Well just a few more days before we hit the New Year. I plan on doing some feng shui tomorrow, December 31, to get my home ready for the coming abundance and prosperity I can feel rolling in. I subscribe to close to if not over 100 e-zines. I know it is an addiction. One of my favorite ones because it is just so simple and easy to read is “Abundant Space” by a local Denver feng shui consultant Amie Crouch. In this issue of Amie’s ezine she makes four simple suggestions for bringing in the New Year, which I plan on doing all of them.
1. Intentionally move 27 items in your home. An example is to switch the salt and pepper shakers.
2. Fill your wallet with paper money. Even if it is all singles it sends a message to the universe.
3. Using bleach (small amount) and water wipe down the entryway to your home. This allows new energy to come into your home.
4. Purge anything negative in your home!
Step one, intentionally move 27 items is a great idea. I first heard of this concept in my all time favorite feng shui book, Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life – How to Use Feng Shui to Get Love, Money, Respect, and Happiness by Karen Rauch Carter. She talks about the power of moving your stuff and stirring up the chi (energy) in your home. Okay I will be doing this tomorrow.
The second one is interesting because I have already done something very similar. In my favorite book for 2007 “Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting – the astonishing power of feeling’s by Lynn Grabhorn. Lynn suggest that you carry a $100 bill at all times to give yourself the feeling of abundance and prosperity. I have done this for a month and it really makes a difference. I haven’t spent the money but I see things and say, “Oh I could buy that right now.” (that is actually part of the exercise). You spend the money over and over in your mind until you really feel the sense that you can have whatever you want. Tomorrow I will go to the bank and get some more money and put it in my wallet just so I feel even more prosperous.
I like the idea of cleaning the entry way of my home. It just happens to be in my Career Sector of the Bagua. It could use some touch ups. I need to get rid of the old bench and the dead plants in flower pots that are on my porch. Not good chi.
And of course get rid of anything negative in your home. I would say that is anything broken, not used, not loved or not wanted. Don’t keep something in your home just because Aunt Tish gave it to you. Take a picture of it and give it to someone who will love and cherish it. My rule is I have nothing in my home that I don’t want, love and use.
So lets ring in the New Year and bring in that good chi!
Here’s to taking action,
Every year I pick a theme for the year. The theme is what I would like my year to “Be” about. It is the feel of the year. This year I picked the theme “White Hot Focus.” I want this year to be about focus, focus on what is most important to me, focus on what I am doing in the moment, and focus on the people that are most important to me. In this scattered overwhelming ADD world it can be difficult to focus, which is what I have found to be true for me the last couple of years. So this year that is my theme and that is what my year will be about.
My clients tell me that creating a theme for the year is powerful because it gives them direction and something to center them. If they begin to get way off base they simply ask themselves how what they are doing supports the theme. It is also amazing how just setting your intention on a particular theme will begin to bring that into your life.
If you think that setting a theme is too overwhelming, how about just choosing a word for the year. On Christine Kane’s Blog Christine suggest just choosing a word for the year. I like this idea because it simplifies things. I would indeed choose the word “Focus” and make that my word for the year. I also like having my theme as it gives me something to create my year around, like a theme for a party. But if a theme is too much, pick a word. Christine has a list of words on her blog to help you get started.
I am also including the Day I wrote early Dec. 2007 about creating a theme. Don’t worry if you don’t have a theme or a word by Jan. 1, just put it out there that you are seeking one and you will find it. It can take time and you want to make sure you have the right one that will support you the most for the year.
Set Your Theme For The Year
It is that time of year again. Time to set a theme for the New Year, or at least begin thinking of one. Every year I set a theme for the year that creates the mood, the tone and the focus for the year. Your theme can be anything you would like to focus on. You could set a theme for financial abundance, creating great relationships or finding the perfect career. The theme can also be an overarching concept that covers many or all areas of your life. Something like “Life is going to be great in 2008” sets a positive intention for the year and would make a great theme.
This is an exercise I encourage all of my clients to do. Last year one of my clients decided her theme would be “The Year of Respect.” I must say knowing where this client was in her own personal development and what her relationships were like I warned her that this might be a rather tough theme. You see when you pick a theme the Universe will help you by sending you opportunities and chances to develop or create whatever it is you want. “The Year of Respect” brought many opportunities for my client to stand up for herself, learn to respect herself, and teach others to respect her. During one of our last conversations she shared that indeed this year had been challenging because she demanded from herself and others the respect she wanted, and she got it. Although challenging, she said it was the prefect theme and she was thrilled with the final results.
Before you pick a theme give it a lot of consideration. Ask yourself what you would like to learn, have, or be in your life. You might consider what your focus for the year will be. I decided one year to pick a theme around health and my focus became my health and well-being for that year. I have selected themes around finance, relationships and perhaps one of the most difficult themes I ever selected was completion. The year my theme was completion I indeed did complete my Doctorate Degree, which was what I was thinking about when I picked the theme, but I also lost both of my parents and my fur child Muffassa. I truly feel like I now understand the importance of completion.
Don’t rush into a theme. Really give it some thought. When you hit on the right theme you will just know it. My client that picked the theme of respect is now creating a new theme for the coming year. She doesn’t want to rush it because she now realizes how powerful having a theme can be. I have been thinking of a theme for the coming year as well. My theme last year was “The year of the wildest dreams coming true.” And many of them did. This coming year my theme will be simple but I am guessing more powerful than I realize at this moment. My theme is “Focus.” The word, idea and concept of focus keep coming up so I decided to make it my theme.
Having a theme is a powerful way to create an intention for the year. Give yourself time to select just the right theme that resonates with you and feels right. If you select a theme but later just don’t feel like it is the right one, you can always change it. If you don’t have a theme selected by the first of the year, don’t panic. One will come to you. Once you have selected your theme write it down, put it on your Prosperity Board and anywhere else you will see it often. Your theme will set the tone for your year and help to attract what you want most in your life.
What is your theme for 2008?
Begin thinking of your theme for the New Year. Give yourself time. This is really important, as it will set the tone, mood and intention for the year.
“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” Mary Kay Ash
“In spite of your fear, do what you have to do.” Chin-Ning Chu
“When life appears to be working against you, when your luck is down, when the supposedly wrong people show up, or when you slip up and return to old, self-defeating habits, recognize the signs that you’re out of harmony with intention.” Aldous Huxley
One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year came from my dear friend Alyson Stanfield. It was a blooming tea ball. I had never seen or heard of this, of course a little research on the Internet reveals that I have been living under a rock! I simply Googled Blooming Tea Ball and came up with 1000’s of sites. In addition I discovered half of dozen videos on YouTube. For your viewing pleasure I have included my favorite. I have to say that my blooming tea ball didn’t look as beautiful as what is displayed in the video but it was still exciting, fun and delicious.
I also had a very strange experience when drinking my tea. I have a cup of tea every evening right before I go to bed. Because Alyson had given me this wonderful gift I decided to have my blooming tea ball the evening I received it. I made my tea in the kitchen and went upstairs to the loft where my husband was watching television. Just as I sat down to enjoy my beautiful cup of tea, Marie Antoinette (my husband was watching a movie about Marie Antoinette) sat down with her brother and said, “Oh you must try the tea, the Emperor of China sent it to me. It blooms when you pour water on it.” I couldn’t believe it, Marie and I were drinking the same tea! I had never heard of or seen this tea before and now Marie and I were there sharing a cup of it, together, sort of. I know it was a sign!
Check out the video, it is pretty cool. If you can’t find the tea locally it appears there are plenty of places to purchase it on-line. Get this, you actually can get it at Target on-line. It isn’t something you would drink everyday, but would make a great tea for serving guest or special occasions. It also makes great gifts. I loved mine.
Here’s to Action,
In addition to subscribing to at least 100 e-zines (I know it is an addiction) I also receive a few hard copy newsletters in snail mail. One of my favorites comes from my friend Marlys Nash with The Nash Group. Marlys owns a Mortgage company and the name of her newsletter is The Lender Line. For more info on Marlys you can check her out at www.mortgagelenderforlife.com. (I just noticed you can get her newsletter on-line as well)
In her December newsletter Marlys included a story that I truly enjoyed and thought I would share with you.
Coffee or the Cup
A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee. When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:
“If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.
Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups…And then you began eyeing each other’s cups. Now consider this: Life is the coffee, the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of the Life we live.
Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us.” God brews the coffee, not the cups…Enjoy your coffee! “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.”
Author is unknown
As I was searching to find the author of this story I found a blog that I couldn’t resist. On the blog is the “Coffee Cup Project.” People send in a picture of their favorite coffee mug with a story of why it is their favorite. I have no clue why anyone would do this, maybe just because they can. Fun to look at all the cups!
Remember it is the coffee, not the cup!
Here’s to Action,
I love feng shui and the New Year is a great time to get your feng shui on. My good friend and feng shui Master Katie Weber has a list of things we need to do to get our home ready for the New Year.
Prepare Your Feng Shui for the New Year
Editor’s Note: The suggestions below are also excellent if
you are interesting in space-clearing or preparing for any
by Kathryn Weber
Publisher, The Red Lotus Letter
As the New Year approaches, you may find yourself thinking over the past year and you may be counting your blessings or thinking about what you could have done differently. If you’re like me, you might do a little of both. Whatever the case, it’s important to start the New Year off on a positive, hope-filled note.
This can include everything from stocking the refrigerator to clearing out old junk from the closets. If you’ve missed the January 1st deadline, don’t worry: the Chinese New Year isn’t until a few weeks later…. so you’ve still got time!
To greet the New Year, set aside a couple of hours to give your house, bedroom, or office a New Year Blitz. Just remember, you are inviting a very special guest to your house: The New Year. So treat your house the way you would a very important dignitary. This is a new year of your life so welcome it in a grand way!
Take the list below in hand and check off the items one by one! Are you ready? Then, let’s get ready for the New Year! Remember to get everyone in the house in on the act.
OUT WITH THE OLD
Grab a laundry basket. Next, set a timer and take it with you from room to room. Set it for five minutes. Now, start throwing out old papers, magazines, empty bottles of shampoo from the bathroom, old clothes you know you’ll never wear again! Do it.
Got CDs you never listen to? Throw those out or donate them to charity. Have some old coffee mugs that don’t match or odd drinking glasses still hanging around in your cabinets? Pitch ’em.
When in doubt, throw it out. Don’t forget to look under the bed, too! And toss that lipstick you haven’t worn in two years! Remember to clean out the pantry, too, and toss that half-empty box of Rice Krispies that’s gone stale.
2. Sweep or vacuum
Get the old energy out by making the floors clean.
3. Do the laundry
Don’t have dirty clothes hanging around. You can throw in a load or two while you declutter. Be sure to fold and put the clean clothes away.
4. Clean the bathroom
Make it sparkle. You don’t want a nasty mess to greet the next year of your life!
5. Empty all trashcans
Don’t want last years’ trash hanging around, do you? Toss, toss, toss.
6. Clean out the refrigerator
Got a half-empty jar of apple butter? Get rid of it. You don’t want to go into the New Year with old food or a moldy science project lurking in the fridge.
7. Clear out visual clutter
Too much stuff everywhere? Clear off the counters in the bathrooms and kitchen. Clear off your desk and dust it. Pitch the sticky notes and papers and things taped everywhere! You can do it. Don’t forget the refrigerator! Make it a blank slate.
Make as much space as possible. You cannot bring in new things if there is no room for it and we want a fantastic year, right? Then make your space “open” for the abundance of the New Year!
8. Yard work
Make sure the yard is picked up and the front door step is swept and clear.
9. Change the sheets and towels
Put clean sheets on all the beds on New Year’s Eve and clean towels in the bathroom and kitchen. New sheets are even better.
10. Clean the car
This is what gets you around during the year. Drive through a car wash, take out the trash and do a quick cleaning.
All done? Wow, doesn’t that feel good! Now you’re ready for the next step.
IN WITH THE NEW!
1. Fill your pantry and kitchen
Stock the refrigerator with food and make sure the pantry is also stocked. It is bad feng shui to have an empty refrigerator and pantry. If you have canisters in the pantry or on the countertops, be sure to fill these.
2. Got citrus?
Oranges are excellent symbols for the New Year and the Chinese often celebrate the New Year by rolling oranges (symbols of gold) into the house. Place a big bowl of 8, 9, or 10 (the numbers of prosperity!) oranges in the living room or central location in the house next to dishes of nuts or candies to symbolize an abundant, fruitful home.
3. Buy a new plant
Put a beautiful new plant in the East (health & family relationships) sector of your house or office to symbolize a healthy beginning. You can also display some beautiful flowers here to symbolize your good health in the coming year.
4. Welcome good news
Place a golden bell in the NW corner of your home, office, or bedroom to bring good tidings from helpful people. Like old school bells? If so, place one of these in the NW corner of your yard for good news from helpful people.
5. Hang up new calendars
What better way to greet the New Year than by throwing out the old one? Take down all of last years’ calendars.
6. Fill your wallet
You don’t want to go into the New Year with an empty wallet. Put some money in your wallet — or better yet — go and buy a new wallet (red is the best!) or purse and start your financial off with new energy!
7. Invite a toad to your house
Place an old, broken clay pot upside down next to a water spout so a toad can make its home here. Toads are believed to invite money into the household; they’re especially nice by the door. You can also place figurines of toads by the door.
8. Feed the birds
Birds are excellent feng shui and believed to bring good news. Fill your feeders or put out a feeder for the New Year.
9. Have fun and celebrate
Fun is good feng shui. A happy vibrant home or space is a good space, so plan a party of some kind of happy gathering. Remember, a home or office with good feng shui is easy to spot it’s the one where everyone goes and doesn’t want to leave! Make your space that kind of place!
© 2003 Kathryn Weber
Kathryn Weber is the author of the ebook Applied Feng Shui and t
he Everydayclean.com Cleaning Calender. For more information or to subscribe to her popular Red Lotus Letter feng shui e-zine, log on to www.redlotusletter.com.
Tis the season and traditions abound. Traditions are wonderful because they keep us connected to that which is most important to us and give us warm and fuzzy feelings. Traditions are comforting because they add a constant to our lives and a certainty that isn’t always there. With all that is wonderful about traditions, they can also cause stress and discomfort. You don’t have to carry on a tradition and you can always start new ones.
When it comes to traditions I believe there are four basics rules to follow.
Number one, embrace it. If you love a tradition than by all means embrace it. I love sending out cards. It just doesn’t seem right to me not to. I know a lot of people have abandoned this tradition, but I love it, so it stays.
Rule number two is tweak it. There may be a tradition that you love but it needs a makeover. As a child we always opened one gift two days before Christmas (love doing this), all the gifts not from Santa on Christmas Eve and only the presents from Santa on Christmas Day. As an adult I have tweaked the process a tad. My husband, the fur children and I each open one gift two days before Christmas, we open just a few gifts on Christmas Eve (usually gifts from family and friends) and open the rest Christmas Day. I honor my family tradition and just make it work for my life now.
Rule three, if you don’t love it, leave it. If there is a tradition that you don’t love, don’t do it. You don’t have to follow tradition if you don’t want to. So if there is something that simply doesn’t make your holiday, leave it and follow rule number four.
Rule number four is create your own traditions. As you establish your own life, you will want to create your own traditions. Each year I pull a tag off the Christmas tree at my local grocery store and buy a present for the child who’s name appears on the tag. I have been doing it for years, and it is my special tradition.
Traditions are wonderful and can make the holiday special, or not. As you grow into your own you need to decide what traditions work for you, which ones don’t and what new ones do you want to create.
Traditions are wonderful and they can also be a pain. If you don’t love a tradition don’t do it. Why would you? Only follow the traditions that make your holiday bright and have meaning to you. Don’t be afraid to create your own traditions. Traditions that are created by you will have more meaning and add more joy to your holiday season.
Whatever you decide to do to celebrate the holiday, make it your own and enjoy it.
I am a big believer that mistakes are the greatest teacher. I have long embraced the concept of mistakes, although I don’t enjoy making them I do understand the benefits of them. Years ago when I worked at an Ice Cream Shop making Ice Cream Desserts I was training a new person. After I got them going I let them make some of the Ice Cream treats on their own. For the most part they did really good however there were a couple mistakes. They were pretty worried about the mistakes so I told them to relax, we had the greatest job ever, we got to eat our mistakes!
Mistakes are not always as sweet as they were back at the Ice Cream Shop. However few mistakes are the end of the world. As I was surfing the Internet I came across an issue of an E-zine with a great article about mistakes in it. I thought I would share it with you and hope that it provides some insight into the art of making the best of a mistake.
InspirEmail No 123 – December 3, 2007‘Inspirational messages to refresh the spirit and boost the emotional bank account’
The ABC’s of Handling Mistakes
A grizzled old sea captain was often spotted by his crew opening a small, locked box on the bridge, peeking inside at its contents and shutting the lid before anyone might glimpse inside. The crew’s curiosity grew and, on the day he retired, they rushed to the bridge, cut the lock and looked inside the box. There they found a sheet of paper that read, ‘Left – port. Right – starboard.’
Are you afraid to make a mistake? Some people feel as if no one is ever paying attention until they make a mistake! If you goofed in a big way recently, maybe you need to hear about Roy Riegels.
The story is told about Roy and the 1929 Rose Bowl championship football game between Georgia Tech and the University of California. Shortly before halftime, a man named Roy Riegels made a huge mistake. He got the ball for California and somehow became confused and started running in the wrong direction! One of his teammates outdistanced him and tackled him after he had run 65 yards, just before he would have scored for the opposing team. Of course, Georgia Tech gained a distinct advantage through the error.
The men filed off the field and went into the dressing room. All but Riegels sat down on the benches and on the floor. He wrapped his blanket around his shoulders, sat in a corner, put his face in his hands and wept.
Coach Nibbs Price struggled with what to do with Roy. He finally looked at the team and said simply, ‘Men, the same team that played the first half will start the second.’
All the players except Roy trotted out to the field. He didn’t budge. Though the coach looked back and called to him again, he remained huddled in the corner. Coach Price went to him and said,
‘Roy, didn’t you hear me?’
‘Coach,’ he said, ‘I can’t do it. I’ve ruined you; I’ve ruined the school; I’ve ruined myself. I couldn’t face that crowd in the stadium to save my life.’
But Coach Price put his hand on Riegels’ shoulder and said, ‘Roy, get up and go on back; the game is only half over.’
Roy Riegels went back and those Tech men will tell you that they have never seen a man play football as well as Roy Riegels played that second half.
The next time you make a mistake, it might be good to remember the ABC method of handling mistakes.
A – Acknowledge your error and accept responsibility for it. Don’t try to fix the blame on other people or circumstances. When you fix the blame, you never fix the problem.
B – Be gentle with yourself. The game is only half over. This is not the first mistake you ever made, nor will it be the last. You are still a good and caring person. Besides, later you may laugh at the blunder, so try to lighten up a bit now.
C – Correct it and move on. Correcting mistakes may also mean to make amends, if necessary. ‘Those who are wise don’t consider it a blessing to make no mistakes,” says Wang Yang-Ming. ‘They believe instead that the great virtue is the ability to correct mistakes and to continually reinvent oneself.’
Now, go make your mistakes. And though some may be no less than spectacular, if you practice the ABC method, you’ll live to laugh about many of them.
Written by Steve Goodier
Steve Goodier publishes This is Your Life Support System, a free e-newsletter sharing life, love and laughter. You can visit Steve’s website at . . . lifesupportsystem >>>
Growing, Growing, Gone
Okay it has been a few weeks since I have posted about the pile. Whew! You wouldn’t think a little pile would take so much time and energy but it did. That is why clutter is not a good thing to have around. It is just way too draining. Even if it is just one pile it takes up too much room in your space and in your mind.
Well as the saying goes “It gets worse before it gets better.” Well that is true with the pile. It started to grow! Oh no, just when I thought I was getting it down it started to expand. I had to stop and ask, “What is going on?” I realized that out of habit I was sticking things back on the pile. I was just use to putting things there. The Lesson – Clutter is a habit.
Clutter is a habit that needs to be replaced with a better habit. You just can’t get rid of a habit. The Universe adores a void and if there is nothing to fill the empty space left by a habit the Universe will fill it, usually with the old habit. So instead of just trying to stop the habit you have to find one that can replace it that has a more positive outcome. So what is my new habit? Putting things away or finding a home for whatever it is before it becomes clutter. Rita Emmett author of The Clutter Busting Handbook says if you don’t have a place for something it is clutter. And no she doesn’t mean pile it up on the floor!
That leads me to my second lesson. Everything has a place and everything should live in its place. When you use something put it back where you got it. If you are like me you can hear those words ringing in your ears from when you were a kid. My grandmother use to get on me all the time to put things back where I got them so I could find it the next time I was looking for it. Great advice and it only took me 40 years to finally understand the true value.
Well I got the pile under control and finally decided to get rid of it once and for all. It took more than fifteen minutes but I stuck with it until it was gone. What helped me get rid of it? That is the next lesson I learned.
Accountability. Never underestimate the power of accountability. I don’t know why telling someone else that you will get something done has infinitely more power than just telling yourself but it does. I set myself up to be accountable by posting my results on the Blog. And yes I had a few people email me asking how it was going! Oh if that didn’t help to get me going.
Whenever you set out to reach a goal get yourself an accountability partner. It can be a friend, a coach or even an on-line buddy. When I was a student at Coach U I took a class led by Thomas Leonard, the founder of Coach U. The class lasted a week and was designed to get rid of tolerations. Tolerations are anything that drain your energy and get in the way of you being your best. Each morning we would call in and tell the group which five tolerations we would get rid of that day. In the evening we would call in again and report our progress. It was amazing how many tolerations I got rid of that week just because I knew I was accountable to the group.
Another trick I used to help me was the reward system. There were several times I didn’t want to work on the pile so I bribed myself. I would tell myself that if I worked on the pile for a certain about of time I could watch television for a certain amount of time, or go shopping or do something else that I wanted to do. It helped to get me going. I looked forward to the reward and it made it worth spending the time on the pile.
So the final result. Ta-da! The pile is gone. Yes it took a tad longer than I expected and it was a lot more work that I figured but now that it is gone, it feels great. I am now inspired to tackle a few more tolerations that are piling up!
Take Action Now…. Is there a pile or two you want to bust through. Make a plan for getting rid of it and get an accountability partner. You will be amazed at what you can do with a little planning and someone looking over your shoulder.
I love fresh flowers and for years have insisted on having fresh flowers in my home at all times. I usually have two bouquets downstairs and I keep a single rose in the downstairs bathroom. I intuitively knew that having fresh flowers in my home was a good idea. Now I have scientific proof. According to a Harvard University Study participants reported having more energy all day long by just seeing a fresh bouquet for a few minutes in the morning. The study also reported that keeping a bouquet of flowers in the home made woman happier and less anxious.
Also suggested was “to pick up a houseplant for your office. It may help you breathe easier by recycling oxygen and reducing carbon dioxide. Certain types, including peace lilies and bamboo, are particularly effective at breaking down indoor pollutants, according to research done by NASA scientist.” (Shape Magazine, 2007 Issue, pg. 82)
And wouldn’t you know it I have a bamboo plant in my office, more because it is good feng shui but now I know it is good for me too!
I found this information in the January Issue of Shape Magazine. A particularly great issue, I sat down and read it cover to cover. It actually inspired several of the up coming days I have written. And if you are wondering, yes I do try my best to write the days in advance. Sometimes by just a few days and on rare occasions I am a few weeks ahead.
Take Action Now…. Go out and buy yourself a lovely bouquet for your home and a nice office plant, I prefer bamboo because it is really tough to kill and it is so beautiful.
While doing research for a recent Day I was writing I came across this great story on Wow4U.com, one of my favorite quote sites. I thought the story was so powerful and an illustration of how honesty is always the best policy!
A Motivational Story with Wisdom –
The Emperor and The Seed
By Author Unknown (thanks to Faz for submitting)
An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.”
The kids were shocked! But the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today. One very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it and come back here after one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor!”
One boy named Ling was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it carefully. Every day he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.
Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. 3 weeks, 4 weeks, 5 weeks went by. Still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants but Ling didn’t have a plant, and he felt like a failure. Six months went by, still nothing in Ling’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed.
Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But honest about what happened, Ling felt sick to his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other kinds laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey nice try.”
When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. “What great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today, one of you will be appointed the next emperor!” All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”
When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!” Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?
Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds, which would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new emperor!”
If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap victory.
If you plant consideration, you will reap harmony.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
If you plant openness, you will reap intimacy.
If you plant patience, you will reap improvements.
If you plant faith, you will reap miracles.
If you plant dishonesty, you will reap distrust.
If you plant selfishness, you will reap loneliness.
If you plant pride, you will reap destruction.
If you plant envy, you will reap trouble.
If you plant laziness, you will reap stagnation.
If you plant bitterness, you will reap isolation.
If you plant greed, you will reap loss.
If you plant gossip, you will reap enemies.
If you plant worries, you will reap wrinkles.
If you plant sin, you will reap guilt.
So be careful what you plant now, It will determine what you will reap tomorrow, The seeds you now scatter, Will make life worse or better, your life or the ones who will come after. Yes, someday, you will enjoy the fruits, or you will pay for the choices you plant today.