Home grown oregano, cut washed and ready to be added to my soup.

Growing Food At Home & A Lesson I Learned

I always imagined growing my own food. Pineapple wasn’t exactly what I had in mind to start, but it was a thoughtful gift from a friend so, I was up for the challenge. Growing this pineapple at home was supposed to defy all odds. Fortunately and unfortunately it was an epic failure. It still looked perky and green after three months, so I was hopeful that it would survive.  First, I repotted it, using a planter purchased at one of my favorite stores, West Elm.  Second, a friend picked up a bag of soil the size of Canada [it was ridiculously huge] from Home Depot and so, I was more than prepared to nurture my new, green, prickly baby. I did my best.

Do you believe that when we let something go, even if its a “little something”, that another thing (perhaps the “right” thing, or something better) shows up in its place, or in our life experience?

Although the pineapple died, my will to grow my own food still persisted. Fast forward, a couple of months later, I’m standing in the middle of New York City’s  “GrowNYC” GreenMarket, at one of its Bronx locations. Prior to this, I didn’t know they traveled to the hood. There were fresh greens and farm vendors lined up on an itty – bitty, side street, off of the Grand Concourse, with produce pamphlets everywhere. The street was lit up with bright royal blue and white food cart umbrellas, filled with buzzing, busy, multi-cultural and lingual folks below it, reaching for produce, testing and pressing  fruits, while others were running after children, who were playing catch ball with whatever fruits and veggies that they could get there little hands on.  I ended up purchasing two, big bunches of Kale for five bucks – one of the main ingredients for my morning green drinks.

Next up, I was on a mission for some fresh oregano; the unsung super food. As I was leaving the herb stand, I heard a voice saying, “Cue me, Mees! Mees!”, or “Excuse me, Miss! Miss!” with a heavy Spanish accent. After turning around, he said “I bring more, its de plant, ok?” Excited, I said “Yes, even better!” From a tray of ten, I chose one, paid $4.00, brought it home, watered and windowed it, talked high pitched, baby talk to it while occasionally pinching off some browning leaves. After two weeks, I cut, washed, and plucked the leaves off of the stem; finally adding my fresh oregano to a bowl of minestrone soup. “Heaven,” was the word that came to mind, a place that my stomach and taste buds love to be.

Needless to say, herbs seem to be the sensible starting point for growing food in a small, indoor space such as an apartment; a pineapple – not so much. If you have access to sun, water, and a window ceil, then you could grow your own oregano too. Hey, you may even be able to grow a pineapple, or a few given your location, luck and situation. For now, I’m sticking to herbs. 

You know what? I do believe that when we let go of something, it is indeed possible that something else (perhaps right for us, or better) will show up in its place, or in our life experience. We need only to be open to it.

 

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This was the baby pineapple after I repotted it (using the Iris Speckled Planter by West Elm), it did so well, then months later, it began to yellow and call for pineapple heaven. So, I let it go.

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My oregano plant purchased from the “GrowNYC” GreenMarket in the Bronx.

Cutting one, home grown, oregano stem to add to my soup.

Cutting one, oregano stem to add to my soup.

Home grown oregano, cut washed and ready to be added to my soup.

Home grown oregano, cut washed and ready to be added to my soup.

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Home grown oregano, the perfect herbal addition to my minestrone soup!

All photos captured with my iPhone.

Links:
Health Benefits of Oregano & More  [Ie. Antifungal, Antibacterial, Anti-Inflammatory and more]
Health Benefits of Kale [Did you know that kale contains ALL the essential amino acids needed in the body?]
GrowNYC.org [New York City’s 5 Borough Farmer’s Market & more]
Find A GreenMarket near you [Greenmarket Co. is a service provided by GrowNYC.org]
WestElm.com  [Links to their “planters” search page. I purchased the Iris Speckled Planter on promotion]

Hashtags:
#GrowNYC
#GreenMarket
#WestElm

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The Common Denominator In Your Relationships = You

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We are the COMMON DENOMINATOR in our relationships and life experiences. If those who are close to us,  somehow collectively express  similar thoughts about our actions (pertaining to our behavior, or habit)  because they recognize a pattern of a certain unhappiness, or stress, that seems to consistently follow us, then consider hearing them out, before shutting them down. Hold off on  assuming that they’re judging you. Its possible that they only want the best for you and could see something that you, or we may not be able to see; namely, ourselves from the outside looking in.

Its important to  do an honest, internal survey of ourselves, including our habits and behavior, especially if we know that something isn’t quite working for us and our stress levels. If someone is bringing something to our attention about our behavior, habits, etc.,  getting defensive is natural, but living in denial is unfortunate. We don’t have to become combative; listening should serve us well, especially if they are people who we respect, or love.

Is it possible that everyone who’s telling you the same (not so great) thing about yourself is wrong? Sure, that’s possible, but what IF they’re a little bit right? Its a good thing to have folks in our life, who care enough about us, or you to reach out, ‘bring you back to earth’, and tell you about yourself, when you’ve become consistently unhappy, hard to be around, irritable,  negative, or even arrogant. If you’re in the habit of rejecting that kind of honesty or intervention, then how it will manifest is to be determined, but may hurt you further – not them. Everyone isn’t always a “hater”, some folks truly mean well, and are only hoping to help you see something you may not have recognized otherwise.

After all is said and done, taking responsibility for your part in an experience, is almost always a step in the best direction. Listening, checking your own ego, bad habits and choices are even better. Even though we all age, it doesn’t mean that we also mature, but the hope is that we do. Why not be more OPEN to the people who love, or care about us enough to tell us  the truth about ourselves? Why not, do the unthinkable and embrace them even more for their courage, especially if you respect, or love them too, and value the connection that you share?

Love, Light & Peace

© Ebony Brown

P.S. After writing this blog post, I came across the image below in my Facebook newsfeed, and felt compelled to include it! Thanks for posting Sara J. Devlin! A quote by the Dalai Lama and imaging that appears to be credited to “My Renewed Mind”. Image Credit and Copyright remains with the originating source.

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Loving You At Your Lowest

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Not everyone will be strong enough to cherish and love you at your lowest, or worst, nor will they always choose to be helpful – like say or do something that actually helps you. Sometimes they need help too, but in a different way, regardless of how mentally or emotionally well they may appear. Some will bypass the love that they’re capable of and resort to judging you, not even realizing their negativity – some do, some don’t care, and others are in denial. Try not to take their energy, regard or disregard personal, despite how badly it may be hurting you. TRY.

Make room in your heart to feel  beyond your own pain, and consider that they may be hurting too, or  that they’re simply not in their best form. Think about it. If someone is hurting, angry, bitter, or unhappy about something in their own life, why continue to allow the weight of their hurtful words to crumble your world? This is not to make an excuse for them, but to acknowledge that THEY ARE NOT WELL emotionally, or  mentally, or simply not happy, no matter what YOU, or we think that we know. Did you know that “Hurt people, HURT people?”  Iyanla Vanzant once mentioned, and so I say, don’t let this be you. Know that amidst the pain, there  still lies sweet spots of beautiful within us and around us and its up to you, and me, and us to access it, connect with it,  share it to the point of contagiousness.

Once we own and accept our truths and the reality of what we’re going through, we can move forward…beyond his, her, or their hurtful, or judgmental words. Its more healing and helpful to focus on what IS possible, or what we’re willing to MAKE possible with or without them. Arguing and wallowing in being pissed off about someone judging  you,  who also claims to love you, resolves what? I use that ‘pissed-offness’ to put one foot in front of the next. It might also help to be more mindful of who you’re allowing to be around you, especially when you’re most vulnerable, or feeling down, or lost. The last thing that you, or we need is to be judged – period, but when its by someone that we love, who we thought loved us back, it feels unbearable, unacceptable and alienating. While some people will pray for you, there are those who are preying on you. The latter is something that I don’t want to believe, but its a reality.

If you know someone who’s going through something, or is having a hard time getting through a period in their life and you love them, I mean, really LOVE  them and would do almost anything for them, then go ahead and truly LOVE them….some more….the best way that YOU know how….even better than before….and don’t allow anyone, or anything to sway you from the humility and good nature in which you’re capable. Do this even when they’re at their lowest, this is when they need it most and why dogs, or pets are the best. They’ll love you unconditionally, regardless of circumstance. Will we humans, ever be able to do this?

 [Photo Credit: Unkown. All rights reserved for originating source.]

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Making HEART Decisions

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When you make a real HEART decision, its pure, and no matter the outcome, you should feel good about it, because for what its worth, you took the risk. Hopefully you did your best, or tried and you no longer have to wonder, or question, or be involved in something that doesn’t serve you, or those involved.

When you make a decision stemming from an unhealthy EGO, and insecurities (like the things that YOU fear, or worry that others are thinking about you, or will eventually do to you, or are doing, that doesn’t have anything to do with you, but you assume it does, because you think that you know, but actually, you have no idea, because you are not in their shoes, nor skin, but you keep wrongfully projecting), then you will lose, and you will live with it. This isn’t a heart decision, its a fearful, paranoid, worrisome, guarded effort to keep your ego safe. Think about it.

Everyday is an opportunity to choose better, to DO better. So just do it without obsessing over what is already done – you can’t change it. Start with you, you can change you. Those who truly love you will allow you to make mistakes, and stick around even after bad decisions, so long as its not damaging their lives, or person. They’ll support you and allow you to learn, and grow, and even GO if you need to. Let the “heart and soul” YOU, lead you.

-Ebony Brownegovsheartebonybrown

[ Image Top: “Ego” via amenaskhan.wordpress.com | Image Bottom: “Ego Soul” via livethelifeyoulove.net.au | Image on home page: besomebody.com ]

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Can’t Hide From Karma

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An unspoken, spiritual and universal system of accountability, Karma returns beautiful and amazing deeds, or favors in various forms, including the unfavorable where its due. Karma, the good, the bad and unimaginable skips over no one, not over him, or her, or me, nor you. We WILL experience the wonder, or wrath of our actions, be it beautiful, awful, or both at some point. It depends on what we’ve done, regardless of who we are now (hopefully, someone better than we were). We can’t hide from Karma, so I don’t even try, and questions like, “Why me?” matters less than our next step and getting through whatever it is. The important thing is to learn from it, and to commit to doing better.

Everyday, I am humbled, grateful and determined to continue this path towards my better self, with a bit more humility, consideration, respect and love, a bit more  compassion, listening, learning, understanding, forgiveness, intention, conviction, more heart, more hope, more spirit and gratitude for all things and folks in my experience. Although I’m almost always able to appreciate and find the good in anyone and anything, I’m also slowly creating a healthier habit of refraining from making excuses for how or why people treat me (or other people) the way that they do. I can’t account for someone else’s behavior or energy, I can only take responsibility for me, and so should you – take responsibility for what you do and the the energy that you put out in the universe.

Wayne Dyer said it best, “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”

Love, Light & Peace…

-Ebony Brown

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We Are More Than Words & Actions

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I’d like to believe that most of us are comprised of the stuff that love is made of, but not all of us will act in this vein.  So what are we doing? What are we contributing? What kind of energy are we harvesting, harboring, harping on, or emitting into the universe, or onto each other? Is it our best, our worst, or somewhere in between? Do you even care? How are you doing, I mean, not superficially, but deep down? Do you feel spiritually clean [whatever that means for you and how ever you define it]? What is your energy like? And don’t even think about lying to yourself. The thing is that, we can’t hide from ourselves, but you already knew that.

Should we expect the best outcomes for ourselves, when our spirit and intentions are otherwise? I mean like if we’re carrying around negative energy and giving off that vibe, how can we expect some positivity to come to pass? Easy. We just do, but this makes no sense. I’m convinced that we are more than words, actions and physical things, we are energy, like frequency, unseen, but felt like, soul, aura and vibes. Our truth runs free in this form and no matter how much we try to hide, lie, or push things deep down into our flesh; it will all surface and show up via our spirit. And so, might it serve us and others in our experience well, to check our spirit, our energy and all those things that we can’t really see, just as much as we’re willing to improve all that’s visible on the surface?

Just a thought.

Love, Light & Peace…

Ebony Brown

[Artwork by Minjae Lee]

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Forgiveness

Tomorrow may never come for someone that you may have in mind, so if you’re holding thoughts of them with unsettled tension, please consider releasing them now. Dare to reach beyond the hardness of your ego, until your fingertips find a soft spot, somewhere deep in your spirit. Allow your hands and heart to close around it and bring about some true forgiveness. Everyone does things at their own pace, however we must remember that tomorrow isn’t always promised regardless of our hopefulness.

If you like this post, you may like one of my previous posts, “To Forgive or Not to Forgive” here: http://bit.ly/Wi5cdV

Photo of Ebony Brown by Michael Towns

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