Rolling with the Waves

I had the opportunity to take a 4 day cruise last week for vacation.  I had been on a boat before, but never a cruise ship.  It was huge!

The first morning out I got a little sea sick. Once I got out on the deck and breathed in some fresh air it readily resolved itself. This tends to help when I get motion sickness in cars too.

On the ship there were a lot of stairs and there was a lot of walking. By the end of the second day after another day ashore I got back to the ship and my body ached at every step I had to climb. I hadn't thought I had done more walking or more stressful exercising than my normal day to day routine. I was wondering why I was so out of shape, I was even at sea level which should have been a help to me. But I ached EVERYWHERE!

After a nice massage and thinking about what was really causing all the pain I realized it wasn't the stairs, it wasn't the horseback riding, it wasn't the walking around. The thing that kicked my butt was the waves and the little movement in the boat that I didn't always notice. It was my body shifting to stay centered while with was rolling with the waves. I really need to find a way to add this physical demand on a daily basis!

This got me thinking about how just going with the flow and not resisting life or stressing at everything I feel gets thrown at me would strengthen me mentally. If I take things as they come and not take them as something that is directed at me intentionally to cause me pain, maybe I could learn not to stress about every little thing I could gain more perspective. From that perspective I could gain insight into how the world truly works and find a better center in everything I do.

All of this Shit

It attracts flies, it requires me to pick it up and contain or dispose of it, it’s a lot of work, if only manure would be worth something. These are the thoughts I had about manure prior to starting my garden.  Now I look at it as gold. Right I know it’s not worth as much as gold, but it is worth a lot.  It is one of the key ingredients to my garden beds. Yes, that is right, my food grows out of shit! It also grows out of decaying vegetation and bugs creeping and crawling around through dirt.

The breaking down of manure and decaying vegetation is a part of the cycle of life. The matter breaks down and is transformed into energy that grows into a plant that feeds and sustains another animal.  Didn’t we all learn this in biology class? Hopefully we did.

What we didn’t learn in biology class is that all the things we perceive as bad or hurtful in life are also the part of the cycle of life too. Many of us go through life affronted by the circumstances we are put in. We feel like we have to go through so much shit in life. But really what we are doing is learning and growing out of the circumstances of life (out of the shit). What we get to do is choose what we grow into. We can let the circumstances hold us down or we can grow and flower and provide help to others.

Temporary Landscaping

In the garden area I’ve been getting ready to put some new beds in place.  I set out some borders for the beds yesterday, but haven't started sheet mulching the beds and today I’m glad I haven’t.  I realized I’m used to walking through one area directly and I think I need to continue to enable access through this area.  Building temporary borders and fences has become a huge benefit to me. Not only do I get to have a visual representation; I also get to do a trial run to see if it will work out. There is a lot of energy and time that goes into putting in a garden bed, sure I can change my mind afterwards, but taking it out is even more time and energy. Using the temporary borders and fences I can figure out if it’s what I really want before I start all the heavy lifting.

This temporary pattern can be used for other areas in life too; especially areas that require lifestyle changes. Sometimes we don’t want to make changes because it seems like it can be too hard or a daunting task.  We also don’t know if we can or want to commit to making a change 'forever', so we just don’t do it. Instead of looking at change as a permanent thing try something temporarily. Give yourself a trial time and make a change (or two or three, I like three).  Set yourself up a short term timeline to see if it works. Try six days or six weeks (for me one week seems to be good).  If it doesn’t work out stop, but think about what other changes you can try. We get to change our internal landscape so find what works for you!

Temporary Borders

The Key to getting Anything done

My first year garden was exciting. I grew corn, pumpkins, zucchini, beets, radishes, tomatoes, bell peppers, egg plant, carrots, lettuce, jalapenos and cucumbers.  Not all of the plants grew, not all the plants flowered and grew food.  But it was an awesome experience that I've learned so much from and I'm glad I made that first step.

I like to plan, but the problem with my liking to plan is sometimes I spend so much time planning and  so much time not starting. I'll even talk myself out of doing something because I don't actually start. This year's garden is an awesome reminder of the key to getting anything done.

The key to getting anything done is to start doing something. It doesn't matter what goal you want to work toward if you don't take the first step toward what you want to do. You are never going to get it done.

Thinking is a start, but don't let it stop you. It can trap you in a vicious circle and your brain is good at causing failure by never trying. If all you are doing is thinking about it you will never get to where you want to be.

Make your next step be a physical action step. We are human beings we move around and have the ability to dig in the dirt, run around and fly up in the sky. We are creators and destroyers both of which require us to do something to be who we are.  What action will you take next to start something you've already wanted to do?

Stronger Fences

Ultimately I want to have three more garden areas out in the main horse field, but as I learned this past year a strand wire fence, even a nice solid coated wire strung beautifully is no match for my horses.  They got in with the pear trees and took them all out.   I also learned that pvc t-posts are for looks only and can not withstand any leaning horse.  

Consequently I’m back to the old tried and true metal t-posts and wood posts for use out in the horse field.  I’m also back to field fence and welded wire. I like the 2x4 square welded wire, it seems to hold up to the horses a bit better and I should be able to keep some pear trees safe this next year (I hope!).

In our minds we create our own fences too and I wonder how many of us build flimsy fences that look like they should work, but we lean on them and knock them over to get into something we are trying to build for our future selves? I think I do this to myself with money more often than I’d like to admit. I come up with a plan and then bend the rules of the plan. Maybe I should go back to some tried and true methods that if I would just follow I could have something that much better in the future.

  1. Don’t spend more than you earn; Do actually spend less and save some
    • credit cards can be a very weak fence
    • saving any amount even if its small will add up to big things in the future
  2. Don’t have a bunch of wants; Do learn to enjoy what you already have
    • when you want more, you lose sight of what you already have
    • when you lose sight of what you already have, you lose you current opportunities for happiness
  3. Don't get into the instant gratification pattern; Do slow down and take some time to do things right the first time
    • there is a time and season for everything
    • waiting makes the beauty of something you always wanted even better

Where are the JalapeƱos?

From the Garden...

Well I've been waiting and waiting to see little jalapeƱos growing in my garden. The plant took off and was the center attraction in one of the beds for a while.  
Big and Tall Jalapeno plant
But then it started wilting. I thought that it meant that I need to water it more and so I did.  It came back for a little bit.  Then it started leaning over.  Nothing a little support couldn't fix.

I kept waiting for some flowering and some jalapenos, but not a single one showed up.

Today it was wilting and leaning almost all the way over and I took a closer look.  At the base of the plant it was getting black.
Black Fungus - Phytophthora causing root rot

After searching about non-flowering pepper plants I found an article talking about Phytophthora.  What I read talks about it being a fungus that attacks a plant at the roots or the base where it meets the ground.  It causes the plant to act as if it hasn't gotten enough water and it basically eats the plant up.  There isn't anything that can be done to save it.

Alas, I tore it out.  I hope it doesn't affect the other plants I have in that bed.  I've got 6 zucchini plants and two bell pepper plants.  One of the bell pepper plants is flowering. 
Bell Pepper flowers

...To the Rest of Life

For anyone that knows me, they know that I have A LOT of interests. While there is nothing wrong with that; sometimes I go into interest overload and begin pursuing after too many interests at once.  For example, I will start a new eating habit and that will be going well which will remind me that I can do anything I want to do. Then I will decide I want to learn a new language, like Chinese. I'll find a great app to start that, but then I'll find it has other languages I have started to learn in the past, like French. I'll also decide I should also improve my equestrian riding skills and pursue a new certification for my professional life.    Really quickly I'm trying to commit myself to every single one of my interests.

I have big ambitions for all of them, but it ends up being like the jalapeno plant fruitless and toppling over. I end up over committing myself and getting burnt out.

A few things to keep in mind out of all of this are:

Analyze the reasons -  Why are you doing what you are doing? Is there a real purpose for everything you are taking on?  Or is there an underlying fungus that will make you pull everything out?

Even if I want to learn another language, it's not always in my best interest.  I'm not planning an international trip any time soon.  The benefits that I want to see come to fruition may get me one of those trips, but until its closer there really isn't any reason.

Scale it back - Trimming back a tree prior to spring helps the growth of the tree when it starts to get leaves.  It's important to only have a few things to focus on so you can get and give your best with them.  It'll allow for better growth down the road when you have accomplished a goal, then another. You don't have to do it all at once.