Peace in a Rose Bush

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I was sitting on the porch a few days ago, taking in the breeze and trying hard to focus on absolutely nothing. In the winter, Hubs and I pulled our porch railings off and mused at how nice this was.

“We’ll be able to see more of the roses this way,” Hubs said.

It was a funny thing to say in the middle of winter, but that’s how Hubs thinks: ahead.

Since our porch is pretty low to the ground, it doesn’t require railings. Seeing the porch in a whole new way was awesome. And now that summer is finally here (practically) and the roses have come in, it’s feeling especially lovely.

Today I noticed the roses and thought how much they are like people. The bush is a community. And each rose, each leaf, each tiny part has a purpose that makes the entirety of the rose bush stunning. I was so thankful, looking at the roses, and even more thankful to notice how much I loved the entire bush: the green, oval leaves, the brilliant blooming pink petals, the buds not yet ready to open, but eagerly preparing themselves, and even the dying buds. Truthfully! I love the tactile process of deadheading– it’s so satisfying, though I can’t explain why.

Everything about those beautiful rose bushes amaze me. This year, I had to move one of the five we keep. I uprooted it and did a pretty poor job of the task. And yet….the bush is slowly growing in its new spot. And next year, it will be nearly back to itself. Not quite, but well on its way. I know this. Because plants are resilient and roses are as tough as they come.

I’m so thankful to have learned at least a little about plants to know what to expect each year. And some years, when a bloom is not performing, or a plant needs something else to help guide its growth, I know how to help, and I know that even if conditions aren’t perfect this year, there will always be next year.

All of this makes me think of life. Those roses are so much like people. And what’s pretty cool is this: it’s possible to love every bit and every part of something. Because each part of the bush serves a critical function to make the entirety as beautiful as it is.

I’m not much of a religious person these days. But if there is a “God” or some kind of master creator, I’d like to think she planned things this way: to give each part of a greater whole some incredible purpose, merely to create beauty and wonder. I’d like to think there is some force out there that loves everyone, no matter if they’re a rose or a thorn, because they all work together to achieve something magnificent.

I’d like to think there’s something down inside of me that can love everyone, from petal to thorn, because we’re all working together in some mystical, unexplainable way.

Thinking these thoughts brought me peace this week. What about you? What brought you peace? Share the peace.

Peace in “Just Wait”

“Just wait,” she said.

I can hear her voice like it was yesterday, and her words were not the ones I wanted to hear.

“Just wait,” she told my pain, my frustration, my dismay.

“How long?” I wanted to know.

But she didn’t have an answer for that.

And she was right.

After Baby #2 came into our family, life got really tough. I was unhappy. I yelled a lot. I cried a lot. I was depressed. “Fun” seemed a thing of the past that I’d banished forever to replace with poopy diapers and a cycling of nap time. Then we added Baby #3. And suddenly, everything made sense again. I knew what to do, how to be, and came home to my peace.

Today I sat under a pine tree at our local pool club, where, mystically, all of the kids are satisfied. There is something to amuse every age and I feel a surge of peace warming the toes I dipped into cool water moments earlier.

I waited and all of my dreams came true. I believed and said to myself, “just wait,” because she told me to and I listened because I love her so much.

Today, I mused on the peace I’ve found in the phrase “just wait.” Because sometimes things cannot feel perfect or even close to it. But I can wait. And time will pass. The pain will pass. The frustrations will pass, and it will have been worth the wait.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace In Mindset Coaching

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In my endless search for peace, I recently stumbled upon the incredible privilege of talking with Mindset Coach, Elizabeth Hope Derby. Have you ever heard of a mindset coach before? What does this kind of coaching entail? Does your mind need setting?! What is happening?!

Well, I will tell you. A mindset coach is an individual who, in Elizabeth’s words, can “define your vision,” “free your voice,” and help you “own your value.”

WOW. WOW. WOW.

I have known Elizabeth for a long time. But recently, the growth and development of her coaching business led me to ask more, more, more questions about this fascinating world of hers. And since she is 100% committed to learning, growth, and mastery, she honors every opportunity to spread the word on what she does and how it works.

While Elizabeth works primarily with business owners and entrepreneurs, at her core, this intelligent, present, enthusiastic woman knows how to talk to people. She understands something fundamental and extraordinary about life and how to function in it. She knows how to help people find peace and fulfillment. She recognizes that, “What you actually need is to cultivate the courage to create.”

Elizabeth and I spoke for nearly an hour about her coaching, her journey, and how she’s come to do what she does. As in all other areas of her life, Elizabeth speaks in her bubbly tone, while remaining candid and honest. She speaks with authority about coaching because she knows it so well.

“I became became a coach to help people embody the clarity and confidence we develop on paper… to uncover the truth of what they really want, then go out there and live it,” she says. When I ask for clarity on this, Elizabeth explains that, “I believe each one of us possesses a unique blend of skills and passions that, if leveraged in service for the highest good of all, allows us to play our vital role in the global ecosystem.”

She is the kind of person who fully acknowledges that every single person matters. And that means something to a person like me, who wants to see the good in everyone, to find the peace in each of us and to help promote that.  

Elizabeth goes on to tell me that, “I can’t stand seeing people (especially smart, strong women) put their passions on hold or talk themselves out of pursuing their true desires because they’re getting steamrolled by self-criticism and systems that oppress the power of feminine skills and strength. The world needs leaders who are willing to wield their creativity, sensitivity, nurturing, and compassion as tools for justice and wealth creation.” 

I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to speak with an individual who knows how to access the super-highway to our own amazingness. Elizabeth asks real questions and provides real talk to hone in on what her clients would love to accomplish. She helps to refine her clients’ mindset so they can think clearly. Then she finds and articulates real next steps toward success.

How does she do all this and more?

She listens.

She remains present.

She thinks.

And she acts.

With compassion, empathy, and dedication.

I left my conversation with Elizabeth feeling peaceful. Aside from the fact that she’s witty, hilarious, insightful, and fun, she is a business savvy lady who knows what success looks like (in all its forms). She clearly knows knows how to help others achieve it. She is not a therapist. She is a coach, and she seeks to show you how to achieve your dreams.

She’s the person you call when you’re ready to step into your joy. She is the person to call when you have been fighting self doubt, comparisonitis, and/or dissatisfaction for TOO LONG. Elizabeth is the coach who helps you get on track with goals that will mean something to you. But Elizabeth, specifically, is the coach you call when you are ready to do the work.

If you’re interested in learning more, I can’t recommend Elizabeth more highly. Check her out on her website or instagram handle. You will be impressed, pleased, and oh, so peaceful that you’ve finally taken a step in the right direction.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!

Peace in Staring

Our breakfast nook has a huge French door that I completely hate. It’s drafty because the door is old and I want to change it. We’re not redoing the kitchen any time soon, so it’s something we’ve decided to live with for now.

As is the case with most things I hate or that drive me crazy, there is peace to be found, if I’m willing to stop and wait and watch.

This morning, the sun came out. It’s still pretty cold in our neck of the woods (below 30 degrees in the morning) but the birds were chirping and the sky looked super blue. And all of my kids sat at the breakfast table staring out that huge French door.

I couldn’t help but picture my paternal grandfather (since passed) who used to spend hours sitting in front of his living room windows, in a tan club chair, wearing a man’s white undershirt and slacks. He lived in the Catskills with my grandmother, on a 5 acre parcel of land where he liked to grow vegetables and invite friends to stay.

Much of my childhood, I can only picture the man either outside with a hat or inside, staring at the vast nature in front of him. There were no other houses, buildings, or people visible from his window. He could only see birds, deer, the occasional fox, and lots of butterflies.

This morning, my little family chewed its breakfast in silence. Every little person stared out the window and took in– who knows what. The road below us? The cars traveling to work and school? The birds skipping between branches? The brilliant sky? The swaying trees? The budding leaves on our maple trees?

The what is not so important as the why.

We stare because it is so peaceful. It’s so comforting. It’s so lovely. I hope you can start your day with the same kind of peace. This morning, I was thankful for the peace, the quiet, and the memory of other times when such peace was present: in the Catskills with an old man and his soft but enduring presence.

What brought you peace this week? Share the peace.