Tag Archives: renewal

Patience

A couple of roos loose in the top paddock“Be patient, all things move as the timing requires. Quiet your mind, take time to be with yourself with no expectations or push. Do not be anxious for results, but enjoy the gentle journey. In your busy world, do not be rushed or allow the impatience of others to push you into hasty actions.

All things come to those who wait….patiently!”  Treasures from Tikashi

Back in the city, I miss the quiet time of the retreat and find myself getting impatient with not having developed it as quickly so as to have guests to stay in comfort and share the experience. The contrast between country and city couldn’t be greater.

Spending time in reflection, quite a lot has already been achieved and lessons learned. There has been the clearing of the flammable weed that covered much of the property and a maintenance schedule to prevent it from taking over again is being developed.

My first Labyrinthpriority was to build a labyrinth to set the energy for the property and that has been done. Again it needs maintenance on a regular basis as the weather and wildlife tend to blur the outline. The addition of gypsum last September has made digging the clay so much easier! Next project on the list for the labyrinth area is to set up some termite proof seating and shelter.

After the trial of garlic (enjoyed by the wildlife), I spent a few months germinating sage seeds and potting them up to plant.  A couple of sage plants had been put in last Easter and were left untouched for the rest of the year, so I thought that this would be a suitable plant to grow. Sage ready to plantA mixture of pot sizes and some stunted seedlings made the trip up to the retreat for an Easter planting. I decided to put them into the centre arms and entrance to create a fragrant addition. Planting out some 20 pots took a little longer than expected, and being able to use the water from the fire trailer to water them in saved carrying 20 litre buckets across the paddock! Rain was forecast and I was confident that they would happily adapt to their new home. Research was done on other rabbit/hare proof herbs and I looked forward to checking up on them at the next visit.

Orbs on approach to labyrinth On the next visit, most of the plants were pruned to the roots….only the tiniest, most straggly seedlings that I thought wouldn’t survive remained. Coming back to that word….

Patience……

I planted out a rosemary cutting with strong roots that I put in the plant carrying box at the last minute. It will be interesting to see if the kangaroos and hares find rosemary palatable as well….

The Easter holiday was a hive of activity.  Building, mowing, digging, planting trees and sage, not to mention watching the Lunar Eclipse on the Saturday evening. Orbs at the eclipseThe skies were clear, just a little chilly, but bearable if rugged up well. The banana lounges were employed usefully and we were able to recline without getting a crick in the neck that one gets from star-gazing whilst sitting in a chair.  Various photos of the eclipse were taken, but a better quality camera or lenses are required for future photos of the moon, stars and planets, but good enough to record the orbs that appeared!

The aging tractor doesn’t fit into the large shed, so an extension or “tractor port” was planned aOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAnd the wood delivered just before the Easter holidays. Tall enough to accommodate the tractor, long enough to fit the slasher it will have a skillion roof to add more rainwater to the dwindling levels of water in the big concrete water tank.

Friends arrived to help out with the building and were duly fed lunch for their efforts. Another friend stayed on to help with the mowing.  The same friend helped out with digging holes in the hard clay soil to plant out some oak tree saplings that I have grown from seed.  They were settled into the soil with well aged compost from the toilets and securely staked and tree guards put around them. Time was taken out to visit the Easter Parade in Rushworth and there was lots to see, but it was good to get back to the relative quiet of the retreat.

A walk around the boundary was a great opportunity to find some small treasures. A tiny nest that had blown out of a tree. Looking more closely, the enterprising birds (they could have been Pardalotes, Blue Wrens or Robins) had visited the main area and used threads from the Tibetan prayer flags that are placed around the communal fireplace.

Tiny Town labyrinthDuring the last visit, I spent some time re-visiting my labyrinth books and came across an unusual design, based upon a shepherd’s crook. As I gazed out of the shed whilst sheltering from a brief shower, I realized this would fit in an area that I had previously considered for putting in a raised garden bed. I marked it out with a tree stake and yes, it just fitted!red and green energy in new labyrinth Out came the shovel and the outline was dug into the ground and then the leaves raked to clear a pathway. This will be a low maintenance labyrinth, with just a quick rake to be able to walk it. Photos were duly taken and some interesting artifacts appeared on the bottom of the second photo. It was a series of 3 photos taken in quick succession and the second one shows a green circle at the bottom and the third, no artifacts……

Back to the city…. and a friend asks when there will be more accommodation…… back to the start of the post….. patience!

It’s evolving.

Slowly, like the oak trees that have gone in. They may not be of use in what’s left of my lifetime, but I planted them with the future in mind.

 

 

Autumn Planting

first of the home grown oaksProbably not the best time of year to start planting, but on advice from a friend that is wise about these matters, I put in the first of the home grown oak trees just after the first Autumn Full Moon.

The soil was just a shade softer than concrete. It’s a heavy clay and as the summer sun has dried out the moisture and the grass has died back and gone crispy and crunchy underfoot, a pick was required to loosen the soil.  After digging just four holes, I was dreaming of a mechanical auger to do the holes for the next 10 or so trees that are waiting to be planted out, until I read the reviews on several sites and forums.

The first of the composted toilet bins has gone beyond 12 months of “cooking” in the sun, so once a deepish hole (around 500mm) was dug,  half a bucket was tipped into each oak tree hole and mixed with the soil to help with drainage and feed the trees. Surprisingly, there was very little odour, so I assume that the composting has been successful.

the first of the pomegranate treesStakes and tree guards were put around the two Oak trees and the two Pomegranate trees that were planted and watered in well. Another acorn was planted directly into the ground next to the passionfruit vine which on this visit was looking decidedly unwell. I had planned to move it to a less sunny spot as “full sun” up here is equivalent to baking and crisping!

Having discovered that a reasonably liberal sprinkling of gypsum throughout the labyrinth has made the soil there a little easier to dig, I will take up a couple of bags on the next visit to apply before putting in the next trees and see if it works it magic again.

The driveway has a collection or avenue of native trees such as wattles, eucalyptus and pinwheel hakeas as one heads up from the roadway towards the cottage and shed. Most of the property was pasture at some stage, with a remnant stand of Bull Mallee trees at the high point and some tall eucalyptus trees on the lower slopes, which I usually refer to as the  “wild area”.  One can choose to continue driving along the fence line or turn east along the edge of the “wild area” towards the astronomy dome which sits like a lonely Dalek in the paddock.  It is along this area that I will create (if nature and the wildlife allow) a deciduous avenue of oak trees -perhaps in the future they will become the backdrop to a garden of a house yet to be dreamed of, let alone built. Planning the future plantings and ensuring a good water supply for the cottage, the labyrinth and the trees changes as the land reveals itself takes time and careful consideration.

Orbs like the oak tree plantingEach trip has different highlights. Often it is to note the changes of season, or to walk the labyrinth or to roam the property and catch the energy of the land. Nights are interesting, even though I have vivid dreams in the city, the dreams here are lucid and have characters who seem to have stepped out of a time long gone. Another friend who is a gifted psychic, has suggested I’m picking up on the energy of the goldrush days and the colourful characters that roamed this area back then.  Whatever it is, I’m quite happy to go with the flow and enjoy the peaceful environment and work on restoring the land gradually and along permaculture principles.

Setting up for New Year

Within youThis time of year can be filled with frantic activity to finish off chores, projects and to socialize, eat, drink and be merry.

It’s important to look after yourself and part of doing the best you can is to make sure that you don’t “burn the candle at both ends” and end up exhausted. Depleting your energy will leave you open to various ills, chills  and mental lethargy that seems to abound at this time of year. Not only that,  both your body and mind need to take a rest so that you can accomplish your future goals. This is particularly important with the round of New Year’s resolutions about to be made. Start your planning now to make realistic and achievable goals.

Firstly, taking time out to rest and rejuvenate is a way of showing love and respect for yourself. Sometimes others may not understand the need for this, but to be able to construct effective goals for the coming year, it is vitally important for you to identify what stressed you out in 2014 and ask yourself a couple of questions,  “What do I really want?”  and ” Why do I want it?”
Once you have the answers to these, write them down. This is the start to an effective goal setting strategy.

Meditation is a great way to have a fresh and rested mind and by setting the intent to do so you can release the worries from this last year with some simple visualization techniques, such as letting go of balloons that have your worries written on them, or clouds scudding across a sky and disappearing over the horizon.

What obstacles are in your way to creating a better year for yourself in 2015? Are they procrastination, being “busy”? Name the obstacles, in order to better plan around them or circumvent them popping up again. Awareness is the key to removing or resolving obstacles.

Who can help you achieve your goals? Or perhaps there are things that you need to put in place……  Be clear about what you want and communicate your needs with courage.

And finally you need a plan of action steps to take ……  there is no point in having goals if you are not going to DO anything.   You can dream all you like, but deep down you know that a goal is a dream with a deadline.

When are you going to implement your goals? Be specific. Take baby steps so you don’t get overwhelmed….. break it down so each step is achievable and moves you closer to your end goal.

Remember to plan for yourself, not what you think others would like you to do…. it means that you are stepping out of your integrity. Embrace the goals you have set for yourself, take a risk, acknowledge yourself and take action and let the universe reward you with abundance and transform your life…..

Busy as a Bee

Busy  beeSpring has arrived, even though most of the wattles have finished flowering and various seeds are sprouting.

I had just about given up on this one…. when I took a closer look at a different shade of green in the centre of the labyrinth.  The outer ring is punctuated by garlic shoots spearing up through the heavy clods of clay – although one or two have been pruned by some hungry creature….. hmmm!! Me-thinks there might be a  pre-seasoned rabbit or two?

The labyrinth construction started on Good Friday this year and we took some time off to enjoy the Rushworth Easter Parade on  the Saturday.  The dogs accompanied us and didn’t enjoy the experience as they were unused to crowds, so I sat out with one of them in a grassy area at the top of town.

Nearby are Oak trees that must have been planted in the Gold Rush days of the 19th century.  They stand guard over the memories of better days for the little town. It is said that it takes around 120 years for an Oak tree to mature and produce a good crop of acorns – these have tolerated drought, heat, cold, frost…. and the ground around them was blanketed with them.

I pocketed a few and took the time to plant 5 in and around the labyrinth. No sign of any growth for many months, except for a variety of plants classed as weeds. A month or so before Easter, I had also gathered some acorns from an Oak tree that was overhanging the fence at my son’s first house out of home. He and his young family were moving out and I thought it would be nice to have some trees as a memento of where they first brought the baby home. Acorns duly potted up, 2 sprouted almost straight away. Not having any use for the pots and thinking I would use the soil for compost later, I left them where they were. To my surprise, just a few weeks ago, I counted another 10 Oak tree seedlings emerging….

Now if only the sage seeds would start doing something!!!! I’m waiting on the Grass Tree seeds to germinate as well. They grow wild in the forest just a couple of kilometers down the track, and many have been vandalized. I bought the seeds, but now I know what they look like, may stop and have a look for some next time I’m down that way.

A single Jacaranda seed, saved from a school excursion my daughter went on years ago, has been potted up and I’ve noticed that the city neighbors Jacaranda trees have some seed pods on them…. time to ask if I can harvest them! Some of the towns to the east of Rushworth have Jacarandas planted in the main streets and look spectacular in flower. I can envision a stand of them along the driveway, perhaps interspersed with the glorious yellow of Kowhai trees competing with the wattles for colour. I still have some Kowhai seeds saved from the house where the children were first raised.

The Oak trees will be planted out closer to where ever the planned retreat building goes, to partly act as shade and being deciduous, as a fire break – but also to offset my carbon footprint. I also see it as building an inheritance for whoever is custodian of the land long after I have gone.

labyrinth12Half a dozen Pomegranate trees are thriving in pots and another 10 or so continue to live in crowded conditions in a corner of the city garden. These are now about 4 or 5 years old and as I thin them out they are growing much stronger and taller.  Having read of the health benefits of pomegranate, i’m sure that I will have a veritable forest of them shortly! As the trunks are rather “leggy”, I’m thinking of using them as a screen in front of the labyrinth.

A pot bound Avocado  that is about 8 years old is destined to make the road trip once I have a couple more seeds sprouting.

mowed area3Visitors are arriving in early October for “A Back to Basics” camping weekend. In preparation an area has been mowed – partly to remove the unwanted Biddy Bush – but mostly to discourage snakes which are likely to be starting to stir after their winter hibernation.  That’s it in the foreground…. 12 months regrowth. It doesn’t have much of a smell to it, but it must contain some volatile oils, because you can pull it up out of the ground (only after a good rain) and put it on the fire – green and wet – and it burns like crazy.

mowing2Driving the tractor is a great time to meditate – you have to be mindful not to mow rocks and to keep fairly straight lines – although I had fun going in circles mowing around the labyrinth.

Another bonus is that a lot of the capeweed flowers were lopped off, and although they might look pretty and the bees seem to love them, I would rather not have them there. It seems that the only natural solution to get rid of them is to mow  before the flowers set seed and mulch, oversow with other grasses and top dress the lot with dolomite.  All the other advice is to spray with roundup or similar…..I don’t really want to become a Monsanto customer. From what I can ascertain, capeweed grows in over tilled soil and where there is little topsoil enriched with humus. It is also a hazard to horses, causing a magnesium deficiency – not that I have any stock at all – except the itinerant kangaroos, who seemed somewhat unhappy that their feed had been mowed and a couple of displaced hares who seem to have moved into next door’s thicket of Biddy Bush.

In between all of this, my city business is also starting to grow with the arrival of Spring. I’m coaching, seeing hypnotherapy clients and this past week has been full of networking activities and late nights. All about that in another post……..

New Look

There must have been something in the air – certainly change……

I’ve changed my personal website as well as this business one and feel like I am starting to get the two more aligned. I’ve even imported all my old posts from a Blogger account that I started posting in …way back in 2008 … to this one and am thinking that towards the end of the year I might even migrate the blog here to my personal website. Not sure what Mr Google will think of that….

July has seen me reviewing old business plans and I was really surprised when I dug an old one up from 2009 and discovered that my plan back then was really ahead of its time. This time, as I review it, I have decided to run it past a person with a more positive outlook and entrepreneurial attitude than last time. In fact I might even listen to my own intuition and not give away my personal power…..

A dream is just a dream…. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline……

Needless to say, there has been some serious planning with 90 day goals set over the last few weeks, both business and personal. I’m happy to say that most of the goals I have set for July have been achieved and there’s still 3 more days to go!

GoalsUsing the SMART model makes it really simple to test whether the goal is realistic or not and of course that is the key. Set achievable goals and  not only the does the conscious mind do a “happy dance”, but the brain creates new pathways, the subconscious mind stores the positive experience to be applied to other future projects…..

Observing the environment

 

Prejudices, it is well known,are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education; they grow firm there, firm as weeds among stones.

Charlotte Bronte
Another all too brief sojourn up at the retreat, with some more clearing of bushes, tending to the labyrinth and the beginnings of a walking track (fire break) around the perimeter.
Mound of Biddy Bush alight in the overflowClearing the Biddy Bush or Chinese Bush has just about been completed and the debris was pushed into a large pile in the damp area of the dam overflow to minimize the fire spreading.
Whilst it was sad to see so many tiny Blue Wrens and other little bush birds displaced and homeless, the ongoing fire risk is too great to let the bushes stay. They kept busy collecting twigs from previously slashed bushes and rebuilt during the day.
Just one small section of the debris was lit and within seconds, this inferno took off. Some 5 hours later – after burning red-hot, the pile was reduced to ashes, which will be added to a composting area.
AshesEventually deemed safe to leave, we made periodic trips to check on it during the evening (& the Yabbie nets). On one of these trips, not only kangaroos were sighted in the headlights, but a large hare. This is the third time I’ve caught a glimpse of it!
The evenings are spent thinking about building projects. Now the proud owner of a metal bath, which originally was sourced to have as an outdoor bath heated by a small fire under it, it will most probably reside (still outside) on a verandah to built at the front of the cottage.
A bath with a view!
The first of the fruit trees has gone in  – a lemon tree and although kangaroos and wallabies have inspected it, so far it seems to be off their menu.
A passionfruit vine was gifted to me and it will possibly be installed as part of a green fence around the labyrinth.
Other trees in pots are waiting to make the trip up to the retreat.  There are half a dozen pomegranate trees – a result of planting out the spent seeds from a pomegranate feast 3 years ago. Quite small still, but hardy as they have been in a crowded spot, they should take off now they have been potted up. They should do quite well  and I’m intending to hedge them in front of the labyrinth, which should also offer a little more privacy as people walk.
There is also a 7 year old Avocado tree that has been on the deck for some time and is calling to have its roots set free and the half dozen or so Oak seedlings are progressing well.
Just yesterday, a small almond tree was given to me and that will be planted out on the next trip.
As with all projects, enthusiasm needs to be balanced with practicality… but there is the trap of over intellectualizing and doing nothing…

A balanced start to the New Year

sundown NYEStill waters run deep ……

I wasn’t about to test the depth of the dam waters on a clear summer evening in the bush, but it was pleasant watching the sun go down over the horizon for the last time in 2013.

As the evening lengthened and the first stars made their appearance, the reminiscences of the past year and earlier years began…

Gradually the night sky darkened and unveiled the Southern Cross, the magnificence of the Milky Way and more… Our necks grew tired from leaning backwards in our chairs… satellites, shooting stars…. all glowing brightly in the night before the new moon and the new year.

The only thing missing was the music from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon…..

Breathe
(Waters, Gilmour, Wright)

Breathe, breathe in the air.
Don’t be afraid to care.
Leave but don’t leave me.
Look around and choose your own ground.

Long you live and high you fly
And smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry
And all you touch and all you see
Is all your life will ever be.

Run, rabbit run.
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done
Don’t sit down it’s time to dig another one.

For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race towards an early grave.

Mapping Your Resources

possibilityCreating your own treasure map is possible…. When you map the resources you have and identify what you need, then you are better equipped to start your journey.

Have recently completed a course to become a Professional Supervisor, I came across a great exercise in the textbook we had to read and have used it in some sessions I have already taken.

You need a large sheet of paper and lots of coloured pens or textas. If you feel so inclined, you could also have on hand some old magazines, scissors and glue – to create a collage – very similar to vision boarding.

In the centre, draw a representation of yourself – it can be a symbol or a picture but make it large enough so that you can draw or write symbols/diagrams or words that represent your INNER resources. If there is no room, that’s fine – just attach them to the original drawing.

Next, think about all the things, people, events that support and sustain you, yet are external to you. Place them around the symbol/picture of yourself.

  • Are they near or far,
  • evenly spaced or grouped,
  • are the links strong or weak?
  • What is missing?
  • Do they lift  you up or weigh you down?

Use as much colour and texture as you feel necessary.

Take completely different colour and draw symbols or pictures of things that BLOCK you, or are in the way to fulfilling your dreams.

It could be FEAR – when it comes down to it, we all have fears and the three most basic fears are:

  • Fear of not being loved
  • Fear of not being good enough
  • Fear of not belonging

and these are what hold us back.  Fear of not being good enough can lead to a fear of failure and yes, even fear of success. Strange but true! Many people have a fear of success, because they think that in being successful they may lose friends and therefore no longer “belong”.

The object of identifying the fears and the resources both within and around us it to allow us to work on building new and stronger resources. We have a choice – we can “feel the fear and do it anyway”  (as Susan Jeffers so succinctly put it in her book) or we can choose to feel the opposite…. appreciation. I wonder what feels better!!

Going back to your resource map … what treasures have you discovered?

What tools, people or things do you appreciate for having got you to where you are now?

What do you need to move forward?

Is your inner compass set right to get you to your destiny?

Well, you are the mapmaker in this case… so look to your inner resources and review them. Cast your eye over your external resources and blocks and decide what to keep and what to change. Dig deep enough in the centre and you will find gold.

Autumn Equinox

observationA day late for the actual Equinox which according to the Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne was at 11.02am on the 20th – the 21st is the Wicca festival of Mabon.

Celtic tradition also celebrated this marking of the change from Summer to Autumn.

Harvest festivals meant that people could celebrate the abundance of fruits and vegetables and great feasts were held, business concluded as people began to prepare for the winter months and a period of reflection.

It also marks the passage of womanhood from the fecundity of motherhood as she passes into the crone or Wise Woman.

It’s a time to reflect on the balance between light and dark as the equinox brings us a period of almost equal length of night and day.

A time too to reflect on the change of season and although Australia marks the change of season by the calendar – Australian Autumn starts on the 1st March – we have experienced six consecutive days of temperatures in the high 30C”  (which crisped the leaves nicely) and then marked by high winds and a terrific thunderstorm today. All serving to remind us that warmer days are now being left behind and colder weather lies ahead.

So how to celebrate or mark the Equinox?

Bring some balance to your life.

  • Show gratitude for any abundance you are experiencing and become aware of the high energy of this time….. the waxing moon as we head to the Full Moon and Easter will affect many people energetically.
  • Draw up a “Gratitude List” – putting it down on paper will help to bring a new perspective to your situation.
  • If you are blessed with abundance, share some of that with others less fortunate. Perhaps donate some non perishables to your local charity or do some fundraising for a worthy cause.
  • Reconnect with nature – walk in the local park and enjoy Nature’s technicolour show of Autumn leaves. Visit your local orchardist and pick some new season apples – you will be amazed at how different they taste to shop ones which often have been in cold storage for more than a year.
  • Gather some friends together and have your own “feast” – savour the taste of the harvest fruit and vegetables and feast on timeless stories….

 

 

Purpose

Everything has a purpose.  A tree has a purpose and that is to eventually bear fruit.  The tree renews its blossom, leaves and fruit each year and like the tree, whatever endeavor we embark upon, whether it is a relationship or business, then we too should be aware of the process of renewal.

The renewal process is cyclic and we can compare it to the seasons.

In Spring we anticipate the infinite potential of new situations.

In a relationship, this can last from 3 months up to a year.

It is a period of rapid growth, exciting new ideas and dreaming. The energy and enthusiasm rise like eager sap to flow to all parts of the plant. Seeds are planted with the heady expectation of a fruitful harvest and early blossom is eagerly anticipated.

The days slip by into Summer and as the temperature rises or even becomes quite hot, there is a shift in tempo. It is still a period of growth, but not the rapid growth of Spring, and there is a sense of being comfortable as one is entangled in the routines of steady work. There is work to be done; if starting a business or even moving to the next stage in a relationship, systems need to be put in place to sustain us in later seasons.  There is steady toil, every so often a reliance on another, much like the climbing plants need support or entrainment as they reach for the sunlight. This season or time in a relationship may take up to 3 years to pass and it is crucial to tend to the crops here, as if they are not watered, they will wither and die.

Eventually, Autumn eases in.The days shorten imperceptibly and the mornings become crisper and cooler.  New relationships will see the birth of children and older relationships which are moving through a new cycle will see the children leave.

There is the withering of leaves and now and then a relationship will also wither as couples no longer have anything to tend and grow together.

But for many this is a time of bountiful harvest and the fruits of earlier labours become clear. It is a time of gathering together and preparing for the following season.

And finally, the season turns to Winter where thoughts turn inward and a period of rest and hibernation begins. In some cases death.                           Generally it is a time for reflection and can be used as a hiatus from a busy life. There may be significant challenges experienced in this period and one can stay in it for a long period of time. It can also be one of the most exciting times of your life. For women it often is marked by the stages of fertility. The biological clock is ticking near midnight or the woman has entered into menopause, there may be a lack of intimacy and the relationship finally withers in the frosty wasteland of an untilled life. For either partner it can also signal the mid life crisis, where the poignant question is asked, “Is that all there is?”

And so the cycle is complete and ready to start again. The quality of relationships and business that you build during these cycles are dependent on the quality time and materials that are put in at each age and stage.