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The Dandelion Company

Mindful or Mind Full

When we are living with our minds full we are often unable to truly be in the present.  We are sorting, sifting, shifting through an overload of information, thoughts, and ideas.  We are often on autopilot and giving answers and responding from habit.  We are tuned into a static-y station where we can hear and see things, but clarity is compromised.  What we are seeing, what we are hearing can be true to what is actually being said/done, but it can also be like the game of telephone where the information received is at best a slightly distorted form of the original or at worst a completely different end from the beginning.  In the game, it is fun and funny when things get skewed.  In reality, it is frustrating, interferes with understanding, and can be harmful to our relationships.

Mindful, on the other hand, is tuning into the moment.  Being aware and focused.  You can really see the details, the facial expressions, the colors, the individual(s).  You can hear words, and nuances, sounds, and the silences.  The textures, the tastes, the movement … they are not lost to the inconsequential because you are in the moment, fully present, and aware.

Asking questions such as why and what and how are vital to mindfulness.  If we do not know our why, then what and how can be aimless and we may end up being and doing things that are not in alignment with whom we are or want to be.

Why do we do what we do?  Why do we act or react as we do?  Why do we believe what we do?  Without getting to the root of our “why”, we may be living in ways that are not beneficial to us, or to our partners, to our children, to our friends or co-workers.  We might think we are doing what we are supposed to, when we don’t even know if that is accurate, necessary, or true.

What are your goals, your dreams, your desire and purpose in life?  Knowing your unique “what” can be the foundation for your “how”.  You can set steps to achievement, you can better understand realistic time frames or even if something is achievable during the particular season of life you are in.  Perhaps, more important if achievement is possible, what or who might be positively or negatively impacted if you do something now versus later, or put it off too long instead of taking action now?

How you go about your life can be of great importance, as well.  Are you spinning your wheels instead of gathering traction?  Do you steamroll others or respectfully interact with them.  Do you communicate effectively with the audiences you are part of, at any given time?  Your character and your values are reflected in your how.  Are you living in such a way that you are being true to the principles you claim to believe in and follow?

All of these things factor into how mindful we are living each day of our lives.  How mind-full we are can complicate how present we will be.  Be purposeful in living life in such a way that you can come to the end of it knowing that which mattered most, was not lost amongst inconsequential happenings, or opportunities were missed because mental clutter and mindless options became the default you chose from.

What Defines Us?

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Below you will find definitions of the words that create our name; The Dandelion Company  Mindful life – Tenacious living.  When we know what something means, we can better understand the individual and collective purpose.  Clarity is the quality of being clear.  Perspective is our point of view, our particular attitude towards something or someone.  Connection is our link, association, and/or relationship we have to a person, thing, or idea.    All of these are very important as we go through life, as we decide what has worth, or not.  Whether or not we are open to knowing more and doing more, knowing better and doing better.  How we will choose to react or respond to any given moment or circumstance.  If we are creating excuses to explain our reluctance to change, or seeking to expand our understanding and responsibility for change.

The dandelion is/has been a symbol of so many things to different people.  A pesky weed.  Boundless blessings.  A flower of hope, promise, and love.  How can one little thing hold so much frustration and so much happiness?  It comes down to perspective.

dandelion
noun: dandelion; plural noun: dandelions
a widely distributed weed of the daisy family, with a rosette of leaves, bright yellow flowers followed by globular heads of seeds with downy tufts, and stems containing a milky latex.

company
noun (pl) -nies
1.
a number of people gathered together; assembly
2.
the fact of being with someone; companionship: I enjoy her company
3.
a social visitor or visitors; guest or guests

mindful
adjective
1.
attentive, aware, or careful (usually followed by of):
mindful of one’s responsibilities.
2.
noting or relating to the psychological technique of mindfulness:
mindful observation of one’s experiences.

life
noun (pl) lives
1.
the state or quality that distinguishes living beings or organisms from dead ones and from inorganic matter, characterized chiefly by metabolism, growth, and the ability to reproduce and respond to stimuli related adjectives animate vital
2.
the period between birth and death
3.
a living person or being: to save a life

tenacious
adjective
1.
holding or grasping firmly; forceful: a tenacious grip
2.
retentive: a tenacious memory
3.
stubborn or persistent: a tenacious character

living
noun
1.
an income sufficient to live on or the means of earning it.
“she was struggling to make a living as a dancer”
synonyms: livelihood, (source of) income, means of support, subsistence, keep, maintenance, sustenance, nourishment, daily bread; More
2.
the pursuit of a lifestyle of the specified type.
“the benefits of country living”
synonyms: way of life, lifestyle, way of living, life

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As  I read through these definitions, I see what this blog signifies to me.   A gathering place.  A widely distributed assembly of enjoyed companionship of those seeking to find meaningful connections in their lives.  Through attentive awareness and careful observation of one’s experiences, each day, in the big and small moments.  Fully living in a state or quality of clarity, kindness, and respect during the fullness of our time within the expanse between our birth and death.  Living fully.   Seeking opportunities for personal growth.  Reproducing that which benefits many.   Choosing mindful responses to stimuli and interactions with others. Holding firmly and persistently to that which ignites our passion in the choices for our livelihood, sustenance and mind/body/soul nourishment.  Tenaciously pursuing a lifestyle full of joy, giving, receiving, and loving.

We do not choose the beginning of our life, but we do choose how we live it.  Life is short, live it firmly rooted and forever expanding right where you are planted today, and where you might find yourself landing through hard work, as well as the winds of change and dream filled wishes.

 

Perceived Value

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The Conceited Apple-Branch

by

Hans Christian Andersen

(1852)

 

IT was the month of May. The wind still blew cold; but from bush and tree, field and flower, came the welcome sound, “Spring is come.” Wild-flowers in profusion covered the hedges. Under the little apple-tree, Spring seemed busy, and told his tale from one of the branches which hung fresh and blooming, and covered with delicate pink blossoms that were just ready to open. The branch well knew how beautiful it was; this knowledge exists as much in the leaf as in the blood; I was therefore not surprised when a nobleman’s carriage, in which sat the young countess, stopped in the road just by. She said that an apple-branch was a most lovely object, and an emblem of spring in its most charming aspect. Then the branch was broken off for her, and she held it in her delicate hand, and sheltered it with her silk parasol. Then they drove to the castle, in which were lofty halls and splendid drawing-rooms. Pure white curtains fluttered before the open windows, and beautiful flowers stood in shining, transparent vases; and in one of them, which looked as if it had been cut out of newly fallen snow, the apple-branch was placed, among some fresh, light twigs of beech. It was a charming sight. Then the branch became proud, which was very much like human nature.

People of every description entered the room, and, according to their position in society, so dared they to express their admiration. Some few said nothing, others expressed too much, and the apple-branch very soon got to understand that there was as much difference in the characters of human beings as in those of plants and flowers. Some are all for pomp and parade, others have a great deal to do to maintain their own importance, while the rest might be spared without much loss to society. So thought the apple-branch, as he stood before the open window, from which he could see out over gardens and fields, where there were flowers and plants enough for him to think and reflect upon; some rich and beautiful, some poor and humble indeed.

“Poor, despised herbs,” said the apple-branch; “there is really a difference between them and such as I am. How unhappy they must be, if they can feel as those in my position do! There is a difference indeed, and so there ought to be, or we should all be equals.”

And the apple-branch looked with a sort of pity upon them, especially on a certain little flower that is found in fields and in ditches. No one bound these flowers together in a nosegay; they were too common; they were even known to grow between the paving-stones, shooting up everywhere, like bad weeds; and they bore the very ugly name of “dog-flowers” or “dandelions.”

“Poor, despised plants,” said the apple-bough, “it is not your fault that you are so ugly, and that you have such an ugly name; but it is with plants as with men,—there must be a difference.”

“A difference!” cried the sunbeam, as he kissed the blooming apple-branch, and then kissed the yellow dandelion out in the fields. All were brothers, and the sunbeam kissed them—the poor flowers as well as the rich.

The apple-bough had never thought of the boundless love of God, which extends over all the works of creation, over everything which lives, and moves, and has its being in Him; he had never thought of the good and beautiful which are so often hidden, but can never remain forgotten by Him,—not only among the lower creation, but also among men. The sunbeam, the ray of light, knew better.

“You do not see very far, nor very clearly,” he said to the apple-branch. “Which is the despised plant you so specially pity?”

“The dandelion,” he replied. “No one ever places it in a nosegay; it is often trodden under foot, there are so many of them; and when they run to seed, they have flowers like wool, which fly away in little pieces over the roads, and cling to the dresses of the people. They are only weeds; but of course there must be weeds. O, I am really very thankful that I was not made like one of these flowers.”

There came presently across the fields a whole group of children, the youngest of whom was so small that it had to be carried by the others; and when he was seated on the grass, among the yellow flowers, he laughed aloud with joy, kicked out his little legs, rolled about, plucked the yellow flowers, and kissed them in childlike innocence. The elder children broke off the flowers with long stems, bent the stalks one round the other, to form links, and made first a chain for the neck, then one to go across the shoulders, and hang down to the waist, and at last a wreath to wear round the head, so that they looked quite splendid in their garlands of green stems and golden flowers. But the eldest among them gathered carefully the faded flowers, on the stem of which was grouped together the seed, in the form of a white feathery coronal. These loose, airy wool-flowers are very beautiful, and look like fine snowy feathers or down. The children held them to their mouths, and tried to blow away the whole coronal with one puff of the breath. They had been told by their grandmothers that who ever did so would be sure to have new clothes before the end of the year. The despised flower was by this raised to the position of a prophet or foreteller of events.

“Do you see,” said the sunbeam, “do you see the beauty of these flowers? do you see their powers of giving pleasure?”

“Yes, to children,” said the apple-bough.

By-and-by an old woman came into the field, and, with a blunt knife without a handle, began to dig round the roots of some of the dandelion-plants, and pull them up. With some of these she intended to make tea for herself; but the rest she was going to sell to the chemist, and obtain some money.

“But beauty is of higher value than all this,” said the apple-tree branch; “only the chosen ones can be admitted into the realms of the beautiful. There is a difference between plants, just as there is a difference between men.”

Then the sunbeam spoke of the boundless love of God, as seen in creation, and over all that lives, and of the equal distribution of His gifts, both in time and in eternity.

“That is your opinion,” said the apple-bough.

Then some people came into the room, and, among them, the young countess,—the lady who had placed the apple-bough in the transparent vase, so pleasantly beneath the rays of the sunlight. She carried in her hand something that seemed like a flower. The object was hidden by two or three great leaves, which covered it like a shield, so that no draught or gust of wind could injure it, and it was carried more carefully than the apple-branch had ever been. Very cautiously the large leaves were removed, and there appeared the feathery seed-crown of the despised dandelion. This was what the lady had so carefully plucked, and carried home so safely covered, so that not one of the delicate feathery arrows of which its mist-like shape was so lightly formed, should flutter away. She now drew it forth quite uninjured, and wondered at its beautiful form, and airy lightness, and singular construction, so soon to be blown away by the wind.

“See,” she exclaimed, “how wonderfully God has made this little flower. I will paint it with the apple-branch together. Every one admires the beauty of the apple-bough; but this humble flower has been endowed by Heaven with another kind of loveliness; and although they differ in appearance, both are the children of the realms of beauty.”

Then the sunbeam kissed the lowly flower, and he kissed the blooming apple-branch, upon whose leaves appeared a rosy blush.

It’s a New Year

new-year-1898553_1920  I love January 1st.  Not because it is magical, but because it is a tangible new beginning.  As we go through our lives, there are times when we really just want a fresh start.  We can make that happen on any of the 365 days of each year, and yet, the idea of a concrete starting point can make all things feel more possible.

This new year, I have some old goals and new ones that I will be working toward completion of.  I am not making resolutions, but rather mindful steps to get to the end point.  When I complete one thing, I will take the next best step until I have accomplished each task, overcome any obstacle, and fulfilled everything needed to make the dream a reality.

I will reflect back on the days behind me, to glean lessons, information, and failures.  It is from all of our past experiences that we can learn small bits and large portions that we can take with us into every single day to help us know more and do more, to know better and to do better.  The things we found to be useful and beneficial we can choose to blend into the projects and opportunities each day.  That which did not make our lives better, or turned out to be lesser than we had hoped, can be fodder for better choices.

This blog has been a long time coming.  I have been wanting to begin writing again, but there were always more pressing things to do and be done.  Having children keeps one busy, and they are priority.  They grow up so fast, and over the years we made plenty of mistakes and missteps.  We have worked hard to heal any breaches we have created with the parenting style we started with.  We listened to, and learned from, our oldest children and chose to change to a set of principles that brought us into partnership with the very human beings we had invited into our lives.  In doing so, we recognized how the traditional ways we had interacted with our children were not as respect filled, nor honoring as they deserved as fully worthy human beings, regardless of size or age.

Today we have three young adult children, two teenagers and one who will soon be 5.  Because of them, whether born from my body, or merged in my heart, all of these incredible human beings have made me a better person.  They are all so different, and also the same, as people tend to be.  We have lived/are living through chronic illness, mental health issues, processing differences, trauma, along with the typical ups and downs of life.  I have been pushed to my perceived limits in every area of life, and I have found that I am limitless in my love for them all.

It is because of all the very difficult times, and the pinnacle moments of raising children, as well as working with others from birth through death that I am the woman I have become in this season of life.  I am a pragmatic empath who seeks clarity and connected relationships.  I want to assist others find the root of all their beliefs and come to better understand why they think and act as they do.  When we are willing to peel apart all that has made up the fabric of our thoughts, and face them to find that which is true, or not, we can then be more mindful and take greater responsibility for every thought, word, and deed in our lives.

Life is better for the knowing.  Join me in exploring the depth and breadth of life.  Let us live each day tenaciously!!