There’s something very humbling about turning 50.

I’ve never had a bad birthday.  What I mean by that is that my birthdays, marking the years, never depressed me.

I’ve always embraced each birthday as a wonderful milestone in each step of my life.

And I’ve never wanted to relive my past.  I’ve appreciated each decade for the lessons learned, the memories shared and the blessings I’ve received.

Turning 50, though, took a little time to accept and appreciate.

After mulling over the fact that I’ve probably lived over half my life, I realized that what I had left of my life, I would use to learn more about and appreciate MYSELF.  I want to do now what I never seemed to have time for before.

You see I’m not the same person I was 30 years ago when I moved from maiden to mother, raised children, went through a couple of husbands, and more than enough jobs and relocations.

I’ve spent so much of my past just trying to keep up with all the demands that are usually placed on us when we are no longer teens and become self-supporting adults that I’ve never really been able to Take Care of Me.

It’s been exhausting!

I’m sure this can be said for everyone reading this.

Now that I’m turning 56 this March, I’m more committed than ever to taking care of me and nurturing and supporting my “creative, intuitive intelligence”, the childlike nature in me that’s been suppressed all these years.

I not only want to reacquaint myself with my soul, my true nature, I also want to bring it out into the sunlight and let it lead me on a new journey, with a more open perspective and a more loving, giving and creative expression.

How do I do this?

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Images from The Sacred Garden Maui

The Artist’s Date

One of two requirements from Julia Cameron’s book, “The Artist’s Way”, for becoming a more creative person is called “The Artist’s Date”.

Besides Morning Pages (three pages of free-style consciousness writing every morning), the Artist’s Date, done once a week, is an opportunity for you to spend some quality, uninterrupted time with yourself in whatever way makes you the happiest.

The point is for you to actually make a date to spend time with you; mark time out on a calendar for very specific and special personal time.

For example, I recently went on an Artist’s Date with my son.  Now I know, technically I’m supposed to do an Artist’s Date by myself.  I brought my son along because he’s still pretty new to Maui and he needed an Artist’s Date, too.  :)

Where did we go and what did we do?

The Sacred Garden

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Entrance to The Sacred Garden

The Sacred Garden is:

“A nursery, a peace sanctuary, a retreat center, a botanical garden, a school, a creativity center, and a temple!”

It is home to:

  • A garden nursery to sit and be inspired.
  • Two walking labyrinths, one classical 7-circuit labyrinth indoors and one medieval 11-circuit labyrinth outdoors surrounded by kukui nut trees.
  • The Mother Shrine meditation room for quiet introspection.
  • Picnic and sitting areas.
  • Gift shop.
  • Free to the public 7 days a week. They accept donations.
  • Free tea!!  :)

It was raining the day we went, as it usually does upcountry Maui, but we stayed dry inside.  Everything was covered except the outside labyrinth.  The temperature was perfect, so the rain was not a hindrance at all.

“Inspiration, creativity, beauty and peace are the undeniable themes of the garden.”

I brought with me my Kindle, the only electronic device I had with me, and ended up not even using it.

I also brought a composition notebook, my Morning Pages book, to do some writing and my favorite purple pen.

It was really terrific.  But I think I had the most fun walking the labyrinth outside.  It was illuminating.  :)

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Path to 11-Circuit Labyrinth

Walking a Labyrinth

According to the pamphlet give to us by the hostess, the 11-circuit labyrinth at The Sacred Garden is a replica from the Chartres Cathedral in France.

Labyrinths are not to be confused with mazes.  Mazes were used mainly to trick or mislead people with dead ends and false trails.

A labyrinth, on the other hand, is an ancient path of pilgrimage.  Back in the early 13th century, the Crusades made traveling to sacred destinations too dangerous.  So would be pilgrims got creative and used this “path of prayer” within the safety of a local church.  In this way, pilgrims could take a “metaphorical pilgrimage”.

Today, labyrinths are used as paths of self-discovery, healing, contemplation and revelation.

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Guidelines for Walking a Labyrinth

If you are looking to “gain” something from a walk through a labyrinth, here are some guidelines to get you prepared, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually.

And by the way, you don’t need an actual labyrinth to have a meditative, introspective walk.  A local garden area, beach, park or even a walk around your property is enough to have a rewarding experience.  It’s all about the mindset.

  1. Let go of expectations. Just relax and enjoy this time of peace and reflection.  Sometimes the messages can be subtle.
  2. Find your own pace. Fast, slow, rhythmic or sporadic, every journey is as unique as the person taking it.
  3. It is okay to pass. Utilize accessible turns to pass someone.  Do so with respect.
  4. The labyrinth is a two-way street. The path of the labyrinth takes you to the center and then returns you to the beginning.  Simply pay attention, stay present, step aside for someone to pass, then resume your place and continue.
  5. Emotions may be evoked. Simply observe these emotions and breathe.  Remember the labyrinth will mirror for you anything you need to see.
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Our Labyrinth Experience

My experience walking the 11-circuit labyrinth was definitely eye-opening!  I seemed to go faster than I thought I would, almost like it was a mission.  And I kept looking ahead of me to where the path was leading rather than focusing on where I was at that present moment.

This told me that I’m trying to hurry to get somewhere, I don’t know where, and that I’m not taking the time I want to be present in this NOW moment.

I’m glad I learned this.  This helps me to know and understand something about myself that I was unaware of before and that I would like to change.

Taking Care of Me

Spending time doing something special, just for me, is far more rejuvenating than I imagined.

It’s also something that I struggle to find time for; yet, something that I really do want to be consistent with as a healing practice.

What helps me be consistent with my Artist’s Dates is actually making an appointment with myself, in my daily planner, and keeping it.

What also helps in keeping the appointment is deciding what to do on my Artist’s Date, doing the research to make it happen (i.e., getting directions, wearing comfortable clothing, bringing necessary items with me, etc.) and then letting my husband know about my date so that no other plans are made.

Lastly, I keep a list of dreams for Artist’s Dates near my desk so that I never run out of inspiration.  I refresh the list as often as I get ideas.

If you are looking for ways to bring out your creative side, or are looking to resurrect a creativity allowed to go dormant, I urge you to read “The Artist’s Way”.

I think you’ll find yourself loving life and loving the dawn of each new day more than you ever thought possible.

What special ways do you find to Take Care of YOU??  Comment below.

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means I get a percentage of the sale if you decide to purchase. Thank you in advance for helping to keep my garden growing.    :)

 

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Tools of My Trade

I have to admit that when I wrote my article “A Fresh New Approach” back in November, I had all kinds of hopes and expectations to have a thriving garden, or at least the beginnings of one by this time.

Well some things did not turn out as hoped.

I tried planting an assortment of seeds outside in my little garden shed.

I planted a few vegetables, a few herbs and some pollinator friendly flowers.

I used a good soil base, FoxFarm is one of my favorites, added some of our compost and a little vermiculite to lighten it all up.

After three weeks of waiting….absolutely nothing.

Hmmph!

So my wonderful husband, Frank, also a gardener, tried his hand at it by planting some lettuce seeds for me indoors, in a covered planter, and then placed it in a bedroom closet with no light.

Well we had lots and lots of lettuce plants come up, the only problem is that Frank put way too many seeds together in one hole and I had a heck of a time separating them to plant in pots.

You see lettuces don’t like their roots messed with. So you want to transplant as little as possible or not at all.

I lost most of the little guys, but was able to salvage a few.

To date they are still pretty small.

Off To My Favorite Nursery

Since my seed planting was not getting anywhere, I decided to go to my favorite local nursery, which is in fact a good 45 minutes away upcountry in Kula.

I bought kale, spinach, lettuce plants, a celery plant and even a baby watermelon.

With all my plants in tow and a big smile on my face, I set out to start my garden….again.

I placed the little plants in locations I thought they would like. Gave them a few days to acclimate, then I put them in the ground.

I don’t know what happened but it seemed like overnight I lost almost all my lettuces, and to date the spinach and kale still look a little sketchy.

My watermelon died before I could transplant it.

Surprisingly, the celery is doing amazing!!!

Still, by the end of last year, I was having my doubts about all my big plans and dreams, the plants just seemed to not want to cooperate with me. Read Full Article →

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Disclaimer

I do not now or at anytime profess to be a healthcare provider or even professionally schooled in healthcare. I am simply a woman and mother, doing research for my own life and finding information significant enough to share on Budget Minded Organics. It is up to each of us to perform our "due diligence" (research) before considering modifications in our diet or lifestyle. And always consult a trusted, professional healthcare provider.
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