Archive | March, 2014

Increasing Bandwidth

26 Mar

Unknown copy 21

I’ll admit it. My bandwidth is running low. I can’t process all the data. And no, I don’t want an upgrade so that I can tax my nervous system even more. I am on stimuli overload and need a break from it all. Instead of upgrading the system, I need to clear some files. Here are my thoughts on increasing bandwidth in today’s information age:

*Note – If you have children, include them in these activities. They will greatly appreciate it. Resist saying, “I have children, there is no time!” They take considerable bandwidth, so all the more reason to pay heed.

1) Surf. Your smart phone can’t find you playing with the dolphins.
2) Turn off the t.v. and go to bed early. It’s delightful.
3) Answer urgent email but then save correspondence for select times during the day.
4) Create.
5) Meditate.
6) Lie on the yoga mat. (Kids like yoga! Cats and dogs too!).
7) Limit non-stop social engagement.
8) Practice saying, “No, I’m not available.”
9) Pet an animal.
10) Examine flowers in the neighborhood.
11) WRITE – on projects that matter – not email.
12) BREATHE.
13) Daydream.

This operating system has to last and do its job.

Creating Space

14 Mar

When I was a little girl I spent considerable time helping my grandparents in their garden. Well, they worked while I slapped at mosquitoes and sang songs to myself. I remember my grandmother once explaining that a weed was anything that grew where it shouldn’t. Even a rose could be considered a weed if it was in the wrong place or choking another plant from receiving nourishment. I am a big fan of roses so it never occurred to me to consider the flower a weed. Yet my grandma had a point.

Unknown copy 19

I think about this conversation from long ago as I consider how over-crowded many of our lives are at this point in time. Talk to anyone and most will say, “I’ve got way too much going on…. I’m so exhausted. If only I had more time….” When this is the adage and refrain, I wonder if some weeding can be done, even if some of the “weeds” are the equivalent of roses. Sometimes too much of anything, even good things can overwhelm. If this is the case, we can become more conscious and judicious of what we plant in the garden and where we place things.

On the other hand, nothing is more exquisite than a wild overrun English garden. I’ve always been enamored by this style of gardening for these creations have a random and chaotic feel yet paradoxically bring a sense of calm. In them one finds a dizzy yet harmonious vitality almost analogous to a rich full life.

Unknown copy 20

Currently, my life feels like one of these wild overgrown English gardens. There is so much blooming at the moment my head wants to spin from the sea of color. And yet, if I’m honest with myself, nothing is choking out anything. Instead, the various items are delicately enhancing the others. Why then do I feel I need to control it all or take something away? Would it not be better to simply pause and sit in the garden for a moment and take it all in? How do we create space in our lives and what type of space do we yearn for? How do we find that fragile balance between order and chaos? I find it a daily process, one that requires the diligence and commitment of any good gardener and the ability to surrender things to Mother Nature as well.

In Quiet Beauty….

4 Mar

I know, I know. People in the MidWest and East Coast are sick of snow. But I find it so beautiful. Yes, it’s true that as a Southern Californian, I don’t have to drive in it, shovel it or endure it. But when I have the fortunate opportunity to spend some time in snow, I have a strange love affair with it. I guess we should never question what makes one fall in love.

20140302_155421

20140303_164305

IMG950891

The contrast of colors makes me want to paint. The stark trees make me want to write. And the cold air leads me under the covers with a book. Unfortunately, reality hits and I too have to get up, work and resume normal life. But for those of us who see sunshine daily, it’s nice to have a break from the constant riot of light. Its nice to have a little bit of quiet beauty.

20140303_175217