Friday, June 15, 2012

A View From the Garden

I was watching Goldie Hawn on the Dr. Oz show talk about her new book, Ten Mindful Minutes. I subscribe to the theory that we need to take time to let our minds rest. When we are under stress (who isn't) and busy with any number of things in our lives, we sometimes just need to stop, if only for 10 minutes. The brain needs rest just as our bodies do, and taking 10 minutes to let everything go and just BE is a necessity.

Dr. Oz followed up Goldie's suggestions by showing pictures of how the brain responds to meditation/mindfulness by actually strengthening certain parts. We all know that illnesses can occur from being over-stressed.

So, long story short, I took some downtime this week (from all the social media--forgive me peeps for seeming to ignore you) to recoup my energies in my garden. Here are some pictures:

First ripe tomato: (deliciously enjoyed in salad the day it was picked)

I call this our hummingbird tree (don't know the scientific name). The hummingbirds come early and stay late to enjoy the honey. I love watching their antics. They are very territorial and will dive-bomb unwanted visitors.


Before the weather turns deadly around here (in the 100s), I like to sit under the arbor, enjoy my plants and read.

All spring I work to pull weeds, re-pot, clean up dead plants that didn't make it through the winter until I can just sit and enjoy this environment for a while.

I added a pathway last year and the plants are coming along nicely.


With cactus at the end of the pathway.....






and herbs all around....



. . .rosemary (with pots of tomatoes on left)




. . .and oregano (I use a lot of it in cooking and this plant has been with me for years).










Of course there are the garden guardians:

Saint Francis       and       the sun god.









And even my personal guardian (Buddy ) who sits near me ceaselessly (he recently had his long Lhasa Apso coat clipped for the summer).

You can tell he's sweet, right?
He is just as he looks.



But enough of my relaxation--now you go find a spot --10 minutes to let go of all the stress and anxiety.

Not everyone has a yard garden. So where and how do you relax (Yoga, gardening, exercising, hiking)?

No cheating by telling me reading. I'm talking about not using the mind to do something--I'm talking about stopping the mind for a while and not thinking (10 minutes a day can make a difference in physically strengthening your brain).  Do you?


23 comments:

Tami Clayton said...

Your garden is lovely, Cora. I think I'd like to go there to recharge. Don't mind me if you see me out there...

I like to exercise to recharge and shift my mind out of whatever I've been working (or worrying) on. To relax, I like to garden or let my mind take in things visually (vs. in words) - looking at art, finding beautiful images on Pinterest, looking at my own photos. Sometimes I think I can feel my mind going "ahhh" when I do that and give it a break from all things literary.

Vero said...

Gorgeous pictures! Buddy is just adorable! (I have a Bichon Bolognese)

Cora said...

I'm with you there-looking at art, Pinterest and (now more rarely than I used to) yoga. Yes, exactly, the "ahhh!" Thanks for commenting.

Cora said...

Bichon Bologneses are so cute and cuddly. My Buddy is a rescue dog--I went looking for a Lhasa at the pound and found one--sweeter than most all the other Lhasas I've had (at least a dozen). Thanks for commenting.

day at a glance said...

Super awesome! I love your post. I just went for a walk up to Buena Vista Park to clear my head. It worked. I also like to go for a run at Land's End. Other than that I's sad to say I unplug by watching Bravo TV at night on my fat ass couch.

Love you mom!
m

AlvaradoFrazier said...

Your garden pictures provided me with 2 minutes of relaxation and then I went outside and sat on my old porch swing to hear the birds singing to each other, watch the baby hummingbird at my purple spire Mexican sage bush, and watch a lizard scurry around pots of orange geraniums.
Thank you Cora :)

chronicville said...

Beautiful pictures, Cora, and such a great reminder to unplug for a few minutes and go enjoy the beauty of my back yard. Thanks.

Rebecca

elizabethfais said...

Thank you for the wonderful - and much needed - reminder, and for sharing your personal serenity spots with us. Oh, and Buddy too! Pets are such a great help when it comes to destressing.

Cora said...

Thanks honey. Love you. I sometimes unplug on Pinterest, looking at and pinning cool scenes of water, trees or mountains.

Cora said...

So happy you took those moments. They're precious as well as rejuvenating. Thanks.

Cora said...

After I finish here, will go back outside because you all inspire me with your comments. Thanks a bunch.

Cora said...

OMG you don't even know how much that little dog's patience inspires me. Thanks for your comments.

Elaine Smothers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elaine Smothers said...

Your garden is beautiful, peaceful, and so enchanting ... and I LOVE your Saint Francis statute! Buddy looks like a little angel. My 2 chihuahuas, Hope & Grace, are my biggest mind relaxers; being with them takes me out of my head and puts me back in the moment.

If I can't be on the water kayaking, I love sitting on the front porch, looking at the mountain, and watching the hummingbirds jostle for position at the feeder. They're always some of the best moments of the day!

S.M. Hutchins said...

Your garden is gorgeous! I could learn a lot from you.

Erica Miles said...

Great garden, Cora! Your Buddy is adorable.

I have a severe, chronic immune disorder and manage it, in large part, using meditation exercises from the Silva system, Tai Chi, and Pranic Breathing. Add proper diet and adequate true rest to the mix, and I do what my doctor says can't be done--I live 90% symptom-free. Some days, 100%.

At the risk of hopping on my soapbox, body-mind-spirit is key to health. Neglect one or more of this holy trinity and you're headed for trouble. Yet, in the Western cultures, the mind part of the solution is neglected. I'm glad to see this is beginning to be addressed in the mainstream media.

Thanks for your post. (Inspired by you, I'm off to plant oregano, parsley and basil!)

Cora said...

"Looking at the mountain." Love that. So great if you have such a view. We used to have mountains but the smog hides them most days. Thanks for sharing your quiet moments.

Cora said...

My garden took a long time to build it the way it is now, with lots of changes and rearranges along the way (all that puttering and weed-pulling). It's grown with me and hubby. Thanks for stopping by.

Cora said...

You are the amazing one, Erica. I am totally in agreement with you about the mind-body-spirit connection. Your comments have reminded me that I need to spend more quality time on the body connection, I've been neglecting it while building my internet presence. Your reminder to not neglect any one of the three is my wake-up call. I'm so glad this post drew you to comment. Thanks.

Jodi Lea Stewart said...

Enjoyed all the comments as well as the lovely, eye-appealing photos and cute little Buddy! So glad you mentioned Goldie's book...I didn't know about it and haven't seen Goldie herself in ages. She's one of my all-time favorites, and I haven't quite forgiven her for dropping out of our world just because she got older.

Cora said...

She looked amazingly young on the Dr. Oz show. Still peppy and full of laughs. She was teaching relaxation/meditation techniques to children and their mothers asked Goldie to write a book because they needed to learn, too. That's how this book came about.

Liv said...

What an awesome place! You've got some serious mad gardening skillz.
;)
My Burnsie is mostly Lhasa, too, although the 1/4 terrier in his genes makes him a BIG Lhasa. He's got a big baritone bark, but I joke that it's like having a very threatening Muppet around the house.

Cora said...

Thanks for the compliment, I love gardening--the fun way to exercise. I've had Lhasas for over thirty years--love their temperament. After they finally were all gone, I lasted one year before I went to the pound to see if I could find one. I did, and then also rescued Milton, a small Ratcha (rat terrier-chihuahua mix). He ended up being the life of the party, so to speak.