Sunday, July 26, 2015


I found a flower on my fence this morning. 

Not attached to any plants in my yard. Not attached to any plant at all. A large pinkish lily tucked neatly by the gate post.

Who left it? My writer's mind considered a number of possibilities:
--A sharing of beauty from the woman across the street with whom I talk about flowers and syncronicities.
--A peace offering from the wife of the Peeping Tom who has harassed me for years.
--A place to stash the hot goods by kids who stole it from another neighbor's yard. 
--A thank you from a stranger who stopped for a moment under the shade of the beautiful silver maple tree that shades my front yard and the sidewalk. 
--A flirtatious gift from an admirer of my son.
--Poison disguised in beauty by someone seeking revenge. One sniff and you're unconscious.
--A random gesture from one of the church members who leave cookies at Christmas that I always throw away because I won't touch homemade food from someone I don't know. 
--A cheerful gift from someone who figured the grumpy old lady (me!) who lived in this house needed something to sweeten her disposition.
--A friend passing by who didn't have time to visit but wanted to brighten my day.

As I considered the possibilities, I noticed many of them were rather cynical. Oy! Is this what I have come to? Since I'm at a stage of reinventing me and deciding what I want to be for the rest of my life, this was a beautifully gentle reminder to look at the inner me. Have I fallen into the habit of seeing other people with suspicion? I'd rather look for the best in others, even if I have to look very deeply. LOL! Some habits take more work to change than others. 

In the meantime, I'm leaving the flower on the fence. Perhaps it will start a new tradition in the neighborhood. Perhaps I will help spread that tradition and change my cynical habits by leaving flowers for others.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


As I was wrapping up my DIRT therapy session this morning, I realized I wasn't feeling the deep joy and satisfaction of previous days. 

Because my mind had been chasing Other People's Drama (OPD). 

Yes, I had allowed myself to get sucked into OPD the previous evening. Once they got things stirred up and disrupted several people's lives, they decided everything was going to be OK. They made no changes. Don't know if they even learned anything or realized they were reliving the same-old, same-old cycle.

I was disgusted with them, but mostly with myself for jumping into OPD. 

Obviously, I stewed about it overnight (in spite of sleeping fine) and still had OPD remnants this morning that lasted throughout my DIRT therapy. 

So I sat down on the ground and immediately felt the tension flowing out of me. Interestingly, this felt pretty much the same as when I'm offering Reiki to a person or a furbaby and they are pulling the Reiki very quickly. This gave me some insights into how Reiki works, but I won't go into that here. I really felt the desire to lay down, but didn't want to get mud in my hair. So I simply sat with my hands braced on the earth and let healing flow through me--and discovered a new facet of DIRT therapy. 

Guess what I thought at first were clods in my DIRT therapy actually turned out to be nuggets of wisdom. 

Friday, July 24, 2015


This is a corner of my back yard where I have been
doing DIRT therapy. A mix of vegetable plants and
berries on the left; a volunteer squash plant in the
center that is quickly taking over a 12-foot roundish
bed. More squash plants behind it as well as flowers
and shrubs in various stages of blooming.

I started daily DIRT therapy a little over a week ago. DIRT therapy is Digging In Residential Territory, aka weeding and trimming my yard and garden. 

Events in my life have led me to the realization I need to take better care of myself. To slow down and change my workaholic habits, which have continued even though I "retired" over a decade ago. And I want to spend more focused time with my furbabies and the people who are precious to me. 

To some, this may not sound difficult. But I have been indoctrinated since birth to always be busy. For me, changing decades of habit is best accomplished in baby steps, and perhaps fooling the part of my mind that pushes me to work hard. 

DIRT therapy is one of the steps of that change. Each morning before I get caught up in the demands of the day or the priorities of other people, I put on my yard clothes and a pair of gloves, grab a shovel or clippers, and head out into my yard.

Digging in the dirt feeds my soul. I also love blooming flowers and fresh vegetables from my own garden. Daily DIRT therapy keeps my yard neat and welcoming rather than adding stress about the usual mid-summer takeover of weeds. As a side benefit, I'm getting in shape again without that being one more task on a never-ending list of things to do. Also, digging and trimming can be hard work, so the slave-driver part of my mind is satisfied. 

Then comes another baby step in taking better care of myself and those I love. I allow myself time to sit in the shade with an icy glass of water and absorb the beauty and bounty of my DIRT therapy.

Squash plants that spread their leafy tentacles almost a foot a day give me great delight. An accidental combination of crocosmia and daylilies in a beautiful, airy bouquet gives me joy every time I see them in my kitchen window. Harvesting lettuce from seeds I've planted makes salads taste so much better.

I'm quite pleased with my venture into DIRT therapy, and plan to continue this until it becomes a habit. Then I'll add another baby step in taking better care of myself and those I love.

How about you? Do you have a favorite habit that helps feed your soul? 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I was one of those teenagers other kids loved to hate. I got good grades, did my homework without anyone reminding me, played sports, was involved in school and community organizations, stayed out of trouble, worked part time…

Ironically, doing all the things I thought I "should" do was mostly driven by a belief that I wasn't good enough.

This continued as an adult. I moved to the city to take a steady job with good benefits, got married, had a couple kids to go with my dog, bought a house…

Again, I stayed in the box of what I thought I should do.

Oh, there were some notable times I broke out of the box, but I quickly scurried back into its safety of shoulds and taped up the holes. 

However, after several decades, the box of shoulds had become rather tattered. Then it collapsed altogether when everyone who should have had my best interests at heart betrayed me. 

For a few years after that, I tried to pick up the shreds of the should box and tape them back together. But another life storm would crash through and scatter the pieces again. 

I flailed without the security of shoulds, often hounding my spirit guides for an instruction manual for life. Sometimes angry; sometimes crying; sometimes ready to give up. In their patient way, they smiled or perhaps laughed out loud at my dramatics. When I was quiet and ready to listen, they shared their wisdom and answered my questions--not always what I wanted to hear, but I knew deep inside what they said was true.

Right now, I'm in a space of some sort of serenity. Still uneasy and perhaps a bit disbelieving when I look out at all the possibilities. 

I realize this time of my life is truly a gift. I can choose. I can help the little girl who  sometimes still hides inside me to climb out of her box and create a life the way we want it to be. I get to be both the parent and the child. Both the student and the teacher. We can color outside the lines or eat dessert first or splash in puddles and laugh. 

And we can take some time each day to just sit and breathe deeply, watching the wonders of the Universe that weren't visible from inside the should box. I think I'm going to like being a good girl unboxed.