Spirituality: Quiet Time that Nurtures and Strengthens Optimism

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Crafting a soul prospering life and spirituality both require quiet time–time to contemplate, ruminate, think things through and decide–choose–what to apply to your life and how to apply it. As I said in yesterday’s post, this quiet time can encompass a religious tradition, a spiritual practice, or something totally unique and personal to you.  

I urge you to make time every day for silence, quiet, solitude. Uninterrupted time when you can think, or better yet, where you can just be.

You don’t have to carve out days of time or even hours. A regular practice of 15 minutes each day is great, though I like to spend around 30 minutes in quiet contemplation. And, I’ve found that during particularly hectic and jam-packed weeks, that 5 minutes first thing each morning is enough to get me through to the days when I have a little more time.

The interesting thing is, you can even do this when you are in the midst of your day: in meetings at work, watching your kids play soccer, grocery shopping, and the like. Do this by becoming an observer with no attachment to what’s going on around you.   Become a quiet oasis in the middle of all the frenetic activity swirling around you. Observe without judgment or bias, just as a scientist would. Note the insights that come to you.

Quiet time is the way to extricate and cleanse yourself from the rush, angst, hubbub of the world.   It is the way to hear the whisperings of your heart and the urgings of your soul so that you can follow the Still Small Voice within.

This quiet time is essential because you MUST believe in yourself, your reason for being born as who you are, and your destiny–what you are meant to do–to contribute–in this lifetime.

Make it top priority to find a time of day and an amount of time to do this. If you really have no time for quiet solitude time, note during what activity you’ll become the quiet oasis. Set the bar low, make it easy to achieve so that you’ll do it again and again.

Commit to taking time each day for quiet time, even if it’s only 5 minutes here and there throughout your day. That’s perfect for right now.   Keep doing this and you’ll find that you’ll establish a regular practice that works for you.

Promise yourself that you will do this. I know you can. I believe in you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Spirituality: Part of Crafting a Soul-Prospering Life

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Some of my friends have found that crafting their own soul prospering life deepens their faith in their own traditional organized religion that they follow. While I respect the organized religious faith traditions and practices–and I defend the right of everyone to worship their God in a way that is meaningful to them–I’ve found that crafting my own soul-prospering life is spiritually based, rather than religious.

I have no intention that this blog promote any kind of religious or spiritual belief or practice–I want everyone to feel comfortable, no matter their religious affiliation, spiritual practices, or even if they have no belief. However, from time-to-time my own thoughts and ruminations on spirituality will color, and have colored, this blog.

You are free to respectfully disagree with what I say and we can engage in an informative conversation that helps each other understand Life on a deeper level. This conversation is NOT to convert one another but rather to receive the information as another aspect of truth, and thinking it through to understand how each of us can use it to deepen our personal connection with our truth.

This week we’ll be talking about the part that spirituality plays in crafting a soul prospering life.   Also, I’ll share with you what my friends and acquaintances think about this. Too, I’ll share with you the books I’m currently reading as well as other resources I’ve come across that I’ve found helpful.

In the meantime, take time today to contemplate what crafting a soul prospering life means to you and how spirituality or religion or other personal practice fits into this.   If you’re comfortable, please share your thoughts and practices. I’m always interested in hearing what others are thinking and doing because it helps me with my own practices.

Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Wisdom from the Farm: Giving Way

Copyright 2016 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

One thing that’s been abundantly clear in my observations of the farm is that it transforms–is constantly changing. One crop finishes, the soil is plowed and prepared for a different crop.

Certain vegetables grow in the cool weather of early spring and these give way to vegetables that grow in the warmer weather of summer. Once these summer vegetables are finished, they give way to crops that grow well in the cooler, shorter autumn days. And once these food crops are finished for the growing season, they give way to the cover crops of winter.

This is like us in our own lives. As much as we want things to stay the same, they don’t. We may think some things stay the same, but they really don’t. For instance, we get up and go to work at the same place we’ve worked at for years. We do mostly the same work and we see mostly the same colleagues and customers and vendors. But if we’re really honest, things have changed. They may be small changes, but they’re changes nonetheless.

Change is inevitable. But as the farm shows us, this isn’t a bad thing at all. The tasty crops of early spring give way to the delicious crops of summer that then give way to the flavorful crops of autumn.

And this is the same in our lives. Change happens, one thing gives way to another. And there are good things within that change.

Let the transformation, the change, happen. Know that as one thing gives way, another good thing is coming to you.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Back by Popular Demand: Wisdom from the Farm–Dig a Little Deeper

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

 

I was reviewing my blog files and came across the following one.  The observations are just as relevant and timely as they were when I first wrote it.

Let me know what you think of it.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Original Post on 6/11/15:

Strawberry time at the Farm—yay! Most people picked the strawberries from the edges of the plants—the berries that were closest to the path. Since this was the first week of picking strawberries, it was fine to take the one from the edges because there were plenty to choose from.

For kicks I thought I’d also check inside the rows, dig a little deeper, and look under the leaves and toward the center of the plants. I was rewarded with several fat, ripe strawberries! WooHoo!

This got me to thinking….

How many times do we try to go for the easy solution to a problem? And how often do we run with the first idea that presents itself to us? Perhaps we can take a moment and dig a little deeper. Sometimes ideas and solutions do work right off the bat, but other times they may benefit from a little more thinking on our part. Perhaps even some turning them this way and that to see if there’s a better way to do things.

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs
Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

Your homework today is to give it a try and let me know how it works!

You can do it!

I’m so proud of you—you’re awesome!!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Wisdom from the Farm: Composting–A Way to Nurture Ideas

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In this week’s CSA newsletter, the farmer talked about his compost pile and that they will be using it to enrich the soil as they’re preparing the fields for the coming winter.

I got to thinking about this compost pile and what it’s comprised of: vegetables that were overripe and not fit for sale; produce that was too damaged by insects and animals and, therefore, unfit for consumption; weeds; other organic matter that wasn’t plowed back into the soil or recycled in some other way.

The farmer collects all this waste in one area then occasionally turns it, perhaps adds more to it every now and again, turning once in a while, and repeating this procedure (I am by no means an expert in composting so I may not have this completely correct, but from my occasional observations, this is what the farmer seems to do!).

A compost pile is basically an alchemist’s lab for plant and other organic materials. This “useless” garbage is transformed into nutrient rich materials that enrich the soil. Farmers call compost Black Gold.

Then I started thinking about how compost piles relate to ideas. How many times do we come up with ideas that we toss to the side–essentially, we toss them in the garbage. Instead of throwing them away, perhaps we ought to consider composting them.

Perhaps we can have a file or some other sort of system that collects our ideas and keeps them neat and safe. Periodically, we can refer back to them, going through them and looking for ones that fit with the situation we’re in now. Perhaps one or two ideas can be combined to come up with one that’s really a blockbuster for our current circumstances.

We can also refer to the ideas just to go over them and refresh our memories and let them perk on the back burner of our minds. This way, when we come up against a problem, we’ll have just the right solution already in mind, this turning a challenged into an opportunity!

You can do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Wisdom from the Farm: The Bad and the Good

Copyright 2015 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

Every year there is always at least one crop that has a poor harvest; this year it’s the green beans.   A new insect invaded the bean patch making the leaves look like fine lace. Although the plants produced a few beans each, it wasn’t like in years past when the plants would be weighted down with beans.

Even though the beans didn’t fare well this year, the tomatoes have been producing like gangbusters.   In fact, the vines are still going strong; we’ll have tomatoes in our shares well into October. In years past, by mid-September there are only gleanings on the vines.

The wisdom from the farm that applies to daily life is that although things may not be going well in one area of our lives, there’s another area where we’re doing quite well.

We can use this knowledge to our advantage. When we become discouraged, we can focus on the good in our lives and use that to bolster our spirits. We can use it to help ourselves hang on and to take one more step.

We may be in a rough patch in our lives right now, but there’s also good that’s several rows over–just like the bumper crop of tomatoes is only a few rows away from the bean plants that have only a few beans on each of them.

Take the next step; you can do it.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Wisdom from the Farm: Endings and Beginnings

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs

 

Every ending has within it the seeds of a new beginning. ~Unknown

As you know from previous posts, for a number of years, I’ve been a member of a local CSA farm–a Community Supported Agriculture farm. It’s been a wonderful experience, not only supporting a small, family-owned farm and getting fresh, local, organic produce, but also watching the different cycles.

In each weekly newsletter, the farmer would tell us which vegetables were just beginning to be harvested, and which ones were ending their harvest. When the crops were finished, the plants were plowed back into the soil, enriching it, and another crop was planted.

Now, as the growing season is finishing, and as the farmer and farm crew finish harvesting each crop, instead of plowing the field and leaving it to just hang out, a cover crop is planted for the winter–even as the snows and wind blow, the cover crops are growing.

The lesson we can take from this is to not angst over things ending in our lives because it’s signaling a beginning of a different phase. Also, even when it seems like there’s nothing going on–that metaphorically we’re in a wintertime phase–we can have faith that our cover crops are still growing, still doing their thing, so that when our springtime comes, our lives will burst forth in beautiful blossoms.

Remember: Nothing ever completely ends; there’s always something new coming up!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Crafting a soul-prospering life.