Potential, the number 4 – and the connection to Earth Day is?

Wellie and the full of potential number 4.
Wellie and the full of potential number 4.

Wellie is all about health, mental and physical health….it therefor seems right that he is the “featured” Botanical Beautie this week, with the letter 4, and ready to take off! He’s off to reach some new potential! Least not forget- HAPPY EARTH DAY!

The number 4:

  • Earth, Air, Fire, Water
  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
  • Native Americans Medicinal Wheel embodies 4 directions
  • Stages of our lives – birth, youth, adult and elder
  • East, West, North, South
  • 4 Phases of the Moon (new, half-moon waxing, full, half-moon waning)
  • …And a few more I just taught myself in doing a little reading for this post.
    The Four Noble Truths epitomize Buddhism. ***
  • To the Pythagoreans 4 was the source of the tetractys 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10, the most perfect number. ***
  • In medieval times there were thought to be four humours (phlegm, blood, choler, and black bile—hence the adjectives phlegmaticsanguinecholeric, and melancholic), and the body was bled at various places to bring these humours into balance. ***
  • Four types of animal (ground movers, flyers, four-legged, and two-legged.)***http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1086220/number-symbolism/248161/4

Four is todays topic, the 4 seasons, and specifically SPRING! The season that’s full of potential. The ground is exploding with new grass, flowers and multitudes of all sorts of “burst” of life. For many of us we have been less energetic for the past season, the skies have often been grey, and the temps were cold. All that is gently and beautifully changing. I love the spring-that amazing willow light green on the trees as the buds and leaves appear, the wonderful joyous visions of flowers peeping out and blooming again, the SUN with the longer days and warmer temps. It’s all so yummy!  A friend, in the last year or so, made me aware of the Taoist Seasons and it fascinates me. Spring is the season of WOOD. OK, makes sense on some logical levels to me, wood, trees, branches become covered again, roots coming alive, and all those other woodland flora and fauna coming to life with wood involved in so many ways…. But here’s closer to what it really means.

The Wood Elements: The power of Wood is gentle, persistent, and filled with creative potential. It has the power of both being and becoming—of being true to your own nature and becoming more yourself by clearly expressing your inner needs and desires. Wood gently penetrates the earth to bring forth water, the source of all life.  Drawing from our roots, we find the energy to push forward with strength and firmness of purpose, always remaining supple, yielding, and true to our nature.

The Wood element’s climate is windy; its direction is East (“Beginning and creation arise in the East”); and its power is experienced most intensely between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am.

The color associated with Wood is green; its odor is rancid; and its sound is shouting.

http://fiveelementhealing.net/spring-the-season-of-renewal-the-element-of-wood/

 

It’s often said, Spring is a time of new beginnings, or maybe of renewals. April also brings us EARTH DAY tomorrow, so, lets combine to two. Reclaim, Reduce, Recycle, ReThink, if needed-ReDo.

Reclaim – in this case your muscles! Get out and up and MOVE. It’s bad enough to be a slug in the winter, but it’s worse in the spring!
ReDuce- ever heard of Spring Cleaning…ha ha; of course you have. Now, the trick is to sort and reduce not just move the stuff around. That would be in your home. In your Mind. And don’t forget, in your Body too!
ReUse/Recycle: repurpose what you can – toss the rest…again- literal and psychologically. (Remember all those posting about “letting go“- practice! )
Rethink: Grudges and resentments are indigestible and cause stress. Practice forgiveness.
ReDO. Take a risk, rethink and do something new! Remember a small seed can turn into a mighty tree! Go of it! Feel the potential and RUN with it (not walk but RUN, well at least skip!)

Connections – and what does that have to do with cause and effect?

Every day is made up of our stories…some days are more mundane, some are wildly exciting- but all are parts of the weave of the day/week/month/year/life. What makes up the stories? Well there are the obvious things like your work, immediate family, and the daily task of your path. That’s all good stuff. To me, the really fascinating threads are the human interactions, the unexpected words, and experiences that fly all around us continually. I heard a great line recently that goes something like this – “You never know whom you will meet, and what influence/imprint they will have on your life and you on theirs.” Powerful. Amazing. Wonderful. Do you ever wonder why you meet (or met) someone? I have been examining some of the personal relationships in my life lately. Thinking about what is the give and take of these interactions, these friendships, and sometimes these brief and fleeting “moments in time.” (Moments in time are a whole other subject! The big question being how is time really marked and measured – why does it creep at points and fly at others?) Anyhow…..back to connections…Why are some of your friends, I say friends for they are chosen into your life, there? What do you add to their life and they to yours? Some may come and go, but I am pretty sure the ones that are here right NOW are for a reason, big or small.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves the awareness of a human encounter designated “Wow-now I get it.” You may select any other two world members, but it is essential that the first member of your team is yourself! It is also essential that the third member of your team is Yum (Yes, you have to imagine and pretend here! I’m sure you remember how! If you don’t then that too is part of your mission!  Yum is the “fairy of goodness,” she makes sure everyone is “behaving” as we would hope intelligent and kind humans should in the world.) She is a magical force as well as masquerading as a civilian, and she is a highly capable professional maker of self awareness. You have forty-eight hours to recruit Yum and meet me in the comments section to report on your mission. As always, should any member of your team be caught or become extra grumpy, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds. (Thanks to Mission Impossible for the inspiration of format!)

Zoie, The Monster, Yum
What do these characters have to do with each other? What IMPACT do they have on each other? ( Left to right, Zoie, Introducing The Monster, and Yum)

Spring, consciousness and attitudes.

Attitude is everything
See below for more about Attitude.

Today is finally warm again…alas the sun seems to have gone, and its raining, but at least the temps are 1/2 decent. Just asking– is this continuing of winter claws getting under your skin? It is mine! I could use some sun and warmth together! Just saying…Therefore, today we will chat about ways to try to help yourself get out of your own way. I am having a wee bit of trouble with this of late, it’s a tough one for many, at various times I am sure it is tough for everyone. Remember that’s it’s all about attitude, and if we are lucky maybe we can ‘adjust’ our own as needed ~ There are lots of great sayings about this…

  • Show up…
  • Park in front….
  • Everyday starts with a blank canvas….
  • Don’t give up. Normally it’s the last key on the ring which opens the door.
  • You don’t need to change places, you just see where you are with new eyes.

…and on an on. I must take you back to my yoga class. As usual, I find inspiration from the words of my teacher, Suzie. On Tuesday night she was saying, put your consciences in the palm of your hands. Of course, since it was yoga class I thought, ok…good idea Suzie I will do that. As the week progressed I have thought about it. Just what indeed does that really mean-especially to me? I realized I really didn’t have clue, so I sat down and thought about. Since I like, to share my favorite things with you all, I will share my thoughts.

Remember the blog post(s) on open palm living? They are still some of my favorite thoughts. Well, if you are living your life open; i.e.,open to: new experiences, people, things, thoughts, and your heart is open to the world around you then you are living in an open palm way. That also means you are possibly less ‘protected’ and therefor probably more ‘venerable.’ This is where consciousness helps. This is also where ATTITUDE helps. It may mean you have a sort of “self directed” path, you have awareness, and although most of us don’t understand much what goes on in our daily paths we know it is OUR path, and hope with all our might, wishes, crossed fingers, and a birthday candle blows, that it is the path we are supposed to be on!  (Can’t resist, another few sayings – Life is a journey not a destination, Your life is what you create in it). Now, lets take that one step further… Lets assume we are all trying to live our lives as ‘open beings’ with the added bonus of open palm consciousness.  You are now alive, open, and aware. Pretty amazing in itself if we can do that. Now, imagine you can touch it with your hands, that you indeed have ‘the power’ of consciousness in your palms, you can touch it at will. What will that bring? Does it mean you can mold it/shape it as you desire?  Can you adjust it with grace and ease for you can now touch it? Is it a burden or a pleasure to have this power? I hope you think it is a good thing, a pleaseure. Yes, I know I did not directly answer the question of “What it means to put your consciences in the palm of your hands?”  Well, what do you think it means? I hope, at least, I got you to think about it over the course of the next few days. Would love to hear from you in comments!

 Want a little more info on attitude? Click below. http://www.frenchbydesignblog.com/2013/12/wednesday-quote.html  https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/267482-the-longer-i-live-the-more-i-realize-the-impact (I was a little surprised when I followed through and found out who the author was) https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5139.Charles_R_Swindoll

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Babies, Hospitals, Cars, Dr’s, storms, and a Family story

It’s been a huge month in our family. There are TWO wiggling additions (one baby girl and one baby boy, a very big congratulations to all!!!), one snow storm (which when in DC/Baltimore/Annapolis area is a complete show stopper,) one major surgery (went very well-allowing me to breath again,) one emergency room visit (all is fine, thanks goodness,) lots of driving, one special family celebration, and lots of readjusting to all these new paths/stories/of our family…. I count in this story our dear friends, those connections/their stories, some less easy and “good” than others….I wish ALL the above only good news.  For the health side, I wish them recoveries and for the babies, clearly it’s health and happiness.  Everyone, even the four-legged family members are pretty darn tired. That too shall hopefully pass, as we all get use to all these new paths and find our ways on these roads. Constant realignment… letting go the past, our yesterday, and welcoming our tomorrow with all the turns, the curves, the uphills, and the easy downhills, that tomorrow will bring.

A BIG Huge THANK YOU to our friends and family members
…for all working together!
A BIG Huge Hurrah for us all!
Yes, at times, it does indeed take a small village, A.KA. a family and close friends.

and as the stories continue…

I hope and wish for all good outcomes.
That the fairies wands are all waving and working.
That the ill get well.
That the bones all heal and quickly.
That the babies all grow strong and well.
…and that our friends stay close!

Wellness, Car, Babies, Friends

 

Olympics…and the gold medal goes to…

Zoie Figure Skating Zoie, surprising no one that knows her, wins the Olympic Gold in the enchanted land of Botaniumaus for Kindness to the Earth! Her specialties are Toe Picks of Woodlands (above), Swizzles of river streams, and Double Axel Jumps of land and air! Her favorite short program is the Free Dance. To see a complete Bio of Zoie click here…(bottom of page.)

Connections

CONNECT

This topic seems to be all around me recently. If you Google the word “connections” all sorts of connections appear… books, TV shows, films, schools, computers, Linkedin, a MIT museum exhibit, and that’s just the first page. The connections I am interesting in chatting about here are personal connections. People to People, and the connections we all encounter daily.

I follow a blog by John Paul Caponigro, a contemporary photographer whose works I admire and enjoy.  He apparently is having some similar thoughts, for on the 13 of Jan, his posting was of 28 of his favorite quotes on being connected. Here are two of my favorite ones from his listing…(all of them are here) 

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it is attached to the rest of the world” – John Muir
“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”  — Herman Melville

So here is a connection, chance (?), coincidence? I was chatting with a friend about (coincidentally (!)) coincidences. Pondering the questions of this post – i.e connections, verses chance verses coincidence. He brought up Moby Dick and some thoughts from that. I thought, hmm, I never read that and I would like too. Now a quote I happen to pick is from Herman Melville – which I had to think about whom he even was…and the list goes on and one each week. It happens to us all, it’s just if you happen to notice.

Back to human connections. You smile to a stranger, you nod to a passerby, you kiss your spouse and children goodnight, you laugh with a friend(s)…you cry with a friend(s), you help a friend, you help a stranger;  those are all unquestionably connections. But, did you call your friend at just the right time they needed you? Maybe your smile made a big difference to a lonely strangers day? You get the point. Remember the saying – Every action has a reaction – all those actions connect the threads of our days, years, “beings” – therefore, all things we do have connections of one kind or another.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men. Our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” – Herman Melville (again)

Granted, some connections are strong, some are positive, and some are not. It’s all about balance. You breathe in the good ones, and with some thought and luck, you can breathe out and spread/share the good. Try to let go of the lesser and negative ones. Maybe you can breathe them out as well, but without the intent of sharing. The power of intent is the difference here. I suppose the point here is – just what do you do with the gazillions of connections over a day, a week, a year, a lifetime?

Lets agree, at least for the time it takes you to read this post, that we ARE all connected.  Remember from above – “A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men. Even if it is just by some minuscule air molecules, or maybe by some “energy,” or maybe from some spiritual “force” that you can call/name whatever makes you comfortable and happy, lets agree we all are indeed connected in some way, shape, or form. Therefore, since we are all connected here is my challenge to you. If you tried just a little harder to “make a connection” that was a little out of comfort zone, what would that be?  What ripple effect would like to create out there?

I am not talking about “World peace” – obviously we all would like that…but something much closer to home.  I have had a few really spectacular connections of late, the two that  first come to mind are – 1) meeting a stranger whom I was able to help in ways beyond words, and 2) a random meeting up with an neighbor (that I have not seen since Oct.) that has information that is potentially very helpful to me. My own “out of comfort zone” challenge is – to stop thinking about writing my book(s) and get writing- for the ripple(s) of the good messages the books can disseminate are exciting!  I can potentially connect to so many more people! Another is … well really now, don’t you think it’s your turn to tell me?

Ron, Reading
The hope of my writings!

 

Friends

Friends

“The people who are close to us bring untold meaning and value to our lives. When we are with the people who we care the most about, our social activities become something that is not only fun but also that contributes to our overall sense of interconnectedness and well being – for it is though our friends that we see just how rich and abundant our lives truly are. Inviting our friends to do things with us is one simple way to allow this feeling to infuse our lives with this sense of bounty. Being grateful for what your friends add to your life will let you recognize the gifts that the universe has given you today.” -Daily OM

“An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.” – Buddha

“Friendship improves happiness, and abates misery, by doubling our joys, and dividing our grief”. – Marcus Tullius Cicero

“The language of friendship is not words but meanings.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” – Woodrow T. Wilson

“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.” ― Linda Grayson”

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” – William Shakespeare

Got it? Get it? Enough said…
Thanks to all my friends and…
Thanks to all the friends of The Botanical Beauties Community.

 

Winter rains….

Izzy and Soggy steps
Goop and ick sticking all over you?

…grayness…fog….haze…mist…and soggy steps. As I look out my window today there really no other word for the weather but GLUM and GLOOMY. It’s not cold, so it’s raining instead of snowing. As a matter of fact, it is 47 degrees at this very moment outside here! Very odd. Some folks are smiling, and others are frowning, about the warmth. I find it a mixed bag, it is pleasant not to have cold feet and cold sheets  but it is also very odd, wrong, and there is nothing bright, reflective, and pretty about rain. (I know there are indeed beautiful rain days at other times of the year, and there are gorgeous photographs with rain reflections, but I hope you get what I am talking about here.) The reflective properties of snow add a brightness and clarity on a cold sunny winter day that really can’t be beaten. Rain does not.

It is the notion of ‘soggy steps’ I am really fascinated with right now. Clearly there is the literal of soggy steps walking outdoors. What about the figurative, what thoughts come to mind with those same words?  To me, it brings forth that same old theme of “letting go” but now it’s letting go AND walk into/onto new paths. Soggy steps sound like your feet rise and with every step, muck, goop, and other ‘icky’ things we would rather not be carrying around come up with your foot. This goop can stick to our hands as well and even hover overhead! It makes for very heavy steps, hard slow movement and an overall malaise to the day!  I’m as guilty as the next person of heavy steps in the winter. It seems very tough this time of year. For starters it’s often dark, less sun, early sunsets, and everyone is inside much of the time. It is very isolating, with much less human contact than a vibrant spring day.  It seems to take more energy to find things to smile and laugh at, and that’s really horrid! Then, if the dark and isolation isn’t enough, there is often a bitting cold up here in the North! It’s a plain hard truth: it is harder to be happy when your face hurts because a bitter cold wind is blowing and you are out walking your very dear, loyal, and fabulous friends who happen to have 4 legs!

So again the question is- how to get rid of that sticky goop attached to our appendages and possibly even over our heads? Maybe it’s a simple as the Dao of winter states?

 Winter – The Dao of Storage     藏之道

The three months of winter are called closing and storing.
Water freezes earth cracks. Do not disturb the yang at all.
Early to bed, late to rise. (One) must await the daylight.
Make that which is of the heart/mind as though hidden,
as though concealed,  as though (one) has a secret intention,
already obtained. Leave the cold, seek warmth.
Do not leak the skin (sweat).  Urgently hold onto the chi.
This is the winter compliance of chi
and the cultivation of the Dao of storage.
To oppose these principles injures the kidneys.
(Consequently) spring will bring paralysis and fainting
(and) there will be little to offer one’s sprouting.
(Nei Jing Chapter 2) http://www.energyarts.com/taoist-seasons-winter-water-element

Clearly some this is not really possible or do  even agree with … such as “Early to bed, late to rise. (One) must await the daylight.” Most of us don’t really have that luxury most days. (And)” Do not leak the skin (sweat)”  I think movement is very important, it’s all too easy to want to curl up and just sit, or lay, around, in the winter! Movement is good for the mind and body, we all know that!

Whatever it takes- Shake that booty, especially your feet and hands, and shake that goop off! Lighten your steps, hop though the soggy and maybe dance onto that new path! (…or at least try to!)  Stomp out the goop and lets hope for a sunny tomorrow!

 

Stomp down that goop

Quiet days…or not?

Jolie, relaxing
Flowers, flowers, flowers- always help me relax, restore and renew.

Well Thanksgiving Day is behind us…Hunukka  (or Chanukah if you prefer ends 12/5)  is still with us…Christmas and New Years are around the corner… Then there is also Boxing Day (12/26) for the English in you… Kwanza (12/26-1/1) for those that honor African heritage, and the Winter Solstice (12/21 at 17:11) for ALL OF US. In fact if you look up Winter Holidays on Wikipedia there are 28 listed for December! Many of these holidays revolve originally around lights. Winter is dark! Winter is for a storing of energy! Look at the hibernating bears, dormant plants and trees in nature, they are all using stored fuel. When the sun is out in the winter, and it’s a crisp clear cold day, it is exhilarating. It’s as if you can feel the energy stored in the earth and sky too! Store up those feelings, wrap up that energy, and take hold of the good. Reflect, restore, renew…its sort of like recycling.

Is your Self Mold intact?

Breaking out of the mold
Breaking out of the mold

There are Jello molds, mold spores, molds for objects, and molds for just about everything. This post is about how we have molded, and continue to mold ourselves. The ‘self’ mold has to posses both rigid strength as well as ultimate flexibility and flow. Pretty tough to do at times. I state the obvious-we are entering the winter months. A time we often ‘hunker down’ and take stock of ourselves inside and out. According to Taoism, the winter is the season of the Water Element. (This is why todays illustration of Breaking out of your mold is featuring Moe, Minister of Clean Water.) At first the concept of winter as the water season was puzzling to me, but as I have pondered it for about a year now it is making more sense. The quote below is from The 5 Elements in Taoism. 

” Water is the energy phase associated with winter, when the Yin force is prevalent. The winter is a time of rest and quiet, when energy is saved, gathered, condensed, conserved and stored. Water is a very concentrated element containing great potential, a great power waiting to be liberated. In the human body water is associated with essential fluids like hormones, lymphatic liquids, marrow, enzymes, all with great energetic potential. Its color is black or midnight blue. It is the color that contains all the other colors in concentrated form. In nature, water evaporates under excess heat; in human beings water’s energy disperses because of excess stress and strong emotions. The way to conserve water’s energy is with quiet and rest, by staying “cold”.  http://www.healing-tao.com.br/en/alchemy/elements.htm

 

As we approach the winter, the cold, the still, the frozen water, our personal work should be well in progress. Our personal mold may indeed need some shaping, that’s where the flexibility and flow comes in. We may need to change a piece of the mold, we may need to remix and/or reshape a chunk of the mold, or maybe the mold is broken and needs some repair. Only you know. It’s all ok, it’s all part of our every changing lives, your story.  One of the great things I learned in yoga this week, where this mold idea was planted for me, is that no matter what has chipped, eroded or weakened in/on your personal mold, at the core of your mold is your spirit and no one can hopefully ever take that away. So get out those chisels, those picks and reshapers and have a go at it! Nothing is static and really, neither are you.

In Chinese philosophy (Taoism, Daoism)  “Nothing in the Universe is fixed, static or non moving; per se everything is transforming all the time…” http://www.nationsonline.org

 

PS: Remember, the next season is Spring- it is explosive with energy and potential! Enjoy the rest of winter, you are realize you are just getting ready for the Spring! It is called The Wood phase and is all about expansion, happiness and is explosive!