Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fail to Plan. Plan to Fail.

We've all heard this before and rolled our eyes at it. Maybe that's just me. I'm a chronic eye roller. It's almost become a game of its own like *insert Michelle's eye roll here*. I actually did receive that in a "professional" email once, but I digress.

This week I have been working on the fall plans for the community garden that I coordinate. Thinking about fall has been a nice mental break from the oppressive 100+ degree heat. When it comes to gardening, that old saying becomes true. Failing to plan in the garden sets you up to fail. Yes, many things about gardening are trial and error, but having a plan will help you make the most of your space and hopefully increase your harvest. Of course, life is not so unlike this. Having a plan to reach a goal reinforces the goal and makes it so much more likely that the goal will be achieved.

Gardening has taught me many life lessons and has really been an exciting experience - and it's only my first season. Gardening has allowed me to meet many people who desire to make a difference in their community and help their families live more healthy lives. To me, gardening is as much of a spiritual activity as it is a physical one. With all of that in mind, I have been encouraged to launch a new gardening page on my blog to follow along with my fall gardening notebook. Look for this in the coming weeks. Even if you aren't a gardener, be sure to stop by and see this city girl get her hands dirty. It will make for a good laugh.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Time to Face the Change...

Ch-ch-changes. Everyone, sing it with me now! Ok. No one? Anyone? (Crickets chirping?) Not my favorite Bowie song, but definitely the one that comes to mind whenever I feel change is in the air.

Do you have that moment when you feel change is coming - whether it's necessary or even dreaded? You can just feel a season of change is coming. Facing changes is not always my favorite thing to do, but most of the time I find change to be a relief, especially if it's something I've been thinking about or dealing with for a long time. Besides 98% of anxiety about a situation or change is in the time spent over-analyzing it rather than in the actual change. At least that's the way it has been for me. Most of the time, I have found that I usually make something out worse in my head than it actually ends of being.

I'm in a season of making changes. These changes are mostly in areas of my life that I've been trying to make positive changes in for quite some time now. Positive change for me seems to be more of a process and less of an all-at-once destination. That is where prayer comes in for me. It helps me to lessen my anxiety and worry and focus live in the moment instead of the woulda-coulda-shouldas. It keeps my footing firm on the path I am on, instead of wandering. I've mentioned this verse before, but it is a verse that I constantly come back to - Matthew 6:27 - "Who of you can add one single hour to your life by worrying?"

So how do you deal with change? Do you dread change or try to positive and focused when change comes?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Just Start Somewhere

If you're going to get anywhere, you've to to start somewhere. It's a simple thought, but sometimes I think it's half the battle. Taking the first step toward starting in the direction of positive change or just starting something new in general is always the most difficult because it's the first step outside of our comfort zone. It's the first step away from what we think we're certain of and toward what we see as unknown. Emotions and the concept of the comfort zone are powerful things. They can overcome what our logical mind knows. They can skew the way that we truly see ourselves. They can turn positives into negatives. When you look at it in that light, you have to wonder, what's so comfortable about a comfort zone?

I got thinking about all of this last night as I tackled cleaning a room in our house that has become the catch-all room of the house. The room was a disaster. It's a room that often gets neglected because no one really ever sees it, and lets face it, it's the perfect room to pack things into. Out of sight - out of mind. I stood in the doorway of the room, looking at things strewn about, and I felt panic and uncertainty start to creep in. I almost backed right out of the room, turned off the light, and slammed the door. Then I realized that wasn't going to solve my problem. If I walked back in the room tomorrow, it would still be a mess. I didn't know where to begin, so I just started somewhere. I started picking things up and sorting them into categories (toys, furniture, clothing, etc). It took about an hour, but pretty soon I could actually see the floor. I could finally see some sort of order in the room. The room is by no means finished, but there is order to it, which makes it a project that I'm much more willing to come back and finish. I even have some ideas about turning the room into something that will be used and is a positive change.

What does all of this have to do with comfort zones and life? A very wise woman, a.k.a. my mom, used to tell me that our rooms/homes are an outward expression of what is going on inside of us. A cluttered room means a cluttered mind. I believe it. I know that I keep myself so busy that I don't get around to cleaning house on a regular basis. I keep piling stuff up and then ignoring it. When I step back, I realize that I've let myself get too busy and let my priorities get out of whack. A home should be a place of peace and sanctuary, not a place to dump stuff between activities. To get anywhere, you have to start somewhere. I'm a work in progress.