Sigh. Pause. Breathe. Some days, you may feel like you're holding on to the last moment of peace when one more thing jolts you—time for a meltdown. Sometimes you can see it coming; other times things show up like a brick wall and take you off-center. You cannot always control what happens – they are part of life. As much as we all like endless days of calm with everything falling into place, life can have other ideas.
My grandmother was not the first elderly person to benefit from having a pet, nor was she the last. Pet companionship is fantastic because you can talk to a dog or cat all day, and they don't care if a story is repeated, or even if you're talking to them. While it's true that most pet dogs recognize about the same number of words as the average human two-year-old, what they really respond to is the sound of the human voice.
On this Mother's Day, in addition to honoring your mothers and mother-figures, I encourage you to celebrate the mother within. You are at the center of not only others that you care for but yourself, too. You are doing the best that you can, and yes, you may falter at times. Don't keep going in those moments and at times of exhaustion. Instead, find ways to replenish yourself.
Lying fallow is a way to renew ourselves, our thoughts, and our spirits. Usually when we are stressed and overwhelmed the last thing we think about is taking time out. We rush from one thing to another with no space in between. The best time to take a fallow moment is when you think you don’t have time to.
We are all imperfect, and we all make mistakes. Head the lessons of your inner guide - they are our internal tuning forks and there for a reason, including nudging you to continue to honor yourself even through the muddy times.
I’m a big fan of finding life lessons – teachable moments, if you will – in ordinary settings. A simple flower teaches us so much about nature – how rain and sun must both be present in order for growth to take place. Watching a dog laze about in a sun-puddle reminds us that there is no artifice with animals, that they embody unconditional love and are easily pleased with a spot of sun and a stick to chew on.
“Resilience begins with failure.” This is not a mindset we generally choose to cultivate but it has a truth of its own. When you think about it, a lot of our growth comes from having made mistakes.
Spring brings such happiness to my heart. As I look outside, after all the unusual rain, I see the roses flourishing from the extra water and the pruning I did in late fall. The freesia bulbs I had forgotten about are popping with purple color and the new bare root rose I thought wasn't going to make it is pushing foliage out like a surprise package.
Have you ever had black days? Days when you wanted to see nobody and do nothing, even the things you like best? If this happens once in a while, you could call it sadness. But if it lasts for more than three or four days it is known as depression. Depression is not a weakness, but a medical malfunction that takes away your control, and there are two major types. One is triggered by specific events like a death in the family, loss of a job, an injury that affects your ability to function as you typically would.
I hear from so many people who feel so depleted and don't have time to replenish themselves: too much to do and other priorities. I am not suggesting you take two weeks off and go to the Bahamas. (Though I admit that sounds amazing, it's not always feasible.) It is the smallest of things that you can do for yourself that can make the most significant impact.