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More than a word

Words have power. The use of words can bless us, empower us, create great things. They can also do the opposite, obviously. When I consciously CHOOSE to Create, to Empower, to Bless, I am very conscious of the words I use.

Most Yoga classes, mine included, are ended with the use of the word, “Namaste”. Like many words, it has several meanings, from “Hello” to “The Divine in me sees and honors the Divine in you.” With Yoga’s roots deep in the soils of Mother India, the word’s spiritual meanings have been adapted for use in practice. But it is more than a passive word. It is an action.

I SEE the Divine in you and I HONOR It! To really see something is much more than to simply lay eyes on a person. It is to notice them, to pay attention to them. To do that is not passive, it is active! To honor someone or some thing is to give special notice, extraordinary attention to that person. You are seeing this particular quality – Divinity- in a person, regardless of whether they believe it or not. Whether they behave that way or not. You are offering a true gift to this person by offering this attention. You are bestowing a Blessing on that person by seeing the Divine in them, telling them that they are worthy – dare I say Holy? – by simply being alive and part of the Divine.

With a greater understanding of what Namaste means, we move from a casual use of this phrase to a conscious, loving offering of Blessing. We Bless others by offering this attention to them. We say to them, “You have value in this world, simply by being a part of this Divine act called Creation”. We are Blessed in turn by having this said to us because of the meaning of the word. This Blessing should be offered freely; it cannot be transactional. We are part of the Divine regardless of behavior, and do not have to earn membership through belonging to any group other than existence.

Namaste allows us to recognize that we are all a part of Creation. While there may be “me” or “you” and “us” or “them”, we all came from “star stuff”, as Carl Sagan put it. The astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson says, “We are all connected. To each other biologically, to the Earth chemically, and to the Universe, atomically.” Namaste allows us to put our otherness aside for a moment, and show respect to the other part of the Divine that we are face to face with.

In these times of division and strife, consciously seeing Oneness with someone is a good thing. And to truly honor the Oneness in us all, we have to be able to say it to someone that we disagree with. Because we are all made of that “star stuff” – ALL of us.

REMEMBER – I AM seeing and honoring the Divine in ALL of Creation.
And So It Is!!!

~ Inspired by My Yoga Practice.

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for 12/12/16

This is my last schedule post for 2016. The year has flown by, but you folks have flown right along with me. I’ve taught or consulted with over 1,000 people this year, and THAT’S just face-to-face contacts. I’ve not been keeping up with on-line contacts, but I intend to do that next year. Just know that I appreciate ALL of you.

Tuesday, I’m at Wellness Pursuits, in Hillsville, VA, teaching the Yoga for men class. We begin at 630PM, at the Wellness Pursuits studio just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The stretching and strengthening of Yoga asana practice complements the physicality of gardening. I’m a healthier person because of my Yoga practice and because of the good, fresh food I grow in the garden. Both practices feed my soul. If you’re interested in a class in your area, contact me. Here’s more information on the classes at Wellness Pursuits. Look for my workshops on the calendar soon!

I’ll be in the Patrick County, Virginia area all week, providing farm, business, and home landscape consultations. I still have some spots open. If you’d like me to come by and help you with a garden consultation, I’d love to do it. Here’s how to reach me.

It’s a great time to take stock of what’s going on in the garden and landscape. The growing season is still fresh in your mind, and with leaves down or falling, you can see the architecture of your landscape clearly. (You can capture all that organic matter for your garden, too. Ask me how.) You can reach me here to schedule a landscape consultation.

I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you’re interested in a home landscape consultation, contact me here.

I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here.

In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here.

Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener!
Hope to see you sometime this week!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for 12/05/16

Once again, I’m back and forth between Virginia and NC, teaching and consulting along the way. I start the week teaching Yoga.

Monday, I’m at Wellness Pursuits, in Hillsville, VA, subbing during the Spirited Flow class. Tuesday, it’s Yoga for men. Both classes begin at 630PM, at Wellness Pursuits just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The stretching and strengthening of Yoga asana practice complements the physicality of gardening. I’m a healthier person because of my Yoga practice and because of the good, fresh food I grow in the garden. Both practices feed my soul. If you’re interested in a class in your area, contact me. Here’s more information on the classes at Wellness Pursuits. Look for my workshops on the calendar soon!

I’ll be in the Patrick County, Virginia area Monday – Wednesday, providing farm, business, and home landscape consultations. I still have some spots open. If you’d like me to come by and help you with a garden consultation, I’d love to do it. Here’s how to reach me.

On Thursday, I’m headed to Carthage, NC, for the Christmas Open House at The House in the Horseshoe State Historic Site. Find out more about “The ‘Shoe” and the event here.

It’s a great time to take stock of what’s going on in the garden and landscape. The growing season is still fresh in your mind, and with leaves down or falling, you can see the architecture of your landscape clearly. (You can capture all that organic matter for your garden, too. Ask me how.) You can reach me here to schedule a landscape consultation.

I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you’re interested in a home landscape consultation, contact me here.

I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here.

In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here.

Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener!
Hope to see you sometime this week!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Take Your Practice Into The World

Taking a Yoga class always leaves me feeling better. Calm, Centered, and Peaceful, maybe even Blissful. Then it’s back into “the real world”. At least, that’s what we call this existence we’ve created. And the Peace disappears, sometimes quickly. I really want to carry that Bliss with me off the mat and Live that Peaceful existence all the time. What does it take to Live that kind of Life?

As with so many things in Life, it all begins with Choice. I CHOOSE to Live a Life of Peaceful, Loving, Abundance every day. I CHOOSE to bring Beauty and Truth into the world every day. I do it through My Intentions, the “I AM” statements that I use to create My Life. You could do it just as easily through prayer or affirmation. The point is, you consciously choose the things that are important to you first thing in the morning. This sets the tone for your day. Do this every day if you can. If you miss a day, pick it up again the next day. You are essentially imprinting this choice in your mind. The more you do this, the deeper these thoughts are embedded in your thinking. The more they become a part of your thinking, the more they become a part of your Personal Mythology – all of the thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions that you use to create your Life.

Simply saying these Intentions/Prayers/Affirmations is pretty powerful, but it’s when you begin to take action based on these thoughtforms that the real change begins. Here’s what happens when I do this. I’m living My Life, trying to consciously create the world I want to live in. When I do something that is in opposition to My Intentions or My Personal Mythology, that little (sometimes not so little) voice in the back of my mind says, “Hold on! That’s not me! I’m a Loving, Joyful, Abundant soul!” Right here I have a choice to make. I can go on with the old behavior I’m trying to change or I can, in fact, BE that Loving, Joyful, Abundant soul. Frankly, some times I go with the old behavior, though there’s usually ice cream involved when I do. Seriously, this is where practice matters. This point in time is when your time on the mat, or in prayer or writing/saying your affirmations pays off.

If you’ve stuck with it, practiced with Intention, you’ll find yourself becoming that Loving, Joyful, Abundant soul. If you slip back to the old behavior, never fear. You’re sure to get another chance to work on that Masters in Spiritual Alchemy. Just keep practicing. Keep choosing. One day, you’ll notice that you have, in fact, been behaving as that Loving, Joyful, Abundant soul you want to be. Be Grateful, and keep practicing.

“But there are a lot of jerks and assholes out there that I I have to deal with every day.” Yes, there are a lot of hurting, fearful, angry people. And there may be days you’re one of them. When you get right down to it, the only person you can change is yourself. The author Wayne Dyer said, “How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours”. Instead of reacting, how about creating? Same letters, a very different result. When you find yourself reacting, notice it, stop, and take a deep breath. Then look for some way to create a positive response. In all honesty, sometimes it’s difficult, especially at first. But it’s worth working on. Again, if you react, don’t judge yourself. Just keep practicing.

Be Compassionate and Patient with your self as you work through this. It’s taking a while for me to work through all my stuff so I can stop reacting and always be creating. It may be a quicker situation for you. I hope it is. But the bottom line is, as Yoga guru Patabi Jois said, “Practice, Practice, Practice, and all is coming”.

REMEMBER – I AM becoming Who I Really Am through My Practice.
And So It IS!!!

~ Inspired by my Yoga students and by an article I read this morning that I couldn’t find again.

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for 11/28/16

This week, I’m back and forth between Virginia and NC, teaching and consulting along the way. I start the week up on Locust Ridge, working on class schedules for the coming year. If you’d like to find out about a class in your area, contact me here.

Tuesday, it’s week 4 of Yoga classes for men in Hillsville, Virginia. Class is held Tuesday 630PM, at Wellness Pursuits just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The stretching and strengthening of Yoga asana practice complements the physicality of gardening. I’m a healthier person because of my Yoga practice and because of the good, fresh food I grow in the garden. Both practices feed my soul. If you’re interested in a class in your area, contact me. Here’s more information on the classes at Wellness Pursuits.

I’ll be in the Patrick County, Virginia area Monday – Wednesday, providing farm, business, and home landscape consultations. I still have some spots open. If you’d like me to come by and help you with a garden consultation, I’d love to do it. Here’s how to reach me.

On Thursday, I’m headed to Matthews, NC, for meetings and consultations. It’s a great time to take stock of what’s going on in the garden and landscape. The growing season is still fresh in your mind, and with leaves down or falling, you can see the architecture of your landscape clearly.(You can capture all that organic matter for your garden, too. Ask me how.) You can reach me here to schedule a landscape consultation.

On Saturday, I’ll be at Renfrow Hardware in Matthews, NC, helping my friend and partner, David Blackley. Pressly tells me there’s lots of new seed available at the store now. Renfrow’s has the best selection of seed in the Charlotte, NC area. Come see what a 100 year old, family-owned hardware store has to offer! Here’s info and directions to one of the coolest hardware stores in NC.

I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you͛re interested in a home landscape consultation, contact me here.

I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here.

In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here.

Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener!
Hope to see you sometime this week!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for 11/21/2016

The schedule is a short one this week, due to the Thanksgiving holidays. Those of you that follow me on Facebook know I have a regular Gratitude practice. Seeing the Good in your Life helps you bring more Good into all you do. So I’m very Grateful for all of you who have learned from me how to enjoy your garden more, how to cultivate more profit from your farm or food business, or experience real abundance in your life through owning and operating your own business. My clients are a very diverse group, and I always learn something during every class or consultation.

Tuesday, it’s week 3 of Yoga classes for men in Hillsville, Virginia. Class is held Tuesday 630PM, at Wellness Pursuits just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The stretching and strengthening of Yoga asana practice complements the physicality of gardening. I’m a healthier person because of my Yoga practice and because of the good, fresh food I grow in the garden. Both practices feed my soul. If you’re interested in a class in your area , contact me. Here’s more information on the classes at Wellness Pursuits.

I’ll be in the Patrick County, Virginia area Tuesday – Saturday, providing farm, business, and home landscape consultations. I still have some spots open. If you’d like me to come by and help you with a garden consultation, I’d love to do it.

I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you’re interested in a home landscape consultation, contact me here.

I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here.

In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here.

Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener!

Hope to see you sometime this week. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Cultivate The Positive

Re-posting from a while back.

Remember that your shadow lives in your unconscious mind. If you don’t identify and express your conscious desires, your unconscious desires will dominate your Life. The American psychologist William Atkinson said, “The best way to overcome undesirable or negative thoughts and feelings is to cultivate the positive ones”. Science is showing us that “positive emotions, like Happiness & Gratitude, broaden our awareness and encourage novel, varied, and exploratory thoughts and actions” (Dr. Barbara Fredricksen, UNC-CH). There is even mounting evidence that Positivity can change us at a cellular level. Being Positive “opens the eyes of your Heart”, letting you be more compassionate. You will see more of the Oneness of Creation.
“Looking on the Bright Side” of Life helps you be more Creative. Positive emotions help you deal with stress. Being Happy helps keep you Healthy. So you’ve got to be very clear about what you really want, and install a shining vision of what you really want at the core of your everyday Life. This is a practice that includes Gratitude, one of our forgotten Superpowers. Consciously be Thankful for the THOUSANDS of things that go right for you every day. The more you do this, the more things will occur that you can be Grateful for.
Is this some kind of magick? Not really. There’s a saying, “Energy flows where attention goes”. Simply put, whatever you’re paying attention to will show up in your conscious thinking, because you are, in fact, thinking about it. As a practice, you are training your mind to see more things to be Grateful for. It’s the way Science is explaining about how our mind works.

REMEMBER – I AM Cultivating more Positive feelings through Gratitude for all I AM and all I HAVE.
And So It Is!
– Inspired by & partially paraphrased from Rob Brezsny’s Free Will Astrology column.

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Be FOR Something III

The words we speak matter. Obviously, we can hurt or uplift others with the words we speak, even more than sticks and stones can. But the words we choose are a reflection of our inner thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions, what I call our Personal Mythology. And when we put those words out into the Universe, we contribute to the creation of our world.

Since the beginning of this election season, I have been hearing a torrent of angry words. From ALL sides. And what have we created? An angry, fearful nation. Before anybody thinks I’m picking sides, the election of a particular candidate is not the point. The faces and policies would be different, but the results would be the same. A nation having to deal with fear, anger, depression, and grief. Weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. We couldn’t have created anything else, because of the words we used. To be more specific, because of the emotions behind the choice of those words, the energy we put out into creating our world.

We have another choice in front of us right now. It’s in front of us every day, really. What kind of world are we creating? But that’s not the first question. Look in a mirror and ask yourself, “What kind of world am I creating?” Because each of us, as individuals, is creating our world with our reactions to or creations from our experiences. It’s the mixture of all this energy of all the people in our community, state, nation, and globe that we call ‘reality’. But our individual responsibility to creation is to get our own shit together, otherwise known as getting a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Alchemy. That’s first and foremost. Not to be selfish, but to allow us to be more compassionate to others.

Life doesn’t give us a free pass until we do receive that Master’s Degree in Spiritual Alchemy, either. It’s a school of experiential learning. And at times we learn by the consequences of the emotions that drive the words we speak.

As we deal with the consequences of the recent election, it’s time for all of us to pay attention to the words we speak. They will help us understand the emotions we feel, and thus the energy we put out into the world. Consciously choosing the words we speak is done by consciously choosing the energy we put out into the world. Regardless of your political affiliation, choose that energy wisely. Choose those words wisely. And choose words that create what you are FOR, not what you are against.

A year or so ago I wrote these words:
Simply put, we can “Be the change we want to see in the world”. I’ve used this Gandhi quote many times because I think it is the real source of Powerful change in the world. If you want a Loving world, be more Loving. And Unconditional Love is the most Powerful form of Love. If you seek a Peaceful world, add more Peace to your own world. And that includes working on your own drama. We don’t need to be perfect. But I think we do need to have Intention behind what we’re doing. And we need to understand what we mean when we say something like, “I AM Unconditionally Loving”. That means ALL of creation. Everybody. Everything. Please note that we don’t have to LIKE everything. As Dr. King said, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only Love can do that”. That’s a big step. But I think it’s one we need to take.”

To be that change is to put the energy of our emotions out into the world. We do that through our words and deeds. If we say, because we think, “ I have to fight __________”, then you’re already at a disadvantage. You’re reacting, not creating.* Instead, be FOR what you believe in.
I AM FOR equal rights for all.
I AM FOR good jobs that pay a good wage.
I AM FOR a good education system for our citizens.
Yes, these are generic. I’m speaking to everybody here. And for those of you cynical enough to choose “I AM FOR putting _____ in jail”, that’s not what I’m talking about, and you know it. Phrase that as “I AM FOR equal treatment of all people under the law.” That’s the beginning of a very different world.

When you choose to be FOR something, the things you create are different. The words you use are different. The actions you take are different. They build up, not tear down. They include, not exclude. They bless, not curse.

Be FOR something. Be for Love. Be for Compassion. Be for each other. Be the change.

REMEMBER – I AM creating My World with the energy I put out in my words and deeds.
And So It Is!
~ Inspired by current events.

*Note: Creating and reacting. Two words with nearly identical spelling, but drastically different meaning.

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for 11/14/2016

This week, I’m back and forth between NC and Virginia, teaching and consulting along the way. I start the week in Matthews, NC, after a successful Farmhands Fundraiser at Free Range Brewery in Charlotte, NC. We raised over $5000 to help 3 local farms be more successful.

Tuesday, it’s week 2 of Yoga classes for men in Hillsville, Virginia. Class is held Tuesday 630, at Wellness Pursuits just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The stretching and strengthening of Yoga asana practice complements the physicality of gardening. I’m a healthier person because of my Yoga practice and because of the good, fresh food I grow in the garden. Both practices feed my soul. If you’re interested in a class in your area , contact me. Here’s more information on the classes at Wellness Pursuits.

I’ll be in the Patrick County, Virginia area Tuesday – Saturday, providing farm, business, and home landscape consultations. I still have some spots open. If you’d like me to come by and help you with a garden consultation, I’d love to do it.

On Sunday, 11/20, I’m headed south for a meeting of the House in the Horseshoe Preservation Committee. This group supports The Alston House, an 18th century house that was home to Revolutionary War heroes, a Governor of NC that was also a member of the US Congress, and lots of other interesting people. We’re always looking for folks to join our group. Find out more about the place we affectionately call “The ‘Shoe”. Contact me here if you’re interested in joining the HHPC.

I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some  opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you’re interested in a home landscape consultation, contact me here.

I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and
marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here.

In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here.

Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener!

Hope to see you sometime this week!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for 11/07/2016

This week, I’m beginning a new series of Yoga classes for men in Hillsville, Virginia. Class is held Tuesday 630PM, at Wellness Pursuits just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. The stretching and strengthening of Yoga asana practice complements the physicality of gardening. I’m a healthier person because of my Yoga practice and because of the good, fresh food I grow in the garden. Both practices feed my soul. If you’re interested in a class in your area , contact me. Here’s more information on the classes at Wellness Pursuits.

I’ll be returning to the Charlotte, NC area, on Wednesday, providing farm, business, and home landscape consultations. I still have some spots open. If you’d like me to come by and help you with a garden consultation, I’d love to do it. I’ve designed and installed all kinds of landscapes, from formal herb gardens to Permaculture homesteads. In an hour, I can solve problems, identify plants, show you some opportunities, and help you enjoy your garden even more! If you’re interested, contact me here.

I farmed and operated a plant nursery in NC for 15 years, and was an NC Cooperative Extension agent for 8 years. In that time, I learned a LOT about farm production and farm business management. I can help you with organic certification, transition to organic practices, and marketing your farm and food products. To learn how to cultivate profit on your farm, contact me here.

In these times of great opportunity for small business owners, strategic planning is essential for success. I can help you write a business plan, construct enterprise and cash flow budgets, and do market research. Individual consultations and group trainings are options for getting the information you need to succeed! To take advantage of the opportunities that are available to small business owners, contact me here.

Remember to enjoy your garden, because THAT’S what makes you a Successful Gardener!

Hope to see you sometime this week!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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