(Blog written in 2016 – revised for today.)  

In 2015, we had 7 trees removed that bordered our property and the new construction behind our house. It was sad to see trees go, but since they were Russian olive trees (pretty, but vicious with spikes!) we released them with a blessing.

For these many months, it's been pretty bare out in the back. We see lots of sky, so that's been great. We've had more exposure to winds without those trees. The latest change has been the addition of a grey block wall (not pretty) behind the house. We appreciate this wall as it provides us with a solid boundary in our world and a neat backdrop for plantings.

Except we didn't have many plantings. We didn't plant anything in the spring because we were unsure as to what the boundary between the properties would look like. With this new wall​, we now know and can proceed.

As a result, we bought two Pink Flowing Plumb trees, two tree variety Rose of Sharon, one shrub Rose of Sharon, and a Smoke Bush.​ Perfect timing to get them in the ground after hot weather and before cold weather.

These are pretty small little plants compared to the giant 30 year old trees that were removed. Phil has been diligently watering them so they can get their root systems growing and get a great start for next spring.

The future of these plants require care NOW.

The future of your abundance requires your care NOW!

The future of your happiness requires care NOW!​

We think we will wait until we retire, or we finish school, or we finish that project . . . and the care our soul requires gets neglected.

We plant the trees in the fall, knowing they will face the hardship of winter. Winter happens. Yet, this timing also gives the plant time to settle in without having to produce leaves or growth on the outside. The growth is happening beneath the ground and within the plant.

So, too, when we begin to grow spiritually, the growth happens within. Others may not see it, but it's there. Hardship may come before we are fully developed, yet we are creating roots and systems for our own support behind the scenes.

That support may include: a deeper sense of inner knowing; a brighter sense of hope; a clearer sense of purpose; friends that are supportive and caring.​ These may remain unseen to an outsider's perspective.

And yet, when the time is right to really grow and stretch out our awareness and be seen, the inner structure provides a powerful base for this growth.

How do we create this inner support for ourselves? Just like these little trees require watering daily, water the soul daily with positive words from others further along the path (read a book, listen to audio tapes, or watch positive, uplifting videos about spiritual growth) and positive words from our own selves. It's easy to find fault with ourselves, yet, spiritual growth requires the caring attention to positive self-talk.

Find time to sit quietly (okay, so sometimes that's a miracle) and ask what Spirit (Divine Source, God, Higher Power - whatever) wants you to know. As you quietly reflect, things will be brought to mind, or the phone will ring with a friend who just happens to share some information that blesses you. Or within a few minutes you have a flash of insight. The more often time is taken to do this, the more quickly the messages and responses can come . . . that's inner growth!

Creating hope requires feeding ourselves hope on a regular basis. Feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated cancels out our hope. Hope is a positive anticipation. A looking forward to something better. A knowing that each day is a new day and each moment is a new moment to feel brighter and to be brighter. Forget perfect. We cannot get there from here. Let that go. Stick with "brighter" and release perfection. Likewise, forget expectations - how we think it SHOULD be. That's judgment and will snuff out hope in a heartbeat. Hope - knowing a brighter time is coming. Even in the dead of winter, there is hope of spring. Feed that hope with pictures of sunshine and blue skies. Feed your hope with pictures of brighter days ahead. (Literally and figuratively. If you can find pictures of what epitomizes your hopes and dreams, post them where you can see them!)

Feed that HOPE!! The tender roots of your spiritual growth require it!

Find friends who hold common interests and support your spiritual growth. Family doesn't always fit this bill. That's okay. We can love them anyway and find mutually supportive relationships beyond blood kinships. Seek and ye shall find. They are out there! If you are nourishing and blessing yourself spiritually, you will be drawn to others on that same path.

Find a renewed sense of purpose. Whatever we do, when we express the inner spiritual journey into our actions - that's purpose. Grocery shopping provides an opportunity to smile and be kind in a world of tired folks just struggling to get through the day. Doing laundry blesses our family. Typing that letter the boss wants, puts food on our table and provides a quality service. Doing even the simple things in life with a greater purpose of spiritual awareness yields great spiritual growth and blessings.​

Whether you are in the springtime of spiritual growth or flowing into winter spiritually, nourish and bless yourself spiritually NOW! You are worth it. The growth happens even if you don't see it happening. You will look back and know that this is the time you grew.