I deserve being nourished

I deserve being nourished

June 25, 2020
/ / /

I don’t do thirty minutes of gardening daily.
But I do some gardening, most days.
Sometimes for hours. Sometimes nothing at all.
It evens out, but what’s apparent is how nurturing it is for me, especially after a long day at the office.

Coming home, running low on energy, even though I mostly just want to lie down on my bed and do nothing for an hour or two… if I don my garden clothes and step outside into the garden – the recharge starts immediately. And it’s definitely a significantly faster charge happening than the plonking-down-on-the-bed-scrolling-through-SoMe-feeds is.

So, I am vowing, yet again, to gift myself the joy of gardening, because that is what it is.
It is a gift. For me.

I sometimes forget that it is a gift (thinking it’s a burden).
I sometimes forget how nourishing it is (opting for the mind-numbing SoMe-scrolling instead).
I sometimes forget how the weariness just falls off me, when I bend down to remove some weed, when I put a few more seeds in a garden bed, when I get out the watering can and feed the thirsty plants (mistaking it for a chore). 

I sometimes forget.
And I want to remember.
Because I deserve being nourished.

#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

Sticky presence

June 16, 2020
/ / /

Head exploding.
People getting in a jiffy; and jiffyness is a sticky presence.
Easily spread, easily caught.
[Do you give any thought to the energy you send out into the world?]

This is my gardening.

Self-care, DIY-style.

Read More

Garden TLC

May 14, 2020
/ / /

Monday. No gardening. None. 

Tuesday. No gardening. Not even a chance at it, except if I’d done it before leaving home at seven am, or after coming home at 10 pm. And not even I am that bonkers…

Wednesday. Cold as h*ll, especially so after a weekend of Swedish summer temperatures, which immediately had me acclimatized. Donned cap, gloves and winter coat before headed out to water my garden beds. So yes. 30 minutes – check.

Thursday. Warmer, though no summer heat exactly. Donned garden garb plus cap, and went out at 7 pm, with a Zoom call scheduled for 8 pm. Put more soil onto of the potato shoots peeping up. Planted three squash-plants and four kale plants. Potted the remaining seven squash-plants (where on earth should I put these? They are up for grabs if anyone is interested!) as well as three of the nine tomatoes I bought from a neighbor the other week. The thirty-minute mark came and went, and I stayed at it for another fifteen minutes, before reluctantly putting the tools away in my garden shed, and brought my potted kale, tomatoes and squash plants back indoors with me, to continue their softening process tomorrow morning. This way, in case the kale, squash and tomatoes I planted outside today will not make it, I have some spare plants left.

How I enjoy looking at my garden, witnessing its response to my lavishing it with tender love and care (and a dab of water or two).
And even more, the joy at realizing how important and nurturing it is to be in it. With it.
Plants, soil, water. The green color. The brown, the black, the budding flowers. 

What a grand source of wellbeing and connection to all that is.
And how happy I am to simply enjoy it. No Musts. Just Wants.
Once in a while, however much I want to, it just won’t be. And that’s as it is. Nothing more. Nothing less. Acceptance.

Read More

No. I love it.

May 7, 2020
/ / /

I have to say, those 30 minutes of daily gardening, have proven to be something that’s truly turned into a wonderful gift. For myself.

And I want to do it, but I don’t have to do it. It is a choice, one I’ve made, and I don’t have to remake it every day, but then again, if there’s neither room nor energy for gardening, then I will not beat myself up for skipping a day.

I know I am Champion of Runstreaks (2090 days of Seven-morning workouts in a row, is all the proof I need; not that I need it) and hence, the 30 minutes of daily gardening doesn’t have to do with that. But rather… ever since my ex-husband and I separated in the fall of 2016, the garden has fallen into greater and greater disarray, as he was the one who spent a lot of time tugging at weeds, cutting the miniature lawn and trimming the hedges. Last year when I thought to ask Mr D if he wanted to assist me in cultivating my garden I had also promised myself not to vacation away from home… which definitely isn’t how it turned out. Instead, I spent 10 days in Kenya and 12 days touring UK, Belgium and the Netherlands… not to mention working like crazy.

Orange = radishes. Blue = carrots. Green = spinach. Pink = leek. And the cherry blossoms scattered like snowflakes all over.

This year, I will spend my summer here. At home. Which is just what I want, and have wanted for a couple of years, and finally will have the opportunity to do. I made myself the promise to not leave home come the summer of 2020, and on account of the pandemic that’s a promise I can easily live up to… but hey, if I can find something positive in the current situation, that’s a good thing, in my view. So I won’t beat myself up over that either.

And I enjoy it.
Sticking my hands in the dirt. Sowing a row of carrots here, a row or two of radishes there. Watering the prepared beds, tugging at some weeds. Getting rid of last year’s rasp- and blackberry brambles, starting to attack the wild roses going rogue at the front of the house. 

Being bathed in the soft evening sunshine, listening to the birds chirping away. Now and again sharing a word or two with my lovely neighbors, or for that matter, passing seedlings back and forth across the fence. Sitting underneath the apple tree overfilled with blossoms, talking to and petting Pop the cat, coming to keep tabs on me.

All the while, supported and aided by Mr D, either here, in person, helping me dig, plant, prepare, telling me what goes where, and in what combinations. Or there, online, cheering me on when I send him a daily text with photos, sharing my daily gardening-session with him. 

I enjoy it.

I love it!

Read More

Feeding myself and my garden

April 30, 2020
/ / /

–The gardening. How’s it going?

–Why, thanks for asking, it’s going fine!

After making the Sunday-promise of 30 minutes of daily gardening for the upcoming week, coming home Monday and Tuesday evening after long busy days at the office, I immediately donned my garden garb, taking my basket of seeds and the rough outline of the garden, set the timer to 30 minutes, and got to it.

Sowing seeds.
Nipping at a little something here, and a little something there.
Picking a bunch of dandelion flowers to dry for tea.

Loving it.
By the time the timer alerts me I’ve not wanted to stop, but with an empty stomach and other commitments, I’ve put the gear and garb away, eager for the next day. 

Today is Wednesday, and as the afternoon progressed, it started to rain. Windy. Chilly.
Biked home in insufficient clothing, not being prepared for rain, I arrived home wet, cold, and hungry. So I decided on having dinner with some borrowed gardening books for 30 minutes of garden inspiration rather than go outside.

This way of honoring my promise, but not limiting myself to physical labor, makes it feel sustainable. And I am already starting to ponder keeping the promise going after the week. After my 30 minutes of gardening, I feel refreshed, recharged, grounded. 

And you know what?
Feeding myself with inspiration is as important as feeding the garden itself with new soil, fertilizer, seeds and plants. 

#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
Read More

30 minutes of daily gardening

April 27, 2020
/ / /

In a Zoom call yesterday with a group from The Creative’s Workshop, each of us set an outside-of-work-more-relaxing-taking-a-break-from-stuff daily goal for the upcoming week, and mine was 30 minutes of daily gardening. Realizing now, as I sit here in the morning getting ready to leave for work, that I will have a hard time to squeeze that in today, if I am also to do dailies and blog, besides getting home from work around 5:30 pm and then – hopefully! – having outside choir practice 6:30 to 8 and then guitar lesson 8:30-9:30. Somewhere in there, I have to get some dinner in me as well!

And yet… this is what lures me into these types of challenges, to actually see what I can make possible which, normally, is way more than I (or those around me) sort of think is possible. And very appropriately today’s meditation from the Chopra Center that I am taking at the moment, centered on pure potentiality:

Through the law of pure potentiality I can create anything anytime anywhere.

So there! An added 30 minutes of gardening should be a breeze then, right? And will definitely make for quite a shift in my garden over the next week, that’s for sure! And having taken 15 minutes to get my dailies and blogging done for the day, hey, my 30 minutes of gardening is much more likely to take place. 

Read More

I wanna be a farmer!

March 12, 2017
/ /
in Tip

Man, this was such a surprising episode with fact upon fact that made me drop my jaw, over and over again. Just incredible! What, what, what, you ask, eagerly, wanting to know what made my mind do cartwheels while listening.

Peak Prosperity on Sustainable farming 2.0 with Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser. That’s the one. That’s the podcast you just must listen to. And I really mean it, even if you have no inkling whatsoever to farming or even cultivating the teeniest carrot in your garden.

I just didn’t know. There’s so much that is wrong with the way humans cultivate the land today, and even though Paul and Elizabeth can only briefly describe some of the things they do differently, the results they are getting speak for themselves. At their farm, Singing Frogs Farm, They gross a whooping 5 times more per acre than the California average gross revenue per acre. Five times. Let me spell that out for you again: FIVE TIMES.

And they do it, possibleby working with nature rather than against it. If I am to sum it up, that’s what I would say. They go with the design of nature, rather than oppose it. Simple eh? Well. Yeah. But apparently not. Since they are a rare exception to the rule. But hopefully, the results they are getting will speak for itself, and will make more people open their eyes to what is possible when we shift from against-ness to with-ness.

After listening to the podcast, I am definitely thinking about what I can do in the garden at home, in the vegetable patches as well as the flower beds and so on. And while I might not pack up and buy a farm, I will definitely be rethinking my current gardening practice. I have no doubt that I will bring some of these things into my gardening from now on. Because it feels like there’s no turning back. I’ve seen something that cannot be unseen. Like cracking the reading-code. Once I got it, it was hard to understand what it felt like before I could read.

Please listen to this episode and let me know if you were as surprised as I. If so – what surprised you the most?

In 2015 I ran a series on with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking. In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations.

Read More

Doing gentle – 21 – Subtract!

June 5, 2016
/ / /

Have you discovered the magic trick of subtracting? Of simplifying life?

Steve Chandler is the one who pointed me in this direction, and I tell you, that specific pod I’ve listened to over and over again. It’s magic, in all it’s simplicity!

What he suggests is this: Instead of adding more stuff to do, to be happier, to me more successful, to be a better parent, spouse, sibling, son or daughter, co-worker, boss. Well. You name it! Instead of adding – subtract! Subtract the things in your life that turn into musts.

You love the opera? You buy a yearly subscription to all the shows in your local opera house… and all of a sudden, that which you truly love doing, might turn into a must. A bad conscience, something which weighs heavily on you, rather than give you the intended joy.

subtractYou love gardening? Instead of being content with doing gardening in your own garden, you top it off by getting an allotment as well, and then… when you don’t have time to weed, to water, to harvest, it turns from a joy, into a drudge. You mismanage the allotment, and even the garden itself. And it’s gnawing on your conscience. You should! You must! Why aren’t you? And the joy falls away. Even lying down in the grass, enjoying a sunny summer day and a good book, turns into something you avoid, not to be reminded of all the must’s that haven’t been performed.

You love spending time with your kids? Then perhaps, the bed doesn’t have to be made perfectly in the morning when there is such a rush to get everyone ready for the day. Perhaps, you don’t have to have dinner ready when everyone comes home, you can cook together instead. Perhaps, the kids don’t have to have soccer practice, swim meet, gymnastics and guitar lessons every week. Perhaps, you can have a night or two, with no activities, just spending time together. Cooking dinner, playing some cards, reading from a book you all love…

I don’t know. But there is a limit. That I do know. There is a limit to what we can do in a day, and if there’s something else we want to do, then adding on-top of all that which we already do, is very seldom sustainable in the long run. If we subtract, we can make room for what is so often the little things, the things that light up our lifes in the most mundane and beautiful way. That way, when you feel the desire to go to the opera – you buy a ticket and go enjoy the experience to the fullest.

What can you subtract in order to make more room for that lights up your life and brings a smile to your face?

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.

Read More