Archive for March, 2011

SPRING INTO GARDENING

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

With Spring here I decided it was time to plant a garden. It’s not an elaborate garden with rows upon rows of corn, green bean stalks or a watermelon patch. No, this is a simple two-by-fifteen foot piece of earth in my back yard overlooking the lake. What made it even more special for me was my daughter helping create it. There’s something special about digging your hands in garden soil. For me it brings back memories of my childhood when we would visit my grandmother’s farm in West Virginia. As a kid, the experience of cultivating fresh organic fruits and vegetables that ended up on the lunch and dinner table was truly amazing. This season we plated herbs like basil, dill, lemon grass and mint. We also planted stevia for the first time. Stevia leaves are 200 times sweeter than sugar which will be great to add to blended smoothies or drop into a cup of hot herbal tea. We also planted veggies to throw into salads like cucumber and sweet bell peppers. If you purchase these in the grocery store chances are that they will be covered in wax…but  not ours! Of course we had to plant strawberries too since they are my daughters favorite fruit. And since strawberries are on the “dirty dozen” list it was a smart choice to add to our garden.

GETTING STARTED

First of all, this isn’t rocket science, but you do want to consider some of the following tips to ensure you get the best results out of your garden. Here are my top 5: (more…)

MEDITATION: THE ART OF THE MIND

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011
 
“The average person has 60,000 thoughts everyday…
…80% of those thoughts are negative.”1
What’s even more scary, is that out of the 80% negative thoughts,
how many are about ourselves?
The bottom line is that we’ve got to learn to quiet our minds.

In today’s day and age, with technology racing by at the speed of light, our conscious and subconscious mind has been programmed to overachieve. Our inner mind chatter has manifested into this constant dialogue that never ceases to end. How many thoughts are racing through your mind while you’re driving in the car, and how many negative thoughts are you having about the other people on the road? We’ve been so wrapped up in our heads that our best friend has become the ego, who is happily manning the ship!

Meditation is something that I practice on a daily basis, even if it’s only for 5 or 10 minutes. It doesn’t have to be so difficult either. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph. D., founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center is a wonderful person and advocate of meditation. I’ve listened to his tapes and read his books, and in his messages, he explains that the fastest way to quiet the mind is simply to concentrate on the breath. It’s true! One of the best ways I’ve found to begin and learn to meditate is to relax, and concentrate on your breathing. Carmen Harra, who wrote the book “Everyday Karma,” is a wonderful person, true friend, and an inspiration. She talks about the breath:

“The breath is a powerful tool…it creates a bridge between the subconscious and conscious mind, and connects the mind and the body. When you sit and breathe deeply, your physiology will change, and both your mind and your body will relax and become open. Breathing helps clear your head of the thoughts of the emotions and ego, and it allows you to get closer to your true self.”2

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