This is Shasta Dam, with Mt.Shasta in the background. We hiked the Upper Sacramento Ditch Trail last weekend, and the trail head is just behind the parking lot of the dam. It’s gorgeous out there. I love coming to the dam on a regular basis, mostly to watch the ospreys, that likes to fish there. I saw at least 20 birds of prey there last weekend. Hiking in magically beautiful places is one of my most effective strategies for a blissful zen life.
Imagine. The power is yours. You can choose. You have a full tank of gas. Where are you going? Are you taking a scenic dirt road? Or the highway, to get where you want to go fast? This morning while I was sipping my first cup of the black magical brew, I thought about how I own the power. How I can make a choice every morning. Despite responsibilities, and personal challenges, we all have them, it is possible to choose amazing. It’s possible to choose a blissful day, every day. Even when a day doesn’t start out feeling awesomely amazing. Naturally a great cup of coffee helps a lot too 😉 How do you like yours? Perfect.
While sipping my second cup of that magic brew, I thought about a horse trainer/mentor I worked with for several years. She recently passed away. She was a wise woman. A very wise woman. Completely, totally no-nonsense. She kicked my *ss right after my divorce. What she said made me so mad at first, but it was the best advice I ever got. As I was feeling sorry for myself one morning, she simply said; What are you choosing to do about it? Then she left the room. It took a while for it to sink in, but it changed my life. I could actually choose how to react to a situation that seemed totally unfair, and undeserved.
Later on we had a few more conversations about the subject. She’d let me borrow some empowering books, and of course we worked with my horse. She was filming horsemanship videos of her methods (inspired by Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance, and some Pat Parelli.) My horse was in several of the videos, so we spent a lot of time together. Which I’m very grateful for. I learned a lot. In one of the books she gave me I found this inspirational quote:
Our Outer world reflects our inner commitments. If we want to know what we’re really committed to, all we have to do is look at our lives. We are, whether we are aware of it or not, always creating exactly what we are most committed to.
The choices we make are ALWAYS in alignment with our deepest commitments.
By examining what we have and what we don’t have.. we are able to uncover and see what we are TRULY committed to. – Debbie Ford
Those words became a guiding light. I started to make a list of things that meant the most to me, and compared it to what my life looked like at the time. My list did not have a whole lot to do with reality back then. I decided to do something about it. I still revisit my list once a month, and evaluate if the things on my list still are important to me, if I need to add, or withdraw things on the list. ..and then I compare the list to my reality. (It’s crucially important to be honest with yourself while doing this.) I quickly discovered that the more my list and my reality are in harmony with each other, the happier I am. I believe that the most important thing in the world is to be kind and compassionate to others, follow the golden rule, and treat them like you would like to be treated. That means that I need to treat myself right as well. Maybe I’m only talking to myself, but I think it’s a thousand times easier to be generous and kind, when I feel good. The things on my list keeps me grounded, and balanced. The list is meant to include things/activities that are a priority, and that you do on a regular (preferably daily/weekly) basis. Are you tempted to make a list? It sure does make it easier to choose amazing.
This is what my garden looks like now. I’ve divided my garden into two separate rooms. One for traditional gardening in the ground, organic of course. The second room is the home of my container garden. I’m planning on getting a greenhouse for my container fruit trees this fall. Spending time in my garden is one of the things I love the most. Definitely helps to keep me grounded.
I’m 5’10, and the highest corn, growing in the best part of my garden, is as tall as I am.
These are some of my feel-good priorities:
At the moment I feel that there is a balance, and that I have made room for these important feel-good priorities on my list. They are a part of my daily, or weekly schedule. I am happy, and I know that to stay happy I need to meditate over all the things I have to be grateful for in my life. I need to do this at least every morning. This strategy works for me. It makes me feel empowered, to choose these things that I know makes me feel good. It makes me feel strong and happy. I also know that if I get sloppy with my habits, I don’t feel very good. If I don’t go on at least one longer hike every week, I get tired. If I don’t listen to my daughter’s ideas, and indulge in something she’s interested in, I miss out. My horses makes me breath deeper, and stay in the moment. They are both doing fantastic BTW. I rode Fancy in my new dressage saddle for the first time this week, and it was a blast. I hear Ghost calling for me right now. It’s 6am, and he’s expecting his breakfast, and some grooming. (..I’ll better hurry up.) My dog, well, she’s the most loyal friend I have. My garden helps me eat healthy, and even get some exercise. I often meditate, and read in my garden. It’s peaceful. I practice my photography every day, while doing the activities I love. Do you need a refill on that coffee?
Sometimes I ask people I meet, friends, and acquaintances, about what makes them happy. Some have lots to say, which makes me happy. Others become very quiet. So tell me now, what makes you happy? What’s on your feel-good priority list? Any fun plans for the weekend? Imagine. The power is yours. You can choose. You have a full tank of gas. Where are you going?
Ps. I forgot to mention I started a new part-time job last weekend, taking care of some horses at a nearby estate. I’ve been going there after finishing my own morning chores, every morning this week, and absolutely love it. The horses are well mannered. The place is gorgeous, and well kept. The owner is really nice. It doesn’t feel like work.