Why "Growing Edge?"

Hey! Life is amazing and if you aren't paying attention, it just may be passing you by. Slow down! Observe what is around you. Plant a garden. Make your own food. Create Beauty.

Welcome to our blog. We love discovering what Earth has to teach anyone willing to be on the Growing Edge of life.

--Denise Rushing, New Story Center

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Growing Edge: Rhythm

It has been a couple of months since we connected with you via Growing Edge, and we now return to our farm rhythm. So much has happened these past weeks--we can't wait to share!
In this issue of Growing Edge, we highlight the power of rhythmic structure to release creativity and flow in our lives and work.  Loretta shares her transformative experience of putting structure in place and Denise offers insights from the garden leading to greater focus and abundance.
Both of us have been speaking at events (both live and virtually) on the topic of the inner work of spiritual entrepreneurship.  We share these details below along with access to a new program offered by our friend and colleague JoAnn Saccato  (including a way to get a free copy of her book for a limited time).  Also, don't miss the May Day SPECIAL discount for the Big Why telesummit package--Denise's series for taking your own work to the next level.

This edition of Growing Edge is all about rhythm--and we must say It is good to be back in the seasonal and daily cycles that sustain us.
Denise and Loretta
Rhythm - Routine - Release
By Loretta

LorettaUnlike other years of multiple resolutions, for me 2014 began with only one: to co-direct a twelve week deep grief recovery project with Dr. Jack Miller with all the energy and focus I could summon. This resolution has changed my life. It has given me a rhythm that is more than a routine and provided me with a channel for release on varied levels: physical, emotional, and spiritual.

It all began with my commitment to meditate, to exercise, to feel my feelings as fully as possible, and to express these feelings creatively in writing and in art. I was invited to journey with the participants in this project as they did the same and to help hold the container that protected us throughout this rite of initiation.   The project concluded with my being anointed a Ritual Elder at the final celebration on April 5th.

The ending was only a beginning.

During the last few weeks – back at home on the orchard - I have grown in my awareness of the power inherent in my staying within the rhythmic structure that I created during the project.  In the past, I have struggled to establish a strict routine… (e.g. walking every day at 7:00AM.)  Perhaps I thought that structure would limit my freedom.  I found the opposed to be true.    

What a difference it makes to prioritize my rhythmic structure each day.  I give myself time to do those things before other scheduled activities. For me, this includes twenty minutes of quiet meditation, a healthy breakfast, and a brisk walk or engaging in a needed farm chore. Yes, sometimes it means getting up very early, but the flow of energy throughout the day makes the early rising worthwhile.

Allowing time to write about strong feelings that rise up during the day is equally important.  A pad on my desk or by my bed for evening reflection helps me to capture those feelings and then schedule a time to sit and creatively express them in whatever medium appeals. For me, this is usually art paper and craypas (crayon and pastels combined that allows the blending of colors and shapes with one’s fingers)

Now, I am deeply convinced of the importance for all of us who are involved in the Great Work to create a rhythmic structure that sustains us in our endeavors.   Doing so has brought me to a place of deep peace and joy in my work. 
And what about you? Please share your story of creating a rhythm in your life with me at loretta@permaculturesoulwork.com

Structure Creates Freedom
By Denise

Gardens require rhythm to grow: The daily rhythm of watering, weeding, Deniseharvesting--the weekly rhythm of reseeding and fertilizing,  the seasonal rhythms of selecting new seeds, mulching and composting, and the annual rhythm of planning and perhaps expanding.   In any garden, we co-create abundance by aligning with and participating in natural rhythmic cycles.
Rhythmic Structure
What is rhythmic structure?  It is one of the most powerful secrets to unlocking innovation, productivity and success, and , more importantly, a path to deeper joy in life.
I have noticed that through the simple activities of meditation, exercise and regularly scheduled creative time, a subtle change takes place within me, opening the door to possibility.  

At first, creating structure to be “creative” may seem counter-intuitive.  By keeping the big picture in mind, taking simple daily actions, and by bravely addressing barriers (especially difficult ones), we become free.  Structure gives us the freedom to follow our heart, apply our mind and feed our spirit... The path before is set by a deep internal awareness and aligned with our true purpose.
Rhythmic Structure is essentially soil building.  The results of a regular ritual or practice are that we not only create the conditions for success in our work, but we find joy and freedom in doing so.
The bottomline:  our psyche rewards rhythmic structure.  I find that keeping a rhythmic structure unleashes my creativity, dynamically creates the conditions for my success and most importantly, allows me to expand and grow with JOY.

Companioning the Sacred Journey Course
Our good friend JoAnn Saccato recently launched a 5-week course based on her best selling book, Companioning the Sacred Journey: A Guide to Creating a Compassionate Container for Your Spiritual Practice.  (Keep reading to see how you can receive the book for FREE!)
BookJoAnn is a gifted and talented, heart-based Spiritual/Life Coach, Reiki Master and mindfulness meditation teacher who lived ten years in chop wood, carry water fashion.  As her canine companion of 15 years, Shyla, passed, JoAnn reflects in the book on how she compassionately attended Shyla and herself through their heart rending parting.
JoAnn’s course focuses on three tools discussed in the book: journaling, mindfulness, and affirmations. (This course is definitely for you if you’re craving more authenticity, acceptance, forgiveness, gratitude and joy!)
The five-week courses include live sessions with JoAnn, online curriculum, a private online community, guided meditations and more. The tele-course version is perfect for those wanting to integrate these tools while immersed in life and begins May 20, 2014. A new in-person course begins May 22, 2014. Get full details HERE: http://www.companioningthesacredjourney.com/courses.html
JoAnn is extending a $50 discount to our friends and their friends if you sign up by May 5th. (Just select the “Friends of Denise and Loretta” option during check out.)
JoAnn’s generosity touches our hearts in a big way. She alerted us that if you sign up for her email list http://www.companioningthesacredjourney.com, she’ll send you the details on how you can download her book for FREE!
Upcoming Events:

Special Invitation: Have you heard about the Summit “Innovative Change for Entrepreneurs”? Both Loretta and Denise have been invited to participate in this free virtual event with host Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers.  Discover how to be the Light or Leader in YOUR business, please join us and our fellow experts here.   
On May 20, 2014, Denise also speaking at Jenean Zunk's event "Own your Awesome"   The event is for entrepreneurs looking to overcome fear and self doubt.  Denise's topic is Audacious Mindset:  Essential Principles and Practices for the Conscious Entrepreneur
 By Denise

Setting a clear and powerful intention is like creating fertile soil.  This is where we begin if we want to create abundance.  

But what happens if we struggle to create an intention? What then?  Sometimes selecting a direction and beginning to take action helps… but more often, it simply results in a flurry of activity without result. How can I commit to creating a healthy “garden” if I have not decided what to plant or where to plant it?

If I am floundering, I find it is helpful to reset my intention to that of creating  fertile soil for my dream to emerge   I commit (or recommit!) to a daily rhythm and structure, and set time aside for carefree play, creativity and time to just be.  I observe natural forces around me and allow the energies within me to emerge.  These energies fuel my next step.
To explore this topic of intention in greater depth, I invite you to consider investing in The Big Why Telesummit series.

THE BIG WHY -- Special

The Big WhyUntil May 15th, we are offering $75 off the regular investment of $197 for the Big Why Telesummit premier series.   
The Big Why is an opportunity to learn from the most powerful storytellers and inspired entrepreneurs about what fuels their Great Work so you can better align with yours. 
These are some of my personal heroes and  all are inspirational leaders—I interview each one of them to dig in on their top strategies for how they:
--Align with their "Big Why"
--Overcome barriers
--Take their own work (and their clients) to the next level
--Challenge themselves to tell a new story

 --and much more.  (Of course, I share my own strategies too)
Discover how to unleash your potential, align with your purpose and take your own work to the next level.  You receive downloadable MP3s, transcripts and my own action sheets for each topic--plus you get valuable gifts from many of the speakers... everything you need to get the most out of the material.
You can get The Big Why premier package here:  http://www.thebigwhytelesummit.com


Irrigation Weekend Part 2 - Expanse

No matter what, when it gets hot, we risk losing plants and trees.

The problem is that the irrigation systems cannot take a hard freeze... so we walk that delicate balance of waiting until the last minute and then getting the irrigation systems in place, repairing the left-in-place tubing from damage the season before (or from chickesn or freezing over the winter), replacing timer batteries, putting the systems back together, reprogramming the timers and testing everything.

Inevitably, it is a race against the clock on these volatile spring days.  Too cold, then too hot, and maybe a cold snap comes again.

The more we plant, the more difficult "irrigation weekend" has become.  I have now officially reached the limit for a one person operation--I'll need to train others in irrigation or risk losing perennials.

The lesson here?

Do not expand beyond your ability to put systems in place.  Really--it is that simple.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Irrigation Weekend.. part 1: organization

After many weeks away from farm life, I am re-entering gently.

The community that has formed here at Dancing TreePeople Farm has organized the greenhouse and barn tools and started the early spring seedlings.   I return in time to see the perennials drinking the last of the spring rain. 

It is time to set out the irrigation lines.

Being away for so long means that I do not know where anything is.  With a gentle spirit, I've spent the day poking through the barn, the toolshed, the garage, breezeway and one of the greenhouses to seek out the irrigation supplies I will need to get the plants water.

The plants are not seeing any water yet, but at least I know where everything is.  It is nice to be home.

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is an ecological design framework inspired by living systems. The ethics, root practices and principles in permaculture can be applied to the garden, the farm, and indeed any living system including human structures.