Make Room for the New

It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want—oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! 
Mark Twain

Spring has come, and the sunshine reveals the dust that has been gathering all winter long. If too much dust has settled on your things, there’s probably dust settling on your life as well. If your living space is feeling cluttered and confined, it’s time to move, clean, and clear out to make room for something new. 

One particularly effective way to make your life simpler is to clear your living space of clutter, creating an atmosphere of peaceful calm instead of chaos and disorder. As you clean and clear, decide what you want to keep and where you want to keep it. Release those things that no longer serve you. 

Simple surroundings take advantage of clean lines and natural beauty. Instead of a welter of small knicknacks, consider replacing them with an elegant bonsai plant or a single treasured antique artistically displayed. Timeless simplicity soothes the spirit, creating an oasis of calm in a busy life. 

This holds true not only for your external home, but also for the inner heart. As you sort and rearrange furnishings, you can do the same with your thoughts. Do a little housekeeping of the soul. Sweep out old prejudices and throw open the windows of your mind to receive the fresh breezes of the new things God wants to bring into your life. 

It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what. 
John Galsworthy

Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm. 
John Muir

The deep roots never doubt spring will come. 
Marty Rubin

I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees. 
Pablo Neruda 

Right now I’m in the midst of sorting and cleaning and creating something new. I’m working on an upgraded website with more bells and whistles. I have also been out taking photos. Spring comes and goes so fast in Nashville that you have to catch it before it passes. I include a gorgeous photo of the fragrant Star Magnolia, which comes in early spring and can be especially fleeting if a cold snap happens. I made it out to Cheekwood just in time to see the magnolias in magnificent perfect jewel-like bloom. Three days later they were all toast, thanks to another cold front coming down from the north. Now the tender spring flowers have passed and we’re moving into warmer temperatures. My photos will remind me of those perfect spring days when magnolia, tulip, daffodil, cherry, apple, and other spring blossoms emerged after a long cold winter. 

I recently started writing columns on Linked In that help you treat work as spiritual practice. Here is the link to my posts.

I also just added a Facebook Author page. Come and “like” me and enjoy this new way to connect.

More good things are in the works. It’s good to be back writing this blog again.

The Return of Spring

Apple Blossom Time 

Apple Blossom Time 

Touch the earth, love the earth, honour the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places.
Henry Beston

Though it is still winter, signs of spring are starting to appear here in Middle Tennessee. I was walking at the lake the other day and saw daffodils already out. It's way too early, as we can have hard frosts into March. But so lovely to see the bright yellow against the sere brown landscape. I look at photos of apple blossoms taken last spring, and their beauty lifts my heart on gloomy winter days. 

I feel I have been in a long winter; a quiet but intense time of going within. I have missed blogging and connecting with you, dear reader. But a full time day job and continuing work on my new e-book, The Tranquil Heart: Inspired Choices for Challenging Times, have been the fierce focus through fall and winter months. More festive plans are afoot now as I prepare my finished book for publication and move on from my last assignment at a day job into a season of full time writing. I will be sharing more in the coming weeks about the rebirth of my writing career. 

Today I want to express my gratitude for all who have commented or sent me messages of encouragement or reviewed my books on the many websites where they are available. I read your comments and take them to heart, and they have an influence on what I write and how I present it. I have been in an intense place the last few months, so thank you for your patience with my slow response to your letters and emails. I honor every person who cares enough to communicate, and will try to be more available now that my life is moving from winter into spring. I think we all, as a collective, found 2012 to be a challenging year. So many friends have experienced big transitions and unexpected changes in these times, as I have. I know my own spiritual life has deepened in the process, and I am excited about the new things I have to share with you, beginning with my upcoming e-book, The Tranquil Heart. More announcements will be forthcoming. Until then, I want to encourage you to make choices that will help you cope when things get intense in your life.

If you’ve been closeted indoors too long, your thoughts get as stuffy as the closed rooms you’ve been living in. It’s time to get out and let the wind blow through your hair, the sun shine on your face, and the fresh air invigorate your attitude. 

Escape to the wild places to renew your spirit. Let the wind blow through your hair and whisper secrets of wild freedom to your heart. Enjoy being away from all man-made structures and in the midst of nature’s beauty. You’ll return to your daily life with a wider—and wilder—perspective. 

Mountains, deserts, seashores, green fields, gardens—find a little bit of earth and spend some time on it, staring at the clouds, digging in the dirt, smelling the flowers, and just being with green and growing things out under the wide bowl of arching sky. Rejoice in nature and let it remind you that life is larger and airier and freer than the enclosed world you’ve been immured in. 

Watch a squirrel scrambling through leaves, intent on her business. Listen to the returning birds sing their songs of joy. Enjoy the picture of a baby animal kicking up its heels in the spring sunshine. Look at the tight knobby buds just beginning to swell. Watch for the signs of returning spring, and make room for spring in your soul. 

Remember that life is rich and full and mysterious. Nature shares secrets of renewal with those who will take time to listen to her. Seek out the wild places—mountain, forest, untamed shore, winding riverfront, vast desert—the primal creation that shimmers with living glory and reminds you that this is a very large and beautiful world. And in your own backyard, the changing seasons remind you that even the coldest winter will finally give way to spring. 

Climb the mountains and get good tidings. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.
John Muir

Spring flowers, autumn moon,
Summer breeze, winter snow—
When the mind is free from unnecessary thoughts,
Every season is just perfect!

If spring came but once a century instead of once a year, or burst forth with the sound of an earthquake and not in silence, what wonder and expectation there would be in all hearts to behold the miraculous change. 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. Let them be your only diet drink and botanical medicines.
Henry David Thoreau

Earth laughs in flowers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson