I no longer live in the city & I now have a nice big yard, but I still love my tradition of spring/summer flowers in planters. My mother-in-law taught me how to do this years ago after my husband & I bought our first condominium in the city.
It is a simple & enjoyable process. I block out a window of time to head over to the local nursery & browse all of the beautiful flowers. This year, I already had my planters, so there was no need to purchase anymore of those. All I needed to do was get some fresh potting soil to add to what was left over from last year & decide upon my flowers & plants.
Each year my planters look a little bit different as I learn more about flowers & plants. This year I chose Begonias(very hearty & last me into the fall), Lobelia, Geraniums, Alyssum, Sweet potato vine, 8 a spike plant to go right in the center of it all. I really like the look of a mixture of flowers & plants.
After I have selected my plants & flowers from the nursery, I head home to plant them. I don't like to keep them sitting around for too long. I create a little assembly line. I get the dirt freshened up in the planters first. Then I put a spike plant in the center of each planter. I put the rest of the plants in & then add the flowers all around, give it all a drink of water & they are good to go!
There you have it simple spring/summer flowers...easy enough for someone who is far from having a green thumb!
Many years agoI came across Everyday Zen by Charlotte Joko Beck and have continued to reference it throughout the years. One line, in particular, really stuck with me. "When you practice patiently, eventually work begins flow. We just do whatever needs to be done." Charlotte Joko Beck. This quote has really helped me move more peacefully throughout my days. I know that there will always be tedious tasks that seem like they will never end such as laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, etc. I just remind myself to move through these tasks patiently & eventually they are completed without creating too much tension.
More recently I came across another quote about patience that really resonated with me. "Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." Lida Clarkson. It is so much more challenging to be patient than it is to fly off the handle when things aren't going as intended. When I remind myself of this quote, I am usually able to stay patient & calm, key word being, usually!
Patience is a constant work in progress especially in this fast-paced world that we live in. The patience pay off is definitely worth the work!
After my son entered the world I felt like life was extremely overwhelming. He brought so much joy into my world & rocked it at the same time. No longer did I have the schedule, organization & space that I was once accustomed to. Several years later I stumbled upon The Happiness Project. I realized that in order to get back to my calm & organized self, I needed to map things out better. The Happiness Project helped me do just that.
I started my own happiness project by choosing a focus for each month. I even had the focus start with the same letter as the month in order to make it easier to remember. Joyful January(focusing on gratitude in the midst of winter, a season that can tend to drag me down), Friends & Family February, Make-over March, Active-exercise April, Meditation/yoga May, Journaling June, Joining(getting involved) July, Stylish(back to school clothes) September, Organic-living October, Nutrition research November, Diet plan December. Clearly, there are always other obligations & focuses throughout the months, but this at least gives me a goal that I can successfully achieve by the months end. I adjust it from year to year as needs & goals change. I no longer feel as overwhelmed as I once did!
Then my daughter entered into the world and with two little ones in the house, I felt like there was always a tornado brewing. I longed for the home that I once would have described as peaceful. Life was fast-paced, messy & overwhelming again. I wanted to change that & Happier at Home really helped.
Piggy backing off of The Happiness Project, Happier at Home once again helps to add structure & achievable goals to each month. So, I once again created a focus for each month, an attainable goal that would make my home a little happier. Junk-clearing January, File-cleaning February, Money March, Appliances April, Media May, Juniper(gardening) June, Jewelry-cleaning July, Automobile August, Supplies September, Office space October, Nesting November, Donation December. This makes me a much happier & more calm person which in turn creates a more peaceful home for my family!
By the time Better than Before came out, I had established a much happier self, but still felt like there was something that I was missing. I was happy, but felt like I could be happier. Better than Before helped me reflect back on my life & look into my future to understand that when we do what suits our nature it creates happiness & peace.
Better than Before helped me gain some enlightening insight into my own nature & to realize now why some things that I tried in my past never really made me happy. I felt like a failure for not following through with certain things that I had started when in fact they just didn't suit my nature. For example, a career in acting did not suit my introverted nature. Reading Better than Before and finding out my tendency was helpful. I have found comfort in knowing that simply owning my own tendency can bring happiness & peace into my daily life.
I encourage you to read The Happiness Project, Happier at Home & Better Than Before. I encourage you to to start your own happiness project & to find out your own tendency. I also encourage you to pick a meaningful focus for each month so that the tedious tasks in life don't become all consuming. Focusing on the meaningful & inspirational things in life helps to put you one step closer to true happiness!