Archive for the ‘April 2011’ Category

Cultivate the Courage to Grow

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you truly are.”
—e.e. cummings

It does take courage to grow. A tendril pushing through the soil knows nothing of what awaits it—rain, snow, sun, the trampling of feet, a mower, or a gardener ready to nurture its blossoming. Before emerging as a plant, it was a seed that had to break open before its unique potential could reach the world.

We human beings also cannot anticipate or control what happens when we risk change. Will our intent to build a relationship, promote an idea, start an enterprise or put our innermost thoughts down on paper meet with acceptance? Rejection? Help? Encouragement? Indifference?

With courage, we reach out anyway because something within us wants to grow. We may not even know what that is until we witness it ourselves.

In my life growing has meant leaving behind a lucrative corporate career out of desire to be healthier—physically, emotionally and spiritually. As I opened up to the sunshine of a new life of freedom, a commitment to help others discover who they truly are and what they want to express in the world emerged. Tending Your Inner Garden® was born.

So have I discovered this purpose? In many ways, yes. I’ve learned the power of listening, really listening, to others as a way of bringing to life their gifts and desires. In my work as a spiritual director and companion, the power of being a calm and caring presence for others becomes more apparent each day. As a former do-aholic, I’ve learned to be a force for change by the way I simply am in the world.

Yet this invitation to grow never subsides. We’re called to continual conversion—letting go of the past and opening up to the present and future. We’re challenged to harvest what we’ve learned and give it back to the soil to enrich it for life’s next season. That’s happening in my life right now as I ask, “Whom am I being called to serve?”

Perhaps unknown to me, a seed within has broken open and something new is about to grow. Like the bald eagles that have tended three eggs and captured the attention of a nation through a video cam (, my job is now to patiently wait and watch.

What’s happening in your life as you enter spring? Is something new wanting to grow in your life? We’d love to hear from you!

Let Nature Be Your Guide

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

This morning when I awoke to white crystal-coated branches shimmering outside my bedroom window, nature reminded me always to be open to surprise. No matter that the first day of spring has come and past, that average temperatures are in the 50s this time of year, that crocus are pushing through the soil, that we’ve purchased and set up a new patio set, or that I just ordered a flat of impatiens. Winter’s not ready to go!

So again, nature is my teacher. Be patient: your plans and dreams will materialize in time. Savor incongruence: robins listening for insects and worms through a fluffy layer of new snow and walkers sporting winter coats one day and t-shirts the next as they stroll around a nearby lake. Enjoy this moment: it won’t come again.

“Is it possible to be in spring one day and fall the next?” a woman asked me recently as we discussed Tending Your Inner Garden. She was speaking metaphorically. Her real question: Can my life change dramatically from one moment to the next?

Yes, indeed. Although we encourage Inner Gardeners to reflect on which season of the year they are in—spring for new beginnings, summer for blossoming, fall for harvesting, winter for resting—we know life is not that simple. You can be in spring in your career, enjoying a burst of energy and creativity as you start a new job, and in fall in a relationship as it matures and ripens into new depths of appreciation and gratitude.

You can be relishing your summer garden, the bounty of what you’ve created, and endure a storm, setting you back to the beginning of planning and planting your life garden.

Nature reminds us that change constantly alters our outer and inner landscape. We simply need to notice and accept what is—for today!