“Life is Like a Milking Stool”

milking-stool

3-Legged Milking Stool

 

Now I know that “Life is like a Milking Stool” doesn’t sound nearly as yummy as “Life is like a Box of Chocolates,” and Forrest Gump’s mom is right, “you never know what you’re going to get,” but I’ve gotta say that the milking stool gives us the bigger picture.

I’ve milked a cow using a 1-legged milking stool, and I’ve used a 3-legged stool. I’ll pick three legs over one any day. They both work, but three legs are more stable than one, and you don’t fall on your head nearly as often. Continue reading

What Feeds Your Soul?

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One big way to grow your own happiness is to find those things that will “feed your soul.” I’m looking at more of an emotional perspective than a spiritual one, although they overlap many times.

Creating things feeds many people’s souls, and I’m no exception. I enjoy working with fiber in all of its many forms and today was the monthly meeting for our local weaving guild. Working together and learning from one another, we all grow. I recently got a small portable rigid heddle loom called a Cricket. It’s perfect for making scarves, is portable, and is a simple, pretty inexpensive way to get starting weaving. I find it soothing, and satisfying, to create something for a friend or family member – or sometimes just for me!

Growing things, particularly flowering plants, is another thing that can serve as “Soul Food.” I have a long-time friend that will often ask how my flowers are doing. She figured out that if my African Violets and orchids, etc. are blooming I’m doing well emotionally, and if not, she wants to know what I’m planning to do that will “feed my soul.”

Sometimes something as simple as a beautiful photograph or an inspirational story will give us the boost that we all need. Breathing the salt air and watching the waves crash against the ocean shore, or spending time at mountain lakes does it for many of us. Simply being out in nature in general helps most of us – whether we realize it or not.

When you’re feeling discouraged, or just not very motivated, doing something to care for your soul can make a big difference. So what will you do today to feed *your* soul?

Push it for Five!

push-carHave you ever tried to push a car that wouldn’t start or had run out of gas? If so, you know that it takes a whole lot of effort to get it to move even a tiny bit. I had a old Toyota when I was in college that no longer had a reverse. If I forgot, and pulled directly into a parking space, I couldn’t back out of the space. However, if I got a bit of help, or I had parked where there was a bit of a slant, I could get it rolling back and then drive away. It was getting that first little push that was the tough part, but after that it was all good.

Motivating yourself to get things done is just like that car. There are always so many other distracting things that are easier or more fun to do, and it can take a whole lot of effort to get yourself started. Once you do, it’s so much easier to keep going and finish what you’ve started.

So what we need to do is find ways to push past the mental blocks that keep us from accomplishing all that we know we are capable of. “Push it For Five” is one way that usually works for me. You make a deal with yourself that you just have to spend five minutes doing whatever it is that you need to get done. After that you can stop, and come back to it later. I’ve found that most of the time five minutes is enough to get me in the flow, and I realize that it isn’t as bad as I thought or it really isn’t going to take as long as I’d expected. I actually conquered my aversion to washing dishes using this method – it really doesn’t take that long to get them done. Time it, you’ll see.

Depending on the situation, I might adapt and tell myself I just need to write the outline for an article, or that I only have to ride my stationary bike for ten minutes today – or even better I can listen to a chapter of an audio book if I ride my bike. That little nudge usually does it and I can write the whole article or in the case of the stationary bike I’ll find that I’ve gone much longer than I realized. When I’m having a tough time getting going in the morning, I’ve been known to promise myself that I can go back to bed if I still am feeling rotten after I take a shower. That one usually does the trick for me and I’m off to work as usual.

The key is to get that first push – whatever it takes to get things rolling – then it’s usually downhill after that!