April 2014
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Archive for April, 2014

Crossroads

There are powerful and despairing moments when we find ourselves standing in the crossroads of life, uncertain of which direction to take.

Fraught with  confusion, frustration, uncertainty, fear and the inability to move forward, we struggle with making a decision and/or committing to a path.

When the issue confronting us is big – moving, quitting a job, ending or beginning a relationship, starting our own business, retiring – there is a strong emotional charge.  This emotional quotient makes it very challenging to move past the turmoil of the process.

Beyond rational evaluation and analysis, there are tools we can use to assist our decision making.  First, breathe, relax.  Shut off the chatter-box. Go for a walk, take bath, meditate.  Ask for guidance,  from the Divine Universe, seek  the wise counsel of friends, family and professionals.  Confront your fear around the situation.

Afraid that the decision we make will bind us to a position for the rest of our lives is fallacious reasoning, a trick of the negative mind.  Trust yourself; trust your Higher Self.  Move forward with confidence, knowing that the future if fluid;  nothing is set in stone.

Earth Day

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970.  Now in it’s 44th year, the Earth Day Network estimates that 1 billion people will participate in some activity related to improving our environment.  Officially celebrated on April 22, Earth Day is considered  the largest secular holiday in the world.  Next week is full of Earth Day events around the globe.  And in our agriculturally rich area, there is much to see and celebrate.

Day trips to local nurseries, like Aztec Dahlias in Petaluma, Bamboo Sorcery and California Carnivores both in Sebastopol, Halberg Butterfly Gardens,  Lavender Bee Farm and Deer Meadow Bonsai reflect the remarkable diversity of Sonoma County.

Montgomery Village will celebrate it’s fifth annual ‘Day on the Green’ April 26 from 11am to 4pm.  Activities, music, food, beer and wine can be enjoyed at this free event.  For further information email artep@sonic.net.  In Petaluma on May 4 & 5, the 14th annual Spring Planting Festival will be celebrated at the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.  A visit there is a special experience any time of year.

Spring is a time to plant.  Not only the planting of food crops and flowers, gardens and trees,  but also a time for planting our hopes and dreams.  It is time to take advantage of the season, time to get your ideas and plans for the coming year into the ground. Think annuals and perennials, short-term and long-term goals.

Taking inspiration from the blushing beauty of the Earth, pick from the magic of your creative mind. Choose what is most suitable to who you are and where you are in this Spring moment.  Plant those dreams, hopes and ideas.  Nurture, water and feed them.  Enjoy the beauty, relish the bounty, and prepare to reap the rewards of your efforts.

Mother Earth deserves to be loved and honored.  I invite you to celebrate our celestial home.  Happy Earth Day!

 

 

Friendship

Friendship enriches life, and good friends are good for our health.  Many studies show that friendship can increase our pain threshold, stave off cognitive decline, and even enhance the immune system.  For example, the now famous Nurses’ Health Study revealed that women who had ten or more friends were three times as likely to survive breast cancer.

This study also revealed that the more friends women have, the less likely they are to develop physical impairments as they age.  And they are more likely to lead a joyful life.  Women’s friendships may be a significant factor in their longevity.

In a landmark UCLA study, Drs. Klein and Taylor showed that men and women respond differently to stress.  Their work demonstrated that women ‘tend and befriend’ rather than ‘fight or flee’. 

Study after study reveals that social ties reduce our risk of disease, can lower blood pressure, contribute to lowered cholesterol and reduced heart rates.

Maria Paul writes in The Friendship Crisis: Finding, Making, and Keeping Friends When You Are Not A Kid Anymore,”Your friendship menu needs a range of both intimates and acquaintances.” Casual friendships and deeply intimate friendships are both important and valuable  to our overall health and well-being.

To have good friends, you need to be a good friend.  Good friends have meaning to each other.  Our BFF’s are the ones we can bare our souls with, cry and laugh together, support and mirror, give honest feedback to, and, be open to receiving the same in kind.  They are people we trust with our secrets, our lives and our hearts.  This does not happen by fiat.

Cultivating a gorgeous garden of friendship requires being willing to stick our neck out; to take risks. Weed out what is not working, and allow the seeds and plants of good friendship to grow strong, healthy and beautiful.

I invite you this week to give thanks for your circle of acquaintances and friends.  And continue cultivating your Friendship Garden.

 

Worthy

‘Having value’ is a good definition of worthy.  In ‘10 Telltale Signs of Low Self-Esteem’ (Spirituality & Health, November 2013) author Anneli Rufus shares habits indicative of low self-esteem.  The habits outlined below show a self-loathing attitude; a personal unworthiness.

1. We’re indecisive.  We believe we can’t possibly make a decision that will not have negative consequences.

2. We fake it.  We hide behind masks, fearful of revealing our true selves.

3. We deflect praise.  We actively deny praise; it can’t possibly be true (we are not worthy).

4. We’re hypervigilant.  Words, body-language and gestures become a powerful body of evidence that we are unlikable failures.

5. We have great difficulty inhabiting the present moment.  Regret and fear, favorite ploys of the Chatterbox,  keep us roaming between the past and the future.

6. We give up easily.  We give in.  We assume the attitude that we are always wrong.

7. We plead.  Our lack of selfworth  “…turn even the simplest requests into desperate, self-abasing pleas.”

8. We aim low.  Confident in our probability of failing, we keep the bar low.

9. We are chronic comparers.  This habit reinforces our self-loathing.

10. We puncture our own fun.  “Believing we deserve no happiness, we flood with dread at the first spark of joy….”

Ms. Rufus maintains that the first step toward changing these negatives to positives is compassion.

The Original Angel Cards Book states that ‘Compassion’ is a “Heartfelt understanding of the human condition that encompasses the pain in oneself and others, dissolves judgment, and opens the way for acceptance.  Sincere desire to alleviate suffering.”

Strive to alleviate your suffering and open yourself to acceptance.  You are worthy.