Landscape Your Life in 2019

Landscaping Your Life (LYL) can impact any area of your life whether that's landscaping your goals, motivation, confidence, influencing and/or mindset. This blog shares many means of achieving this. Alternatively join the LYL Facebook group or Facebook page to get daily inspiration for our lives from nature's landscapes.

New for the Summer is the launch of the LYL ezine, full of insight from nature you can apply to your life. Sign up here.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

The 7 keys to a Buzzing Life

Yesterday's theme for the Landscaping Your life (LYL) launch was Landscaping Your Motivation and Joy for Life.

As I have every day this week I did a Facebook live at 0730 BST to start the day, and then traveled over to Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden to see what I could find to support the day's theme and any other Landscaping Your Life snippets!

One of the features of the newly published LYL ezine is how to attract bees into your garden and then applying that insight to having a buzzing life.


I'll share the 7 keys here. To really explore them in more detail I'd highly recommend signing up for the ezine.
  1. Having multiple sources of buzz
  2. Knowing what makes you buzz
  3. Attracting the buzz
  4. Buzzing all year around
  5. Buzzing in the wildness and chaos
  6. Feeding and watering the buzz
  7. Maintenance of the buzz
Additional insight from my walk around the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh included:

Don't panic - just be you. let everyone know what you stand for and they'll find you



An unexpected self esteem lesson from a rhododendron


And finally an additional insight for when you can't see the wood for the trees. You'll find many more on my posts over the last year but check this post out first.


What did you notice as you read and watched - what action are you being nudged to take?

Landscaping Your Life is just one of the tools I use in behavoural skills coaching and training helping individuals and teams to tap into their inner wisdom to achieve their goals. Do get in touch if you'd like to understand more about how I can help you, or your team alison@landscapingyourlife.co.uk

Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life to get back on track
Using nature as our coach, nature's landscapes as metaphors for our lives.

You can sign up for the Landscaping Your Life ezine here, or find out a little more about it here.


Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Thyme Management


Yesterday's theme for the Landscaping Your Life (LYL) launch was Landscaping Your Time Management.

And as one of the additional insights from 6 hours of driving to get to 'climb' a mountain yesterday was,

Don't make life so blinkin' difficult! 

I realised I didn't need to find time to travel today as I had some thyme on my doorstep - as you'll see on the Facebook Live I did at 0730 BST this morning.

Managing time is something I know many of us grapple with. Whether that grappling is about how to fit more into our day, or how to manage our emails. It’s why today I’m going to explore the similarities between managing Thyme and managing time ;-). 

When growing thyme we accept that there’s a sequence of events that happens from seed selection and purchase, via pot preparation, seed sowing, watering, warmth, germinating, more watering, growing, planting out, sunshine, watering, growing, sunshine, watering, pruning, weeding, sunshine, and finally harvesting. A sequence where there will be limited success if key activities are bypassed, or we’re certainly not going try to do all the watering at the same time either – little and often is key.

When sowing thyme seeds we understand not every seed will germinate, and even for those that do not every seed will flourish. Further more, some seedlings may need to be pricked out to allow others to flourish without fear of being strangled as there’s only space for so many plants. In other words, to have a beautiful crop of thyme we don’t put the same care and attention into every seed. We nurture and pay attention to those that are showing signs of growth and potential, leaving those that aren’t in the soil.

We also know to focus on one activity until we’re done. No jumping from weeding one plant, opening our thyme seed packet, composting some leaves, digging a hole for a tree, mowing half the lawn, getting the pots ready for us to scatter our seeds into, planting the tree and then scattering the seeds. If we did we might find the seeds have scattered themselves in the process, and I can just imagine the state of the garden, shed, greenhouse and ourselves with all the jobs half done and variety of tools left mid activity scattering themselves like seeds across the ground – as health hazards and, if left for too long, getting rusty in the process. (See In the potting shed in the LYL ezine for more on tool maintenance.)

Timing is key too – what ever season the seeds arrive there’s a time to sow the seeds that will yield a better crop. You’re certainly not going to try to sow seeds individually every moment of every day throughout the year allowing that activity to get in the way of other activities such a planning, weeding, feeding, composting and sowing other crops. Even if the head gardener sent the seeds you still wouldn’t sow them until the conditions were just right. Something the head gardener would understand and expect too.

As the seedlings develop they require care and attention – planting out, watering, weeding, feeding and even pruning as they grow. There’s a level of proaction and planning needed to get this right. You certainly don’t wait till you remember to water them, nor till you’ve got the time to water them.  Instead you plan time daily to check them. You may also check the weather forecast and plan to plant the seedlings out into the ground when the conditions are favourable rather than on a cold, wet and windy day.

Which results in the following 10 keys to thyme management


Which of these can you focus on today to support effective time management? 

Landscaping Your Life is just one of the tools I use in behavoural skills coaching and training helping individuals and teams to tap into their inner wisdom to achieve their goals. Do get in touch if you'd like to understand more about how I can help you, or your team alison@landscapingyourlife.co.uk

Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life to get back on track
Using nature as our coach, nature's landscapes as metaphors for our lives.

You can sign up for the Landscaping Your Life ezine here, or find out a little more about it here.



Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Mountains of Potential



I’ve recently had a TV fest of watching some wonderful programmes on feats of daring with respect to climbing mountains whether that’s watching Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson climb Yosemite’s El Capitan’s dawnwall (Netflix), or following Steve Backshall and team on a mission to climb a remote and unclimbed mountain deep in Greenland’s arctic wilderness (BBC).

I suspect like many people the mountains I climb will continue to be metaphorical (until a new knee has arrives anyway), and in this article I’m going to explore what we can learn from those who do climb mountains that can be applied to the every day mountains in our lives.

Setting goals
Very rarely do we hear of people climbing mountains they hadn’t intended to. A hill possibly, but a mountain requires that a goal be set so that appropriate planning and preparation takes place. Not least, that on the day in question we’re starting off from the bottom of the correct mountain.

No laissez faire going with the flow “let’s see what happens”. Which is certainly easy to do in our lives, despite that often precluding us scaling those larger mountains of our full potential.

Preparation
No mountaineer or climber set off without preparation.

Preparation that might include – researching what others have done, developing a plan, doing a reconnaissance, assessing current skills versus those needed to succeed, practicing and training, buying the gear needed, gathering a team together and developing trust of those you’re going to be doing it with, forecasting for when the conditions would be most favourable to succeed, and so on.

Preparation not only improves the likelihood of success but also reduces the risk of injury or even worse.

(The Garden Design - preparing the site article in the LYL ezine will help with preparation) 

Motivation
One common feature on the programmes I watched was how close they came to giving up.

Not giving up before they started, once they’d set out. More often than not because the climb was harder than even they could imagine. Unless they could tap into why they were doing it they’d have given up. Instead the motivation meant they gritted their teeth, dug deep and kept on going one step or hand hold at a time.

Lack of motivation is certain why many of us fail to achieve our goals – because the expected pleasure and success is not big enough to counter the pain felt to get there. It’s as if at the first hurdle we turn round forgetting why we wanted to get there in the first place.

(The Buzzing with Life article in the LYL ezine will help with motivation) 

Taking action
“Momentum is your friend” said Steve Backshall

That is, once preparation is complete; the team has been chosen and conditions are right, there’s no more holding back, no time for procrastination. Just one step at a time headed for a goal you know why you want to achieve.

Route
Part of planning will include deciding on the best route to get to the summit. On the day, however, diversions may be required. It’s where preparation and training kick in, providing us with the know how and confidence to take an alternate route to get around the roadblock ahead.

Celebrate


Once you’ve climbed the mountain and have a 360 panoramic view from the summit it’s time to celebrate. Whilst on the programmes I watched celebration involved tears and hugs that’s not a necessity – simply some time to celebrate and reflect on the achievement.

Which is where the article in the LYL ezine finished. 

As part of the Landscaping Your Life launch this week I've scheduled to visit a number of landscapes to share the process in the moment.

With arthritic knees climbing mountains is harder to achieve but where there's a will, and so we headed for Fort William and the Nevis Range, and took a Gondola to 650m and then walked a another 20 minutes to the Sgurr  Finnisg-Aig 663m viewpoint. 


Whilst up there I did a FaceBook live - which was a little blowy where I started to share some of the insights which included:

Aim higher 
We'd thought we'd go to Glencoe but due to bad weather, and a realisation is wasn't that much further we drove past and ended up at Aonach Mor. This mountain had the potential to climb higher, see further and more easily ie to get up Glencoe would have been by open ski lift, and as the weather closed in not a wonderful experience. On Aonach Mor, over looking Ben Nevis, we traveled up in the comfort of a gondola.

Isn't that the case in life - we aim for what we think will be easier, and yet aiming higher could turn out to be easier in the long run!!

The outlook depends on which direction you're looking 


To me, focusing on one of these directions makes the situation look very grey and dismal, another direction looks like hard work and no play, and the other much more inviting and motivating.

If I want to climb a mountain in future I know what direction I need to focus on to keep me motivated.

That said, you can't look out at the beautiful view as you walk - it can only act as a motivation and goal to get to the summit.

Don't chase your shadow, or allow it to chase you

As I walked I caught sight of my shadow on the ground, and found it hard to see the boulders and rocks I was needing to navigate around.

Which felt like a reminder not to get caught up on the "this won't work"s or "I can't do this"s but to just keep moving one step at a time.

And additional insight from the shadow was:
   
Shadow is only available when there's sun!

What mountain do you want to climb, and which of the above criteria for success do you need to address to move getting to the summit from a dream to a reality?

Landscaping Your Life is just one of the tools I use in behavoural skills coaching and training helping individuals and teams to tap into their inner wisdom to achieve their goals. Do get in touch if you'd like to understand more about how I can help you, or your team alison@landscapingyourlife.co.uk

Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life to get back on track
Using nature as our coach, nature's landscapes as metaphors for our lives.

You can sign up for the Landscaping Your Life ezine here, or find out a little more about it here.

Whilst up the mountain I also explored further solutions for when you can't see the wood for the trees - to support solutions we've obviously covered previously here

  

The book, Can't see the Wood for the Trees, is available from all online stockists.