I’m struck by just how much I’ve learned since April 2008 when my daughter passed away suddenly and tragically. Aside from all the books and well-meaning advice from friends and professional support, I’ve discovered that LIFE itself is my greatest teacher.
As with any big life-jolt, what I’ve perceived as the-worst-things are often opportunities for profound growth and learning. I have learned so many things through this time, but one of the most profound is to be present and live with appreciation. And I think these bits of wisdom are applicable to everyone, regardless of circumstances.
The most important lesson that LIFE has taught me about is to be being present:
I’ve always been a carefree sort of person who loves to do things. I have always sought out adventure and creative endeavors. I tend to move from one creative endeavor to another easily. I enjoy having multiple things going on at once. For me, a satisfying day is one in which I am physically tired from spending the day outside or plunging into a new creative activity. I realize that part of my own nature is to be busy and over-stimulated with friend’s creativity and adventure. I also think our culture has encouraged me to feel that I NEED to be BUSY. It is almost a necessity to be busy or else you are perceived as being “lazy”. When I spontaneously call a friend for a walk, I often hear “I am too busy” maybe next week. Being busy has become a badge of honor in our society.
One of the most beautiful and surprising things I have learned over the last 7 years has been that there is nothing as important for me than to be in connection with nature. I have developed a practice of appreciating nature. This practice has changed my life!
Why? It connects me with something bigger than myself, and keeps me grounded and centered. Connecting with nature helps me to be present. It reminds me that there is so much I don’t know or need to know. I can just be in the moment completely immersed in wonder and appreciation.
I don’t have the faintest idea how a seed grows, how a small seed germinates and produces a marigold in 32-days, but I know it does. I know without a doubt my garden will grow if I give it the right conditions to thrive. What a mystery and miracle; truly a joy to contemplate!
I have discovered the most simple of activities of being creative and present are what make me the most joyful. I find myself joking, “my only job is to appreciate and be present.
This journey has grounded me spiritually, emotionally and physically. I now understand that I’m part of a natural unfolding of creation that is so much larger than me .I’m specifically designed to participate in wonder, joy and appreciation.
I believe you are too!
One way in which I like to connect with nature (awe) in winter is to build terrariums. It is a simple method to bring a bit of wonder and mystery inside while the winter winds howl outside. I’ve attached a fun video for you to get inspired. Invite a friend make space for wonder and mystery.
I have to tell you my friends and I had a BLAST making these!
A couple of thoughts you might enjoy as your building your terrarium…Give each layer a meaning:
Rocks – What is your foundation? What connects you to your love one? What connects and grounds you to something bigger that
Charcoal –What are some things you need to let go of? What do you need to filter out of your life?
Soil – provides a healthy environment for growth. What are the areas you are looking to improve? What are the positives that keep you motivated and excited about life?
Moss – represents a soft place to land. We all have set backs or need places to rejuvenate. Think about where yours are.
Decorations – anything on the top that reminds you of your loved one, personal expression, or a reminder of what you need to look forward to, or work on.