Saturday, December 15, 2007

Holiday Appreciation and Lots of Breathing

This morning as I was heading to the farmer's market (I do realize that I might be teasing some of you who live where it's cold and snowy, and for that I apologize), I was thinking about how grateful I am that the farmers bother to get up in the middle of the night, or very early morning, to be there to sell vegetables to those of us who care. I appreciate what they do so much. But what I was truly thinking about was a comment that someone made to me last night at a holiday open house about how Larry from Triple T Ranch and Farm is a character.

And honestly, what that brought to mind is how the people that grow our produce all have personalities. They are real people, and they will engage with you at the market. You can find out about them, and how interesting they are.

Related specifically to Larry is that just this week someone told me that she doesn't buy from their farm because they are USDA certified organic and that they seem so commercial. Their farm is less than 40 acres, yet here in Sonoma County it is considered a "big" farm. I tried explaining that I've been to the farm and that they do what they are supposed to do. I guess that she prefers the smaller farmers, and the truth is that sometimes I do, too. But given the choice of the supermarket, Whole Foods or the farmer's market, you are going to get a better product at the farmer's market. And you may also get to speak to a character like Larry, or maybe Ed or Les or your local farmer. Give it a try when you can.

Now, for the breathing... I just gave a presentation on putting happy back in the holidays where a woman told me that she felt like an out of control train that might derail. If you feel that way, then I suggest that you do what I did with my group -- I led them through a breathing exercise. Deep breathing helps you relax. And that's what most people need at this time of year.

The most gratifying part of my talk was when someone came up to me at the end and told me that she'd put into practice the deep breathing that I suggested 2 months ago. I said that when you have to stop at a red light, take the time to breathe, rather than stew about having to stop and that you aren't getting where you need to go fast enough. She told me that stopping usually only delays you a minute or two, and how much better she feels after doing the breathing. I left with a big smile on my face, as I took an extra breath or two, as a reminder to myself. I suggest that you do the same, whenever you feel the need.

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