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#GardenHeart

We’re sharing my favorite Restorative Holiday Gift Guide for the Caregiver / Over-doer / Nurturer (aka keeper of all moving parts) in your life — and my bet is, like me, that person is you!

As a healing garden designer and serenity stylist consultant, I help my people create and style beautiful outdoor living and garden spaces that reflect the needs of their heart and soothe their senses making way for greatness and good self-care. During the winter season, nature invites us to do this differently than would we, say, in the dog days of summer.

Now, my recovering chronic overdoer/overgiver side may be showing here, yet, like you, I’m in hot pursuit of serenity and taking good care inside and out, in simple, easy, nature-infused ways – all the days of my life.  I must. We must. We have a lot of people depending on us – and the most important of these people is us. Reality check: if the wheels fall off for us, the wheels fall off for all.

To take good care is restorative to our nature. Taking Good Care of our energies, exchanges, and precious selves restores our good nature. And honestly, decreases that wee bit of crunchiness we caregivers can feel…

Because I imagine you love a simple, restorative, nurturing indulgence here and there too AND because there are even more moving parts this time of year, I’m sharing my top favorite Restorative Holiday Gifts for the Caregiver / Overdoer / Top Dog Nurturer in the Family.

I’m a big believer in “some to give and some to keep” particularly for the “keeper of all moving parts” person.

  1. Lollia Breathe Bubble Bath The light Peony-Grapefruit-Green scent of “Breathe” No. 19 Bubble Bath renews the senses while the Olive, Avo & Vit E oils help restore the skin. And the packaging is reusable! Oprah’s right: fav thing!
  2. UGG Honorary Yosemite Slips Foot-love collab between comfy UGGs & warm Pendleton Wools to celebrate the 100 year US National Park System anniversary. These slips will serve your tired peds well, keeping you cozy while imagining a soul stroll in our precious wild, wide open spaces.
  3. Perfectea Maker & Steeper For your daily tea ritual, Teavana makes things easy: loose tea in + hot water pour over = steep = set atop fav mug & Viola!
  4. Peach Tranquility Herbal Tea All time favorite loose tea! Peach, pineapple, calming chamomile & verbena. It’s like sipping a tranquility garden! #Teavanalife
  5. Cuddl Duds Softwear Layering must for the comings & goings without the Hulk bulk. The Keeper of All Moving Parts needs to be cuddled & warm!

So, go on with your Keeper-of-All-Moving self, feel good about checking out, recharging, bathing in quiet and softness inspired by nature. You so deserve the peace, comfort, nurturing.

 

A bit of departure from the traditional Valentine’s day love note, I realize. Love intended no less.

I’ve been thinking about you, lovely you, as heart decorations go up everywhere and flower delivery trucks roll out the bouquets. You are likely super busy making everyone else feel and know that they are loved, special – that you are theirs.

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When was the last time you gave yourself a Valentine?

Whether it was yesterday (good on you!), or not anytime recently (virtual *hug*), here is a list of 5 of my favorite restorative nature-infused, sweet, soul treats from my #GardenHeart to yours. 

  • Soul Stroll – created by the lovely Erin Stutland – is an uplifting heart/mindset/exercise combo platter that I use to keep my mind Light & body right.  One part meditation/affirmations; one part boogie down, Erin’s series nurtures self-love & inspires! Sign up for this freebie. Go for a soul stroll in nature – you’ll love it!
  • Some sweet nothings to your #GardenHeart & for my designer mind, is the book The Sanctuary Garden. What lovely collaborations shall we make together?

I leave you with these love notes for taking good care of your precious self and connecting mind-body-heart-soul with nature’s healing power.

Will you accept my nature-inspired Valentine, “decorated” with my #TakeGoodCare wishes just for you? 

Speak softly to me in the comments below.


Love this? Share with your pals & follow the bird seed over to the Resource Roost.
There you will find my ever-growing 
nest of good & favorite nature-inspired resources, tools & touchstones to grow Peace, Health & Inspiration in your garden & life.


DSC_9163 - cutoutWelcome! I’m Annie Red Bird, Empowering Environment Translator, Serenity Stylista & Feel-Good Garden Designer. I dig deep, crusading about nature’s beauty & benefit to illuminate our truest, best selves, because the spaces we keep have a profound impact on our wellbeing & soul-fulfilling greatness.
Are you a style-keen, nature-loving, holistically-inclined “soilsoulsister” (or brother) who wants to tune out stress & dis-ease & tune into your mind.body.spirit connection, thanks to your own slice of everyday, personal paradise? Plant-tas-tic! Sign up for news, resources, good shares and we’ll get on with thriving outside & healing inside.

 


(This is part 1 of a 3-part series – a Spring Manifesto – to help you set your intention, seek inspiration, and begin the curation process to create a holistic and restorative garden space.)

It’s spring (or almost)! It’s a season of new beginnings and fresh starts, and it’s natural as your outside changes to desire changes, inside, too.

Wherever your heart is at this spring, your garden is ready to reflect what you need most from it. So I have a question for you.

What are your purest desires for your garden?

Health? Peace? Rejuvenation?
What’s on your Wishing Tree?

Let me be direct – here you are reading a blog written by a restorative garden designer. So do tell, are you yearning to connect with the life force and have a beautiful, sacred space?

Garden design, especially restorative garden design, is not about landscaping. Anyone can landscape by coming up with few ideas, buying some plants and plunking them down into an exterior space.

And what does that get you? A lampshade. It’s merely cosmetic & decorative. And it may make it a little more cheerful for a few weeks until the new plants and purchases fade. I see what you are really searching for – there’s an intention.

You go outdoors to fill up and let go. You want a deeper connection. You want to be in your space and find freedom from obligations and all of the things you do for other people every day and just have this moment. Just for you.

That’s what you want from your garden space. That’s what you need from your outdoor living space.

You can have that space your soul is longing for.

Truly. It’s a matter of transformative art + heart + science (and I’ll keep the science easy-breezy).

This is my gift to you this spring. At the end of this three-part spring manifesto, you will have set your intention for your space, found your sacred sources of inspiration, and begun the curation process to start creating your restorative garden.

So let’s begin with intention.

Intention in·ten·tion (ĭn-těn’shən)

n.

  1. An aim that guides action.
  2. The process by which or the manner in which a wound heals.

A healing garden is about intention. For a garden in the healthcare realm, we’d look to the treatment plan. For you, it’s how you will feel good-better-best, because of and while you’re in, your outdoor space. And since intention is related to both how we take action and how we heal, every restorative garden begins with this.

The dynamic researchers and professors of enviropsychology at the University of Michigan, Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, lend us this tidbit about nature and Attention Restoration Theory.

Wherever we sit, the influences of our environment (read: landscape) impact how we manage the immediate task at hand and directly impact the healing we may experience, and our personal and unique life experiences influence what we need and how we see our ‘land.’

Meaning: The outside space you long for in times of stress is embedded in your genetic make-up.

Yep. You come programmed that way. It’s in your DNA nature. No two Red Birds are the same, and neither are any two healing garden spaces. This knowledge is a wonderful gift – knowing your perfect space isn’t the same as anyone else’s gives you more freedom to express your precious self outdoors.

Research repeatedly tells us about better recovery rates for patients and care staff and families less stressed when views to sensitively and intentionally designed gardens/naturescapes are available in hospital rooms. (Has this happened for you, too? Has for me!)

Documented transformation attributed to green views are:

  • Decreased blood pressure, muscle tension and sense of pain
  • Elevated mood
  • Relief from stress
  • Increased immune functioning
  • Better sleep and concentration ability
  • Improved self-discipline

Sign me up, right?

Creating an intentional restorative space gives your mind’s eye something to see beyond a stressful situation. It’s that scene you see when someone suggests you “go to your happy place.” We hold calming, soothing nature-based scenes in our memory and draw upon them during the rough patches.

For you, I want that to be in real time –

Set Your Intention

For some clients, the intention set is one word: serenity, sanctuary, beauty, renewal… What’s your wish? What word would you hang from your Wishing Tree that describes that precious, possibly secret hope for you and those who share in your outdoor sanctuary space?

Today, spend some time choosing your intention for your garden space. Creative forces flow through you.  Trust being present so that your creative spirit may flourish, allowing yourself to cultivate the most right and healing intention.

Share your intention on social media by tagging me @annieredbird using #HealingGardenHappyPlace so that I might hold that scene for you in my #GardenHeart.

(And then, Pin, pass on, Instagram this series this with someone who could use the healing power of nature in their life.)

Ready for part 2 of this manifesto? Find inspiration to discover your secret garden’s main ingredient waiting for you here in part 2 of this series.