Tag Archives: opportunities

Mother Nature’s Wisdom: Seed Time versus Harvest Time

Copyright 2014 Artisans Workshop Designs


We all know that there are cycles or phases of nature: when seeds are planted; when they are growing into grain, vegetables, fruits, and the like; then harvesting at the peak of ripeness; and the final cycle or phase is storing for the future and resting.

We can take a lesson from this. Sometimes we get mixed up about the phase we’re in. We have a fantastic idea–seed time–and we work a little bit–we plant the seed of the idea by working with it. But then we get impatient and think we ought to jump right to the harvest and reap big juicy rewards…and we’re surprised when that doesn’t happen.

Or we may have great ideas but then we go right to the resting phase, somehow thinking the ideas will magically manifest themselves.

It doesn’t work like this.

Each phase of bringing our dreams into reality is important and can’t be skipped or rushed through. Like the planting cycles, each phase is essential. If a farmer skips the seed phase, there won’t be a crop to harvest no matter how diligent and careful the farmer was during the growing phase.

Same with our ideas. If we don’t think them through until we have something fresh and new to present to the marketplace, they’ll be the same old ideas that have been done before and they’ll fall flat.

If the farmer rushes through the growing phase, there won’t be a mature, ripe crop to harvest. And if the farmer decides to rest instead of tending the crops during the growing phase or if the farmer rests instead of harvesting, the results will be disastrous.

Even if we’re diligent during the seed phase of making our dreams come true, if we rush through the growing phase where we nurture our ideas and prepare them properly for the marketplace, our results could be disastrous as well.

The farmer knows that different plants have different growing times. Radishes are ready for harvesting in 25 to 30 days where pumpkins take 3 to 4 months to mature. Same with our ideas. Some of them are quickly manifesting little things and our more complex ideas may take months or years of growth before we see results. A farmer doesn’t rush the crops and we shouldn’t rush our ideas!

If you find yourself hitting a rough patch, stop and analyze what’s going on. You may find that you’ve rushed through a phase, or got them out of order, or completely skipped a phase!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Mother Nature’s Wisdom: More Than Weeding and Mowing




Yesterday we went outside and observed nature around us. What interesting things did you notice?

I saw that all of nature is totally committed to being what it is. Each animal, plant, and rock is exactly what it is–no more and no less. What I mean is that trees are trees, rocks are rocks, and animals are totally what they are.

A tree doesn’t try to have gravel instead of leaves and it doesn’t stunt itself so it can be a shrub. A bird isn’t embarrassed or ashamed of flying, building nests, and eating insects and berries. And flowers don’t try to bloom with feathers or fur instead of petals and stamens.

So, why do we try to be someone and something we aren’t?

Of course it’s perfectly fine to be inspired by what someone else is doing and it’s fine for us to try that for ourselves. It’s great if we find that it’s a perfect fit for us and if we find that we love it.

But if it isn’t ringing true for us, instead of twisting ourselves into a pretzel, let’s take our cue from Mother Nature and be who we are–all of who we are. Let that thing go and move into who you truly are meant to be.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Mother Nature’s Wisdom



Summer is in full swing and Mother Nature is at her most bountiful abundant prolific time.

This week we’ll talk about the wisdom we can glean from Mother Nature. She has much to teach us, if we’d only pause a moment and become aware of her. She doesn’t use abstract concepts that we have to wrap our minds around, rather she actually shows us through the actions of living things the Guiding Principles of Life.

Let’s make a pact that this week, as we explore and extract the teachings from the natural world around us, we’ll spend as much time as we can outdoors quietly watching, looking, and seeing what we see. Then we’ll take the time to note our observations and ponder how they might apply to our life.

Let’s start this today!

In the comments below, feel free to let me know what you discover. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Noblesse Oblige: What to Do if You’re Feeling Bad About Yourself – 6 Steps to Take




When you’re feeling bad about yourself and can’t seem to shake it, here’s what to do:

1. Ditch the negative people around you as fast as you can! The reason you can’t shake feeling bad about yourself and your life is probably because you’re hanging around people who don’t value you, appreciate you, and/or celebrate you. They’re also the people who see nothing but woe and disaster ahead of you, which is most definitely NOT what you need right now.


Call up a few of your friends who make you feel great about yourself and always have something nice to say to you. Be up front with them and tell them you’ve had a hard day and you need them to remind you of a few good things about yourself. Jot them down and keep them handy in a scrapbook or in a folder on your mobile device or computer.

2. You’ve forgotten or lost–or never had it in the first place!!–a vision of the fabulous future that awaits you.


Get out your vision board, your mission statement, your Scrapbook of Optimism and remind yourself that the rough patch you’re in right now is NOT permanent–it, too, will pass. Remind yourself that better days are ahead. Remind yourself that, no matter how wonderful your life may have been in the past, your best days are still yet to come–they’re still ahead of you!

And, if you don’t have an exciting future imagined for yourself, then immediately and right now and at this very instant start dreaming! Write it all down, make a collage, choose some sort of item or symbol that reminds you of your dreams and keep that symbol where you can see it every single day.

3. Get the icky feelings and emotions out of your system!  Best advice from a dear friend: vent, steam, rant, rave, cry, gnash your teeth, shake your fist, scream if you have to and then take the next step forward.


4. Pressing forward looks like this: networking to find a new job, bartering with friends and loved ones to get the help you need to clear out the clutter in your home, taking classes online to improve your knowledge and skills…. Put on your Thinking Cap and come up with the things YOU can do that will help YOU.


5. Make your waiting time productive by pursuing things that interest you, that make you feel good, that bring you peace and contentment. I’m not talking about hedonistic pursuits, I’m talking about the soul-prospering pursuits.

What do you do next? GET BUSY!!

Some soul-prospering pursuits are: spending time with your hobbies, enjoying the people you love and who make you feel loved and cared for, following the thread of a new idea or activity that has captured your interest, taking a class in a topic that, for you, is “off the wall”, volunteering your time and helping others…. I’m sure you can come up with your own ideas to follow through on.

6. What do you do after all this? REPEAT THESE STEPS AS OFTEN AS NEEDED.


Let me know how these simple steps work out for you. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Noblesse Oblige: Giving



When we think of noblesse oblige and donating to worthy causes and organizations, we think we have to be wealthy. Seemingly counter-intuitively, studies have shown that people of moderate incomes give a higher percentage of their income than do their wealthier counterparts. When wealthy people give, it’s splashed across the headlines because it’s a large dollar amount. But when compared to their overall income, it’s a relatively small portion. People of moderate incomes rarely make the headlines with their donations but more of the money they earn goes to charities and other non-profit organizations.

Here are some interesting statistics on philanthropy in America:

~Per capita, Americans are one of the most generous peoples in the world;

~Over 70% of households donate to charities;

~While the wealthy give large sums to charities and organizations each year, it’s individuals from average households that form the backbone of philanthropic giving;

~Giving has increased every year since the recession of 2008;

~The numbers of women mega-donors continue to increase;

~Wealthy people tend to give to the arts and humanities, universities, and hospitals;

~People of moderate means tend to give within their communities: local churches, local human services organizations, community events, and reaching out a helping hand to community members who have fallen on hard times.


The point is, you don’t have to be Mr. or Ms. Gotbucks in order to have an attitude of noblesse oblige. Get out there and give a helping hand!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Noblesse Oblige: A Good Idea



The idea of noblesse oblige came about during the Middle Ages, during the time of chivalry and courtly love. The concept is that people of privilege have an obligation and a duty to help those who are less fortunate.   The saying goes: to whom much is given, much is expected.

We are all privileged in some way.

Even if we don’t have much in the way of tangible things to offer–money, food, clothing, etc.–we all have abundance in some aspect of our lives. Perhaps we’re good listeners or we have a beautiful smile or an infectious laugh–these are a bounty worth sharing! Maybe we’re good at noticing someone’s new haircut or a piece of distinctive jewelry and we’re always quick to compliment them. This, too, is a wonderful thing to give to others.

Do you know there are benefits to being generous? Here are six:

~Being generous helps you develop an attitude of giving and helping rather than taking. This creates in you a more positive, optimistic outlook;

~Generosity gives you a physiological, psychological, mental, and spiritual boost–It feels good to know that you can be helpful and that you’ve helped someone;

~Giving helps you overcome feelings of discouragement;

~Helping others gets you out of your own little world. You meet other people, thus enlarging your social and professional circle.  People with better social networks are better adjusted and tend to live longer;

~Volunteering, getting involved in charities and other organizations helps you grow as a person; it’s a way to find out your likes and dislikes;

~Helping others helps you gain a new perspective on your own troubles and on your overall life.


What are your favorite ways to give back or to reach out a helping hand? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Noblesse Oblige: When You’re Down and Out



A friend of mine has an interesting technique she employs whenever she is feeling as if there is no hope for her situation. She looks through her possessions and give one of them away.

The item she chooses is one she likes and is currently using.

I was stunned when she first told me this. I thought she was going to tell me that the thing she gave away was something she hadn’t used in a while and was just muddling up her life. I thought she’d go on to tell me that clearing out the clutter helped open up the channels for new opportunities to enter her life.

She explained to me that while she also clears out the things she’s no longer using–precisely to open those doorways to interesting and new experiences–she relies on turning events in her favor by giving away something she really likes and uses often.

Doing this reminds her that she doesn’t need anything other than herself, her skills, her intelligence, and her talents; that any possessions she has are icing on the cake.

I asked her if after doing this, events shifted for the better. She said that she found the benefit of this technique is to lighten up–not be so grasping and worried. It helps her have a more optimistic outlook and it teachest her to believe that things will work out. And it’s this attitude of letting go and trusting that helps her see the opportunities surrounding us all.

I’ve tried this technique from time-to-time and each time I do this, it’s a tiny bit easier to fully let go. It’s a work in progress, though, for sure!

How about you? What have been your experiences with this technique or something like it? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,