Paulo Coelho-  “Happiness is getting rid of the unnecessary”

I find such wisdom in this sentence..such freedom in a few well chosen words and such a desire to follow through on it.

Happiness is indeed getting ride of the unnecessary.  I look in my closet- clothes I don’t love, shoes I never wear and I put them into a bag to give away.

I open the cabinet drawers and take out anything that’s cracked or chipped and I toss it.

Over the next few days before the beginning of the New Year, I’m going to clear the closets, the drawers, the cabinets of anything that is no longer beautiful to me, useful to me, or good for me.

I want to open things and see only what is good and purposeful, nothing that is half broken but serviceable, nothing that is just “okay” but not “good”.

I’m also doing a spiritual journey…seeking out the people and places that belong in my life and letting go of those that don’t.

Maybe they did once upon a time, but not now…maybe they will once again, but not now.

This isn’t easy, but I’ve realized that I know my body and my soul so very well and when I listen, and pay attention, it whispers to me, “Let go. Go on. Speak up. Hold on. Lean forward. Step out. Slow down. Pay attention.”

Part of this impacts others and sometimes it’s hard to stand up for what my heart tells me but the time has come..it always had been there, but it’s clear to me now that I can and should make these choices and seek the happiness that comes from doing what’s necessary and good.

Letting go of what’s unnecessary frees up room in my closet, in my cabinets and, most of all, in my heart for all that really is necessary.

Wild Heart

As I head into the room to create

the things on my my list

My boots are on my feet

and my jeans hug my hips

I’m wearing a shirt

that says it all,

“Listen with all that you have”

I find myself praying

like my momma used to do

just talking on to Jesus

as if he was in the room

I’m feeling overwhelmed

and under loved

an emotional roller coaster

that I can’t get off of

The tears come

for no good reason

in between the smiles 

and rambunctious laughter

so I’m just talking on to Jesus

telling what I want

 Come on, Lord,have mercy

 keep me wild and broken

open and loving,

tender and strong,

adventuresome and still content

blissful and hopeful,

giving and gracious, 

wise and curious,

 forgiving and accepting. 

Let my body dance,

please, Lord, let me dance

Let my soul explore

  Let me dare to live my dreame

  chase my own wild heart.  

And let me ride

this roller coaster of life

with my arms raised high

Roses and Thorns

A person that plants thorns, must never expect to gather roses.           -Paulo Coelho

I read this and sat outside on my patio, pondering the wisdom of these words as I looked at the garden filled with flowers and green plants,and tall trees that are losing their leaves.

There’s a chapter in Paulo’s book,The Spy, where the mother gives her daughter a package of flower seeds and tells her to carry these seeds so they will remind her of who she is and where she’s from. 

The mother says to her daughter, “These are seeds of tulips, they will only bloom into tulips. The seeds you plant will not change into another type of flowers.”

There it is. Simple as that.

What you plant, is what will bloom. 

Or at least, that’s the way it works in the garden and the yard.

 I dig up wayward trees that are growing in cracks and even in the gutters of my studio, and I replant them where I believe they will grow deep roots and become tall, beautiful trees that offer shade and shelter.

I buy clearance plants from Lowe’s- bedraggled, pitiful, little things and I plant them and I nurture them fully expecting them to thrive and bloom…and they do. 

That’s another lesson from my Mema, who would tell me over and over, “Don’t give up…the tiniest little root is all it takes. You just gotta pour love on it.”

This is how people are,too, but sometimes you can plant roses and tend to the roses as they grow and bloom, only to find out that others look at the beautiful roses and only see the thorns.

They may breathe in the scent of the roses, understand the time and work put into establishing the roots, nurturing the soil, making sure it receives plenty of sun and water and is encouraged to grow, but instead of focusing on the beauty, they point out the thorns.

“These thorns can cut. They might leave a mark or even a scar. You could get caught in those thorns and they will rip through you. There’s just too many thorns here.”

Never mind the intoxicating scent. Never mind the way the roses add beauty and color to the garden. Never mind how the roses climb along the bricks, offering shelter and privacy.

All they can see is the thorns.

I think that’s one reason I don’t really like roses. I always think of roses as high maintenance flowers. They are beautiful but they require pulling on gloves that reach to my elbows, using special tools, wearing shoes and tip toeing around as I work.

I’m the kind of woman that likes to reach into the garden with my bare hands, picking off dead leaves, pulling up weeds, digging holes and laying in plants without giving any thought to thorns that might cut me. 

I prefer to stand with my feet in the soil, turning stones over with my toes, wiggling down and using my body as a tool instead of looking for something that might make it easier, but won’t feel as good.

I may be “good and sore” as my Mema would say at the end of the day, but there’s just something special about the feeling of good, simple, hard work that you can feel and see.

That’s so much like the relationships we have. Sometimes we plant roses, and get distracted by the thorns. Sometimes it’s because others point those out to us.

Sometimes we plant yellow tulips and to our delight, find that a single red one somehow got mixed in the package and bloomed- making the garden even more beautiful.

Sometimes we plant flowers in pots and find that a tree has taken root in the fertile soil   and we know that, in order for it to really reach it”s full potential, we must transplant it out of the confined pot and into a place where it won’t be limited.

Sometimes we have to sit back in a rocking chair and wait and watch for the seasons to change, the roots to get established and the time to be right for the beauty to grow, show up and ssurprise us.

Just remember…anything can grow if you pour on the love and attention….and you can grow beauty or only thorns….it’s all in your hands and in the way you choose to look at the garden of life.