Sankalpa

Rather than make New Year’s resolutions, each year I select a single word to focus on in the upcoming year. In 2017 my focus word is Sankalpa—a Sanskrit word that means determination; a practical step to harness willpower. With this resolve I’m going to plant, cultivate, and and nurture three seeds:

HOPE — optimism, joyful expectation

GRACE — the immediate presence of spirit, be the change

PEACE — reconciliation, unity

My practical and idealogical steps to ensure a good harvest include exercising intentional kindness. To build up, not tear down. To unite, not divide. To accept, not merely tolerate. To be better informed. To be transparent and vulnerable, not guarded and closed. And to actively listen, not passively hear what people with opposing viewpoints have to share.

Do you have a focus word this year?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Not the Splits!

You’d think that as a tree-hugging minimalist, I’d prefer an online calendar. And while I use one for back-up and electronic reminders, I love my paper calendar.

What I don’t enjoy is having my weekends split—with Sundays on the left side of the page and Saturdays on the right. I don’t live split weekends, so it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around them, even on paper.

After a bit of research, I found a paper calendar that leaves the weekends intact—Saturday and Sunday together on the right-hand side of the page—at the end of the week. Hence, weekend. I’m giddy with delight!

What’s your calendar preference?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Elephant Wisdom

Len, Willa, and I were out on a walk and saw an estate sale sign. While they stayed outside, I went in. As I perused the many items, I overheard the estate sale woman telling another Lookie Lou that the 95-year-old woman who’d resided there was alive and well, but had decided to relocate to Florida.

While blatantly eavesdropping, my eye caught a small, glass, cobalt blue elephant holding court over the living room from the white-painted brick hearth of a fireplace. A minimalist, I don’t acquire many “things,” but she now resides in my writing studio.

It’s interesting to note that elephant wisdom includes the art of listening. An animal with large ears and a comparatively small mouth, we learn that we would do well to listen and speak in those proportions.

During this holiday season, some spiritual traditions read and sing about the three wise men and the gifts they brought to the Christ child. In fact, the giving of gifts has become a tradition among many people, regardless of their faith background.

I’m learning about the gifts of elephant wisdom. They include awareness, confidence, dignity, environmental protection, guardianship, family love, happiness, kindness, listening, longevity, patience, reliability, stamina, and wisdom.

Which of these gifts do you resonate with most?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Way I Roll

I recently received an email from someone telling me how lucky I am that “everything” I submit gets published. Quick to clear that misconception, I responded that for every article or essay of mine that gets accepted, I receive at least a dozen rejections. Here’s a photo of the most recent:

In an email conversation with my cousin, he made an observation that made me smile. He said, “It’s funny how the harder we work, the luckier we get.” 

I could easily pack up my marbles and go home at rejection. Or I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and start all over again—that’s the way I roll.

How do you respond to rejection?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Steam Heat

It’s the time of year in the Pacific Northwest to crank up the heat. Every time I turn the knob on our heating registers, I’m reminded of the Pointer Sisters rendition of Steam Heat. On the City of Boise website you’ll learn:

“Four independent heating districts operate geothermal systems within Boise that serve more than five million square feet of residential, business, and government space. Energy is produced locally and sustainably. Every gallon pumped out is injected back into the system.”

One of those four independent heating districts is historic Warm Springs, a tree-lined avenue that’s home to many of the Victorian-style mansions erected by wealthy miners and businesspeople around the turn of the 20th century. The area gets its name from the natural hot springs that flow from Boise’s fault line.

We live in the carriage house of one of the oldest mansions in the surrounding area (circa 1865). We’re fortunate that our minimalist space enjoys earth-friendly, cost-efficient heat from the hot springs throughout the winter.

I don’t get “steamed” too often, but when I do—it’s not pretty. A few of the large, small, and mid-sized things that get me hot under the collar are mistreatment of people (anything less than respectful), littering, and people who don’t take loving care of their animals.

What chaps your hide, boils your blood, or makes you hot under the collar?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Grass is Greener

Kitty corner from our driveway is a lovely home with enough acreage to pasture two horses, Butterscotch and Nutmeg. Recently the owners had a landscaping team put trees in along the fence line.

In an effort to prevent the horses from rubbing against the baby trunks—giving the trees a chance to establish—a temporary rope fence was put in place to keep this small space horse-free for a while.

Butterscotch and Nutmeg have the majority of the acreage to graze in, yet they stand at the temporary fence and gaze yearningly at the small patch of grass they can’t have.

Have you ever had a case of the grass is greener on the other side?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

My Cup Runneth Over

When we saw this trailer overflowing with bicycles galore, I thought, Holy cow, that’s a lot of bicycles! I don’t know who owns them or why they have so many, but clearly their “cup runneth over.”

For the rest of the walk I wondered, what do I have a lot of? Certainly nothing tangible in that quantity. But I have a heckofa lot of intangibles to be grateful for: peace, joy, and whole health—body, mind, and spirit. In fact, my cup runneth over!

Does your cup runneth over?

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com