All posts by Dave

About Dave

Trying to live in a better world.

sunflower-closeup

Flowers Are Medicine To The Soul

“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful: they are sunshine, food and medicine to the soul.”  — Luther Burbank

A simple quote that says a lot. When we look at flowers, we feel better. But before anyone comments, let me say that I know we can be so down in the dumps that our eyes see the flowers, but out brains do not register anything. Thoughts of poor health, financial setbacks, or family issues can keep us from really “seeing” the beauty that is in our own yard or neighborhood.

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The Desert Rose Flower

Luther Burbank’s words always stick in my head when winter turns into spring. After a dreary winter, the signs of spring flowers usually have a positive impact on most people. The nurseries are packed on the weekends and the landscape suppliers are busy loading potting soil and mulch into pickup trucks. Gardeners are anxious to get going with their spring garden plans. Even those with little or no property, those in condos and apartments are out in force, trying to bring a little bit of nature’s beauty into their lives. From full-fledged landscaping projects, to setting up patio garden rooms, or to potting up a few annuals for a balcony, the “gardener” in folks is yelling to get out. Get out and grow something!

There are many reasons why we get excited about gardening this time of year. I believe a subconscious reason plays over and over in the back of our minds. Flowers do, somehow, make people better, happier, and more helpful. A stroll through the yard in the early evening proves over and over that the sight of flowers can change our outlook on any particular situation.

There’s something special about their colors and shapes. The human eye takes in the picture and changes within us affect our thoughts and emotions. Our worlds seem better, more peaceful, more in tune with our surroundings.
“Stop and smell the roses” is a cliché that we hear a lot. That goes for stopping and seeing as well. If you remember this saying when you look at what is flowering in your part of the world, perhaps you will also remember Mr. Burbank’s words and recognize in yourself that you really do feel better and happier in that moment.

It’s the awareness of these reactions that enables us to repeat the results over and over.

The key is to take the time, slow down, and focus on what the eyes are seeing. By being mindful and enjoying every little moment, we begin to understand how the flowers around us have the power to be medicine for our soul.
It doesn’t matter your gardening experience. It doesn’t matter how much space is available. From planting one hundred perennials to gluing seeds to a popsicle stick and potting it in a cup, the pleasure of seeing your home-grown plants bud and flower will reward you over and over. It never fails.

Feeling like your soul could use some medicine?
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Grow Some Flowers!
Namaste,
Dave

“The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”  — Carlos Castaneda

North-Charleston-Clock

The Only Time We Have Is Now

“I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.” — Golda Meir

When you think about it, the only time we have is now. So why is it that modern man is consumed by clocks. At our own choice, we let them control almost every aspect of our daily lives. This man-made thing, this concept called time directs us when to rise, work, eat and sleep.  Allowing  a schedule  run our life is one of the many habits that we all live with everyday. We plan “things” around time. There are hopes that during some particular point in the future, we will do this or accomplish that. We look back at events in the past that made us cry or smile. We refer to time a lot!

“I remember a time when…”
“When the time comes, I’m going to…”
“If only I had the time, I would…”
And the best is….
“I don’t have the time to…”

Earlier cultures lived with a close relationship to the position of the sun in the daytime and the moon at night. Their day was just that, a day in their life. Sure, they made plans for tomorrow’s survival, but each day was spent living in that moment , that day.

Each of us must govern our own allotment of time, minute by minute.
British statesman,  Lord Chesterfield, suggests that we

“Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves”.

Begin today by developing a mindfulness of how many times you look at a clock. Try to spend the day by simply letting things happen at their own pace. “Go with the flow” as the old expression says.

Try following Dr. Wayne Dyer’s advise:

“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”

Namaste,
Dave

Photo courtesy of: North Charleston
Quote Source: BrainyQuote

“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed. ” — Wayne Dyer

lamington-national-park-sunset

Never Think Of The Future

“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” — Albert Einstein

Are you thinking too much about next week, next month, next year?
Do you catch yourself saying “If this happens, I’ll have that’ or “When I get to that age, I’ll go there”?
Are you missing today’s beautiful sunset because you can’t wait until tomorrow’s sunrise?
Stop thinking so much about the future. Take heed to Mr. Einstein’s advise to “never think of the future. It comes soon enough”.

Enjoy today fully and relish this evening’s sunset.
Namaste,
Dj

Photo: Sunset at Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia

Quote Source: discovery.com

Bobby-Mikul-Sunrise

The Best Day Of The Year

Many of us start and finish each day by doing habitual things. We have routines that we follow to begin our days and habits that we do at bedtime.  It is easy to do both. So easy that we forget to think about how important it is to be fully aware of our thoughts as we begin and end each day.

Ralph Waldo Emerson says to “write it on your heart that EVERY day is the best day of your life.” Calmly look forward to your new day. Do not regret yesterday for it is gone.

At day’s end, forget the negative things and events that occurred. Think of tomorrow…another new day just for YOU.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

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Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could.

Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Are you ready to start fresh with your own personal “best day in the year”?
Namaste,
Dave

Quote Source: goodreads
Photo: “Sunrise”  courtesy  of Bobby Mikul

succulent dish garden

The Intelligently Cultivated Mind

“A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.” — James Allen

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James Allen (1864-1912)

I enjoy slowing my life down by doing a little gardening. Basic stuff… prepare the pots by cleaning and filling them with fresh potting soil, followed by planting either seeds or cuttings. Occasionally, I do not have the time to do the planting part until some time later. And every time I let the soil sit in the pot without having planted the seeds or cuttings, I return to find weeds growing  in the containers.

This same thing happens to our minds when left lying empty and barren. Just like the weed seeds that take root and flourish in a pot full of bare soil, allowing our thoughts to run wild can cause depressing seeds of sorrow and worry to take hold of our lives.

James Allen speaks of the intelligently cultivated mind.

Intelligently cultivate. Think about what you are thinking about. Put yourself behind the thoughts that are causing discomfort. Try to look at those thoughts and realize that they are just that…..thoughts.

Weed Seeds
Weed Seeds Photo By Marco Bernardini

Thoughts are the seeds that all of us have in our heads. It makes no difference if they are seeds that we planted or seeds that others and the world have given to us. Thoughts, when focused on repeatedly, are what we will take action on in our lives.

If you do not monitor what your thoughts are, your mind will gather thoughts from wherever your senses guide it. Taste something bad, you think about how bad it is. See something that you shouldn’t participate in and you think about doing it. Feel something that you can’t resist and all you want to do is touch it. Our brains react to our senses without our help…..good or bad.

Try to spend a few moments today thinking about your thoughts. Be the person behind the mind and think about what seeds are planted inside your head. Separate yourself from all of those ideas, wishes and opinions that ramble on and on in your head throughout the day. Do not judge what hear yourself say. You can start pulling the weeds and intelligently cultivating tomorrow.
Today, just focus on being aware that you are aware of your thoughts.

Namaste,
Dave

Thoughts-Quote

The Dangers Of Annoyingly Painful Thoughts

Annoyingly Painful…
Those are the two words that my doctor used recently to describe what I was to experience for a few days.

I went to my doctor’s office some time back for what I thought might have been a spider bite on my knee. It was pretty painful and I had big red area spreading up my leg. It turns out that a staph infection had set in and was trying to run up my leg through my lymphatic system. After a short visit, I limped out with a butt full of antibiotics from a shot, a script for some oral antibiotics and some antibiotic cream for the wound.

When I asked how long before I would see some improvement, she told me that my leg would be looking and feeling better by the next day. However, the red tender spots running up my leg would be annoyingly painful for a bit.

“Annoyingly Painful”… Her words stuck with me. I think that those two words are good for describing many of life’s little events.

We all have annoyingly painful things going on in our lives from time to time. Physical things like pulled muscles, mild headaches, sunburns. In my case, this time it was a spider bite. Some of the most annoyingly painful things in life can cause us to forget about our thoughts. Reacting to these events, we spend time worrying that the worst of any situation will happen at any moment.

doctors-stethoscope

When the doctor told me that this infection was running up my leg, I could have thought the worst. Maybe it would go straight to my heart. I mean, that was a possibility. I could have thought about how intensely painful this could be. The bite was already hurting. That’s part of what got me to the office in the first place. My body was setting off the alarms and I had to respond.

But, I chose to not think….notice I typed the words not think …..to NOT think that this pain was going to get a lot more severe. Instead, I chose to think about the knowledge that I had just acquired from the office visit.

I’ve known my primary care for almost twenty years. I’ve trusted her since day one. Her earnest in getting this thing under control quickly told me that this was serious stuff. I also knew that I live in a fortunate time when doctors and medicines can do wonders. I was confidant that her diagnosis was correct and that the medications would begin to immediately heal my body.

I left the office with what some call a “knowing“.  I just knew that I was already getting better. I felt relieved and more relaxed. All was to be well.

Remember, I could have not stopped to think and simply reacted to this situation. More anxiety, a faster heart rate and higher blood pressure would surely have been a few of the side effects that would come with that mindset.

Not all life’s painful times are the result of physical issues. Suffering, stress and worry can appear from heartache with a loved one, worry for a child, or just plain “everything that can go bad in my life is here and now it’s ruining my life”.

By forgetting to stop and think,  we each may be headed for more and more of the same repetitive cycle of worry and pain.

OR…………………….

We can choose to pause and think. We can look for whatever signs of hope that there are in the situation. Search and analyze all of the information. Try to keeps the emotions at bay and repeatedly look for the positive. We must develop that “knowing” that all will be well.  It is then that we can honestly say that this pain that we are going through is just a little annoyingly  painful.

Namaste,
Dave

P.S. Have you had any annoyingly painful situations that you would like to share? Perhaps a little inspiration for all of us?