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Secret to a Successful Garden

Here is a little trick I have been trying to perfect for years: lowering my expectations.

For years I have been coaching men and women on this philosophy. And for years I have been trying to teach it to myself. I am proud that I have reached a new personal best this year when I finally “planted” my pansies by plopping them into the container on my back porch.

For months, I looked at these poor pansies as they sat in various transitional places waiting to be enjoyed. There they sat, waiting to be embraced, waiting to be accepted, waiting for a home.

Every time I looked at them it was a reminder that there was something that needed to be done, something that I hadn’t done. Something waiting to be appreciated - when they were perfectly planted.

In the meantime, I neglected these little beauties and neglected myself in the process choosing instead to see something on my “To Do” list instead of seeing something on my “Enjoy Now” list.

My mom was a master teacher at priority setting. When I was growing up, our house was rarely dusted but our sheets were clean and there was a hot meal on the table each night. She was always available for a hug or a chat. As a working mother, she seemed to have her priorities in order. She is no longer with me, but I’d like to thank her now for her presence then.

My beautiful pansies smile at me every day now (on my back porch) and I smile back at them. I lovingly water them in their original garden center plastic that is hidden (kind of). They are on my “Enjoy Now” list every day.

Is there some way that you can forgive yourself today? Where can you lower your expectations today? What’s really important? What can you shift from your “To Do” list to your “Enjoy Now” list?

It doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be enjoyed. Enjoy it now.

© Kathy Sturgis, Ph.D. Kathy is founder of Refreshment Zone and is an organizational and personal development specialist with a doctorate in communication. Contact for more information on motivational programs.

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