Lessons Learned From A Lemon Tree

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il_570xN.298715082

Things need to change from time to time, but that doesn't mean that we embrace or welcome the change that is imminent--oftentimes just the opposite.  In our homes things can stay the same for a LONG time, long past the point where it had stopped serving us well, or nourishing our souls with beauty.

My lovely friend, Marilee, who lives in Florida, wrote a piece about this that I wanted to share with you this week. Hope you enjoy!

What I Learned From A Lemon Tree

A few months ago I cut down our lemon tree. It was a big event. I had been waffling about removing the tree for nearly 18 months. It was obviously not healthy, but I held out hope for a return to its fruitful glory.

I watered. I fertilized. I tended. And, I ignored reality.

It wasn't until last week when I was visiting with family - some of whom are citrus experts - that I accepted our tree's fate. I described our tree's current condition and simultaneously (and in stereo) my two cousins said "Citrus Greening."

Reality bites.

The term Citrus Greening is synonymous with "no way to save your tree."  Yet, to be absolutely certain there was no hope - because two expert opinions weren't quite enough, I Googled it; Google confirmed it, of course. Citrus Greening is bad news.

As I began removing the lemon tree, I could see how the removal process and my journey to get there was a metaphor:

Sometimes, the things in life that aren't working can be hard to accept, and it requires an objective perspective to fully accept that it's not working. As soon as my cousins confirmed what I already knew, I was able to take action.

And so I began the task of removing one limb and branch at a time. And while taking action sounds easy now, it was fraught with a kaleidoscope of emotions and mixed feelings that momentarily distracted me. The inhalation of the beautiful, sweet, lemon scent broke my heart and caused me to question what I was doing. My tree smelled so good! Then, just as quickly, a thorn pierced my skin through my glove, and snapped me back to the present moment.

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il_570xN.525140581_kf56

This is a pattern I recognize. Anytime we make big changes or remove what no longer serves us, our old, limiting beliefs pipe in and cause us to question our decisions. But, if you can return to the present moment, remember your intention, you can quickly get back on track.

My lemon tree reminded me how difficult it is to take big action to release the things in our lives that no longer work. It's no easy thing to eliminate something you've grown accustomed to - even if it no longer serves you.

Here are three lessons I learned from my lemon tree:

  1. Sometimes, you need an objective perspective. Someone with expertise and knowledge can help you decide to take action.
  2. Taking action makes things better, not just deciding to take action.
  3. The lure of "what-could-have-been thinking" will sneak in and cause you to doubt yourself. The sweet lemon scent caused me to question my resolve. But, if you expect doubt to elbow its way in, you will be prepared and can acknowledge your feelings, yet keep moving forward.

The saying goes, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." I never expected to learn a few things from a dying lemon tree. But, I'm grateful I was present for the lesson.

Marilee Metelko
Marilee Metelko

Marilee  is a person who knows all about making difficult choices and taking action to make things better. She is an educator who is passionate about helping families through challenging transitions, and founded MyMarilee.com to help parents of children with disabilities and learning differences know what they need to do next, so they can create better lives for their children and families. 

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ME-GIFT-Spiral-1

Do you know a parent of a child with special needs (I know I do :) who might need to create a positive profile for their child? Click here for Marilee's FREE step-by-step workbook that helps to create the ultimate transition tool--an amazing thing to have on hand not only for teachers, but for doctors, therapists, and babysitters, too!

Creating Peace & Flow For 2014

Back in November, a hike I took with my husband along the Little River just outside of Asheville, NC got me to thinking...

river 3 a
river 3 a

The water rushed along beside us as we traveled on foot, sometimes roaring with whitewater, other times quiet in pools that seemed almost completely still. A lot of things were deposited on the river's journey--leaves, branches and other items were lodged along the banks, swirling in little pools or stranded high on rocks by receding floodwaters.

With the coming of the new year, we pay attention to time passing, old habits we would like to leave behind, and new goals we set before us. Our lives can be much like a river and as our days rush past, lots of things are also pushed aside because we don't have the time or energy to deal with them. In our homes there are physical items that are washed into the shallows: rooms that seem tired and out-of-date sit there awaiting our attention, our closets, drawers, and corners fill up with items that we haven't had the time to sort or make decisions on.

river 2 a
river 2 a
river a
river a

Recognizing that our souls bloom more fully when inspired by beauty and soothed by simplicity, we can give ourselves time & quiet to sort through some of those things, and make sure we are surrounded by things we love.   This is a way of slowing the current that is rushing past, and smoothing out the stream bed so things can flow with more ease...

We all have the ability to create peace and flow in our lives, but we don't always give ourselves permission to create it as we so busily rush along. I believe that one of the best ways we can direct the stream of our lives (and not be tossed about by it) is to create a home that supports us with loveliness and simplicity--  much like a giant river rock that the water happily glides over, smooth as glass.

If where we live provides us with a rejuvenating supply of beauty, order and balance, all kinds of amazing things will be possible for us in the coming year. What can you do around your house this week that will help things to flow, and your spirits to lift??

Here's to an amazing 2014!