sometimes you know something and just need to be reminded of it.

sometimes you feel like you might already know something because when you hear it, it resonates so deeply with you.

and sometimes you feel like you should know something already, just because it is so basic and fundamental.

i’m not sure which category these things fall under, and it really doesn’t matter. but here are a smattering of some things that are on my radar at the moment, and i thought i’d share them with you:

1. this one comes courtesy of martha beck, who is some sort of a life coach, and whose column i read in an old oprah magazine at my sister’s house. she suggests that when you struggle with a decision, you tune into what your body is telling you. simple, yet elegant. think back to a time when you made a decision you later regretted. how did your body feel when you made that decision? now think about a decision that turned out to be right on the money. how did you feel physically when you were making that decision? cool, huh? but it gets better- now sit with a decision you are struggling with right now  and see what the sensations are like. which scenario do they match? because your mind might wrap you in knots but your body will seldom lead you astray. i got some powerful truth this way. it wasn’t the truth i wanted to hear, but as soon as i tuned in, i felt calmer. a friend  i talked to today told me he could hear it in my voice. trip out, huh?

2. this is kind of a corollary to #1, and this seems so basic that i shouldn’t even have to say it, but i forget this and so do most women i know. you have to listen to your Self. that inner voice you have speaks for a reason. i’ll give you a kind of dumb example to illustrate this. after our email went off the reservation for the 2nd time and *h tried to fix it by changing the passwords, i set up gmail accounts both for myself and for the family. although my little voice told me to write down whatever addresses i wanted and to put them in my gmail contacts, my louder voice told me that i should be a team player. that i shouldn’t undercut *h’s manhood by doing computer stuff (very much his realm of the marriage). i thought i should wait for him and at least sit down together and sort through our contacts to see who we wanted to keep (what? even for my own gmail account?!?!?!? aren’t married women crazy sometimes?????). and the nagging little voice was like, “hey sista. if you wait for him you are gonna be waiting like til the apocalypse!” but i shushed that down and our email got zapped a third time and he changed the password and i sat with hands folded in lap and said to myself, “hush, dear. he is the man. he knows computers. you are the wife. you are technologically illiterate. let him do what’s best. after all, it’s only email.” and today when email zaps 4 and 5 arrived not only did they zap some dear friends who are now infected from an account that we should have shut down many moons ago, but now all of our contacts have been erased. maybe this is nature’s way of purging out-of-date friendships from my life. but there are friends i don’t talk to often who i still would kind of have liked the option of staying in touch with. same for *h. even now as i type this, my passive voice tells me that if the universe wants us to reconnect, they will cross our paths again. but wouldn’t it have been smoother if i had just listened to myself in the first place and saved my own contacts? sheesh.

#3. smooth is fast. and slow is smooth. marksmen use this mantra to remind them not to go all willy nilly crazy when they need to get the job done right. often we see that we need to do something so we kick it into high gear and just spazz out trying like mad to finish the job. but when we rush we make mistakes. and we miss the mark. we need to redo. and we waste time and energy. so when i feel myself going into overdrive, sometimes i have to remind myself that smooth is fast. napolean bonaparte used to urge his valet, “dress me slowly; i’m in a rush!” (although i’m sure in french it had a lot more panache…) but the sentiment is the same. sometimes when you are most freaking out is when you most need to calm it down. when i am most hyperventilating is when i most need to breathe deeply. decisions made from a place of fear or anxiety are almost always decisions i will regret later. i would almost always rather walk away til i can get myself together than jump off the cliff in the heat of the moment. even the great costco parking lot incident of 2011 (many posts back, but if you’re feeling adventurous go ahead and see if you can dig it up!) was a calculated risk. if you can’t take a breath, don’t engage. whether it’s bargain hunting or renegade gardening, don’t play if the stakes are too stakey.

#4- some of the best kindnesses are the ones we do for ourselves. sometimes chocolate is the best answer. sometimes a nap will solve your problem. don’t underestimate the value of comfy socks or great pajamas or a good book or a phone call with a friend or blogging while the kids play outside. things that nurture your soul allow you to give to others. yesterday i wanted so badly to blog, but here’s a dirty little truth: i was SO mad about something that i just couldn’t clear my head. and i couldn’t get in the right frame of mind. and when i thought about getting on the computer to write it all out (something that seriously usually helps) i just kept coming up against brick walls. old julie would have beaten herself up about that. a lot. right now i am happy to tell you that i am in a different head space. and i’m not having any of that. possibly because i’ve had lots of chocolate, naps, comfy socks, and great pajamas. but whatever the reason, today i am brimming over with 99 gajillion ideas that i want to write about. so much so that after getting home from a trip to the blueberry u-pick place i sent all of my kids off swimming so i could blog in peace. and when i found out that my i-pod was dead i just set it on the charger. (what’s the other option? throw a tantrum about who left it off the charger! but as i said, at least for today, i’m not there…).

#5- if i put too many things in a list on the blog, people get overly saturated and don’t respond to any of them 😉

so, here’s a reminder about the new email address: it’s thegardenrenegade at (thanks JK for the spam alert!)

ok, y’all: feed me back!