Tower Garden Harvest Shared with Local Soup Kitchen

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On Thanksgiving, while sharing a meal at my in-laws, my mother-in-law (Rosamond) mentioned her tower gardens had a lot of lettuce to harvest. I too had extra to harvest so I contacted my friend Amy who told me her church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, hosts a soup kitchen on Saturdays for lunch. They usually serve around 50 people each week. She was glad to receive the bounty, rinse it, chop it and serve it to the hungry in our area. tower garden, vertical garden, urban gardener, harvestThe photo on the left is one of Rosamond’s three towers. This one is on her screened in porch, inside a tent to protect it from the elements of fall and winter. She has lettuce, cabbage, and different herbs growing happily this fall!

The photo on the right is of heads of lettuce she pulled out of the tower. There are many benefits of owning a tower garden, but the gift of sharing food with the hungry is my favorite!

I asked how having a salad this week was going over with the soup kitchen attendees. Amy replied, “It was very well received-thank you! I took it up there this morning and chopped it for serving. Tomatoes and dressing were added..” She then sent me this note from a volunteer, “Thanks to your neighbor for the greens—and thanks to you for bringing them. People seemed really happy to have a green salad and we had so many people that I kept tearing the leaves up to make more salad and we used it all.”

This makes my heart smile! It is a great feeling to provide garden fresh lettuce to my family, but also to those less fortunate. I encourage you to pay it forward to others this holiday season!

Be Fearlessly Authentic

Be Fearlessly AuthenticI am a firm believer in the fact that everything happens for reason. Everything from the people you come in contact with, the smiles you share with a stranger, the kind words you share with a friend, and the choices you make that are based on the experiences you have had. By being fearlessly authentic, we allow ourselves to be open to the good and the bad as it comes.

Every day we each make 1,000s of decisions. What to wear, what to buy, what to say when asked a question, what to eat, whether to laugh or cry? The list goes on and on.

In the past, I struggled with buyer’s remorse/decision remorse. I would second guess myself. Well, not anymore. I decided that making an educated decision about something and then going with it, is the better way for me.

Burning all that energy worrying or wondering if the decision you made was good or bad is just simply that: a waste of energy. It’s best to make a decision and go with it. I’m not saying that you can’t make a different decision down the road if more information or experiences lead you to change your mind. That’s fine.

I believe we all share this space together on Earth in order to learn and grow and my goal is to become better each day. Also, I feel my purpose is to educate, inspire and enrich the lives of those around me. I am intentional to be fearlessly authentic with those I meet and share a conversation with.

My friend and Pastor’s wife, Susan, who is one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met in my life, told us a “secret” one day. She does not sugarcoat her challenges or the fact that life isn’t always easy. She is real and she is a truly genuine being.
Continue reading “Be Fearlessly Authentic”

Fail Forward Friends

We all have a story. I’m living mine and you are living yours. With every choice we make, we are learning and growing from that experience. By continuing to “fail forward” friends, we are choosing to never give up. We are choosing to ignorethe perfectionist inside and move toward our goals.

While doing my personal growth/development, the phrase “fail forward” kept popping up in my head. I am always learning and you can’t go wrong while learning ways to become a better YOU. I recently attended an IMAGE Seminar by Bob Samara. This was a life changing event for me. He teaches us how our minds work and how to reach our goals.

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Bob Samara

“Fail forward”. To me, this means to just do something! I have used/heard tons of excuses. I start a lot of things, do them intensely and do them well, then a challenge or a plateau arises and I hesitate. The perfectionist inside begins to chime in with self-doubt. Then, negative self-talk sets in and I tend to stop doing and start thinking. I sometimes over think to the point that I stop all productive activity forward. I was once told: the only way to fail is to do nothing. Now I choose to “fail forward” friends!

The only way to truly fail is to quit. You have to do something, even if it’s small, to push yourself towards your goals (preferably every day), no matter what! By making these healthy choices daily, you create a Compound Effect and over time you reach your goals. In contrast, if you do nothing daily then over time all you have is a lot of NOTHING!

The following is a definition from the mouth of Darren Hardy, author of TheCompound Effect during an interview with Rory Vaden.

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Darren Hardy, “The Compound Effect”

“The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices. Our present reality is an outcome of the little, seemingly innocuous decisions that have added up to your current bank balance,waist line, business success, relationship status, etc.

They are not the big decisions that make the big difference. No, success is earned through the pesky little ones — do I have the cake or grab a piece of fruit?, do I go to happy hour or go to the gym?, do I make three more prospecting calls or just call it a day?, do I say I love you to my wife or shrug it off for another day?, do I listen to the news or to an instructional CD?, do I finish reading this article or check (again) for the latest new e-mail? There is no magic bullet, secret formula, or quick fix.

Success is not a result of grand acts of bravery, quantum leaps or heroic feats. Success is earned in the moment-to-moment decisions that in themselves make no visible difference whatsoever, but the accumulated compounding effect is profound. It’s the “magic” Einstein described as the ‘8th wonder of the world.’ The results it produces may look like magic, but in fact, they’re the certain outcome of a very practical, logical, and mathematically predictable process. As fantastic a result as compound interest can have on your money, so can the correct choices have on your life.”

A software programmer friend, once told me: “You know, in certain programming styles the goal is to fail fast. If something goes wrong, the idea is to admit failure early and do something different, instead of just going down the wrong path forever.”

It is time to “fail forward” friends! We all have areas of our life that we want to improve!

I have a list of things with which I plan to continue to try, fail, learn (repeat)!

, For example, meal planning consistently, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, fewer processed foods, working to stay present in the moment, drinking half your body weight in water each day,  read 30 minutes or more of personal development books/podcasts/articles, spending time with friends/family and improve those relationships, organizing my time in the most efficient way.

Do you choose to fail forward with me?