Little Slice of Nature
Memorial Day weekend. A holiday to honor and celebrate those who have and are serving our country, and our society’s marker for the beginning of summer. As many of you probably did, I spent time this holiday weekend tending to my gardens, my little slice of nature: pulling weeds, planting, pruning and watering. I have a few scrapes from the thorns of the roses and the newly pruned branches, a few bug bites to remind me that I was disrupting their natural habitat, and a blister or two from over-snipping. I don’t mind any of them for I was yearning for some time to be with my little slice of nature.
My little slice of nature that for the past few weeks I had only given a cursory glance. I had missed truly seeing the astonishing beauty of the azaleas and rhododendrons that now simply beckoned for me to prune them, and nurture them in the months to come in hope that I see their beauty next year. I had not noticed that my rose bush was being eaten away by aphids, or that my vegetable garden had a few crops to harvest while others were struggling to survive. I wanted to blame it on the fact they are in my backyard when the fact is I simply had not taken the time look around; only noticing the front as I pulled into or left the driveway.
I can name a variety of legitimate reasons such as late appointments, fatigue, chores, that kept me from tending to my little slice of nature; however in hindsight, they do not seem that important. The truth is I had lost sight of the value I get from spending time with my little slice of nature for it is when doing so, my mental meanderings slow down and often cease; I connect to the richness of Mother Nature and all that she has to offer; and am gently reminded of the inter-relationships and inter-dependence of ecological systems that create this web we call life.
My little slice of nature teaches me how to be a better partner with life. In the mid 1800’s, Henry David Thoreau learned this and captured his experiences, observations and lessons he gleaned from living for “two years, two months and two days” at Walden Pond. Now revered as an American classic, Walden shows us how the natural harmony, simplicity, beauty and sustainability of nature are models for optimal social and cultural conditions.
Only a few will choose to immerse in simple wilderness living as Thoreau did for two plus years; we have too many legitimate reasons not to: errands to run; kids to take care of; bills to pay; decisions to make; laundry to do; not to mention, work, sleep and eat. Where does the time go? The truth is we don’t need two years any more than we need to immerse ourselves in the so called wilderness. Nature is all around us and whether we take 2 minutes, 2 hours or 2 days, she will share her riches with us if we just step in. Riches that will show us the way to sustainable living, one step at a time.
Ecologists, scientists, and philosophers are encouraging us to learn from nature, to learn from our natural resources. This interest has spawned the term biomimicry, “the approach to technological innovation that draws its ideas from Nature to solve the greatest environmental challenges of our time.” (www.biomimicryinstitute.com)
Biomimicry takes learning from nature to the next step. We all have the opportunity to take the concept of biomimicry and apply it to our life in more simple ways. Our life at home, at work, at play, at rest. Spending time in our little slice of nature is a daily habit we would all benefit from.
How has your little slice of nature enriched your life?
Next time you are faced with a challenge at work or at home, and not sure what to do. Step into your little slice of nature. Be fully present with it, and the answers will come.
About Extra Ordinary Living
Janet began her coaching journey in January of 2004, leaving behind a satisfying career as a healthcare executive. Working first under the company name, Tiberius Enterprises, in January of 2007, Janet adopted the company name, Extra Ordinary Living, symbolizing her desire to work with people who defy the law of average and want to live extraordinary lives, consistently adding the extra to the ordinary. Her by-line embracing sustainable change is reflective of two intentions. First is to have the changes a client makes have long term positive implications. Second is to live a life that respects the importance of sustaining our planet’s lives for generations to follow.
As an Executive Coach, Janet’s intention is to assist service professionals and organizations to maximize their return on human capital….managing human behaviors for optimal outcomes. Janet has repeatedly found that an individual’s professional and personal satisfaction and happiness is often limited by their very own “human capital.” She loves working with people to identify and own their natural tendencies, abilities and talents; to recognize their limitations, and apply all in creating the life they have historically only dreamed about. As a professional coach, Janet is trained to listen, to observe and to customize her approach to match her client’s needs. She provides tools, support, structure and accountability to help her clients unleash their full potential and optimize results.
Having a coach herself for over four years, Janet has found the best thing about coaching is that it is all about you, the client, and what you want. A coach may share her opinion, and give you advice; however, it is all up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. A coach suspends judgment, and supports you in your decisions.
With the coaching philosophy as her foundation, Janet is also an inspirational Professional Speaker. She has spoken at local, state and national conferences, providing the plenary session as well as more structured workshops. Her goal is to impart useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to assist her audiences in living extra ordinary lives. Janet always customizes her content to match her audience.
Interested in learning more? Please contact Janet by phone at 540-342-3040, email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website, www.4extraordinaryliving.com.
Janet Crawford MHA, MBA Professional Certified Coach
Extra Ordinary Living is written for aspiring individuals looking for new perspectives and ideas for living life differently by finding the Extra in the Ordinary.
"It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?"
– Henry David Thoreau
"You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment."
– Henry David Thoreau
"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."
– Henry David Thoreau
Sustainable Living Tip:
The going-green initiative has the marketing and engineering gurus going back to the drawing board to re-create the packaging for thousands of products. They are eliminating waste, and making what packaging is needed as environmentally friendly as possible because these factors are beginning to influence consumers’ behaviors. But are we as consumers really willing to change our beliefs as to what packaging we will accept?
This question came to mind as I was reading an article in the recent edition of Fast Company profiling the new “eco-smart” alternative to the wine bottle. No cork! No bottle! Wait, don’t all fine wines come in bottles and have corks? Well, maybe a cork isn’t necessary, but no bottle? What about my wine cellar? Or my wine refrigerator made just for the bottles? How will the new Tetra Pak package fit?
The French winery Biosset Family Estates says the new packaging is superior to glass in “protecting wine from oxidation, and its thinner walls let wine chill more quickly.” Perhaps it is simply a marketing claim; perhaps it is true. Are we consumers ready? Are we willing to serve wine from a carton, granted an aesthetically pleasing carton, to our distinguished guests? Or give wine in a carton as a present? Perhaps this green initiative is going too far….
Let me provide you with a little more incentive:
- A glass bottle is 40% of the total weight of wine. Tetra Pak, 4%.
- A shipping ratio of 3:1, reduces significantly the carbon footprint used to get the wine to your local retailer.
- 33% more wine in a one-liter carton.
- 4.5:1 ratio of space taken in a standard waste receptacle.
The re-packaging is a win-win situation for the company’s bottom line, the consumer, and the environment.….if we, the consumers, are willing to shift our traditional truths.
Join me in trying “French rabbit chardonnay”. Let the new packaging of many products test your traditional truths. You might be pleasantly surprised at the results.
EOL Upcoming Events:
In the spirit of To YES living, Janet and Joanne will be hostess in g a monthly gathering of Living in the New Earth where we will explore how to apply the concepts in Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth. If you live in the Roanoke area and want to join us, the details follow:
When: First Friday of every month beginning May 2, 2008 from 12 noon to 1:00 pm.
Where: Daily Grind – West Village on 419
Cost: Free, unless you purchase a delicious lunch or cup of coffee
Come as often as you want.