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What I Learned From Sticks and Stones and a Pile of Old Leaves

Recently I took on a project that most people hate – cleaning out the remnants of fall and winter that Mother Nature cast off in our backyard. Now mind you, we live on a hillside and our backyard has a large slope that runs down one side and up the other.  This area that I decided to tackle is at the bottom of the slope where all the debris that blows through gathers.

It’s also the area where water runs when we have hard rains and so keeping this area clear is important to preventing flooding.  With winter waning and recent rains washing away the yellow blanket of pollen that recently blanketed the area, I decided to take a day off and tend to this chore.

As I cleaned the massive pile of old leaves filled with sticks and stones that had washed on down, I noticed that there were small pools of water.  At first I thought it was the debris causing a blockage and figured that when I cleaned things up the water would simply dissipate.

Instead, something completely unexpected happened.  The more I cleaned and the deeper I dug, the more water that filled the channel. As I worked along the path, I realized our underground spring that had barely been just above a trickle, had now turned into the beautiful little stream I always wanted!

For some folks this might now be a big deal, but for me water is a kin to energy and I’ve always dreamed of having a simple stream in my backyard where I could sit and find peace amid life’s turmoil.  And while our backyard has beautiful woods, no water regularly flowed thru it unless it rained – until now.

It took two back-breaking days, but in the end, I had created a beautiful, serene place of peace for myself that I’ve always wanted.  I thought about the lessons I learned from this and how those lessons can apply to many things in life.

  1. Things are not always what they appear to be on the surface.  Looking at the massive mess that was before me when I began, I had no idea the beauty that lay just below waiting to be uncovered.  Where are gifts waiting to be uncovered in your life?
  2. Sometimes you have to get down and dirty and even stuck in the muck to uncover the life you want.  The water below did not flow on its own until I dug deep with a rake and a shovel, uncovering rocks and roots and even old bottles! By the time I was done I was covered in muck and mud and feeling complete satisfaction that I had persevered to create this inviting space I’d always wanted.  What is worth digging into for your life?
  3. Break a big challenge down into manageable smaller pieces.  Looking at this 3’ high pile of debris running some 50’ long was quite intimidating at first, but then I decided to tackle it in sections at a time which made it much more manageable.  What one thing can you do today, and then again tomorrow, to overcome a challenge you face?
  4. Clearing the channel opens up new possibilities.  By literally clearing the channel for the water to run, it also allowed new energy and ideas to flow through me and with that came answers to problems that I had been trying to resolve. When we have blocks in our lives it can limit our thoughts about what’s possible.  Where are the blocks in your life and how can you open them up for new energy to come thru?
  5. You can create the life you want when you look at things differently. I love yard art and had quite a few Asian lanterns scattered around the yard.  Individually they did not make much of a statement, but when I gathered them all together they created the perfect synergy to my new peaceful place.  Where can you shift ideas or things to bring a new sense of appreciation?

You may not have a creek buried in your backyard, but I challenge you to create a simple space where you can find quiet peaceful moments that may lead you to new energy, new perspectives, and new ways of looking at your life.

It may be as simple as a space in your yard or a corner of a room, what or where it is doesn’t matter.  What does matter is what it does for you when you enter this sacred space you create for yourself.

I’d love to hear how you cleaned and cleared to create new energy flow and opened up possibilities for creating the life you’ve always wanted!

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