Digging Deep

Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening
Updated 10th Anniversary Edition
By Fran Sorin
Braided World Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-0990791928 (Softcover)

Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening is a powerfully uplifting and transformative self-help book for the creatively and spiritually challenged.

Overflowing with tips, exercises, and resources, the updated 10th Anniversary Edition of Digging Deep is even more vital in today’s technology obsessed culture than when first published. Fran shares the lessons she’s learned from gardening over the past thirty years to guide you in unearthing the innate creativity and joy of your own true nature.

If you’re yearning to get out of the rut you’re in and cultivate more meaning and connection in life, Digging Deep offers encouragement and the tools to make it happen. The 7 Stages of Creative Awakening will take you through the steps of removing the stifling inner voice that says, “I’m not creative,” and replacing it with strategies that will help you harness your instincts, ignite your imagination, open to new possibilities, take more risks, engage in play every day, create the garden of your dreams, and develop a deep connection with nature. The result? A life filled with creativity, joy, and well-being that’s a reflection of your most authentic, artistic self.

If you’re ready to discover the magic in your garden and in yourself, this book is for you!

digging deep

Fran Sorin is the author of the original and recently updated 10th Anniversary Edition of Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, a book inspired by her thirty years of playing and working in the garden. Fran a graduate of The University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, is also a recognized garden expert, deep ecologist, ordained interfaith minister, soul tending coach and CBS Radio news contributor.

fran sorin

Fran lives with a gaggle of dogs, 2 rooftop gardens, and is surrounded by family and the loving presence of nature and spirit. She loves rowing, is a cinephile, and can be found playing, laughing, connecting, working hard (and loving it), and creating wherever she is. She feels that every day should be filled with creativity, connection, play, kindness, and generosity. For her, these are the cornerstones of what constitute a joyful and meaningful life.

Connect with Fran on her website, Facebook and Twitter.

Excerpt – You can read an excerpt from Digging Deep on Vidya Sury’s blog here.

My review

Fran’s style of writing is easy and engaging and yet has such a depth to it that made Digging Deep it such a wonderful reading experience. I savoured the book,  loved reading about all her experiences and quietly bookmarked tips to follow later.

Given my own recent interest in gardening, Fran’s book couldn’t have come to me at a better time in my life. I have been exploring my own creativity online and attempting to get my hands dirty offline, but still have a long way to go before the two worlds combine. Digging Deep is certainly going to help me do something I have been consciously working at – to bring these two worlds together.

This is one book I will be re-reading soon!

31 days of inspiration

 

 

15 Inspiring Quotes On Appreciating Nature

Every day I am learning to appreciate Nature more. I’m enjoying my walks around our home – looking at the flowers, listening to the birds and even appreciating the smelly garden bugs! My time in our little garden makes me very happy too.

Today, I’d like to urge you to make time for Nature. It’s so important for our well-being. Let me share with you

15  Inspiring Quotes On Appreciating Nature

Every realm of nature is marvelous. — Aristotle

quotes on appreciating

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. — John Muir

My profession is to always find God in nature. — Henry David Thoreau

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life. — John Burroughs

Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit. — Edward Abbey
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“Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons: It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” — Walt Whitman

“Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.”
Terry Tempest Williams

“Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.” — Karle Wilson Baker

“Keep your sense of proportion by regularly, preferably daily, visiting the natural world.”— Catlin Matthews

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.” — Rachel Carson

quotes on appreciating nature

“Trees are the Earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.” — Rabindranath Tagore

“Land really is the best art.” — Andy Warhol

“How easy and simple it is to live enjoyably when the simple, interminable blue of the sky, with its long wisps of white clouds, become a pleasant thing to behold, a thing of beauty that thrills you every time you care to look skyward.” — John Schindler

“At some point in life, the world’s beauty becomes enough.” — Toni Morrison

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
— Henry David Thoreau

I hope you enjoyed these quotes and are inspired to visit and appreciate Nature more often. Let me end with a blessing:

“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.”
— Edward Abbey

31 days of inspiration

 

Bookworm Paradise

I love books! What else is new?

I also love collecting pictures of bookshelves, because being surrounded by books makes me happy!

Let me invite you today to Bookworm Paradise!

The ultimate for a bookworm is to have books to read while have a long and luxurious soak in a tub! Believe me, it’s divine. When I was about ten, we lived in a large bungalow and I had one massive bathroom, complete with an old-fashioned bathtub. During the summer holidays, I would sneak in a book, fill up the tub and soak while I read! Times have changed, but I can still dream of this happening again, can’t I? While I’m dreaming,  it wouldn’t hurt to look at these:

 

bookworm paradise
Pic source
bookworm paradise
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While I’ve moved on to reading my Kindle in bed, I’m not averse to having bookshelves in my bedroom. Sample these dream bedrooms:

bookworm paradise

bookworm paradise
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Fancy a book nook? I think it’s the stuff that a bookworm’s dreams are made of! Take your pick.

bookworm paradise
Pic source
bookworm paradise
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Here’s my favourite book nook:

bookworm paradise
Pic source

I hope you have as much looking at these as I did putting this post together. Which one of them would you like for your home?

Deep Sleeps

Is there anything more stressful than struggling to fall asleep? When you’ve run out of farmyard animals to count, and the hour can be numbered with a single digit, it seems the longer you lie, the harder it becomes to surrender to unconsciousness. While the first consideration is often physiological, environmental factors could be at fault, and making a few adjustments to your surroundings could make all the difference between sweet dreams and calamitous insomnia.

deep sleeps

Deep Sleeps and Diligent Days — Creating a Peaceful Resting Environment

Tire out your eyes

Your brain secretes melatonin, a sleep hormone triggered by natural darkness, so ensure the shades or curtains over any bedroom windows are thickly lined and artificial sources of light have been extinguished to benefit from its full effect. It might be tempting to curl up and indulge your latest TV addiction on your tablet or phone with a little bedtime binge-watching, but it’s not conducive to quiet repose, so make your room a retreat from the stresses of email, missed calls and that latest high score on Angry Birds. Your shuteye is, from now on, a strict no technology zone.

Decorate for dreaming
Bright colours and patterned wallpaper are too hectic to introduce into the bedroom; they only stimulate your mind and draw the eye. Powder pastels and neutral colours work best. It’s harder to sleep when things feel unfinished, so keep the room pristine and clutter free for utmost chill potential.

Make a list of demands
Often, we’re kept awake by the worries that occupy our thoughts, whether rational, or in the form of chance mental ramblings that will seem irrelevant come morning. Keep a pen and notepad somewhere close to the bed, and if an amplified worry comes to mind, write it down as a promise to yourself to deal with it in the morning.

Feed your senses
The soft scent of cotton linen, a gentle breeze through an open window, a cup of herbal tea; quality sleep is not about just closing your eyes and hoping for the best, it requires the cooperation of all your senses. Stock up the bedside table with an emergency sleep kit; this might include scented hand cream, a face mask to block out the light and, crucially, a cold glass of water in the event of mid-slumber dehydration.
Though very easy to neglect, sleep is critical to your health, and lack of it can cause hypertension, impact hormone levels, decrease your immunity and even make you gain weight! Make it a priority to get the most out of your eight hours a night, and you could see more visible benefits than from changing any other aspect of your routine.

Home Is Where The Heart Is?

It’s been over a month since we moved into our new place and we don’t have a single picture up on the walls yet! Yes, we’ve had all sorts of issues of a more pressing nature, but…. It’s not like we have to buy pictures – since we brought a few with us and my brother has offered us some as well.

home is where the heart is

Home Is Where The Heart Is?

So what’s keeping us from hanging up the pictures, besides our good old friend, procrastination? I was wondering about this when I came across an article from Laura Benko , a holistic design expert.

Laura’s article  examines whether your home decor reveals your anxieties.  She says that our anxieties manifest themselves in our surroundings. Interesting? I thought so.

Here’s what she has to say:

Fear of Success/Low Self-Esteem – is manifested in having artwork and mirrors hung very high. The feeling? You can never measure up.

Uncertainty – leads to surrounding yourself with loads of things, hoarding.

Fear of commitment – procrastination on buying more expensive stuff, hanging pictures etc.

Fear of change – you never update the decor – it’s been there since you first moved in.

Fear of losing control – being over-meticulous with order in your home. Anything out of place leads to anxiety.

Fear of failure – procrastinating on everything, leading to clutter.

Does this resonate with you in any way? Read the article to see what she suggests one can do to deal with these issues.

 

Photo credit: Free Images

Getting the Right Bath for Your Bathroom

Your bathroom is one of the most used rooms in your home. Whether it is designed for family use or as a place for relaxing in, it is important that your bathroom is tailored to cater for your needs. As the focal point in the bathroom, your choice of bath will be a critical success factor in achieving a bathroom you can love. Not only that, but your bath occupies a vital part in your daily life by helping you to get yourself ready for the day ahead and can also provide a haven for you to rejuvenate and invigorate the body and spirit after a stressful day.

 

getting the right bath for your bathroom

Getting the Right Bath for Your Bathroom

However, choosing the right bath for your bathroom is not as easy as it you might think it is! These days, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to the selection of baths available to select from and as a result, all considerations must be carefully thought out before you make that purchase.

  1. Size

Before you view any baths, be sure to measure the space that’s available in your bathroom so that you can choose the correct size bath for your bathroom. There are different sizes of baths for all bathrooms – both small and large – so don’t be put off choosing a bath if your bathroom is small. In addition, make sure that the size of bath you choose fits you too! Take the time to ensure that the bath offers adequate support to your head, neck and back.

  1. Shape & Design

Baths come in a variety of shapes and designs, and your choice will be dictated by a combination of both the size of your bathroom and your personal preference. From traditional, rectangular baths to corner baths, Jacuzzi baths and free standing baths, there is a wide selection for you to choose from.

Consider what you will use the bath for – bathing, relaxing, washing children etc. A combined bath and shower may be the best choice for a more functional bath while a deeper, double ended bath that has taps and overflow in the center of the bath may be batter for soaking and relaxing in.

  1. Material

You must also give some thought to the material from which your bath is made of. Baths can be acrylic, cast iron, porcelain, marble and fiberglass. The material you choose will depend primarily on your budget as baths made from marble and cast iron will be much more expensive than their acrylic or fiberglass counterparts. How often you intend to use the bath, its durability and how easy it is to maintain will also factor into your decision. What type of tiles or other materials you use on your bathroom floor and walls will also play a major factor in your choice of material so make sure to keep this in mind too.

  1. Features

Nowadays, baths can come with a variety of features, but be warned that additional features will warrant additional cost so be careful that you don’t get carried away. You can choose baths that incorporate light and music with inbuilt digital controls.

Jacuzzi style baths are fitted with whirlpool systems, heating elements and water jets, which when combined offer you a luxurious spa-like bathing experience in your own home.

 

13 Ways To Save Energy When Working From Home

José and I enjoy the luxury of working from home. There’s something wonderful about being your own boss and having the flexibility to work when your energy levels are high.

Working from home is better for the environment as you don’t have to travel to an office on a daily basis. However, if you work from home you might find your energy bills go up. You still need to be conscious of your energy consumption if you want to save money and reduce your impact on the environment.

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There are lots of ways to reduce your energy footprint when working from you. All it takes is a little thought, preparation and an awareness of the energy you are consuming on a daily basis. Here are 14 ways to save energy when working from home.

1. Switch your laptop off
Turn off your laptop and any appliances when you are not using them. Constantly leaving your computer or laptop on standby, as well as other electrical devices can drain a huge amount of energy. When you finish working for the day getting into the habit of turning everything off.

2. Use LED lighting
Check the lightbulbs in your office at home and if they are old replace them with LED bulbs. Paul at Saving Light Bulbs says “LED light bulbs are far more energy efficient and will last for years”.

3. Wrap up warm
Instead of turning the heating up when you work from home put some layers on. Your heating bills will go through the roof if you have the heating on during the day when you work from home all the time.

4. Only boil the water you need
Remember you are only making tea for yourself, not the entire office at work. Every time you make yourself a cuppa be aware of how much you fill up the kettle. Don’t constantly boil more water than you need.

5. Recycle paper
Have a recycle bin in your office at home and make a conscious effort to recycle as much as possible. Use both sides of each piece of paper if possible to reduce the amount of paper you use.

6. Have video meetings
Instead of having someone come and visit you at home, or travelling long distances to visit clients try and have video meetings instead.

7. Let the sunshine in
Don’t forget to open your windows and blinds in the morning, this will let more natural light in. The sunlight will keep your house warmer so you want need the heating on as much. According to the Channel 4 website “Daylight energises us, affects our mood and breathes life into the interiors of our homes”

8. Make sure your home is well insulated
Check that your home is well insulated so that it retains as much heat as possible. A drafty house with poor insulation will lose a lot heat and require far more energy to stay warm.

9. Buy energy-efficient office equipment
When you stock up on office equipment try and buy eco friendly products. Go for equipment that is energy efficient and environmentally friendly.

10. Be aware of your energy usage
One of the best ways to save energy is simply to be aware of your energy usage. Be considerate and only use what you need.

11. Be productive and work smarter
The more productive you are the less amount of time you will have to work each day. Work smarter not harder and organise your time effectively.

12. Condense your gadgets
Do you really need 15 different gadgets for work? Go through your numerous smart phones, tablets, laptops, computers and work equipment and review what you actually need.

13. Work in a cafe
Working from home all day every day can sometimes get a bit much. You can go a bit house crazy, sometimes it’s good to change your environment. Spend a few days a month working in a nearby cafe and you will also save yourself a few days worth of energy.

More or Less in December 2013

More or less – that’s the theme of December’s NaBloPoMo. It seems to fit right in with my own thoughts and ideas about what I want to blog about this month.

moreorless

For me, December is always a time of introspection; of looking back to look forward. In the Christian tradition, December is the season of Advent a time of waiting and preparation for the coming of the Savior. A time of ‘expectant hope’. That’s exactly how I feel as I eagerly look forward to another year – full of expectant hope at another chance to re-align my life with my principles.

At the start of 2013, I pledged to live a simple, authentic and holistic lifestyle. Have I succeeded? Am I atleast getting somewhere? These are questions I’ll be asking myself and questioning what I need to do more or less of in the year ahead.

Some of the topics that I’ll be focusing on are simplifying life by getting rid of clutter, looking more closely at what authenticity means to me and seeking ways to live more holistically. I will also be doing some of the NaBloPoMo prompts and  the Write Tribe Festival of Words 2 between the 8th to 14th (you’re welcome to take part too!) .  Guest posts and book reviews are also on the agenda. Altogether a real busy month, don’t you think?

I’m typing this as I head back home from a most relaxing vacation. So I’m all charged up and ready to go.

What are your plans for December? Are they more or less fixed? 

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