Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

Sowing the Seeds of Intentionality

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

“Over time, even the tiniest meaningful actions add up, each one bringing you closer to a life that is truer to your dreams and free of regret.” (1)What are your wishes, hopes and dreams for this new year? Whatever we want to invite into our lives, we set the stage by becoming mindful about our thoughts, words and deeds and living intentionally.   

Being intentional is really about purposefully putting one foot in front of the other as we walk on our path. Instead of allowing the winds of change and the drama of life to sweep us up and move us forward, being reactive, we become present, purposeful and proactive in all aspects of our lives.  We live life on purpose and in alignment.  

This takes setting aside some personal time for contemplative reflection to discern what’s working well in your life, what’s not working so well and what is the one thing that you need to change. I like to invite my coaching and spiritual direction clients to jot their insights down in a journal. Just like tending the soil in a garden, journaling allows us to tend our inner garden.  Their ideas and thoughts about what needs to be focused on to create a more aligned lifestyle is sowing the seeds of intentionality in our internal garden space.   

Just as your outdoor garden requires tender loving care, water and sunshine to produce flowers and vegetables, our inner gardens require nurturing as well. By regularly examining if we are aligning what we believe with what we say and what we do, (Buddhists call this Right Action) we can discover:  

  • Which areas of our lives gently need to be corrected  
  • Which areas of our internal garden need to be staked up 
  • Which areas need to be weeded 
  • Which areas need to be replanted to bear better fruit  
  • What we need to do differently moment by moment by moment to live our lives in a present and purposeful way   

Take up your internal garden trowel, grab your journal and contemplatively dig around a little bit at your interior spaces. Take a good look at what gets stirred up and what you want to do differently as a result. What do you want more of? What are the things you need to pluck out? What is getting in your way of being your best version of your best self, being happy, healthy and abundant? What do you need to purposefully and proactively change? The rewards and benefits of living a life of intentionality and fulfilling your potentiality are immense.     

© Rita Perea, 2018.  All rights reserved.  

Caring for The Magical, Mighty Oak Tree

Friday, February 26th, 2016

mighty oakAncient Celtic druids venerated trees, but especially the Mighty Oak. They believed that because trees are living beings, each had a spirit. This spirit was depicted as “The Green Man”, a peculiar face that looks like it is peering out of the tree trunk, found on the decorative carvings of churches, cathedrals, city buildings all over the U.K. and Europe. The Green Man, often seen depicted with the seed of the oak, the acorn, represents growth and rebirth.

In  my neighborhood, my neighbors and I  love our trees, especially our oaks, some of which are well over 100 years old. Like the Green Man who may be peering out from the bark, our magical neighborhood oak trees have seen many changes in the landscape throughout their life spans. They have provided us, our gardens and the wildlife that we enjoy with shade, refuge, acorns and majestic seasonal beauty. We want to honor their years of stately labor by keeping them as healthy and disease-free as possible.

According to certified arborists Scott Bailey and Dylan Kimsey, owners of Bonsai Tree Care Company, there are some tips that we can keep in mind to keep our oak trees healthy and happy for many years to come.  (more…)

Gotta LOVE Those Garden Catalogs

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

seedThe frigid February deep freeze can produce the “winter blues” in many people.   The general feeling of being down or discontented by the inability to get outside and dig in the dirt is even more pronounced in those who love to spend time in their gardens.

Imagine feeling irritable, blue, longingly looking out the window to the frozen tundra and wishing you were able to be outside with your plants.  Suddenly, something magical happens… the mail person leaves a big stack of seed and garden catalogs.  At once you’ve found heaven.  Oh, you thick, glossy, full-color beauties filled with new and exotic plants to shop for!  Come to Mama!  Lovingly holding your stack of catalogs in one hand and a cup of tea in the other, your spirits are immediately lifted. You aren’t so blue anymore.  Shopping and plants all rolled into one afternoon.  Could anything be better?  You sense that there is hope that spring WILL arrive after all.


Create Indoor Magic with Amaryllis

Friday, February 19th, 2016

email 2Winter in the midwest is a time of warm gatherings with friends and family. As the snow  appears outside our midwest windows, we can create festive  indoor gardens by growing Amaryllis bulbs. Amaryllis means “to sparkle” and  these plants with lily-shaped blooms provide a dramatic and colorful display.  Fewer bulbs grow as easily or with the show-stopping beauty as Amaryllis.

Did you know that there are over 800 named varieties of Amaryllis?   The most common colors,  which are deep and rich, are red, white, yellow, pink and variegated. (more…)

Beating the Winter Blues with Plants

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Botanical Garden sprouts photo for SOG Neighbors

When I think of winter, an old nursery rhyme rattles around in my head:

The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will poor robin do then,
Poor thing?
He’ll sit in a barn,
And keep himself warm,
And hide his head under his wing,
Poor thing.


I can relate to this little robin and his mighty effort to stay warm. Along with the blowing north wind and snow, gardeners, who love to spend time outside digging in the dirt, may feel a little “blue” to be stuck inside and away from nature. I wanted to share a few tips to help my gardening friends beat their winter blues.

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