Thursday, February 19, 2009

Soil (Soul) Inspiration


Bloggers As Culture Vultures” is the title of one of Conrad Hake's posts on his entertaining and multi-dimensional blog, Leveraged Intelligence. I'll leave you to form your own opinions of his post. When you spend time reading the riches you'll discover there, you'll note that he welcomes opinions which “may not necessarily express the viewpoints of that station”...er, blog.

We reap ideas from a variety of sources. Conrad, you have helped sow the seeds that have grown into this post. Your compliment is a prime example of inspiration and encouragement in action. Thank you, my friend.

Here are some random thoughts gleaned from growing up on a farm:
    Before the crops could be planted, the soil needs to be prepared. (manure and ploughing) What are you doing to prepare your “soil?” What do you need? Food? Tools? Teacher?
    Something that is missing in today's era of super-farms is the concept of allowing fields to lie fallow. This allows the soil to regenerate. How about you? Do you allow yourself adequate down-time and rest? Sleep is necessary for restoration. Sometimes it takes time to integrate new learnings.
    Are weeds cropping up, draining your plants of precious nutrients, choking out the healthy new growth? What is choking you? What do you need to weed-out?
    Are you struggling to do the bare minimum to look after your field? Why is that? Is stress robbing you of vital energy?
    Even though it stinks, you still have to shovel it. There is no getting around it – a barn needs to be cleaned. What dirty jobs are you neglecting?
    We used the previous year's potatoes to start the new crop. What resources do you already have that you can use in your next project or adventure?
    Every spring, we would have to go around and repair the fences that snowmobilers cut. It was expensive, time-consuming and very necessary. Without good fences, the livestock would escape. Do you need a fence? Or is your fence too high – keeping out the good, as well as the bad?
    One thing a farmer learns early on is that he cannot control the weather. Think of stress as the storm that doesn't let up, preventing you from reaping a magnificent harvest. Family members get ill, someone loses a job, a life is taken, you get transferred to another department. Do you have tools and techniques in place to weather out the storm, so that the minimum amount of damage is done?

A farmer knows that it is important to pay attention to all of these things. How about you? Do you have the resilience needed to go on or are you “buying the farm?”

Friday, February 13, 2009

Classified Ads: Brain and Heart Wanted!


Wanted:
  • One good brain and heart!

Brain:
  • Willing to listen to the heart

Do what you do best:
  • Learn
  • Think
  • Solve
  • Create
  • Decide
  • Be curious

Need not apply:
  • Endless worrying
  • Living in the past
  • Fear-mongering
  • Negative
  • Closed-off

Heart:
  • Open
  • Kind
  • Generous
  • Good at giving directions
  • "Golden"

Apply within. Beginners welcome.

Note: Must be willing to learn how to work well together!

A heartfelt thank you to Yalcin Eren for this photo!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Shakespearing" Your Heart

To thine own self be true. In other words, follow your heart. This is sage advice for the whole year and not just for "Heart Month."

Western society has long held the viewpoint that decisions made from the heart are too soft and not to be trusted. Happily, research is proving what certain cultures have known for millenia; the heart is where it starts.

Even our language is a reflection of the importance of the heart; approximately 90 idioms relating to the heart versus 18 for the brain.

Using 5 heart idioms, I've outlined a scenario for how a relationship can improve when heart-driven intelligence is practised.

Broken-hearted. Refers to what happens when we are wounded in a relationship or suffer from a great disappointment.

Heart to heart. Implies trust, openness and quality to our conversation.

Heart of the matter. When we open up and engage in a respectful, caring and non-defensive manner, we are able to uncover the real issues.

Change of heart. By listening to a different point of view, we get new information, which allows us to see the issue differently.

Warms the cockles of your heart. How you'll feel when both parties have spoken from their hearts.

Stress results when you are not being true to yourself. Here are some questions to consider:

What is important to you? How can you get more of it? Are you honouring your values? What can you do to uncover those values? How has your health been impacted by your choices?

Programs available to help you answer these questions & provide you with techniques to access your heart anywhere and anytime.

Wonderful photo courtesy: Andrejs Pidjass