A person holding a wooden board with three small plants taken out of their pots

Words – Planting Positive Seeds for Life

Words.  There has been a huge struggle with words happening for the past few days.  Heck… to be honest the past two weeks.  Writer’s Block is stretching it a bit far, because as you have probably figured, there are a bazillion topics I could totally reference to fill this page up with words.

Yet with all those topics, and all the words that surround those topics, this page remained white.  A blank expanse of white… taunting me.  After all, how hard can it be to write a bunch of words down?  It’s just words.  They are readily available.  They easily flow right off the tip of one’s tongue.  Oftentimes without any thought as to what we are saying, or how they are being received.

Planting Seeds

But what if we changed how we think about words?  What if we added an Photo of a Monarch Butterfly hanging from a milkweed flower.addendum to the word words?  Instead of just words, it would be words – planting seeds.  All of a sudden a small, inconspicuous word, becomes a glaring reminder of just how powerful of a word, words is.   Because anyone who has ever planted a seed knows only two things can happen.

In 7-10 days you will either see a beautiful, little green shoot popping up through the dirt and soil, or you will see the exact same thing you saw 7-10 days earlier when you planted the seeds.  A big fat nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  Well other than the soil that is.  And considering you planted the seeds to begin with, a guess could be ventured that you would be much happier with the first result rather than the second.

Power of Seeds (Words)

Well just like the seeds that are planted, every time words are spoken or uttered, an opportunity occurs to build one up; or to tear one down.  Yeah, I know.  We need to delve into that a little deeper don’t we?

Okay – let’s act out a scenario.

You are sitting at the kitchen table while your significant other, husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, whatever floats your boat … is preparing breakfast.  Without looking up from the paper, you exclaim “Hey!  Get me some more coffee wench.”  (While I really kind of like that word for some unknown bizarre reason, I can truthfully say I would not want to hear it in the tone that I hear in my head when reading that sentence.)

Now again, just like the seeds, there are two primary options that are going to happen.  The first is the person cooking breakfast is going to turn around and start hurling back negative words in your direction.  (And honestly, if you talk like that, you deserve what you get.)

The other option is having your breakfast dumped into your lap.  Neither of those are what you wanted… more coffee.  Well wait, unless what is dumped in your lap is coffee and then you’ll probably have bigger things to worry about other than your coffee cup being empty.

Now let’s plant words of kindness.  Same scenario except this time you exclaim, “Hey darling, could I have some more coffee please?  Thank you for cooking breakfast.  It was delicious.”

Photo of a coffee pot on the stovetop spouting steam, with a coffee cup and a can of Folgers coffee on the counter next to the stove. My guess is you will receive a big smile, perhaps even a hug or a kiss, as well as a steaming hot cup of coffee…. in the cup.

Think back to when someone said something to you in a hurtful, mean manner.  How did you feel?  Did you want to continue the relationship?  Were you kind back?  Or did you respond in the same way – mean and hurtful?  When we are mean and hurtful, we do nothing but build walls or barriers.  There is no connection when a wall is built of negative words.

Pruning the Seeds

Y’all know I am extremely passionate about brain science, child development, and how childhood trauma effects us our whole life – even if we aren’t aware of it.  And if you didn’t know that… where have you been??!!  Have you not been paying attention?  Puppies, kids, brain science, my family, dealing with cancer … my top five.  Now you know.

Eek, I digress.   Again.

A huge component of surviving our childhood, is learning how to be resilient.  Being resilient happens as a result of positive, nurturing relationships, where one feels loved, cared for, and most importantly valued.  But the key word there is relationships.  How are relationships started?  If you guessed words – you’ve been paying attention!

Just like the seeds needed water and sunlight to grow, relationships need positive and caring words.  The more positive and caring words, the stronger the relationship.  The stronger the relationship, the more resilient one can be.  The more resilient one is, the faster they can recover from a setback, or negative outcome.

As I am sure you are all aware, suicide is occurring more often, and at alarming rates.  I don’t have any research to support or prove this, but let’s pretend.  What if the reason for so many suicides is because they are not resilient.  If we are talking about a high school student, perhaps all the negative words, taunts, and teasing have tore down any resiliency they might have had.  What if they have no positive relationship, at least they don’t think they do because I am not in any way, shape, or form saying their parents were positive.

What if on the day they snap, it is because someone looked at them and said, “Hurry up!  You are so slow!!”

How many times have you said that to a child?  Heck, I know I’ve said it to my hubby a time or two.  Perhaps ten.  But who’s counting?  Not me.

But we should be.  We should always be pruning our words.  Because there is no way to know when what we will say could be a matter of life or death.

I think back to my chemo journey.  I know you’ve heard me say a time or two that while I know it is said to be kind and helpful, telling me I am strong is a bit of a pet peeve.  In fact I just wrote about that a few weeks ago in Surviving a Rough Week.   In that post I wrote about how changing the word ‘strong’ to ‘grace’ made more sense to me.  Well today I am going to say, what about using the word resilient?  You are so resilient.  In other words you recover quickly and easily.

Not that bad things do not happen to you.  But that you recover quickly and easily.  Because let’s be honest – bad things happen.  Especially to good people.  But how are some able to recoup faster?  If you guessed resiliency, I have done my job.

Let’s think back to that teenager on the day they are going to snap.  What if someone had come up to them that day and asked, “Are you okay?”  Or “Johnny, I really enjoy having you in my class.  Your natural ability to see both sides of a story helps me to see things in a different way.”  Making them feel valued.  Making them feel honored.  Building their resiliency.

Harvesting the Seeds

Unfortunately, just like after we harvest the seeds and ship them off somewhere, we may not always see the impact our words have one someone.  Sometimes words take a long time to grow, to build enough strength in that the person can truly feel the words.

I think of raising a teenager and how easy it would be to resort to negative, demeaning words when dealing with some of the hormonal issues occurring.  Then I think of when they become young adults, and how because positive, encouraging words were used, how much better they can handle adult life.  If you’re lucky, you’ll even get a “thank goodness you didn’t listen to me” from said kid.  Our words can build a wall, squash one’s spunk, tear down one’s tenacity.  Or they can build a relationship, nurture one’s spirit, foster resiliency.

All because of words.  What a powerful seed to plant.

Until next time, capture life kreatively!


P.S.  Have you had someone in your life who made you feel unconditionally loved, cared for, and nurtured?  Give them a shout-out in the comments below.  I would love to thank them as well!

Disclaimer:  I have not personally read these books, however, they have high reviews.



Photo of Minnehaha Falls at a slow shutter speed so the water looks like one solid stream. Sunlight is hitting the trees which frames the photo.

Summer Road Trip – Minnehaha Falls

Summer road trip – Minnehaha Falls

Before we explore Minnehaha Falls, I must apologize. Photo of Minnehaha Falls at a slow shutter speed so the water looks like one solid stream. Sunlight is hitting the trees which frames the photo. Well technically I don’t have to; however, considering I did not send out my blog post yesterday I probably should.  As my pre-planning skills are still a little behind since chemo infused my brain with all the “forget everything before you remember them” cells, I am currently writing this while sitting in a hotel in our lovely capital of the USA.  Yesterday was our travel day, and as we were traveling with Harley the service dog for the first time, life was a little chaotic.  Being service trained in a small rural town is wayyyy different than the things we experienced yesterday… escalators, airplanes, trains, gaps between the train and sidewalk, revolving doors … he did fabulously and here we are!

Exploring your own backyard

Traveling is an important thing, both for a service dog, and for our children.  Traveling exposes us to so many things that we normally do not encounter on a given day.  When we remember that children are watching us for how they should handle situations, exposing them to as many different scenarios as we can when they are young helps prepare them for the adults they will become.

Luckily, that doesn’t mean we have to load everybody up and trek halfway across the country.  There are so many great opportunities right in our own backyard!  However, if you’re anything like we were when our daughter was young, you get so busy with everyday life and activities that exploring your own backyard keeps getting put aside.  Recently, Harley and I went on an adventure to one of my absolute favorite spots is off Highway 55 in Minneapolis … Minnehaha Falls.

Minnehaha Falls

In the early 2000’s, when hubby and I lived in the Cities, this was always a “Oh, we should really go there” type of statement.  It’s a beautiful trek through some woodsy terrain, it has a great area to stop and wade in the water, and if you walk the trail all the way to the end there’s a lovely little beach you can sit on as the creek flows into the Mississippi River. Photo at the top of the Falls with a bridge crossing the creek down below.

If you’re lucky, you can catch a fly fisherman, numerous people fishing, and maybe even a Blue Heron.  There are many different aspects to the park including a dog park, and several historical buildings including the Minnehaha Princess Station, a Victorian train depot built in the 1870’s; the John H. Stevens house built in 1849; and the Longfellow House.  Near the Falls there is an ice cream store, and a restaurant with outside seating.  Time it just right and you’ll be able to enjoy music as well as you imbibe with your favorite drink and the crescendo of the Falls in the background adding to the rhythm.

Of course, the crowing attraction are the Falls themselves; which according to Wikipedia remain one of the most photographed sites in Minnesota.

Longfellow Gardens

This trip it was also suggested that I visit the Longfellow gardens, which are across the street from the park, but easily accessible via stairs leading down to the crosswalk crossings.  The garden was a beautiful little oasis and prelude to the big park itself and to be honest, Harley and I only covered one section, which was hiking alongside the creek to the river.

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The location of Minnehaha Falls is quite easy to get to.  In fact, the light rail train runs very close, if not right across the street.   Additionally, just down the road a piece Highways 55 and 62 merges together where Historic Fort Snelling sits, making another great backyard destination – and maybe a future post!


The day we went to the Falls, it was close to 90 degrees outside, but walking the trail it felt much cooler.  Harley and I managed to put on 12,000 steps in two hours, and needless to say … I was beat!  (Honestly, Harley was beat, but he doesn’t like to admit that I outwalked him so I’m letting him believe it was me.)  As I already mentioned, we only made it through part of the park, so this is an adventure that can be a full day of playing outside!  Just pack a picnic basket full of goodies and go ‘esploring to find your perfect spot!

There is no cost to enter the Minnehaha Falls park; however, there is a parking fee.  There are also some different bicycle rentals if you’d rather take a surrey fringed ride on the paved trails.

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Are we missing adventures?

While taking big adventures is always fun, ever since my diagnosis I have discovered just how much I love exploring my own backyard and finding little treasures.  Minnehaha Falls isn’t so little, but the fact that I’ve never fully explored the park makes me quite sad.  How many times do we walk by something, oblivious to its (or their) existence?  Eye contact has always been iffy between people and these days its almost non-existent.

School violence is on the rise.  Depression and suicide as well.  Could it be coincidence?  Could it be that because we walk right by people, never acknowledging that they are there because we are too busy preoccupied with our own lives, that we miss the adventure of making someone feel valued?  How many other adventures do we miss because we don’t have the courage to step out of our box, our comfort zone, and be adventurous?

Cancer has done many things to me over the last two and a half years; and while you will never catch me saying it was a blessing in a disguise, I will admit that because my perspective has changed there are some things I don’t mind.  I don’t necessarily mind that I’m different than pre-cancer.  I don’t necessarily mind that post-cancer I have talked to and enjoyed talking to so many different people.  I don’t necessarily mind that I relish the small everyday things that can be turned into grand adventures. I will not go so far as to suggest that you look for the positives after being diagnosed – that’s a little grandiose even for me.

Photo of a yellow brindle lab mix, at the bottom of stairs, with his tongue hanging out.
How Harley and I felt after 12,000 steps taken in two hours!

I will suggest looking and finding, even if it’s only one, the positive.  Because deep down there is at least one – a deeper connection with your significant other or a child; a deeper connection as to who you are; a deeper desire to connect with others; a deeper desire to live life to its fullest; a deeper desire to survive.  Wallow if you need to, cry when you must.  And when the dust settles look and see if you can find an adventure waiting for you.  After all, isn’t that what life is all about?

Until next time, capture life kreatively!!



Some fun products for your picnic!!  (Just a reminder that I am an Amazon affiliate, and if products are purchased through these links, I will receive a small commission.)