Back to The Future

Back to the Future

In early May, my family and I took a badly needed break and visited the Spring Planting Festival  in Central Missouri.  We visited a Heirloom Seed Farm out in the country at Bakersville, MO.  The Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company was cofounded by a young couple, Jere and Emilee Gettle, fifteen years ago.   Very local, it is also well connected internationally to Heirloom seed growers and collectors around the world. It has a unique combination of the new with the old, local and global.

Why search for Heirloom seeds? Heirloom seeds are cultivated for their purity and quality.  This is often   lost in the consumer trends of commercial agriculture.  Heirloom seeds are part of a movement for a healthier, simpler, back-to- earth lifestyle.    It is a desire of many to honor that which has sustained us over the generations, as well as present day innovation.  Many families are choosing to create a life style that is simpler, better connected, and grounded in healthy nutrition by growing their own gardens and plants.

Creating a Space for New Growth    

Over the last year Three Wise Women, Sam, Jane, and I, have been giving you tips and teleconferences to help create the space for new growth.  Sam (short for Samantha) gives tips on reducing clutter and discovering what you like to create a supportive, comfortable physical space.  I focus on appreciating our relationship strengths to create a harmonious family space.  This facilitates more effective teamwork.  What kind of strengths?--character strengths, gender strengths, and the strengths of the generations.  Jane, the anthropologist, helps us to value community and nature.  She brings in the wisdom of the ages as well as an appreciation of diversity as we become more local and global.

 A Three Prong Focus:

Simplify –   What do you really need and want?  You can increase your energy by reducing clutter.  Your physical surroundings have a strong impact on your relationships and effectiveness in getting things done. 

Unify- We need to honor our uniqueness as well the strengths that connect us all.  This expands our vision, builds teamwork, and helps us use our resources more effectively.

Amplify – As we focus on the positive, connect with nature and place, as well as with technology, we increase our ability to make a difference, one step at a time.  

Watch for our ongoing tips and upcoming teleconferences.

Dr. Alice

 

Joy in The Face of Pain?

All of us lose loved ones over the course of our lives. The pain of those losses especially sharp during the holiday season.  The events in Connecticut this last week have been especially tragic.  We find ourselves dazed, sad, angry, and fearful.  We want to do something to reach out to reassure ourselves that our world can be safe and caring. How can we experience the joys of the Holiday season at a time like this?

Many times, when we face tragedy, we look at it from the present moment.  It can fuel quick action. Other times, after the initial emotions subside, we dismiss it and go on with our lives. Rather than acting on the negative emotion or dismissing it we can choose the practice of calming, embracing, and looking deeply into the pain, honoring our suffering in an empathetic and supportive way.   It taps into our hunger for the sacred and a deeper spiritual power.  A deeper spiritual message emerges and we begin to view it from a broader perspective.  The pain transforms to an energy the helps us to create new intentions and new actions. 

When we look at the challenges of the shootings this year, we can see deep societal issues -- a need to reduce the emphasis on violence, healthy role models for boys, and the need to have restrictions on assault weapons to name a few. We can each be sensitive to these issues and take new actions within our awareness of the values that are important to us.  All actions count, no action is too small. When we honor our deeper values in memory of those important to us, they stay with us in spirit.  

Let us heal ourselves by using these painful experiences to honor the those in Connecticut increasing our awareness of the problems, and taking new action in their honor.  It gives deep meaning to our lives and an appreciation of the power of spirit to bring us through adversity. 

Perhaps this is the essence of the Joy of this season, -- the ability of our higher spirit to bring us through pain and tough times.

Loving from the Deeper Truth

As we honor our deeper aspirations for contribution and change, we often make plans only to have them fall aside.  One way to accomplish your goals is to align them with your strengths of character and let them be fueled by a deeper sense of purpose.  Discovering this power is deeply meaningful when we view it from the need to overcome old false patterns.  This helps to catalyze new transformation and growth.  Learn more about this process by reading the January newsletter. Then join us on February 14 at 9:00 AM to share on "Loving From the Deeper Truth."   Tuesday, Feb. 14, 9:00-10:00 AM, CDT, 760-569-9000, access code 308311#

Create Harmony - Move Beyond the Battle with Stuff

Battling stuff can be a real challenge for many families. If you want to move beyond the battle, you might want to consider tapping into your strengths, and put the challenge of battling with stuff in a broader context.  Today, many see simplifying our lives as a an opportunity to change to a much healthier style of living.  It becomes a way create a new vision and take action to make a difference. Here are a few tips to that might help you broader

Create Harmony by Reducing Environmental Disorder

Have you ever noticed that when your home, office and surroundings are clean, orderly and attractive, that the people around you seem to get along?  Less stuff means that you have less to manage, less stress with bills, and more opportunities to develop your relationships. 

Recently, Discover Magazine reported a series of fascinating studies that investigated the impact of disordered environments on people’s friendliness

"Catching Happiness"

Listen to our monthly conference call, "Catching Happiness,"  in which  I interviewed Barbara Altman, author of the book, Cry Depression, Celebrate Recovery.

In this call we explored an approach to growth that rejected pathologizing termonology in favor of a language of hope, individual character strengths, and personal longings directed toward meaningful goals.

Adversity: Despair or Stimulus for Growth?

It is often believed adversity leads to depression and despair.  But what about stimulating growth? There is a very long tradition of viewing suffering as offering the possibilities for positive change, such as in the work of Maslow (1998). This is not to say, that growth will be an inevitable result, but that personal distress and growth often co-exist. Critical life crises can offer possibilities for change

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