Spring has Sprung and WOW is it Messy!

Three Thoughts for Thursday – March 2020!

I began to write this a few weeks ago, before the virus turned our world upside down.  A few days ago, I sat down to review what I’d written, thinking I would need to scrap it and focus on something more related to where we all sit today.  As I read what I’d written, I found my thoughts even more poignant now as spring officially begins and we sit in the mud and mess together.  I hope this reflection gives you hope and slowly we all begin to germinate.
cherry blossoms

Ahhhh, spring has sprung!  Here in Seattle, the cherry trees are in full bloom and it is magical!  My boys had pestered me for months to make sure we got a spot in the local pea patch garden down the street.  Thankfully, I had remembered to call and put our name on the list early New Year’s Day.  Still, we were number 14 on that list.  Boy did I thank my lucky stars when I got the call – we got a spot!  My boys were THRILLED!

I have been thinking about the darkness of winter from which spring comes in all its colorful glory, and about the mud that nurtures and grows the seeds we plant. When we moved to LA, my boys were so taken by the sunshine and the possibility for a garden.  I watched as they dumped whole packets of seeds into each hole they dug.  I smiled as I saw their delighted faces when one plant grew.  They planted those seeds with reckless abandon and hope, and were so satisfied when even one seedling daringly sprang forth.

As we get older, we seem to fear getting dirty, and we get so stingy with our seeds, but why? We feel the need to follow the directions on the seed packet, or we buy seedlings too afraid of getting nothing from our seeds, or too impatient to wait for the sprouting process to occur. We become so regimented and tidy, and even when one plant sprouts, we wonder why only one rather than celebrating that one that courageously sprung from the ground. Taking this metaphor further into our relationships, families and work, I also see how children don’t fear getting messy.  They fight one minute and are playing together again the next without concern for how violently they just fought; the laughter soon follows the rage and tears.

When do we lose this resilience and faith and become rigid and fearful of the mess of living? When do we begin to calculate the efforts we put forth in a relationship and demand we get equal or more in return?  When do we become slow to forgive and move forward? When do we begin to forget to celebrate the one triumph as if it were everything, the way we once celebrated the sprouting of one seed in the hundred or so we dumped into the garden? When do we become afraid to get our hands dirty?  When do we forget the beauty that can spring from the mud?

As spring approaches, I encourage you to plant and celebrate with reckless abandon.  I encourage you to invest in relationships and to bloom and put forth your beauty without calculation. I implore you to manifest the best in yourself without expectation simply because you have beauty within worth sharing.  Show off your colors, stand tall and shine!  Nurture the seeds and sprouts around you and notice and appreciate their beauty. Bask in the sunshine and the rain and put forth your best!

Quote I am sitting with, pondering and finding inspirational:

Pema Chodron

Podcast/Lecture Series I’m Listening To:

The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection and Courage
lecture series by Brené Brown

 Show Up and Let Yourself be Seen
Is vulnerability the same as weakness? “In our culture,” teaches Dr. Brené Brown, “we associate vulnerability with emotions we want to avoid such as fear, shame, and uncertainty. Yet we too often lose sight of the fact that vulnerability is also the birthplace of joy, belonging, creativity, authenticity, and love.” On The Power of Vulnerability, Dr. Brown offers an invitation and a promise – that when we dare to drop the armor that protects us from feeling vulnerable, we open ourselves to the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Here she dispels the cultural myth that vulnerability is weakness and reveals that it is, in truth, our most accurate measure of courage.

The Power of Vulnerability is a very personal project for me,” Brené explains. “This is the first place that all of my work comes together. This audio course draws from all three of my books – it’s the culmination of everything I’ve learned over the past twelve years. I’m very excited to weave it all into a truly comprehensive form that shows what these findings and insights can mean in our lives.”

Guidance and Insights for Wholehearted Living
Over the past twelve years, Dr. Brené Brown has interviewed hundreds of people as part of an ongoing study of vulnerability. “The research shows that we try to ward disappointment with a shield of cynicism, disarm shame by numbing ourselves against joy, and circumvent grief by shutting off our willingness to love,” explains Dr. Brown. When we become aware of these patterns, she teaches, we begin to become conscious of how much we sacrifice in the name of self-defense -and how much richer our lives become when we open ourselves to vulnerability.

“In my research,” Dr. Brown says, “the word I use to describe people who can live from a place of vulnerability is wholehearted.” Being wholehearted is a practice-one that we can choose to cultivate through empathy, gratitude, and awareness of our vulnerability armor. Join this engaging and heartfelt teacher on The Power of Vulnerability as she offers profound insights on leaning into the full spectrum of emotions-so we can show up, let ourselves be seen, and truly be all in.


  • Cultivating shame resilience-the key to developing a sense of worth and belonging.
  • Vulnerability as the origin point for innovation, adaptability, accountability, and visionary leadership.
  • Our emotional armory – how we use perfectionism, numbing, and other tactics to avoid feeling vulnerable.
  • The myths of vulnerability – common misconceptions about weakness, trust, and self-sufficiency.
  • Discovering your vulnerability armor – recognizing what makes us shut down, and how we can change.
  • The 10 guideposts of wholehearted living – essential skills for becoming fully engaged in life.
  • Six hours of stories, warm humor, and transformative insights for living a life of courage, authenticity, and compassion from Dr. Brené Brown.
Book I listened to/read that I am now returning to again:
Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

“Believing that something is wrong with us is a deep and tenacious suffering,” says Tara Brach at the start of this illuminating book. This suffering emerges in crippling self-judgments and conflicts in our relationships, in addictions and perfectionism, in loneliness and overwork – all the forces that keep our lives constricted and unfulfilled. Radical Acceptance offers a path to freedom, including the day-to-day practical guidance developed over Dr. Brach’s 20 years of work with therapy clients and Buddhist students.Writing with great warmth and clarity, Tara Brach brings her teachings alive through personal stories and case histories, fresh interpretations of Buddhist tales, and guided meditations. Step by step, she leads us to trust our innate goodness, showing how we can develop the balance of clear-sightedness and compassion that is the essence of Radical Acceptance. Radical Acceptance does not mean self-indulgence or passivity. Instead it empowers genuine change: healing fear and shame and helping to build loving, authentic relationships. When we stop being at war with ourselves, we are free to live fully every precious moment of our lives.