When February began, I said we’d be taking leaps. Here’s your prompt for today: What leaps did you take in February to cultivate yourself?
I began February with high hopes, but I seemingly missed my opportunities. Instead of throwing in the towel and abandoning my project, I’m choosing to turn the page on February and welcome March with a renewed sense of hope. We might not get do overs, but we do have the power to leave the past where it belongs. I may, however, abandon plans to hold a conference. I haven’t seen enough interest in the Cultivate 2012 project to warrant a conference this year, so I’m going to put those energies into other efforts. That’s not to say there couldn’t be a Cultivate 2013 conference.
The Cultivate 2012 project started as a means to help me help myself, with a tiny bit of hope that I could touch someone else’s life in the process. I’d be content at the end of the year if the only life I touch with this project is my own. If you’re content with your life as it is, by all means keep relishing it. But if you, like me, see room for improvement, take the time to be proactive and cultivate those improvements.
Up until this month, the words seemed to just flow freely from my finger tips. Posts were plentiful. Then I set out to take leaps, and apparently I leapt straight into a brick wall. Stunned silence took over, and thus the ebb began. Everything operates in cycles, though — or it seems that way. The seasonings are currently cycling out of winter and into spring in the northern hemisphere. Cherry blossoms began blooming down the road. The Carolina chickadees returned. Daylight lasts longer. I’m sure during the coming week or so we’ll see fresh, new leaves unfurling from the tree branches. The flow of life will commence, culminating in the summer and early autumn harvests.
However, I’m currently experiencing a writing ebb. My words may be fewer, but perhaps the flow of spring will inspire the amateur photographer in me.
It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy. — Unknown
In the spirit of promoting happiness and cultivating an overall sense of well-being, I’ve decided to list more items for which I’m grateful.
- A black fleece jacket in the sunshine on a breezy afternoon
- Big, fat chickens free roaming into the yard for my children’s amusement
- Birds singing happily in the trees
- The possibilities held by the unknown — plenty of room to dream
- The first butterfly sighting of the season
- Warm, fuzzy pajama pants paired with warm, fuzzy socks
- Steamy mugs of herbal infusions
- Gel ink pens
- Bunny nuzzles
- The impish grin of a two-year-old
Several thoughts to meditate upon crossed my mind this morning. Ultimately, it all pointed back to a main theme — dealing with disappointment and strife. Yet this was not what I had envisioned for 2012. I had envisioned growth, change, and cultivation. I had envisioned living the dream and really living — not just surviving the day to day. Today’s need to decline an apartment essentially compounding everything that’s occurred in the past few days, and an overwhelming sensation of defeat and loneliness washed over me. Is Mercury in retrograde again or something?
I’ve actually sat here with this in draft format for a few hours now. I’ve been overcoming the initial disappointment and frustration that came with my back-step into the land of the unknown — the land of uncertainty. I know that something will come along, but I want that something to come along right now. However, it serves as another reminder to take better care of myself and to cultivate the life I want to live.
Yesterday I spent the majority of the day battling the evil D. It wasn’t until I finally decided to get cleaned up for the day — at around 5PM — that I told myself it was fine to feel the emotions that came with it. It was just a day, and it would pass, like it always does. Somehow, that made me feel better. It picked me back up and gave me hope again. I’m thankful for the ability to see the bigger picture, and I’m thankful for this new-found ability to let go of the guilt that comes attached with negative feelings and emotions. I’m also thankful for:
- fuzzy pajama pants
- cute little gingerbread men mugs
May this Thursday give you much to be thankful for as well!
Happy Valentine’s Day, cultivators! Regardless of your opinions of the holiday, today is a great day to spend some time with yourself to take care of yourself — to cultivate that life you want to live. We’re mid-way through February, so it’s time to check in with ourselves to see how we’re progressing in our plans to cultivate ourselves. Here’s the mid-February Cultivate 2012 prompt:
Take some time today — a few minutes, an hour, whatever you can manage — to write a love note to yourself. Tell yourself what you love about you, and make a promise to yourself to take better care of yourself.
You don’t have to share what you come up with, but you do need to discipline that negative self-talk. Whatever negative thoughts come to mind need to be chastised with words of love and encouragement.
I have been suffering from multiple infections since before Christmas, and unfortunately things kept piling on through the first full week of February 2012. I had thought I successfully beat back my bronchitis last week — only to discover a couple of days later that I had begun to relapse. One $50 doctor’s office visit, ~$20 worth of prescriptions, and 2 sick days off of work later, and I’m still trying to cough this bug out of my system. I also discovered that I truly do know my body best. My newly established primary care provider took the time to palpate my thyroid and informed me that it’s enlarged, a little more swollen on the right than the left. I’ll be looking into getting blood work and an ultrasound done in order to determine the severity of my condition.
To spin this in a brighter light, I’ve been further motivated to extend myself more love and care — to cultivate a healthy lifestyle that fosters good health and promotes prevention. While I try to maintain a sense of prevention in my life, I could stand to do more to prevent illness. It’s time to ease up on myself and say “no” a little more often.
Since life was busy happening, my Foodie Friday post got postponed until next Friday. But that didn’t stop my brain from hatching a clever idea — why not go for a Follow Friday post instead? It’s the perfect way to share some love without being confined to the 140 character limit of Twitter, and I’d love to show appreciation to the set that inspires me to write. So in no particular order, other than the one Twitter gives me…
@memyself_mommy — Because she’s spunky and shares some pretty cute quotes and pictures
@BrendaDellaCasa — Because she always knows what to say, leading you to believe she’s got you on candid camera
@thenicknick — Because she’s an awesome writer who knows how to stay happy in even the most trying of situations
@whollyjeanne — Because everyone needs a fairy godmother who’ll drop by, sprinkle fairy dust and sugar, and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside — all with just words and pictures
@TMFProject — Because we all need some in-your-effin’-face advice on how not to be a tool
@patrickrhone — Because he’s absolutely quotable and brilliant
@caligater — Because she oozes sassiness and feistiness, and she isn’t afraid to share her spark
@kaileenelise — Because she’s inspirational and creative (especially with those creative weekend to-do lists)
@Zumbalicious_ — Because she can shake it on the dance floor, keep those bellies full, and do it all while living in another country from her family
@DJazzo — Because she encourages us to love our bodies as they are while sharing her own struggles with us
@picsiechick — Because she spreads butterflies and love to everyone she knows and always has the best Soul-Family dailies
@noelrozny — Because when she’s not writing lovely words, she’s also showing her human side. Who doesn’t love meeting a like mind?
@juliedaley — Because she’s unabashedly female
@artemisretreats — Because she’s always got a small stone to share
@MABrotherton — Because illustrations should still be revered in literature
@MrsMediocrity — Because there’s nothing mediocre about her words and photos
@angelakelsey — Because it’s a small world and the Gator Nation is everywhere
@jinxingwinks — Because we’ve all been down dark roads (some darker than others), and it’s okay to admit that
@jesseblayne — Because surviving narcissism takes a very strong woman
@mentalmosaic — Because she loves writing and photographing and knows how to pace herself
@BrandeewineB — Because she is an artist (pronounced with a fake French accent). Just look at her work!
@kirstenogden — Because she brought us to the manifestival and let us celebrate in the month of January
@SandiAmorim — Because she’s spreading an appreciation virus at an exponential rate — and that’s a good thing!
Now let’s get out there and spread the love and appreciation!
Sunday afternoon — the day I wrote this post — I found myself chased outside into breezy 52 degree weather to satiate my urge to write a week’s worth of posts. I wanted this week to be squared away so that the rest of my week could be devoted more towards self-care and less towards feeling guilty about not scheduling posts while I had the urge and ideas. And while I shivered and typed quickly to keep myself as warm as possible, tucking the blanket tightly around myself, I couldn’t have felt more thankful to have found myself comfortably settled on our old, defunct futon listening to the sounds of birds singing and the creek flowing. I spotted mocking birds and orioles flitting through the tree branches. The orioles may have actually been blue birds, though, but I don’t claim to be a knowledgeable bird watcher.
In addition to be treated to such pleasant sights and sounds, this has been a week of endings and beginnings. The first three days of the week were spent in January’s end, while the last four days are being spent in February’s beginning. Today we look to the groundhog as our weather forecaster, wondering if he’ll see his shadow or not, predicting an early spring or a continued winter. Given the mild conditions we’ve experienced so far in 2012, I doubt we should expect anymore wintry weather in Northwest Georgia. And while I may be disappointed by the lack of solid, sticky snow this winter, I’m still thankful that we’ve enjoyed cooler temperatures than we dealt with in Florida. I’ve had the pleasure of wearing scarves and gloves, cuddling up in fuzzy socks and pajama pants, and sipping warm cups of tea and hot chocolate on chilly nights. I may not exactly be cold-tolerant physically, I’m mentally enjoying this weather.
I also happen to know that the end of a chapter is fast approaching, as is a new chapter — a new beginning. It may not have happened on scheduled, but we’ll be moving soon enough. The odds of our financial situation clearing up for us to mark our calendar for March 1st or April 1st have increased, and I’m cautiously optimistic. Things are looking up, and the groundhog may very well be predicting the end of this winter. Our spring is right around the corner, and I can’t wait to embark upon the new journey.