starts on March 11, 2013. Here’s the link if you care to join in. http://www.chopracentermeditation.com

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Renewal

A timely post as I have been renewing my commitment to health and well being by going to yoga classes, meditating with a lovely smelling candle, and eating healthier.

 

My Christmas cactus is also experiencing renewal, especially since it didn’t bloom at all last year.

This is my daily morning renewal, my special blend, and it’s a nice afternoon renewal as well. God Bless the coffee bean, may they prosper and grow forever!

Renewal – What does it mean to you?

Mom

My mom is one of the most compassionate people I know, not in a gushy or weepy way, but in a very practical way. Right after high school she went to nursing school and became an RN. She took care of people her whole life.

By the time I was 3 she decided she should stop working and take care of her family, which she did very well. However, she never stopped doing things for others. She was a girl scout leader and belonged to the Jaycee‘s, she volunteered for Meals on Wheels, and was always doing things for neighbors as well as strangers. Sometimes I wondered how my parents knew so many people, and how they met these people who needed help.

By the time I was 14 she had decided to go back to work. She renewed her licence and went to work at the emergency room. Later she became a private duty nurse for several years, and after that she became a Hospice nurse. In order to do that she had to take special classes about death and caring for those who are dying and their families. I was amazed that she could do that type of work, and she did it for almost 20 years.

After retiring, she took a seasonal job as a camp nurse. I think she did that for about 10 years. Mom was a hard worker and always busy. When she wasn’t working her hobbies were gardening and making cards for people. She was a crafty person, doing paper crafts and stamping, even making paper, but her cards were the best. When I was younger she also did a lot of sewing and knitting, making my clothes and making afghans for everyone.

How did she have the time and energy I often ask myself? Everyone loved my mom because she was always serving others or helping in some way. My dad was a Mason and Mom belonged to Eastern Star, and they were very active with these groups from their late 40’s well into their 70’s. When I think of the life my mom & dad created together I think of beauty, goodness, love and compassion.

Now my dad has passed away and Mom (almost 80) has Alzheimer’s disease and severe osteoporosis. She is bent over and twisted, walks with a limp and has a great deal of difficulty making cards these days. Yet, she called this morning to ask me to tell my boys that she didn’t forget their birthdays, and that she is a little slow but she is working on their cards. She forgets a lot of things, and the cards might not make it to the mail, but she is still trying so hard to care for others.

In 2009 my brother hired a yard service for my mom’s garden out of fear that she would try to do too much herself. She had been getting some help for a few years but she would always go out and work in the garden too, even though It had become dangerous for her. The yard service did a great job and she was so happy with the result that she asked me to come and take pictures, so I did. The following year I made a collage for her birthday, hoping it would keep her happy through the winter and give her hope for the coming spring.

You never know how your garden will bloom, especially in New Hampshire, so I was glad I could preserve this memory for her. It was the least I could do for my mom, one of the most compassionate people I know.

Hand Made Girl

If there was ever a hand made girl it is my daughter. She whipped up this shirt adaption between yesterday & today. The earrings she had already made before.
She loves to make all the gifts she gives too.

I just loved this shirt and had to show it off.

I wish I could put my ideas into action as fast as she does. I think too much and plan too much and have trouble finishing things. She just does it, whatever pops into her head. How do you create? Does it take a long time & a lot of planning or do you just dive in and see what happens?

Do You Collect Stuff?

I’ve always had some type of collection, (I don’t know why). When I was younger it was bottles of all kinds, shapes, sizes & colors. After I moved away from home it became little treasures from places I had traveled. Sometimes that just meant seashells, post cards, jewelry, or my own photos. shell & duck collection

For as long as I can remember though, I’ve had a fascination with rocks & gemstones. So I’ve often picked up a rock as a souvineir from a foreign travel, or just because it was a really cool rock. These end up all around the house, windowsills, in plants or the fish tank, or as a paperweight. gemstonesEventually I’ve had to get rid of some of them, but I keep the memorable ones. I still don’t know why I do this.

Recently I attended a funeral of one of my husbands former students. Her daughter & granddaughters all talked about the rocks & shells she collected throughout her life. She even smuggled some into the country just like I did. Ahh… someone else like me, I thought.

dresser top collectionBut why do we do this? It’s beautiful, it’s unique, it feels good, it creates a memory? I don’t really know. Some might say it’s unnecessary & useless stuff that junks up the house. I use it to decorate because it evokes a feeling for me.

Do you collect something? What do your collections mean to you?

 

Value Yourself

Quote

“There is nobody else like you. The more you can quiet your own thoughts, fears, doubts and suspicions, the more will be revealed to you from the higher realms of imagination, intuition and inspiration.”

Kenneth Wydro, b. 1933
American lecturer

With all the demands on our time & energy as well as the concerns & troubles of this world we live in, it is easy to work ourselves into a mess of fears, doubts & worries. We forget who we are. We get distracted and then detached from the higher self and it’s understanding of truth, beauty, love & goodness.

It’s easy to lose inspiration, doubt ourselves or become immersed in the banter & clatter of life. For me, meditation & prayer have been necessary to keep a clear head and follow my heart. Just a quiet time to reconnect to who I am and let go of who I am not.

Sometimes we don’t even realize what the doubts & fears are doing to us, so we don’t even try to see another viewpoint. It can take a long time to even realize what hinders us from happiness. But every day is a new opportunity to reconnect to our true selves and the love that is the source of all life.