Weed: "a valueless plant growing wild; any undesirable or troublesome plant, esp. one that grows profusely where it is not wanted; undesirable or superfluous elements"
We all deal with many weeds in our lives…long lines, crowds, traffic, noise, accumulating bills/debt, busy schedules, family and social obligations. Many times we let stresses accumulate without awareness, often forgetting that we have power over our situation. We need to remember that we are in charge of our life.
Pick your battles.
You can't change everything, but you do have the power to change what is important to you. I personally needed to get away from what I perceived as the "weeds" of city living. I could feel them smothering me slowly and changing me into a person I didn't want to be. It is quite a long process, and I'm still just beginning down my new path, but I'm taking the steps to change my living situation because, to me, it is very important. Sometimes it is too difficult to see the beauty in the weeds. Many people fall into the trap of “needing” so many material things that they are swamped with debt. When the weeds are smothering your life, it is worth stepping away for a moment and considering if your precious resources are worth the fight.
Adjust your attitudes and preconceptions.
In his book “Two Acre Eden”, Gene Logsdon tells of his friend who had relocated to Africa and acquired many of the ways of thinking of the tribe he now lived with. When visiting back in the states he noticed many instances of people trying too hard and fighting nature. As Gene sprinkled rotenone on his eggplants, which were being perforated by some confounded bug, the friend smiled and said: "An African would be too smart to raise something as bothersome or risky as that. Life is too short to waste time fighting nature unnecessarily. Who needs eggplant?" Later, while Gene was chasing after a spider in the house, the friend said “We have a house spider in Zambia which everyone calls Charlie. Africans would be too smart ever to kill him. Charlies look ugly but they control other bugs that you don't want around." Many weeds can be eliminated through our perception alone.
And, of course, there’s always the ubiquitous dandelion.
Unbeknownst to most passersby, the dandelion is a powerhouse of nutrition and medicinal uses. Every part of the plant can be used for helpful and healthful purposes. “The leaves and crowns are used for salads and cooked greens. The flower part can be eaten and is used to make wine. The root of the dandelion is a blood and kidney cleaner and tonic, as well as a diuretic. The root can also be used as a general cleansing stimulant for the liver. If the root is dried and roasted, it can be ground up and used as an alternative to coffee. Some say it is hard to tell the difference between "real" coffee and dandelion coffee. The leaves can be dried and combined with the dried root to make a bitter tea.” from www.nutricraze.com (Just make sure if you are venturing into any "wild" foods that you make sure to only pick pesticide-free ones, never over-pick an area, and do your research so you always know what you're picking.)
So, make a date with yourself and evaluate your life. Is all going as well as you’d like? Are you living in harmony with your values, your goals, your “Master Life Plan”? Pinpoint the “weeds” in your life and come up with a plan to either deal with them or rethink them. Just like a successful business, you need to reevaluate often, and while you’re at it, enjoy some dandelions!
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.
This quote is from The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This is my favorite book of all time. At first glance it seems like a children's book of little consequence. The pictures are very simple, and it is a small book. I am only disappointed that I didn't discover it as a child. It was after college that a fellow actor introduced it to me, and I have been recommending it ever since. If you do not know this book, please find an hour in your life to read it. I am sure you will find it lodged in your heart forevermore.
Resources for professional organizers, simple living, audio courses, nutritional data, master life plans...
For those of you who are professional organizers, we now have a pdf info sheet on our site that highlights some of the ways others have been incorporating Tangible Karma into their services. You can go there directly by following this link: organizer pdf
Here's a wonderful site I've come across that advocates the idea of simple living: www.simplelivingamerica.org. You can call for free "I simplify" buttons and help spread the word.
If you can’t reduce or rearrange your commute time, check out "The Teaching Company". They provide audio books of great courses taught by great professors: www.teach12.com
A great site for nutritional data for dandelions and more can be found at: www.nutritiondata.com
Interested in learning more about creating a Master Life Plan? Go to the free tools at The Institute of Stress Management and Performance Improvement: