Harvesting Walt’s Wheat

Where’d You Grow Wednesday?

March 28, 2012

I grew to think of Walt Disney as an awe-inspiring farmer.

The Big Picture

Walt Disney was a man of vision. He had imagination, creativity, and guts. But what he had most of all was BELIEF.

He believed that progress was not only possible…it was happening.  He believed lakes could exist where the ground was dry and a magical city could be built…straight from imagination. He believed in the power of people. And he believed in the world that finally emerged in Orlando, Florida.

Just because he didn’t see it all happen before he died, didn’t change his belief that it was possible.

There is a lot to learn from someone like Walt Disney.

In the Magic Kingdom, it is hard not to be blown away by his legacy. The mouse for sure, but then everything that comes with him. There are quotes scattered on walls throughout the park and…Walt is there. He’s in the magic of the kingdom and the innovation of Epcot.

He knew it would keep growing long after he had gone. He said:

Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.

 That’s what I took away from our time in those parks. There were the family memories for sure, but I couldn’t help thinking about how grand Walt’s plan was from the beginning, and how amazing it is that the tens of thousands of people who work to make that dream a reality hold the same beliefs he did. It’s not about the money that place makes (which is almost unfathomable) but it’s more about the experience it creates. It’s inspiring…and on a bigger scale than any other man-made place I’ve ever seen.
The Really Big Picture
As part of our week in Florida, we attended mass at a little Catholic church called St. Faustina. The Haitian priest started his homily telling the older congregation that he was going to talk about dying. I was impressed by his comfort, and I was enthralled with his delivery.
“Wheat cannot produce unless it dies,” he said.
He was referring to the verse in John;
Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. (John 12: 23-24)
It was impossible for me not to think about Walt Disney.
It got me thinking about my own compulsion to create for the here and now. It’s how we’re supposed to think, right? We are only relevant if people know about us now…if our creations are important TODAY.
But what about a legacy?  What about dying to self so that we can help others? Lots of others…for a really long time? What about a vision that is too big to be completed in one lifetime, but that is rooted in love and belief at such a level that it will exist… and fluorish… long after we’re gone.
Does anyone think like that anymore?
Well, I want to start.
Maybe we can all find motivation in the magic of fireworks… and by two more quotes of Walt Disney:
When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
AND
I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained. 
Well, Walt, I was thoroughly entertained, and you taught me plenty. Your dreams have come true. Your wheat has provided nourishment 100-times over, and we would all be lucky to have an opportunity to pursue such passion in our lives.
I feel as though I am safely tucked in my hull, and I want to do whatever I need to do to start the germinating process for that next crop to be harvested.
Where are you in the growing process?  Have you shed the hull and found a way to “die” to produce much fruit?
If you are growing, I’d love to hear about the ways you choose to grow.
Send me a comment or a quick note to my email choosingtogrow@meaganfrank.com
Happy Growing!
Copyright 2012   Meagan Frank                                                Choosing to Grow

Breathing in the Sun

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Where’d You Grow Wednesday?

I grew with sunshine…

I’ve had my fair share of both, and I’ve made a concrete decision…sunshine grows me better than rain!

The sun has been the lead story over the past few days here in Minnesota. The parks are packed with people, the walking paths littered with winter-weary folks who have forgotten how to behave in outside public spaces. Spontaneity has returned and I am feeling a change in my relationship with the sun.

It reminds me of sunflowers.

The woodpile on the side of my childhood home was the birth place of my first and only garden. When sunflowers started to grow there, I was fascinated by the way they bent and turned toward the light.  They lined the small space along the house wall and I watched them grow taller than me. They became a silent audience during my quiet times out on the basketball court, and I loved those sunflowers. Eventually they stopped turning with the movement of the sun, and instead sat stoically poised to catch the rays of dawn.

For much of my life I have bent and strained to chase the sun as it moves predictably from one horizon to another.

Now…I believe in the sun’s predictability. I too have started to mimic the mature sunflowers and I’m learning patience as I simply wait for the sun to arrive. It always does.

I need that sun…those positive people…the friendships and conversations that have warmly enveloped me the last few days. They help to keep my petals full and vibrant.

Spontaneous walks around the thawing lake…invitations to warm groups of women…social gatherings around good food and good wine…a coffee date for a growing friendship…teaching basketball to our oldest…enjoying craft time with our girls. These are my raybeams….and I’ve grown in a lovely way this week.

Sunflowers need full sun to grow…and so do I.

 

If you have a growing story, a link, a photo, or a video, I’d love for you to share it with me. I am inspired by how others grow too. Contact me on email:  choosingtogrow@meaganfrank.com or leave me a comment here.

Happy Growing!

 

Copyright 2012   Choosing to Grow                                                                          Meagan Frank

 

Where’d You Grow Wednesday?

Powers Lake Woodbury, MN

Back in August, I had a brilliant idea. I wanted to start a weekly blog conversation about the ways people purposefully put themselves into new places. I had a bad title (Walkin’ on Sunshine Wednesdays)…. and….. I forgot to write any other posts. Even more inconsistent was the fact that I didn’t even walk!

So here I go again. The first Wednesday of the year, and my intention remains. I want Wednesdays to be the days I challenge myself to “go and grow” somewhere. It doesn’t have to be somewhere entirely new, but I want to take a photo,  and then write a quick blurb about how I’ve been inspired.

Today I went to the frozen version of Powers Lake. It’s the lake I walk all the time, but to watch its subtle changes through the seasons…I’m reminded how small I am, how little control I have over everything, and how I am meant to appreciate beautiful changes…both big and small. Plus, I just had to venture there today. It is 35 degrees and I saw four ice-fishing people.

(Note to self: explore most what you don’t understand)

Maybe next week I’ll venture INTO one of the ice fishing tents. If not, I will still make the point of going to and documenting how I grow next Wednesday.

I invite any and all people who would like to come along with me. Email me at: choosingtogrow@meaganfrank.com

If you send me photos, or a link to a blogpost, or  a tweet with the #choosetogrow hashtag (see…even I can speak twitterese!) or a Facebook link.  I will start to include other people’s Wednesday growth here too.

Happy Growing!!

Learn more about Meagan Frank at her website: www.meaganfrank.com

Embracing the Mess of Motion

I love time-lapse photography. I am grateful to this family for putting up a video clip that so closely resembles the way the holidays feel for me.  Actually, any point of the year when all three of our children are home feels just like this.

Motion

Mess

Motion

Mess

Motion

You get the picture. I know I only have the mess because of their motion, and I intend to take time regularly to remind myself that I WILL MISS THE MOTION.

There will be stillness in this house…eventually. There will be times of silence…eventually. Those things that I safely store on the counter will actually stay put…eventually.

I don’t want to make that motionless time come any closer than it already has.

Our oldest is 11. The other day he pointed out that he is already more than half done with his time in our home.

I don’t want to believe that. I want to believe that the motion will stay this way forever.

I absolutely know better.

I didn’t really make a new year’s resolution this year, except that I want to yogify my life. As part of that process I intend to be in the moment. It means I embrace each part of my life, whether it is the motion… or the mess.

My little mess-makers are making messes back in their classrooms today, and I have had a few minutes to contemplate (clean) and give thanks.

I’m moved to gratitude for the motion… and the mess… in our home.

I’m moved to offer comfort and prayers for the local families who have to deal with the sudden loss of motion.

For the family and friends of a 3-year-old Minneapolis boy who was killed by a stray bullet, and for the family and friends of a 16-year-old Benilde-St. Margaret hockey player who lies motionless in a hospital bed after a check into the boards.

There is motion and mess in my house, but there is motion and mess outside of my house too. Perspective only comes when we can see the whole picture.

Motion leads to mess, but it matters most how we decide to be moved by the life around us.

How will you be moved this week?

Copyright 2012 Choosing to Grow- Meagan Frank

To learn more about Meagan Frank, you can visit her at her website: www.meaganfrank.com

Ready to Yogify My Life…

Photography by Gosia Janik

It’s New Year’s Eve and, as usual, I’ll use today for contemplation. I’ll try to see my present life more clearly as I hold it up against my future plans for what I want my life to be. In that one minute between 2011 and 2012 I’ll close my eyes. I’ll breathe in the new year and exhale the old and something magical will happen. It will be a subtle shift in momentum…a centering on the path I am destined to walk.

I have sensed it happening…this centering. In the last week, there have been five references to, mentions of, and direct connections with the idea of yoga. I make it a habit to pay attention to signs like those.

I am not a stranger to yoga, but it has been quite some time since I was regularly doing it.

I need yoga back in my life.

Actually, everything about me needs to be yogified. This is how I want to frame my 2012 plans.

It’s not a resolution for those finite things like praying daily, or losing weight, or exercising more, or eating more healthfully, or organizing my cupboards, or writing more regularly. Those will be the “happy accidents” of a decision to yogify my life.

Yoga is a science of the body, the mind, the consciousness and the soul. It is the centering of my entire being, and there is nothing I want to do more.

Deep cleansing breath…balanced and peaceful presence…keen self-awareness… and the energy to offer all of who I am to others. I want to be yogified.

Centering does not happen in a vacuum, and I look forward to learning more from the people I’ve come to admire, and who have been a place of peaceful balance for me already.

My friend, Joyce Rothman, who writes about how to live beautifully while battling lung and pancreas cancer.

Bruce Dolin, Psy. D, a clinical psychologist in California, who reminds me regularly that it is more than enough to simply love…everyone. His new book, Privilege of Parenting, has been the best way to transition into the new year.

Another newfound internet connection, Dan Rockwell, offers a consistent and powerful message of servant-leadership, and I am inspired by his wisdom.

And then there are the mothers…too many to adequately name…who are struggling just like I am with that balance of motherhood and writing productivity. I love that we are so similarly challenged.  Some of the moms who most consistently inspire me:  Jen and Sarah at Momalom, Rachel at Recipes and Politics and Astra at The Dust Bunny Chronicles.

There will be more. That is part of the intention of this yogifying mission. I plan to surround myself with a cushion of wisdom, insight, humor, fabulous writing, positivity, enlightenment and love. Is there anything else that could hold a person in more centered balance?

Happy New Year to you and if it is your plan to yogify, may you find all the centering you need!

To learn more about Meagan, you can visit her at her website  www.meaganfrank.com.