Monday, May 20, 2019

replenishment and a fresh flower wreath.

Good morning friends.

I'm starting this week off sharing a simple fresh wreath I made for my front door. But as my fingers click on my laptop keys I keep thinking about the word "replenish," and how important it is to recognize whenever we're feeling this way. I even love the definition. 

Replenish: to fill something up again. To build up. 

Don't those seem like such uplifting words?

It's a topic on my mind because I felt so content while I worked on this wreath. Quietly engrossed in cutting each stem, touching the smooth leaves with my fingertips and tucking each purple flower head into the green wire.

I wanted to keep it simple and quick so I started with a flower bouquet from Target and wire wreath I bought at Joann's Craft store.

Olive branches from my tree.

Recently I was listening to an interview with Rick Hansen a psychologist and author who specializes in emotional resiliency and he says that we can actually re-wire our brains to be happier.

It's called neuroplasticity. And it happens when we stop and acknowledge those moments when we're experiencing something that feels truly authentic and good to us. 

He calls this "focused attention," when you stop in the middle of feeling replenished. Take a few breaths. Notice what feels good about this moment and then try to feel it in your body.

This 'focused attention' allows your brain to recognize what's rewarding about this experience and then your brain 'flags' these moments as keepers.

Science confirms that we can build up a positive reservoir of emotional skills and inner resiliency this way. 

But it means that we must accept this powerful truth: we are the "Choosers" in our life. 

You are the ONE person who gets to act on your behalf at any moment and even when your circumstances are hard and painful, you can still try to become more aware of where you rest your attention.

Are you reaching for the light or are you marinating in a dark, painful thought at this moment?

It doesn't mean suppressing your feelings it means experiencing them in a space of awareness, but then allowing these darker emotions to pass.

It's a process I'm trying to be aware of right now, especially because I'm still struggling with traumatic images and thoughts related to Patrick's accident and I won't lie, it always takes real effort to stop the flow of these kind of thoughts. They happen mostly at night. 

This past weekend I was so grateful to spend a beautiful afternoon with Heidi and Rob and we were even joined by Chris--one of Patrick's closest buddies. And we drank Margaritas and beer while foamy waves lapped against the crusty pier underneath us, and we laughed and talked for hours.

Afterwards I felt so incredibly blessed.

What things are replenishing you today?


Karen said...

What a beautiful wreath and as a garden/nature enthusiast I can understand how replenishing it is. Your post was a lovely reminder to all of us. Taking the time to note one's happiness when you encounter the feeling. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Unknown said...

Powerful words, Leslie. As a professional in the field for years, I am a true believer in the healing power of rewiring the brain. This is such an important and hopeful concept. Your wreath and your images are simply beautiful. Fresh, fun and filled with spring vibes. Grateful to hear you had these moments of peace and fulfillment, Leslie. xx

brenda murphy said...

Right on! What a fantastic post. I love the beauty that you are creating in your home and with family and friends. I love that you are curious and open to the wonder of the moment. I love the podcast you spoke about! I teach something I call "choice points" with my yoga and meditation students. The choice we have available to come back to the moment, to be with what is, even in discomfort and secondly, how can we elevate this choice point? How can we bring more patience, kindness, and love to these moments in time...especially the difficult ones. We have the ability, do we have the desire to participate in our own journey, re-birth? You are a beautiful example of how we as humans are not is not linear. It is this and that. The dark and the light. By honouring it all, as you have been, you teach us all to do the same. Sending much love to you my friend. xob

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

Gwen, your wreath is beautiful! I am so happy you had time with friends and one of Patrick's friends was able to join you as well, you even got your hands a little dirty making something so beautiful. Always thinking of you!

mdickson said...

A beautiful post and beautiful entry to your home-a reflection of you!

Leslie Harris said...

Karen I know you also find a lot of joy out in the garden, you are one talented garden designer. I loved the classic garden in your previous home. And I'm so happy you're following your passion with your new landscaping company.

Blondie's Journal said...

Your wreath is so natural and blowzy--exactly what I love. But I'm terrible with crafts and I feel more frustration than anything. (

I'm getting you on replenishing, turning your thoughts and efforts to other endeavors. With Milo now gone, I've been reading when I relax, and then organizing the heck out of the lakehouse. I have been throwing myself into outdoor work, much that my husband did when he was stronger. Michigan had one really beautiful day, this past Saturday. I lugged heavy outdoor furniture out of the shed, flipping them over and hosing off every piece; gardening pots and tools, beach toys and lake inflatables. I washed cushions and life jackets all day in the laundry room and hung them to dry. I power washed every surface in sight, spread boat covers on the grass and scrubbed them. I hauled a 9 x 11 rug out of the garage, laid it on the patio, unrolled it and then vacuumed, I then dragged the table and chairs over. And so much more. I felt like I was superwoman. I wanted to lift everything regardless of the heaviness, push myself when I was panting with the effort. Every movement seemed to unleash some of my despair. Making the outdoors put together and pleasing was somehow feeling in control and filling my heart with beauty of spring and the start of summer. Of course, I ached all over the next day and I have some of the biggest, ugliest bruises you've ever seen. I think I was a bit of a maniac. This post of yours has helped me sort out why I did this, why I physically attacked this work.

As always, you really know how to express your thoughts and feelings in such a way that I can look inward and some of the puzzles come together. I've been at the lake four weeks now, and it is really helping me come to terms with a lot of issues. I feel a little more whole with each day after a lot of chaos in the past six months. .

Thanks for your writing and listening.

Jane x

Have a great holiday weekend.

Melanie said...

What a beautiful word that is...replenish. I think we all need to find things that replenish our souls. Your wreath is gorgeous and I can imagine you carefully making it, tucking in leaves and flowers here and there, taking your time and remembering to breathe.

Grief is a wild ride...there will be moments and days where you feel overcome by sadness. You will have flashbacks. Your heart will feel like it's physically breaking. You might feel like you just don't want to do a darn thing. Other times, you will actually feel good. You will laugh. You will feel joy. You will see beauty in the world. You will feel immense kindness and love from others.

You are an inspiration and have a true gift with your writing and expressing your feelings. Thank you for this. And for your friendship.


Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Good Morning Leslie! I've been pretty out of touch with the blog world for a while now. I just needed to let go of some of the busyness of life. Last evening I was scrolling through Pinterest and came across an image I recognized as yours from several years ago. My first thought was, oh I do hope that Leslie is still blogging. Not only do I love your style, but I have always appreciated your thoughtful messages. Your posts always made me feel like I was having a conversation with a friend, a very wise friend! Or taking a yoga class (without the yoga), that feeling of walking away refreshed and renewed. And this post is exactly that, a lovely wreath that totally makes me smile and a message I love. Replenishment is just such a wonderful word. I'm going to hold onto that thought today, thank you! ... But as I read through your recent posts, I learned of Patrick's accident and your terrible loss. Leslie, I am so sorry. I felt my heart sink as I read your words and realized the pain of losing your beautiful son. My thoughts and prayers are with your entire family. ... And thank you for being here and being you and sharing your life journey. Much love and big hugs to you my friend!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.

Carla from The River said...

The wreath is lovely Leslie!

I appreciate your words as well.
I agree.
I try hard to remember life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. I recently was in a cross fire with an angry lady, who also I consider a friend. She screamed at me in front of a crowd of other volunteers because I opened a door she wanted closed, that I was unaware of wanting to be closed.
Another friend, S, came in to help me, seeing that I was innocent, not knowing. But C, continued to yell at me. She was stressed and overwhelmed because our event was being effected by the weather.

I walked away.
I cried.

I am trying to not let this situation effect our friendship, but I am struggling.


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Such a inspiring post, Leslie...and your wreath and boots are lovely! I love the idea of "focused attention". I suddenly realized it is something I often do...I call it memory making. I focus on what I am doing, close my eyes and try to imprint what I am doing, to my spirit. I love the idea that this can help change my thinking! Sending you love this morning!

La Contessa said...


Splenderosa said...

I love this series of photographs showing your wreath, which is really beautiful.

Loree said...

Hi Leslie, I just wanted to tell you that I had wandered over to our blog from Collage of Life before Elizabeth 'introduced us' on Instagram. And I was scrolling through your posts, as one does, and I learnt about your tragic loss. I just wanted to say how very sorry I am and that you have been in my thoughts ever since I read your heartfelt words. Please know that your words have touched me deeply, as they have so many others, and that I admire your strength in sharing your journey with your readers.

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