Friday, August 27, 2010

Prayer-filled Gardening

 Gardens before Weeding

After many rainy days, we finally got some lovely weather.  I woke early to blue, blue skies.  Quickly, I dressed with the intent of attacking the long neglected gardens in the front of the house and along the driveway. 

There is something about being up early in the garden that lends itself to prayer.  I am not sure if it is the quiet or having my hands in Mother Earth, but, like the poem says, I always feel "closer to God in the garden than any place else on Earth." 

As I pulled weeds, cut back dead branches and pruned, I found myself contemplating life and the world. 

Angel Wing Begonia
Somewhere in the midst of trimming back the day lilies, the thought came to me that weeding and trimming was much like how we develop our soul.  We pull out the stuff that doesn't work, cut back the things that have grown over and turn under that which is not worth saving. Soul development and gardening, it appeared to me, work the same.  It was an interesting epiphany.

Continuing my work in the quiet of the morning, I began to meditate on several issues I am dealing with at this time.  The manner in which I do this form of meditation is to allow what ever is on my mind to surface, ask that God take care of it, give thanks, returning to silence.  In between weeding between the coleus and dragon's beard, the heaviness of my heart lifted, bring with it a great sense of peace. 

Amazingly, I was done by noon.  While I am sore from all the pulling, lifting, and bending, I have a greater sense of well being than I had when I first got up this morning. 

Last of the Roses

Words from the heart, spoken in silence to the Creator while surrounded by creation are powerful and blessed. I am grateful to have gardening be one of the meditative practices I have incorporated into my life.  

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

The New 10

I am so excited to have as a guest, Dawn McIntyre, whose new book, The New 10(Don't miss the give a comment at the end for your chance at receiving a copy of Dawn's book!) has recently been published. I had the great pleasure to interview Dawn, but before posting the interview, let me share a bit about this versatile woman. 

Dawn, a Professional Spiritual Intuitive, is an expert in leading men and women into higher states of expansion and beauty consciousness.

She is regularly sought out by the media and she has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX as well as being featured in USA Today, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications. She was also a regular guest on BTV in Edmonton, Alberta for two years.

Dawn is also the best-selling author of Big Ideas for Your Business (Celebrity Press 2009) and is the forthcoming author of Bouncing Back – Thriving Through Changing Times due to be released in the fall of 2009 and The New 10 – Beauty Redefined, a 40 Day Program to Your Infinite Beauty and Perfection of Being released in February 2010.

Dawn lives in Calgary, Alberta with her daughter, Kennedy.


Welcome to Words from the Heart, Dawn. I am excited to share your new book with my readers. I understand that you are a motivational life coach. What made you decide on this career?

Thank you, Linda! I am honored to have my book featured here.

I chose to become a motivational life coach professionally because it seemed I was coaching people around me, whether I know them or not, in many situations. I am the type of personality that attracts people looking for guidance and a lift up.

And nothing brings me more satisfaction than helping others to achieve their dreams and goals.

Many of our readers might not know about the movie “10” that your book alludes to, however, I am sure they understand wanting to be the best they can be. Why do you feel called to “redefine beauty?” And, why 40 days?

My mission to redefine beauty stems from my lifelong struggle with own sense of internal and external beauty. My self-image and self-esteem was non-existent for much of my adult life due to severe child abuse and having it beat into me that I was ugly and worthless.

Still, my true inspiration was my, now 13, daughter when I began to witness her and her friends struggle with external beauty issues as early as the age of 10. And this is with her mother telling her how beautiful she really is on a daily basis!

40 days literally just happened. I encourage women to stay with each day until they feel complete with it and not allow time to dictate their process.

That's so interesting, because 40 is for some a very mystical and powerful number.  

Can you explain how our perceptions of “self” are related to our ideas of “beauty?”

When we perceive ourselves as humans with bodies we tend to identify with our beauty at that same level of external standards; ones that are currently defined by society as having the perfect body, perfect hair, perfect smile and perfect age ….standards that are impossible for the majority of women to sustain.

However, when we perceive ourselves as humans with bodies that are designed, perfectly, to house our spirits we start to see ourselves for who we are being instead of what we look like. This gives us the hope and courage to be our best, to live from our hearts, to love ourselves and accept ourselves, both inside and out, unconditionally.

How does physical activity contribute to our beauty? I have seen many young women who seem addicted to working out. How do you strike a balance between enough and too much?

When we are physically active we release endorphins that naturally elevate our moods and our feelings about our appearance.

My recommendation on creating a balance, instead of becoming fanatical, is for women to know that too much can hurt us …too much of anything really.

I have found as have gotten older I had to adjust my routine to less, but greater intensity aerobics combined with strength training and core/flexibility training. The most we would need with a good balanced workout is 60 – 90 minutes, 4 -5 times per week. The key here is to listen to and respect your body’s guidance …it will let you know when too much is, indeed, too much.

I like the way you start each chapter with opposite statements. (I always worry. I never worry.) How did you happen upon this concept and why is it affective in creating a new image of self-beauty?

The chapters were titled in that manner as an example of how we can redefine beauty in all of these areas. This was intended to be a reflection of redefining beauty in progress.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Yes! Please know that we all have very unique bodies, not one body is exactly the same as another.

I encourage you to love and accept yours, just as it is …transformation can only happen through love and acceptance happening first.

Also, please never compare yourself, physically or otherwise, with another woman. You are uniquely and intrinsically beautiful, just the way you are, by the very nature of your being.

Thank you for visiting us today, Dawn. Best of luck with your book.

Thank you so much Linda; it has been my pleasure!

Don't forget, dear reader, if you would like an opportunity to receive one of Dawn's books, leave a comment. I will draw a reader's name at random on Wednesday, August 25.  

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Room of Her Own

Cliif-top writing shed overlooking Afon Taf, n...Image via Wikipedia
Virginia Wolff spoke of women needing a room of their own. As the mother of four daughters, I can tell you, it is definitely something we need, but something we often never acquire.

Funny, when the girls were little, I sometimes had to hide in the bathroom just to think! That only worked for as long as they didn't realize I was there. Once they knew my whereabouts, they would sit outside the door talking to me. Somehow, it defeats the purpose of "alone" time.

Today, while I was resting after all the excitement from my daughter's wedding yesterday, my beloved, Roger found a site on writing sheds. Virginia Wolff had one, as did Annie Dillard and Dylan Thomas and many other famous writers.

I think I have found a new tool for my craft. As I sit now, writing, I am at a corner desk in my kitchen, surrounded by books and art, and my beloved. Don't get me wrong, this isn't bad; however, a place were I could be totally by myself would do wonders for keeping the creative juices from being staunched!

Perhaps, we can work on this. Roger found several great links for what are called, Tiny Houses. One give directions on how to build a tiny house from wood pallets. Neat way to recycle!