Peace in Releasing the Past

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

This week I found myself snuggled up reading in what my kids call “living room number 2.” I was reading The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho and came across a passage that felt like a real show stopper. He writes,

“…once an animal trainer had told him how he was able to keep his elephants under control. The animals, as infants, were bound by chains to a log. They would try to escape, but could not. They tried throughout their entire infancy, but the log was stronger than they were.

So they became accustomed to captivity. And when they were finally huge and strong, all the trainer had to do was place the chain around one of their legs and anchor it anywhere– even to a twig– and they would not attempt to escape. They were prisoners of their past (p 172).”

This was just insane to read. Of course, Coelho offers this imagery as a metaphor for human beings. But more on that in a moment.

Firstly, I did not know this about elephants. Secondly, adaptation to or acceptance of captivity seemed just crazy. I read a little more about elephants living in captivity and learned that (1) nearly 1/3 of African elephants live their entire lives in captivity and (2) they remain relatively undomesticated, despite their captivity.

I wasn’t planning to learn about elephants. I was reading to learn about humanity and healing and forgiving the past. But this made me think: if something as grant and wild and wonderful as an elephant can accept a non-reality like captivity, just think what human beings might do.

But humans aren’t elephants. We can recognize patterns and realities and make change.

Today, I meditated on releasing the past. On letting go. On forgiving and forgetting things that have upset me, or those I have upset. I can release myself from whatever mental “captivity” I’ve embraced over the years.

Letting go brings me peace.

You know what else might bring me peace? Saving an elephant. I’m looking into it.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace at Gardners

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

Y’all know there’s not much that I love more than finding peaceful, awesome local businesses. Today, in my search for peace, I had to pop over to Gardners Landscape and Nursery in Chester Springs, PA. This spot is conveniently located just off Route 113, real near another fan favorite, The Chester Springs Creamery at Milky Way Farms.

The nursery has so much to offer, and the best part is that they don’t back down during the holidays.

“You know it’s like, winter, right?” Hubs told me when he heard my plans to venture out for plants.

I laughed. He laughed. I’m well aware of the changing seasons. But today it was 55 degrees in PA! That means I had enough warmth in my bones to move around outside and dig my fingers in the dirt (yaaasssss, I know I should wear gloves more often. I’m gross and it’s totally fine. I even touched a worm today, no big deal).

Today I wanted evergreen arrangements for the front porch and Gardners is where it’s at!

The shop features a huge greenhouse, which houses an impressive collection of indoor plants. This time of year, walking through the space feels just like being at Longwood, only each item at Gardners is available for purchase.

Their wreaths are gorgeous, offering a mix of sizes, colors and textures. Who knew there was so much pine to play with?

They also have a ton of crafty items if you want to build your own arrangements. It’s like Build-A-Bear in there, except you’re making grown-up treats for everyone to enjoy. Their inventory is so well curated, I can’t help but feel impressed each year.

This shop is a happy place for me. It’s a space that offers peace. I can wander around, allow my mind to settle and get creative. When I need extra inspiration, there are busy hands working to create new items each day. I recommend you pop in and see what they have. I can’t say I’ve ever made a trip there without feeling wildly impressed and incredibly peaceful.

I left with some evergreen arrangements that I absolutely love. And when I look at our front door, I feel ready for the holidays.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Thanks to the sites below for their added inspiration! Maybe something will spark your interest, too.

Peace in Bulbs

With colder weather well on its way here in the northeast, I find myself hibernating from my sweet planties outside. I miss them but spend little time with my hands in the soil.

But I’m learning that winter is a great time for planning and dreaming and scheming for my garden.

Photo by Gary Moore on

This week, I found a soft spot grow in my heart when I had the opportunity to talk about plants a little bit with my step dad. We sat on the couch, warmed up by the living room fire, feeling super wintery, and talked all things green. Just thinking about the garden made me smile. It was so peaceful. My whole body relaxed when I thought about the green garden to come next spring.

Icing on the cake came when my step dad asked if I wanted some dahlia bulbs this year.

“They’re in the garage!” he said. “Take as many as you want.”

I pictured them in bloom when I stared at those rooty little fellas. My heart just swelled at the sight! Now I will learn when to pull the bulbs from the ground and how to store them each year for our Pennsylvania winters. I need to learn how to care for them, too. I have reading to do!!! And making plans for the things I love bring me great peace.

I can’t say that I’ve ever found peace in something as simple as a brown, hairy little dahlia bulbs, but every day teaches me something new.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Want to learn with me? Check out this super informative video from one of my favorite Youtubers, Garden Answer!


Peace in New Beginnings

Photo courtesy of Patty Kline Capaldo

When I asked local Creativity Coach Patty Kline Capaldo what led her to painting this past year, she told me that words had suddenly failed her. A dear writer friend and inspired artist in her own right, Patty transitioned from writing to painting during the pandemic. The shared isolation, stress, and fear carried into 2020 had many effects on many people.

“I just, I don’t know, I couldn’t find words to write,” Patty tells me.

Ever the learner, Patty discovered when one creative outlet tapers, other avenues become available.

“I have a calm energy when I paint,” she tells me. “I find myself gawking at trees, and I just want to paint them so badly.”

So she does.

“It is a refuge because I couldn’t find that state with writing. I had lost that.”

The peace in nature is so wonderfully reflected when recaptured in a painting. What’s even more peaceful, perhaps, is the peace that comes from trying something new. The lense of a beginner requires less criticism and fewer edits. Being a beginner means anything flies. It means having fun and shushing the voice in our heads.

“Being a beginner is fun,” Patty reminds me.

Willing to try something new?

Enter peace.

Willing to become a beginner at something?

Welcome peace.

For Patty, it doesn’t stop there. She will participate in a Fundraising Event at Creative Light Factory this Saturday, November 20th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. She’ll sell her paintings alongside fellow artists. She’s putting herself out there, showcasing her art, and welcoming all the new experiences to follow.

When I leave Patty’s workspace, I feel a surge of peace. I’m happy for her. She’s brimming with positive energy, and we both know good things are ahead.

What has brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Want to connect with Patty for coaching, questions, or to purchase her art? You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.