Our Amazing Earth – The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is considered on of the seven natural wonders of our planet.  Layer upon layer of rock has been revealed by water and time.  If you have not yet been to the canyon, go.

Here is a short video of my recent visit to the canyon.  I have been blessed to visit the Grand Canyon several times, have hiked the Bright Angel trail to the bottom of the canyon and stayed at Phantom Ranch.

HappinessG did not travel with me this trip, but he will the next time, and we will hike the Rim Trail together! Ed&MeGCSelfie

Be well 🙂

Annette

 

 

 

Photo Credits:  A.M. Beaulieu & E.T. Beaulieu

Going To The Grand Canyon Is Going Home

What makes a place a home? A habitat is the natural environment of an animal, plant or other organism. Ok, but what makes a place a home?

Most of us live in cities now.  Other than brick, wood and a cozy kitchen or bedroom, what is home for you? 

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President Theodore Roosevelt visits Yosemite National Park with John Muir, 1903

The first time I visited the Grand Canyon, I was 10 years old.  I loved being there.  I remember hiking a short way down Bright Angel trail and seeing the trains of mules.  I told myself then I wanted to take a mule ride someday.

My family drove across the country in a sedan with no air conditioning pulling an Apache pop-up tent trailer.  We camped and hiked in national parks all across the western states.  But when we got to the Grand Canyon, I felt I was home.

I have yet to take that mule ride, but I have visited the Grand Canyon many times, have hiked Bright Angel Trail to the Colorado River and stayed at Phantom Ranch.

John Muir first walked across the San Joaquin Valley in 1868 through waist-high wildflowers and into the high country for the first time. Later he would write: “Then it seemed to me the Sierra should be called no the Nevada, or Snowy Range, but the Range of Light…the most divinely beautiful of all the mountain chains I have ever seen.”

Going to the mountains is going home. – John Muir

I was born in the midwest and live today in Minnesota.  Minnesota is well known for intense winters.  At the other end of the climate spectrum is the Grand Canyon, yet I find it exquisitely beautiful, vista after beautiful vista. The colors of the layers of stone are harmonious and the history is a sweet hum.  The canyon looks different by the moment of the day and the day of the year.  It comforts me knowing that the canyon has changed little in the years since my first visit — my life of however many years compared to the life span of this canyon. Research shows that the canyon may be as many as 17 million years old.

Why is that comforting? What is it about the Grand Canyon that draws me in?  The average person spends about 5 hours at the canyon, seventeen minutes of that time looking at the canyon itself.

17 minutes.

Brooks_Range-400pxBob Marshall reached Alaska and the Brooks Range in 1928 after a short career in the Forest Service.  He settled into a one room cabin in Wiseman, Alaska, furnished with books, records, a phonograph player and a writing desk. His desk looked out over the Koyukuk River and the central Brooks Range. His 15 month stay engendered a great love for these snow-covered mountains in the Alaskan wilderness.

Why is it that we travel to wild places and find that we belong there? Does it mean that we were there before?  Or is it that we resonate with the canyon or the mountains or the highland meadow?  John Muir resonated with the Sierra Nevada and from that connection created the Sierra Club. Bob Marshall climbed peaks of the central Brooks Range, and it became one of his favorite places.

The wilderness and the idea of wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit. – Joseph Wood Krutch

Have you ever arrived at a place for the first time and felt at home?  Have you found it to be familiar? That you belonged?  The Grand Canyon is special to me. In our summer family vacations, we visited many parks, yet the South Rim was vivid in my memory.

What places draw you in?  Where in the world do you feel a powerful connection?

Please share with us the places you love best.

Be well 🙂

Annette

 

Photo Credits: A.M. Beaulieu, National Park Service, Wikipedia

Sources: John Muir-Sierra Club Bob Marshall-Wikipedia LiveScience.com

When You Resolve To Make A Resolution…

Why are resolutions so difficult to keep?  Why did we ever start making them in the first place? Did you know that as few as 8% of people who set New Year’s resolutions keep them?

Why?

I really liked the idea of making — and keeping — New Year’s resolutions. I love the idea of taking stock and looking toward what will be in the next year.  But New Year’s resolutions began to feel separate from who I really am and what I am wanting to accomplish.  There is a list of them floating around. You may be familiar with the classics — losing weight, getting fit, stopping a bad habit like smoking.

Our tradition of making resolutions comes from ancient Babylonia and Rome. In ancient Babylonia, people wanted to be sure to return borrowed objects and get out of financial debt.  If the Babylonians kept to their word, their gods would bestow favor on them for the coming year. If not, they would fall out of the gods’ favor. Romans celebrated the god Janus who looked forward to the coming year and back to the year just passed. For early Christians, the first day of the new year became the traditional occasion for thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future.

LittleThingsHardy

If making a resolution starts from a place of lack, then every time I think of my resolution, or work on it, won’t I remind myself of a deficit in my character?  Won’t I remind myself of being less than, of being unworthy?

When you are wanting to master something, which helps you more — looking at what you have left to accomplish or seeing how far you have come?

There we are.

In any journey, it is pivotal to assess how far you have traveled.  On a road trip, you gauge your progress by the miles traveled. Seeing how far you have come, how many things you have mastered gives one energy for the rest of the journey.

Perhaps it is the religious connection with resolutions that sets people up for failure.  It is my belief that when one starts by defining oneself as lacking, it is really quite difficult to move to worth.  Much of our religious history has taught us that we are not enough.  Making resolutions in this context makes success that much harder. You are much less likely to work toward something, wouldn’t you agree, if every time you think about it, you remind yourself of how unworthy you are?

Growth usually happens incrementally.  Evolution happens in steps.  So wouldn’t the best way to approach intentionally making improvements in your life, or in yourself, be to make an adjustment?  And, wouldn’t it be more fun if there is a little whisper of the positive to encourage you?

Thank you to Darren Hardy for the kernel of this concept.  You will also find it familiar if you have ever been told the Fable of the Grain of Rice.  The longest journeys are made up of single steps.  The smallest pieces come together to make the biggest picture.  Our efforts do add up.

I have never sailed, but the visual that jumps into my mind is an exquisite ship of old, perhaps a pirate ship chasing another vessel at the great speed of 8 knots.  The sail is hoisted; it fills with wind and glides toward its target.

ProsperousNewYearV

What I love about this way of thinking is that it requires me to not only stay focused on my desired destination, but also requires that I assess how I am progressing toward it.  This process is a journey, not an exercise in success or failure. A black and white process lets me off the hook too easily.  Quitting is less of an option because the exercise is judging progress.  When you know it will be a journey of some length, marking progress becomes the next step, the next required activity — not arriving. Bigger projects or greater growth take longer than a day or a week. If you are correcting your course, the changes can be subtle yet achieve a great deal over time.

If I were sailing across an ocean, judging how far I have come would be right in front of me every moment.  Most of us are growing things or building skills that are less straight forward. Judging where you are on your journey is still vital.

My vision is building an online presence and community that offers people ways to live healthier that are also kinder to our planet.  It is my role to inspire people to the certainty that we have all that we need to heal ourselves and the planet.

Sure, building a successful online community is a large undertaking, but I can write a few thought-provoking paragraphs today, can’t I?  Of course I can.  I can grow my email list a bit every month?  Yes, I can do that too.

When you think of what you are wanting to create or master as a journey, motion becomes your partner.  Now my journey is fluid and allows me to respond to all of the factors involved. How can you know every step already?  And, how can you predict what wonderful support will show up for you on your way?

Do you assess your progress over time?  What is it about human nature that we only look forward to see where it is we need to go?  Perhaps it was just my nature.

So now I look back to see how far I have come. When I hiked Bright Angel Trail at Grand Canyon National Park, tracking my progress was built in to the hike.  There is a rest house at 1.5 miles & 3 miles, then Indian Gardens is a midway point.  The points of reference are different for every journey.

When I completed hiking the Grand Canyon, I felt incredible — unstoppable.  The canyon was epic. Awesome. Beautiful. Magnificent. What I gained is the absolute belief that I can plan and succeed at whatever project I choose. What if this were how we kept resolutions?

Cool.

What is your next journey? All you have to know is the next step.  Take it.

Be well 🙂

Annette

 

Post Blog Script: Read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy to gain more on the concept of the power of making small, cumulative changes.

Photo Credits: Frances Brundage & A.M. Beaulieu

Sources: History.com,

The Gratitude List 2018

There is so much chat about gratitude, especially this time of year, this time of looking inward and looking forward to the coming year. If you have spent any time pondering what you are grateful for in your life, you know that once you begin, the list is never ending! My personal list of blessings includes my family, both people & animals. I am lucky enough to spend a lot of time with my father being the only child who ventured out into the world then came back home.

With The Gratitude List from Pure.Better.Cleaner, I share my key lessons & gifts of the past year.  I feel that these people, products and organizations are so special that it is important to share them with you.

It is my hope that you will also benefit from one or more of them in the year to come!

  1. PinchofYumPinch of Yum — Do you know those foodies who are Pinch of Yum?  Well, I am a big fan of Lindsay & Bjork Ostrom (+ team & family :). Lindsay began blogging while teaching 4th grade because she loves cooking and writing about it.  In not so very much time, the blog became what they both do. I like them for a lot of reasons.  They are fellow Minnesotans, dog lovers, foodies and a former teacher. I also love that they help others blog. With clear instructions and a straight forward method, they outline a road map that will take you to the desired destination — a successful blog — all the while reminding one that each of us travel along our own road. The gift I received from them is the certainty that I can grow a blog that will help our planet and be my way of life.  Thank you, Pinch of Yum!!
  2. Gene@Hy.VeeLakevilleLife’s Pure Balance – I am lucky enough to call Gene Wood, Owner & CEO of Life’s Pure Balance a mentor and business partner.  With a background in chemical engineering, Gene created his signature product — Fruit & Vegetable Wash — which cleans the waxes and pesticides off your produce making it safe to eat and also delicious. Gene has been generous with his time and ideas.  He saw potential in me when it was just a shy whisper in my own ear.  The gift I received from Gene is watching and learning from his journey of creating a great, useful product to growing it to being sold all across the state of Minnesota.  Thank you, Gene Wood!!
  3. BNI.jpgFireside Chapter, BNI – Have you heard of the business networking organization, BNI?  Business Networking International was begun by Ivan Meisner in California and has grown globally. Minnesota celebrates the BNI philosophy — the benefit of business professionals networking in chapters focusing on relationship first, education next, with the intent of growing one’s business.  For solopreneurs like myself, Fireside gives me a powerful group of resources both for growing my brand and for my expanding network. Fireside is exceptional offering educational and networking groups beyond the weekly chapter meetings.  The gifts I have received from Fireside — in addition to business growth — include marketing mentoring, business strategy & presentation skills.  Thank you, Fireside BNI!!
  4. GoldenCircleSinekSimon Sinek –  True Confessions — In search of the latest knowledge about Parkinson’s disease and other brain research wanting to help my father to be as healthy as possible, I binge TED Talks. Perhaps you have seen one of  Sinek’s TED Talks, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” or “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe”. Sinek’s Golden Circle took me to the core of why I was inspired to create Pure.Better.Cleaner.  My Why is that I have reached a plateau from which I can see clearly that healing ourselves and our Earth is absolutely possible.  We have all that we need. My role is to inspire from a place of certainty that healing is possible, that it can and will happen. The gift I received from Simon Sinek is clarity of purpose for the next adventure of my life and for Pure.Better.Cleaner. Thank you, Simon Sinek!!
  5. EWGEWG.org – Environmental Working Group has been advocating for all things healthier for over 20 years.  The resources they provide on product ingredients, ongoing environmental issues, and civic action are solidly reliable.  I use EWG’s National Tap Water Database when I help a new client learn about what is in their drinking water, because their database provides complete information on contaminants and the latest research on what is, in fact, safe for us.  Environmental Working Group’s National Tap Water Database was recently updated and is an indispensable tool for educating people on the quality of the water they are drinking.  Thank you, EWG!!
  6. DrTerryWahlsDr. Terry Wahls – Terry Wahls beat MS. You heard that right.  Terry was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in 2000.  Continuing to decline while receiving conventional medical treatments, Dr. Terry Wahls began the research project of a lifetime — her own lifetime.  Dr. Wahls created The Wahls Protocol, a diet and nutrition protocol that not only stopped the progression of the disease but allowed her to heal, to return to the life she had before multiple sclerosis.  She began her research focusing on supplements to support the brain which evolved to the include best foods and vitamins for our brains. Her progressive multiple sclerosis in remission, Dr. Wahls now conducts ongoing clinical trials perfecting her protocol of nutrition and supplementation for those afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Everyone with a brain can benefit from the power of a nutritious diet. The gift my family and I received from Dr. Terry Wahls is a proven method to support our father who is dealing with Parkinson’s disease.  Thank you, Dr. Terry Wahls!!

May 2019 is your very best year yet!

Be well 🙂

Annette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Family Walk In Muir Woods

Four years ago, on a trip to San Francisco to meet my new nephew, we visited Muir Woods. It was one of the most peaceful afternoons of my entire life. I don’t know very much about John Muir, but I know enough to be tremendously grateful for him and his advocacy.

 

MuirWoodsSky

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.  – John Muir

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As we walked deeper into the woods, silence became more silent.  So few places offer stillness in our time.

 

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The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. – John Muir

 

MuirWoodsSunnyTrees

Trees higher than I could see.  Surrounded and protected.

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Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and to pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. – John Muir

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It can be hard job being eights weeks old 🙂

 

MuirWoodsFussyStazi

 

When California was wild, it was the floweriest corner of the continent.  – John Muir

 

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This place is precious.

Be well 🙂

Annette

Muir Woods National Monument