February 14, 2019

Meditation...I get you

Mention the word meditation and I typically sigh in dismay...been there, done that, not for me. End of story.

Until last night.

I recently started a series of gentle yoga classes with a local woman, Janet Archer, in an attempt to ease the mind, body and soul.

It’s a little surreal.

I think she has a gift.

If anyone could help me clear the thoughts that run amuck in my head, it would be Janet.

Enter...an evening class, on a snowy night, with a circle of ten women and a practice of conscious compassionate awareness.

We talked, we meditated, we talked some more and somewhere in that space of time a lightbulb went off (for me).

My lightbulb moment...when Janet gave us this thought.

"The quality of your life is determined by the focus of your attention"

I had to say it a few times...

"The quality of your life is determined by the focus of your attention"

And then it clicked... the incessant chatter that pervades one’s quiet moment’s is ok.

It's normal.

You deal with it. You are in charge, not the chatter. My interpretation... BE THE BOSS!

So now, this meditation thing does not look so  daunting... and just maybe... it is for me.

Truth be told, it so relaxing and centering... and healing. We would be crazy not to want a little of that in our life... for that matter, a lot of it!

We shall see...that was the first class and I have one more to go. I shall ponder these little revelations over the next week. 

And I wonder...

How about you, do you meditate? 

Have you tried and thrown in the towel or do you just feel it is a little to “woo woo" for you? 

If you do meditate, which do you prefer? Sitting, laying down, walking? What works best for you? 

Listen to music/instruction or do you enjoy the silence?

Would love to know... you can write to me jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

or leave a comment below.

"The quality of your life is determined by the focus of your attention"

inhale... slowly... exhale...slowly

Jeanne xx


1. Quote by Cheri Huber

2. If you are a local reader, the class is instructed by Janet Archer at BodyWorks at Depot Square in Peterborough, New Hampshire. If you want to learn more...or join in the next class (space permitting) you can write to Janet jmstar@comcast.net or check out her website janetarcher.com

3. Story behind the photo...a little bit of magic. I see this boulder in the far distance of our field from our kitchen window. When it snows, I find it odd that one patch is always without snow. On my walk this morning, I decided to investigate. I did and admit I am not closer to an answer. A mystery to me and a beautiful one. My first thought was that it looks like an angel in flight. I will continue to ponder this for some time...and will smile from my kitchen window as I do. 

"The quality of your life
 is determined 
by the focus of your attention"

Cheri Huber

Happy Valentine's Day!
the view from the other side of the boulder

January 20, 2019

The Keeping Room and The Studio

On this winter day....

"And the world cannot be discovered 
by a journey of miles, 
no matter how long, 
but only by a spiritual journey, 
a journey of one inch, 
very arduous and humbling and joyful, 
by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, 
and learn to be at home."  

Wendell Berry

January 9, 2019

A Winter Mind....

peaceful winter whiteness

Happy New Year! 

Snow came to our neighborhood this morning...and it was exciting! In winter's passed, I might have looked at it as work to be done but today I was just glad to see a shimmer out there. We ended autumn with a very white Thanksgiving and started winter with a bit of a whimper on the snow front. I should be careful what I wish for....I can't say I love the shoveling...but I do look forward to dusting off my snowshoes and having a long wander. 

December 24, 2018

Thelma, Louise, Mr. Rabbit and a Holiday Wish

It is Christmas Eve and a quiet chaos surrounds me. Children are baking and wrapping and I have escaped to the "treetops" for a mini-break to listen to Six Evolutions- Bach: Cello Suites performed by Yo-Yo Ma. "Treetops" is the name I have given the studio in our renovated carriage house.

September 23, 2018

August 6, 2018

What 60 looks like....and a question for YOU

What 60 looks like...
on the Selinda Spillway in the Okavango Delta

I have been thinking a lot about what a woman’s 60th year looks like. I can tell you it feels a whole lot better than my 59th year. About this time last year my air miles were off the charts and I was feeling well...tired..a weary tired. 

One year later.. a GOOD TIRED. 

This morning I twisted myself into some version of a Vinyasa yoga pose that looked nothing like my instructors. I looked over into the mirror and thought ...Jeanne, you idiot, why did you look? YOU look ridiculous...and proceeded to flow (collapse is more like it) into a Child Pose. My default pose when I can not keep it together...which happens often. 

This is just one of the classes pushing me into a "good tired". I am also working with a fitness trainer, Carol, two mornings a week. We work hard and it leaves me near crawling from her studio up a flight of stairs to the car park but it is a good tired and worth the energy.

 It doesn’t stop there, I am also taking a Fit Camp class two times a week with a group of ladies who groan along with me as we feel the burn. I can not remember the last group exercise class I took only because I tend to avoid them. I can't even remember the reason why but after the first class I knew I had been missing out on a great source of exercise and camaraderie. 

I love it...in a good tired way. 

June 14, 2018

News from a summer porch in New England..

A summer porch....Tahilla Farm

Hello! Hello! Hello!

Goodness, it has been so long, how are you?? I am imagining many of you checking in from your homes across the globe...summer, autumn and all the shades of seasons in between. We are technically a few weeks away from the start of summer ( 21 June) but it feels heavenly from where I am sitting today. When I last wrote I wondered if I would ever see color in the garden again. We have it in spades....in particular, in shades of peony. 

When we bought Tahilla Farm five years ago, we inherited what I am guessing is the pink 'Sarah Bernhard' peony below. We had to dig them up carefully with a small tractor, gently taking everything that was growing with them to ensure they would survive. This is the first year since we moved them that they have blossomed in abundance. 

We added the pink 'Madison' and white 'Festiva Maxima' in 2016 when we established the gardens. I always feel a bit guilty cutting flowers in the garden, not wanting to take away from our floral landscape. Not so this year, there are so many that I will hardly notice and the fragrance makes me want to skip out of bed at first light and run around the garden in my pajamas with glee. Thank goodness we live in the woods!