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Jeff’s Schedule for January 30, 2017

This week finds me working ON my business (as opposed to in my business) and teaching classes in Virginia and NC.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 630-730PM. Yoga for men.
Wellness Pursuits, 130 Volunteer Road, Hillsville, VA
https://www.wellness-pursuits.com/ongoing-classes.html

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 you͛re interested in a class in your area, contact me. Here’s more information on my workshops at Wellness Pursuits.

Contact: Yvette Ladd, 276-210-3577, or ypladd@gmail.com

Thursday, February 2, 2017 Farm Business Management
Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro,
**This is a curriculum course and registration is closed for the semester.

You can cultivate profit in the same way you cultivate your crops. Good planning helps you work ON your business as much as you work IN your business. Creating and analyzing enterprise and whole farm budgets cultivate the farm’s operation in order to grow your farm’s profits.
This class can be offered at your community college, too. Contact me to find out how.

Remember that I’m available for Home Landscape consultations, Farm visits, and small business training and consultation. You can reach me here.

Hope to see you some time this week!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Jeff’s Schedule for January 23-28, 2017

Here’s where I’ll be teaching this week. Come join me!

Monday, January 23, 2017, 6:00—8:00PM The Successful Gardener
From the Windowsill to the Garden.
Reynolds Homestead, 407 Homestead Lane, Critz, VA, 24082
Here’s more info.
Growing your own plants from seed is easy and can save you money. We’ll talk about seed selection, setting up your growing area, looking after your young plants and lots more!
Contact: Lisa Martin (276)694-7181 ext. 22 or martinlm@vt.edu

Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 630-730PM. Yoga for men.
Wellness Pursuits, 130 Volunteer Road, Hillsville, VA
www.wellness-pursuits.com/ongoing-classes.html
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 you͛re interested in a class in your area, contact me. Here’s more information on my workshops at Wellness Pursuits.
Contact: Yvette Ladd, 276-210-3577, or ypladd@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 10AM-12PM The Successful Gardener
From the Windowsill to the Garden
Renfrow Hardware, 188 North Trade Street, Matthews, NC
Here’s more info
Growing your own plants from seed is easy and can save you money. We’ll talk about seed selection, setting up your growing area, looking after your young plants and lots more!
Contact: Pressly Williams, 704-847-4088, or pressly@renfrowfarms.com

Thursday, January 26, 2017 Farm Business Management
Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro,
**This is a curriculum course and registration is closed for the semester.
You can cultivate profit in the same way you cultivate your crops. Good planning helps you work ON your business as much as you work IN your business. Creating and analyzing enterprise and whole farm budgets cultivate the farm’s operation in order to grow your farm’s profits.
This class can be offered at your community college, too. Contact me to find out how.

Saturday, January 28, 2017. In the Greenhouse at Renfrow’s! 9:00AM-2:00PM
Renfrow Hardware, 188 North Trade Street, Matthews, NC
Open Wednesday- Friday 8AM-5PM Saturday 8AM-2PM
Here’s more information.
While not a class in the strict sense, I’m glad to answer questions while you’re picking up vegetable, herb, and flower plants. Renfrows has a good selection of fruit trees, berry bushes, and grape vines, too. Plus, they have the best selection of vegetable seeds in the Charlotte metro area.
Contact: Renfrow Hardware (704)847-4088 or www.renfrowhardware.com/contact-us

Remember that I’m available for Home Landscape consultations, Farm visits, and small business training and consultation. You can reach me here.

Hope to see you some time this week!

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Outlook and Outcome

I was working on My Gratitude Practice this morning and was inspired to write more than usual. Here’s a full version of My Gratitude Practice for today.

This is what I’m Grateful for today
The experiences that have brought me to this part of My Life.
The knowledge that I have gained along the way.
The support of lots of dear friends, devoted family, and valued colleagues.

The interesting thing is that not every experience was pleasant or even positive when they occurred, but they taught me something nonetheless. Which means some of the knowledge was what I call “hard won”. Folks come and go, sure, but I have found that support has been there for me when I needed it. As I read this, it seems a little negative, but that’s not the way it’s meant. Let me explain.

A few days ago, a dear friend of mine asked when Intentions might begin to work. I said at the time that was a good question. Frankly, I don’t have a simple answer for the question. There are so many variables involved in the process. I expect Intentions take effect at different times for different people. Being a person who wants to know the “why” of things, this question of “When?” has been on my mind since it was asked.

Our outlook on Life shapes so much of our experience of that Life. While that seems obvious to me now, a fortune cookie “fortune” was the catalyst for truly integrating that into My Life. (Yes, that sounds naïve, but as a recovering cynic, it was one of those “WTF” moments that make you look closer at some seemly random event. More on that some other time)

I come back quite often to a quote on my desk. “What could I achieve if I envisioned a world filled with opportunity instead of despair?” The way we see the world is one of the keys to being successful in Living an Intentional Life. If you see opportunity around you, you’ll experience Life one way. If you see the world as going to hell in a hand basket, you’ll experience the world in a completely different way.

Which brings me back to the Gratitude post for today. As I said, not every experience was pleasant. When I despaired, my world was falling apart. When I was able to get myself together, I was able to use the experience to do something positive with the opportunity. For instance, a LOT of stuff happened to me about 16 years ago. At the time, I considered my world shattered. But with a lot of help, I have been able to create the world I Live in today.

So was the “stuff” positive or negative? I think it was Kierkegaard who said, “It’s not what happens to you, but what you DO with what happens that matters”. So positive or negative are not in the event, but in the experiencing. We can choose how we experience events and relationships in our Lives.

So those experiences that were less than pleasant did have some positive effect in my Life. I choose to let go of the pain and appreciate the Blessing. Knowledge is always a plus in your Life, “hard won” or happily gifted. Relationships, difficult or wonderful, are a part of Life. Some of my most difficult relationships have taught me the most useful lessons.

Our outlook on Life does make a difference in how we experience the world. Understanding this is the beginning of Living an Intentional Life. Can we change our outlook? Yes. Is it easy to do? That’s the part that’s different for everybody. Easy or not, we CAN change how we see the world. And in doing so, create a different world of experiences. And Opportunity.

REMEMBER – I AM Creating a world full of Opportunity.
And So It Is!

~ Inspired by feeling a little blue this morning, and deciding to change that. I did.

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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Your Mom Was Right

“How do I create Good things in My Life when my mind is screaming at me to react?”

I had a lot on my plate the other day, and a few small things happened that screwed up the rest of my schedule. In other words, life happened to me. As my responses to things got shorter and sharper, I realized that I was reacting to the circumstances I found myself in, instead of creating the Life I want to Live. So I stopped and asked myself that question about creating when your mind and body are in full reaction mode. The first thing that came to mind?

“Take a deep breath.”

As a Yoga teacher (and therefore a student as well), I teach folks different forms of Pranayama, the breath practices of Yoga. So the response made a lot of sense on that level. And how many of us have heard from our Moms to “take a deep breath” whenever we were really upset? It always worked, too, right? There’s a reason for that. What you are doing is working with your body’s parasympathetic nervous system to activate a calmer state of mind. The parasympathetic part of your nervous system is sometimes referred to as the “rest and digest” part of your mental makeup. It is part of your Autonomic Nervous System that regulates many of the organs of the body, as well as some of the muscles.

There is an excellent Pranayama practice for “activating” the parasympathetic nervous system. It goes by different names; 1-2 Breath or Long, Deep Breath are the 2 names I’ve heard most often. It’s very simple and straightforward. Here’s how you practice. Breath in for a slow count of three or four, using your diaphragm like a bellows, pulling the air into your lungs. Then slowly exhale for a count of 6 or 8, using the diaphragm to control the rate of the exhalation. Relax your jaw by placing the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Pause for a moment at the end of your exhale. Then begin your exhale again. Simple and straightforward, just like I said.

The way I understand it, as we inhale, our heartbeat speeds up just a bit. Then, as we exhale, the heartbeat slows down. By using a longer exhale we are sending a message to our bodies that we want to slow down. Our bodies respond to this by engaging the parasympathetic part of our nervous system, and deactivating the sympathetic nervous system, the “fight or flight” part of our body’s network of nerves. Specifically, we are increasing the “tone”, or strength, of our vagus nerve, a bundle of nerves that connect many of our organs to our brain.

Do this 1-2 Breath for at least 6 breaths, then return to your regular breathing pattern. Are you still ready to react? Then take another round of 1-2 breaths. Really concentrate on your breathing, letting the reactionary emotions fade slowly. Now ask yourself, “What can I create here instead?” Repeat the 6 breath pattern as you need to. In the spirit of full disclosure, there have been times that I’ve had to do this practice for quite a while. I can’t tell you exactly what that “quite a while” is in minutes. I was too upset to set the timer, obviously.

Between the breathing and creative thinking, your need to react will slowly dissipate. Keep thinking about a creative way to deal with the situation. One of the best creative things I’ve ever come up with occurred to me a week or so after the experience. If you do keep at it, you’ll come up with a really good way to deal with the experience.

REMEMBER – I AM taking a deep breath so I can Create My Life.
And So It Is!!!

~ Inspired by events in My Life and My Yoga Practice

Peace, Grace, & Love,
Jeff

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