Friday 27 September 2013

Tending your ideas and dreams

Looking down on my veggie garden, late August 2013
I've always thought of the harvest in terms of farming, but more recently in my life I've thought about it around my own vegetable garden, too.

September is traditionally harvest season in farm country, and our 'prompt' for this month is harvest. It made me start digging a little deeper and here are some 'definitions' I found:
to gather in (as in a crop)
The quantity of a natural product gathered in a single season.
gather ~ pick ~ reap

Looking at these I see that harvest is a great metaphor in life.

My style for following my ideas and dreams has probably tended to mimic my gardening style:

I plant seeds or starters – I always have grand plans. I'm pretty careful about putting this plan together initially, although I don't study up on exactly how I should be planting what seeds, or how to best tend. I just do it.

I get excited when things begin to grow, but after awhile I don't tend the garden as well as I could. I don't give it the attention I believe it needs and deserves. I let it grow a bit wild.

Is this a bad thing?

I still get plenty to harvest although every year I do lose some things. Each year something grows better than something else – even when that something did better the year before.

My beautiful radicchio is a perfect example. I just planted the seeds this spring because I wanted to try growing radicchio.

I don't think I planted with the proper spacing, and/or I didn't thin them properly – to give them the space they needed to grow nice sized heads. The other day I had to pull some out that had gotten slimy because they didn't have enough room to grow.

But I still have some beautiful plants, and I even harvested some to eat as I was thinning. And I think I will have some yummy heads shortly!

In thinking on all of this, I realized how my gardening style seems to mimic how I've often tended to my ideas and dreams:
I give them plenty of attention to begin with, and then I usually let them evolve with out much tending. I leave things to see what happens.

Tending is an important aspect for the cultivation your ideas and dreams, as well as your garden. It's also important to let things have time to grow on their on. I'm realizing that it is this dance between the two that brings abundance to the harvest. 

How do you tend your ideas and dreams? When do you let them grow on their own? Does this help with your harvest?

Lisa, aka the mountain mermaid, is a creative, independent spirit who loves to explore and play outdoors. She lives in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Embracing her creative life is an ongoing adventure, a journey that she loves and trusts more each year – and hopes to inspire others to do the same. She is also an entrepreneur providing innovative business support, including graphic design services, for passionate creative entrepreneurs.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Harvest by Angel Young

Milling the grains, old school!

I wonder what you have been planting In the spring, that brings you now to a point of harvest? I'm finding it's a bit of a mixed bag this year. My word for the year has been gentleness - doesn't that sound good! But truthfully I'm learning the need for that the hard way. For while I have planted some exciting seeds (more of that in a moment) I have also planted over work, too much travelling, not enough rest and time off, and now I'm wondering why I'm so tired and my back's playing up. So I am digging up these weeds, or at least trying too. I'm listening to my body more - meditating / allowing my pain to surface. This week, a revelation! My back was full of the stress of my GCSE exams from over 20 years ago (you takes these at 16 in England & Wales). I could feel the emotions from that time release, and I realised that the impetus to keep going then was informing my choices now. It seems so ridiculous to me that I have allowed that to happen. But I was blissfully unaware. So I am being more gentle. Allowing my pain to surface. I am planting healthier seeds that will be nourished by more rest, less travelling for work, less giving of myself to breaking point.

So my exciting seeds are, planning a trip to Italy, going on a course with textiles artist Cas Holmes - her combinations of stitching and layering blew my mind in Open Studios in June ( (Open Studios is where artists open up their houses so visitors can see how they work and meet real live artists!) Also I'm hoping to go up to Norfolk and Suffolk to take photos and do some canoeing in October. A bit more fun to balance out the working hard. Hopefully your year has been better weighted in 2013. What adjustments do you need to make for your own harvest?

Angel Young is resting in the UK. You can see her photos here.

Friday 20 September 2013

Harvesting My Dreams by Carolyn Eicher

I never could have imagined what was ahead when I picked those first oranges. If I had, maybe I wouldn’t have begun. It’s been a lot of hard work, more than I ever imagined. But isn’t that often the way? We start with what’s easy, and avoid what’s hard. At least I often do. For me, starting, literally meant harvesting that first tree, which was easy. And then I harvested a second, and a third. I had no idea at that time how many thousands of pounds of fruit I would harvest in the years ahead.

In collaboration with community members and various organizations, we started a program that was adopted by our county’s Food Bank. From the first tree I harvested in 2010, to this point, our community has collectively donated 265,881 pounds of fresh local produce to people in need in our county -- food otherwise wasted for a variety of reasons. Real food harvested equals real people fed.

Each harvest is unique with different connections between volunteers, farmers, growers and homeowners, who donate crops large and small. While gleaning, I photographed the fruit trees, row crops, fields and orchards. But I realized how much I enjoyed documenting the people who picked with us, capturing moments of them picking the first apple off a tree, harvesting a variety of peach they’ve never heard of, and meeting new like-minded friends. I always finish a glean with a group photo which brings everyone together after the hard work. People typically ask at the end, “when is the next harvest?” which I take as a good sign.

In gleaning, I’ve not only helped feed hungry people, but also my soul. One of my bios says, “helping others is often the best medicine.” What I mean by that is if you’re stuck in a rut, you’ll feel better by helping others. I learned this from my family while growing up. From this work, I’ve found that I enjoy giving back to the community not only from harvesting, but through my images which can be shared.  When I look back to those first oranges I harvested, I never knew that a few years later, I'd be calling myself a photographer.

Carolyn has always been drawn to photography, but it’s taken her a long time to use the word to help define her. She is passionate about capturing people in their true radiance and light. She also spends time working with the Food Bank, giving back to her community on the Central Coast of California.

Tuesday 17 September 2013

You Don't Have To by Shelley Noyes

You are loveable as is. TRUTH.

You don't have to work so hard. You don't have to try to leave any kind of impression. You don't have to compete for a spot. You don't have to be the coolest, the funniest, or the most artistic. You don't have to be the best writer and you don't have to play to the crowd one bit. You don't have to be nominated the 'most likely to' anything or to the get the most votes.

You don't have to be the most popular or the most famous or the most well known.  You don't need to have the most interesting story or the best hair in the room. You don't need all of the attention.
You don't have to win the congeniality award and you don't have to be the most gregarious or the most extroverted. In fact, you don't have to perform at all.

You showing up as you is all you have to do. When you are fully YOU--the real thing--all those other things--'the bests and mosts' may be true--but then they represent the real truth of who you are; not the image you want to shape, craft and control because you are afraid you are not enough.

 You can show up as an equal; as open and also generously full--learning what you need to learn and offering what you have for the benefit of others. You are already MADE--hard-wired--to do the work that only YOU can do in the world. You have permission to take all of that pressure off of yourself and to let it be easy.

You are truly ENOUGH.

My name is Shelley. I write about stuff that happens to me so you won't feel so alone. Email me at

Friday 13 September 2013

Fields of Weeds by Susan Cadley

Fields of weeds
Dying and drying to straw
Not a part
Of any harvest
Only a reminder of warmth
That has passed overnight
With crisp coolness
Biting at the coattails of summer
Time is hurrying past
The innocence of yesterday
Bare feet running through warm puddles
On heated sidewalks
Time to nestle in
While the leaves rustle about
Scurrying for a place to hide
Silence appears
With the first snowfall
Cleansing the earth if falls upon
Whiteness with grace
Waiting to thaw
And awaken the life held
In the seeds of the weeds
Of yesteryear

Susan Cadley©

Susan is a Licensed Psychotherapist, Soul Coach, SoulCollage® Facilitator and sole proprietor of Living From Within, LLC. Through counseling, coaching, creative workshops, book studies, and writing, Susan guides you to hear and live the messages of your soul.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

When the Harvest is Slow by Jodi Crane

Sometimes the harvest is very slow.  You plant something and it takes years to bloom or bear fruit.

The same can be true for your dreams.  It may feel like your dreams are on hold, but it’s just not the right time yet for them to bloom.

This doesn’t mean your dreams aren’t important.
It doesn’t mean they’ll never happen.
It doesn’t mean you aren’t deserving of your dreams coming true.

It can be so hard to be patient.  It can be very discouraging to work so hard and it seems like nothing happens.  Believe me I know.

Then you turn to social media and see others having their dreams come to fruition.
“I’m working hard too,” you say.  “It’s just not fair.”

It isn’t.  And it sucks there’s often no one to blame.  But you’re probably comparing apples to oranges.  So turn away from the social media and be compassionate toward yourself.

Sometimes you need to take a roundabout way to get there.
Sometimes you need to take the scenic route.
If you’re always in a rush, you’ll miss the beauty along the way.

This harvesting of dreams really is just one giant mystery.
So hang in there.

Jodi Crane has harvested some dreams while others are slow growing.  She is a play therapist, professor, creative, and player.  Find her here.

Friday 6 September 2013

Harvesting Dreams by Kate Wolfe-Jenson

My mother thought it was best

to get the corn from the garden

to the pressure cooker

to the table in under 10 minutes.

Is that how you harvest dreams, too?

Do you grab them at their peak

yank off the protective husks

and rinse them at the sink?

Do you lay them with their siblings

over water

in the big heavy pot

on high heat?

Do you wait until the pressure valve pops

and listen to the singing hiss

for two minutes,

then rush them to the sink

so you can run cold water and cool the pot?

Do you open up the lid

so the whoosh of steam

fogs up your glasses

and withers your hairdo?

Do you slather your dreams

with butter and salt

and bite into them

with gusto?

Do you chew

feeling the kernels pop

sweet juices into your mouth

‘til you swallow them down

so your belly gets good and full?

Then, do you lean back

and reach for the toothpicks

with your greasy fingers

and think

“wow, that was good!”

Kate Wolfe-Jenson, author of Dancing with Monsters: Chronic Illness as Creative Transformation, blogs at

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Doing The Impossible by Andrea Schroeder

I'm setting out to do something I'm not sure I can do.

So I wrote out a few things I know are true, to help light the way. Hopefully they are helpful for you too.

creative journaling

1. If you apply your creativity and your intuition and work and it and give it time: you can do anything.
2. The stuff you think you can't do is the best stuff to do. If you know you can do it, it means you've already done it and there's no adventure in it.
3. Being in the adventure of doing something you haven't done before and aren't sure you even can do pushes your creative edge and grows you in all the best ways. I know it's hard now, but you'll be so grateful you did it.
4. If you are NOT doing things that you don't think you can do - you're stagnating, you're staying in already-been-done-ness.
5. You wouldn't have the desire to do it if you weren't capable of it - that desire is a new part of you being born, the part of you that can do it - once she figures it all out. It's ok if the figuring it all out part is messy.
6. Floundering. Mis-steps. Having it take more time than you want it too or look different than you thought it would. That's all ok. Giving up is not.
7. Changing course is different from giving up. Dreams change as you work on them. Flow WITH the inspiration and you'll get somewhere amazing. Try to control the outcome and you'll get somewhere pretty sad.

With a paintbrush in one hand & a glitter-gun in the other, Andrea lovingly mentors men & women who want to lead creatively abundant lives — and do ‘impossible’ things, with ease & joy.