The thing which you fight is exactly what you become.

That thing which you fight is exactly what you become. For example anger, this is a great example because so many have a problem with anger. If someone is angry and you meet them with anger, what is the outcome? Yes, more anger. Throwing fire on fire is no way to quench it.

Anger may be the result of many causes, and without understanding them there is no escape from anger. We have created the enemy, the bandit, and becoming ourselves the enemy in no way brings about a solution. We have to understand the cause and cease to feed it. We are responsible for bringing this enemy into being. We create the friend or the enemy in our own minds.

It is not what any other person has done that has caused this anger to well up in us, therefore the answer lies in taking responsibility for our thoughts, identifying the triggers of our anger, and taking up the arduous task that demands constant self-awareness and intelligent pliability, for what we are the society, the state, the world is. Right thinking begins with allowing love to permeate all that we do and think, love transcends the enemy and the friend. The water that you throw on the fire will out it.


Words to Consider

IMG_2185There are two kinds of struggles that we have to face each day. We struggle because we cling to past habits and have a hard time separating ourselves from them. The second struggle occurs because we are attempting to cut loose from past habits. The first struggle where you are clinging to the past habits, is never ending, and will continue to cause you pain and hurt, ultimately defeating your best interest. The second struggle is painful for a while but you end up completely liberated, well, and whole. At some point in our lives we will have to question the status quo and dig deeper, or else we will never achieve the happiness we so deserve!

Part 1: Making a decision to create a new path, not based on past assumptions.

IMG_5476“Some people ask how they can muster up the energy each day to face the a world that they think is a hostile, unhappy place. When they feel so depressed about their lives and they don’t want to face other people, they feel like they just want to curl up and escape everything.

The question is how can we remain positive in a negative world. One answer is that there is alot of positivity in this world, one just has to take the time to see it, embrace it and enjoy it. We miss alot of the joy we can have because we are so caught up in our selfishness and negativity that we miss many moments that can be super!

If we begin to spend more time looking closer at those around us and looking for the beautiful things in them, just like when we go for a walk in the park, we can choose to see the dead leaf or the robin in the nest.

The human mind, on the other hand, uses both positive and negative thinking to try to “spin” the world into something more acceptable based on prior conceptions. For example we might have a mind that is trapped in a religious view of people and society which may not be a healthy conceptualization of the world. In other words we are trapped by our false conceptions of what happiness should look like, and also what we think is the acceptable way that others should behave. This is part of our survivalist instinct, but many times it leads to false assumptions and problems! Making a decision to create a new path, not based on past assumptions can be scary and liberating, but if you don’t venture here then you are stuck.

Instead of staying in the spin, breathe, stay in the present, and the spinning will slow until you face today and this moment with grace, energy and compassion.” LC

Learning To Live in Your Own Skin (Part 1)

There is a growing problem today, that is one of rage, sometimes it takes the form of road rage, domestic violence or rude co-workers. Many are damaged but don’t know how to attempt to fix their brokenness. It is so sad that some people fight against themselves their entire lives and are never happy or content with who they truly are. They believe the lies their parents told them that they were not being “good” children, and that they will not be accepted unless they behave the way mommy and daddy think they should. The duality of their natures have left them perplexed too many a time and has led them to many forms of escapism and vices. Many have to hide to be themselves, because they think they will not be accepted when people learn who they truly are. There are many carrying burdens from childhood, anger that have been pent up for years, because they have not confronted the problems of yesteryear, outbursts are inevitable for there is only so much the psyche can handle.

This may be a reason why many never find happiness, because while it is right under their noses they can’t seem to live in the moment and enjoy the happiness they so much deserve. They are enslaved in their own minds because they are trying to live up to something that doesn’t exist. Some standard set by their parents, by a church or by a teacher about what is acceptable and what isn’t.  These have caused them to feel guilt and insecurity when they do not live up to the high expectations of others. Many times people do not realize the destructiveness of such a life until it is too late. They have not properly let go of their past failures in relationships or of the hurt, guilt and bitterness they have for people who they have been hurt by.

Confrontation is a huge part of healing the body, mind, and spirit. Many decline from it, but it is only when you deal one on one with each issue that has affected you in your past, that you can gain the freedom to move on. You must confront those who have hurt you and forgive them, even if they never asked for forgiveness. For example, if you have a father who doesn’t care about you, you may be upset that he has hurt you, you may care about him, but find it hard to communicate this to him. Well you cannot have a relationship with someone who doesn’t want one, but you can let them know that you forgive them for not wanting one ,and you can let it go in your mind and heart.  You still love them, but you have decided to let go so this has been laid to rest, it cannot hurt you anymore.

Letting go of the things you cannot change and deciding to make strides in positive relationships with those who are in your life presently are all part of the healing process. All are these are conscious decisions that can only make a difference in a life if they are fully embraced. Come face to face with your failures and accept that they have made you a better person. How have they done this? They have led you to keep trying and to have compassion for others who fail.

When we learn to appreciate ourselves for who we are, then we can constructively learn from all of our mistakes and experiences, taking accountability for them, and seeing them as teachable moments instead of reasons for self-hatred. Every aspect of you should be considered and understood, not only the good things, but also the things that you are uncomfortable about. It is only by becoming the master of your thoughts and your mind that you will be able to truly love and truly enjoy every experience whether it be good or bad. We must direct the path our mind takes, if we see if steering off course we must steer it back to the safety of positive, constructive thought patterns. The power that we possess is all in our will, will we choose to possess joy in all that we have to do in life?
There are things about us that we may not quite understand, like why we react so emotionally to some things when other things don’t disturb us in the least. Well there are so many variables that we must consider about ourselves to properly understand why we do the things we do and how we can improve. One of the biggest mistakes people make is having expectations of themselves and others that are too high. The best way to guard against this is by not having expectations of others that they cannot deliver. Then you will be pleasantly surprised when they do deliver!
One very important factor to consider is our very first relationships, were they truly healthy ones? The relationship that we had with our parents affected each of us, was the relationship one of respect and true love, or was it very superficial. If we did not have very meaningful constructive relationships with our parents or siblings, then it is most likely that we have trouble having authentic relationships with people in our lives now. Unless we have made a conscientious effort to improve our relationships, and have taken time to consider and practice better communication with all we meet, then most likely we accept the superficiality of our lives and are just surviving.
Many are self-destructive without even being aware, to break this cycle they need to deal with the issues head on. I hope this article has given you some things to consider about yourself and the people in your life. To stop the trend of self-hatred, we must begin to appreciate our strengths and weaknesses and embrace all of who we are. Today I would like you to embrace the person you are because God created you unlike any other person, you have a unique experience and thus something special to offer the world!

Living life in the present

I stop everything I am doing, because I choose to live in this moment.

I put aside all my hang ups which creep up in my mind about the activity, choosing to trust my heart rather than my feelings.

I accept everyone and everything around me for who or what they are.

I choose to let go of the things that are not going my way, I choose to lose control over everything.

I drink up all the information my senses offer me at the time and savor them.

I consider the feelings and emotions of those around me and think how I would like to be treated if I were them.

I enjoy the input that I receive even if it is not what I expect.

I have no expectations, but to be pleasantly surprised by the beauty I discover in the scenery, people and animals all around me.

I live,  I am happy and free to live for today!

Spring Fling with my Organic Vege Garden!

Every spring I have a fling with my organic vegetable garden, after a winter that lasted too long, I put on my boots and head for my raised beds. I can’t wait to bite into my first tomato sandwich, or pick some sweet raspberries from my berry patch, but more importantly it is the gardening process that I have looked forward to every year, that process where creativity and passion meet toil and sweat. With the motivation of a basement pantry full of canned, homemade goodness that saves us an exponential amount on our groceries bills, I bravely enter my garden fully excited at the prospect of the unique, educational experience I will have this year.

Gardening has been the most rewarding, adventurous hobbies I have ever experienced and each year I have a love affair with it just when I am truly sick of being stuck indoors.  In my garden I have a place to truly create a masterpiece, to plan a garden and then work your plan, seeing it come to fruition is to have a special walk with the Creator. When you think of gardening you probably just think, “Oh that seems like it will be a lot of work.” Well yes, there is work involved, but it is like a love affair, a  meaningful relationship, you have to work on that love affair to gain the fruit of happiness out of it, don’t you? So it is with gardening, it is on your mind night and day until you have done the work you had in mind to do with it. The garden needs tender loving care daily to give you the rewards that are worth receiving.

I believe gardening is essential to good health, those who have not experienced gardening have a part of themselves waiting to be unearthed. So don’t be afraid, find your block of soil and grow some of your own food, gain that experience that only gardening can give! My garden changes every year as I rotate my crops every season, it has been so long now a part of my year that now it is essentially an extension of who I am. A part of me that has been lost since last fall, a part of me that is bursting to come forth just like all the new life I see around me, I must become one with the earth again!

For the past six years I have been homesteading in rural southern Virginia. The experience has been brought out the best and the worst in me. I always begin with dreams of  grandeur and then I settle for what I have the time to do. The planning and work that go into having a sustainable organic garden are both mentally enriching and character building, I would not trade them for the world!

I begin the process by taking a stroll in the garden, sizing it up for all the work that needs to be done to get it ready for planting. At this point my garden beds seem to me like a blank canvas waiting for me to plan and layout my masterpiece. By now I am tired of visiting my seed and garden tool catalogs and I can hardly wait to begin digging in the soil. I make a mad dash around the yard to scrounge up all the aged compost, aged leaf mold, worm castings, goat manure and any other organic materials I can find. My mission is to get the soil at its peak before sowing my precious seeds. The beds need about a week or two to settle after you add all this organic material in them, add them, mulch well to cover that precious soil and wait to punch holes through the mulch where your little babies will live. This ensures a weed free experience, well almost weed free, you have to be always keeping those weeds in check because they have a way of getting through organic mulch in areas that are not mulched thickly enough.

It is about this time of year that gardeners feel totally in control of the gardening experience as the garden beds have been easily weeded and the garden is very manageable. Just wait until mid-June, if you haven’t had a great strategy to get rid of the weeds, then the weeds have probably won the battle at this point. This year I am very excited at the prospect of the fruits and vegetables that live side by side in my edible paradise. Broccoli, kale, lettuce and collard greens look like they should be ready to harvest anytime soon, the garlic are looking healthy in a bed their own, got to wait until late June till July to harvest garlic though. I have been harvesting asparagus for two weeks now, the strawberry plants are mulched with black plastic and have an effective irrigation system which allows them to get watered right where they need to at the roots, because of this need strategy we have never seen such beautiful plants and they are loaded with flowers. Blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry plants look like they are very promising also, so looks like I will be canning some great jellies come June, can’t wait!

Gardening in southern Virginia has been full of both its challenges, and pleasant surprises from the very first year I begun in the summer of 2006. Utilizing raised beds is a must when you have to work with red clay, I must say thanks to my husband, all that double digging has built his stamina and created a permanent area, my wonderful raised beds which I tenderly call “Don’t you dare, step in here!” areas of the garden. Stepping in the garden soil compacts it and disrupts the soil ability to breathe, so create clear paths that a wheel barrow can pass through on either sides of your beds.
Some years have been very wet while others were very dry, so you have to learn how to deal with all the issues that may develop with these climate changes. You have to become an expert on every vegetable you plant, because they all have different soil and water needs to grow them with their peak nutritional value in mind. Plants are like people, they are each unique! So check to make sure that you plant vegetables, fruits and herbs with companions which have the same nutritional needs.

In an organic garden companion planting is the most effective technique for raising diverse and healthy vegetables. I have found that growing a diverse array of vegetables, herbs and flowers, always makes me come out a winner. We must learn from the woods and forests around us, such a variety of plants coexist here side by side, and the mulch of leaves and twigs are always protecting that precious top soil! I also mulch heavily around each plant with shredded leaves and grass clippings on a layer of newspaper about four pages thick. Never leave your soil exposed is a very important rule, I don’t know about you, but where I live weeds sprout on a daily basis.

Every year I can the extra vegetables from my garden. Canning is most definitely the best use of your time as a gardener, because after all the hard work you have done, you will actually put money in your bank account with every jar of gourmet tomato sauce or dilled green beans. I always tell my friends you will never want stored bought apple sauce again after you taste a can of home-made canned apple sauce. The flavor possibilities are endless, two-years ago I composed a recipe for curried salsa which is absolutely delightful and a can of it comes in handy when I am looking for a delicious snack. You will be delighted at what a great winter kitchen pantry you can create out of some industry through your summer canning experience.

Today I planted my potatoes, it was a fun family excursion to the garden, everyone works together for a great family time of exercise and fun. I want to encourage you to take up that garden hoe and shovel and begin a garden bed that will grow you some nutritious, delicious food this year. I think this year may prove to be my most exciting year yet, so much work to do and so little time! Happy gardening!