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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Feng Shui your Mother

Mums+gardens+life's lessons= beauty & betterment in Life

"When we acknowledge that no matter what has happened, it’s an invitation to grow in a wonderful new direction, we become shining examples of individuals living fearlessly in the face of the unexpected."

Today started a little different from usual. Woke up with the alarm at 2am to call Australia and make sure the florist got our order to send Mum a bouquet for this milestone birthday. Florist John happily confirmed roses and lilies were on their way, and that he was especially busy this morning, it being UK Mother's Day. How auspicious for my Mum! It seems a very good omen for both days to fall together, and a good excuse for a double-strength celebration, if she'd like one.

In her honour, I thought here to offer Feng Shui tips for Mums; but instead, I'd like to share with you a little piece I put together about how to create good energy when "Shift Happens"- a little bit more personal, and I predict, exactly what you need right now.

You see, the Mums in my family- and maybe yours- all have 2 things in common: their green thumbs, and their ability to deal successfully with any of the wild cards life may throw at them. You name one of life's big tragedies, turns of bad luck, or disappointments; and it's happened to the generation of women before me in my family. But after the dust has settled, wherever they may be, they've found themselves still sane, and with a beautiful garden blooming around them. In sandy soil by the sea, near the desert and on bushrock, despite their life's circumstances, they have coaxed life out of the ground and made pretty spaces that soothe the eye and give a sense of achievement. Generally favouring natives and plants that will grow strong and tall, bearing fruit or providing shade, every garden- and there are many of them!- my mum, aunties and their mother have turned soft but willing hands to, are creating a healing environment for other families at this moment...

My green thumb is still sprouting (unlike the basil and parsley I planted in pots last week- which have turned a sad, yellow colour) but the other legacy these women left me- their ability to successfully deal with change- has already developed through my own wins and losses.

Are you unsure of something thats Changing in your life? It's my intention that the tricks below will help you grab your life change by the handle, and turn it to open the door on wonderful new Harmony, Prosperity and Success in your life.

Many happy returns MM, and enjoy a beautiful Mothering Sunday. -Lovely to deal with, and I hear the blooms are stunning!


Bloom where you’re planted

How to use Change to positively shape your new life.

Has life ever moved so fast for you, you don’t know what’s happened? When life pulls a fast one and “Shift happens”, it’s the universe’s call to us saying we’re required to change, too.

Often these changes are so distressing for us because they challenge the very idea of who we are. We’re forced to regard ourselves in a brand new way. Our brain likes to make sense of things, and when the stories we tell ourselves don’t fit anymore, we’re required to make new ones up to make sense of situations and get on with life.

It’s all very well to “Bloom where you’re planted” but as any gardener knows, plants need time to adjust to new soil and positions before they can display beautiful flowers. The more unfamiliar we are with Change and new territory, the more resistant we’ll be and the longer it’ll take us to bloom. This little blog is about how to make the transition into a new period of life smooth and enjoyable, and help us to bloom more beautifully than ever before at our earliest convenience.

Seeing Change as our friend

Sometimes, the change we’re called to adapt to has been self-imposed; at other times, it’s like life’s pulled the rug out from underneath us in a way we could never have predicted!

Whichever of these that has brought Change to your door, welcome it as you would a friend with an invitation for you. You wouldn’t keep the door locked and bolted, pretending your friend isn’t there, would you? Invite it in to have a cup of tea. Find out what this friend is offering you.

When we acknowledge that no matter what has happened, it’s an invitation to grow in a wonderful new direction, we become shining examples of individuals living fearlessly in the face of the unexpected.

If you’re not a natural fatalist who believes everything happens for a reason, here are some great quotes from people that do, that can help you begin to believe that this truly, is the way things are:

I've come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.-Tony Robbins

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. -Mother Teresa

Choosing to respond, not react

We’ve all heard about the lottery winners who, less than 12 months later, are right back in their previous financial situation. This is an example of reacting, rather than responding, to change. How do you feel about looking your Change in the face and carefully considering what to do with it? Often, if the Change is unpleasant, we just can’t bring ourselves to do this. It’s upsetting, it hurts, and it tells us things we don’t want to know about ourselves. We feel like we can’t continue our future living the way we’ve been living, and we have no idea what will possibly make us happy next.

This is a far cry from a more pleasant Change, like winning the lottery. But as you can see, both changes have the effect of, on less brave individuals, creating a “head in the sand” or knee-jerk effect.

Here are examples: With a disappointing change, we want to pretend nothing has happened, and go on with life as usual, or we react according to the expectations of other people, which are influenced by their own histories, and the media. Typical reactions are to become depressed, throw ourselves into a new fitness regime, or join a support group.

With a happy change, we want to celebrate, and again are influenced by the expectations of other people and the media; for instance, if we receive a windfall of money, by going on a fabulous holiday or a wonderful shopping spree. Some of these reactions may be the perfect response for you. However it’s important to realise that there’s a lot more choice out there than first appears! Remember, it may seem that Change is making you do something- but how you do it is entirely your own decision.

Some great questions to ask, putting you back in control of this outside event, include:

What would I like to see happen next?

What else could I do?

What definitely wouldn’t work?

What would be the craziest thing I could do with this?

How does this allow me to do something I’ve always wanted to do?

Only you know how to Bloom

Pay careful attention to the things you love around the time that Change appears in your life. If our paths are an adventure, signposted along the way, don’t be too quick to take a path which may not suit you.

It’s a mistake Gemma made when her husband left her. “Everyone assumed I would go back to Queensland and live with my family. And so, I did. But after a while I began to think, is this what I really want? I know I was looking for support after Andrew left; and that’s why I just sort of did what was expected. But now, when a change hits again, I’ll take the time to stop and consider exactly which direction I want to head in.”

It’s easy to get swept away in the excitement of change, and helpful to set ourselves time limits to allow us to consider all that’s being offered before committing.

Patrick felt pressured to accept a new job opportunity with an increased salary and excellent relocation package. But the more he kicked around the pros and cons in his mind, the more confused he became. “So I requested to be given ten days to make my decision. It was the best thing I could have done. The new employer backed off, and I was able to focus on the work I was doing and work out what the advantages would be, either in staying or accepting the new job. By the time the decision had to be made, I felt clear and confident.”

Influences as to how we should react to change sometimes don’t just come from the most obvious places- they can be deeply ingrained, and require serious thought to challenge. Penny realised this after she got married and her husband was working overseas; “I started saying to him, let’s get a new car, let’s get pets, let’s get a house,” she recalls, “and my family were saying things like, it’s wonderful you’re going to settle down now. But luckily my husband wasn’t convinced and I realised although I was tempted, we weren’t done travelling or ready to set up a home yet. Our choice may be unconventional, but I feel confident and happy I’ve used the change to both our lives to take me in the direction I want to go.”

Get role models

Embrace this: no matter how crazy, tragic or unusual the change that has happened to you, there is a wonderful resource that can help you deal with it- the collective human experience. Somewhere in the world, someone has been in your situation and successfully dealt with it. Those who have come through "Shift" are usually very helpful to others in a similar situation. Wouldn’t you be? Seek them out. Their knowledge and example can inspire you, uplift you and give you new ideas.

Often those in your closest circle aren’t the ones that have this knowledge, and especially of your change is large, they are probably adjusting to your new situation, too. So use resources like the internet, casual acquaintances, or if you can, visit new places and explore the ideas of people there.

Using our greatest (and most enjoyable) tool of all- Imagination

The famous quote by Albert Einstein “Imagination is more important than knowledge”, takes on a new meaning when we are dealing with change. We don’t have the knowledge of how, or exactly what we’re going to do next. But, we can use our imagination to picture a bright and successful future. It takes a brave heart to look into the realms of the unknown and imagine what’s there. So see yourself as a courageous pioneer or captain of a ship, heading for a brave new world. What would you like to be waiting for you?

The first few suggestions your brain comes up with may be run of the mill, boring things. So keep exploring. What else would you like to see in your brave new world? What else?

If can’t picture yourself as an explorer, try a softer variation of this game on for size. Abraham-Hicks, in the book “Ask and it is Given”, recommends a gentle and positive technique to create a bright future, called, “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” Try asking yourself this question for ten minutes at a time when you’d like to brainstorm your future, and you’ll be surprised with your own creativity and brilliantly exciting desires.

Armed with a new understanding of who you are and what you want, you won’t need to "successfully integrate change into your life"- yawn!

Instead, you’ll be moving with the change and using it’s energy to direct and shape a wonderful new life for yourself… one that will soon be blooming with the incomparable hues of rich and rewarding life experience.

Love and blessings on your path of courage-


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