Even Better If…?

Reading one of my favourite cat based blogs – Je Suis le Roi Soleil – I followed a link to another web page from Hen Corner. This is a web page of someone who has a small market garden/ small holding in her back garden in the west of London.

I didn’t read it all, but there was a part of the woman’s January post that jumped out at me a little. Writing about the past year, she said When my children completed work at school, the teachers would encourage them to assess what they had done by asking What Went Well? Even Better If?

And then she mulled over what, in her life would improve things. And each one she wrote resonated with me. She wrote (in bold &/orgreen):

My life, work and business would be Even Better If

1. I put regular space in the week to think, pray, assess, plan

Being mindful, taking stock and thinking of others helps us to see the bigger picture and make wise decisions.

And I thought Yes! I do generally bumble through my life, without pausing, be it to plan (except for lessons), or to assess what worked, what went well. Even my praying is usually don “on the hoof”. I should pause. Reflect. Pray.

2. I commit to regular time outside every week, be that allotment, garden, swimming, walking, etc.

Fresh air and vitamin D is very good for us, as is time away from a computer or TV screen. Regular time outside is also a great way to meet friends with a bit of gentle exercise whilst catching up and caring for each other.

Happily, this is something I am doing more of, BUT I do still grumble and procrastinate about going out. I’m managing to keep up with my weekly target, mostly because I’m counting ALL my distance. I couldn’t do it otherwise, on my commitment to going for an “intentional” walk. I need to try to be more willing to get outside, especially dring the week.

3. I remember that responsibilities reap rewards

Weeding the veg beds, mucking out the hens, answering emails and promoting my courses all take time, but are strategic investments that bring lots of benefits, so celebrate the results whilst putting in the preparation work.

Responsibilities reap rewards. I like that. It’s a good way to remember that there are things which need to be done on a regular basis – they may not be enjoyable, but they make life easier for me, or for others. If I don’t keep my paperwork up to date it causes problems for others. If I don’t do the boring stuff necessary for my job, I find it more difficult in the end.

4. I focus on being present in my activities

Whatever we are doing and whoever we’re with, remember to appreciate the value of the person we are spending time with or the task we are completing.

Again, yes!! Appreciate the person, the task…It reminds me of the prayers of the early Celtic Christians. They had prayers for everything – feeding the hens, sweeping the hearth…because there was the understanding that everything one does is inextricably linked to God. And every person we meet has God in their souls (whether they know it or not) We should recognise this fact, and acknowledge it.

For example, women on their way to milk the cows might pray:

Bless O God my little cow
Bless of God my desire:
Bless thou my partnership
And the milking of my hands, O God.
Bless O God each teat
Bless O God each finger
Bless thou each drop
That goes into my pitcher, O God.

or men in the fields :

God bless thou thyself my reaping,
Each ridge, and plain, and field,
Each sickle curved, shapely, hard,
Each ear and handful in the sheaf;
Each ear and handful in the sheaf.

It is the finding of the sacred in the ordinary, the light of God in our every day lives.

I should really try to take these four things into my life a little more. Iwonder if I actually will…

6 thoughts on “Even Better If…?

  1. Thanks for this, I’m so glad that the post was encouraging!
    If you ever come across that chicken prayer – I’d love to see it πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“

  2. Somehow, the first three of these ARE part of my life. The part of the fourth one I work on is remembering to be ‘present’ if I’m with someone, because that means slowing to THEIR pace and listening to each of THEIR words.

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