Karen Horneffer-Ginter
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Full Cup eNewsletter:

A Spring Thaw Just Must be Coming

Recently, I was driving through the wintery country-side with my daughter when she remarked, "Gosh, it's kind of a waste that all that farm land is just sitting there under the snow not growing anything."

"Ah," I said, "but haven't you ever heard of the idea of land 'lying fallow'-- how it needs time to just be there and rest so it can produce crops again?"

"Oh yeah, I guess I knew that," she replied, not really looking for the words of advice I was about to launch into.

"You know, humans are a lot like farmland. We also need time for rest and for restoration and for rejuvenation-- time to just be as opposed to always being productive. It's just that we're not typically given such opportunities so we have to be more creative in figuring out how to find balance . . ."

"Sure, Mom. That makes sense," she politely uttered.

I realized, even then, that I was saying these words for myself. I'd been reflecting on how wonderful it's been to take a winter break from certain things like organizing closets and cleaning out drawers-- even some activities I enjoy like initiating projects, writing articles, and engaging in social media.

The pause has felt rejuvenating, so it's hard to resist opportunities to promote fallowness.

The season's snow has been a catalyst for other reflections as well-- especially the accumulated pile at the end of my driveway that I've backed up into every morning for the last eight weeks. Its continued presence, along with all the other piles around town, has inspired me to think about how such accumulations can build up within our hearts and minds. Maybe it's the grayish-black stains that have reminded me that feelings and thoughts can sometimes hang around way too long-- well after their triggering events have passed and long after their presence really serves us.

It's important that we periodically take inventory of any negative feelings we're harboring so that we can give them the attention they need. I know for myself, I'm often much better at recognizing this need when I've been through challenging times with obvious emotional debris. It's harder to see this need when small disappointments and resentments get woven within positive stages of life because it's an odd reality that life's joys can also take their toll on us.

When I was in my young twenties, I was inspired by a woman in her fifties who explained that she and her partner take time every year to clear out the old and let go of whatever grudges they might be tempted to carry into the next year. She said, "It's a bit like Albert Camus' idea that 'after a certain age every man is responsible for his face.' We feel like we need to take responsibility for what we're holding on to and figure out what we need to do about it so we don't get weighed down more and more each year."

I love the invitation her words offer, even in knowing that it isn't always possible to let go of all the gray and black emotions we're holding. It's still a great practice to recognize what we can release. We can consider what within us feels ready to thaw as we prepare for the arrival of spring.

And spring just must be coming soon . . . !

Some "Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit" News:

* I'm excited to be a bonus speaker on Ashley Davis Bush & Bill O'Hanlon's "Happiness Habits Telesummit" which begins Monday March 31st (and is available after then too). They are featuring happiness ideas from Rick Hanson, Stan Tatkin, Joan Borysenko, Elisha Golstein, and Harriet Lerner. For further information & registration, click here .

*I'm also thrilled to be offering a video class, "How to nourish the soul when life's too much" through the En*theos Academy for Optimal Living on Monday, May 12th at 1:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM Pacific. You can check out the class and the 10 tips I'll be sharing here.

*You can also read my latest Huffington Post article: "Three Cheers for Intentions: & Why I Prefer Them over Affirmations"

* Also, coming this fall: Retreat in a Box

I've been having fun pulling together resources to support people who want to spend part of a day focused on rest, reflection, and renewal. When it's done, this Retreat in a Box will include some written ideas about how to spend such time, several audio downloads containing guided practices, and a few items to support the day's mission. While I'm still in the creation stage, I'd welcome any thoughts or suggestions! :)

Blessings,

Karen


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