I invited my friend Susan Sherayko, author of "Rainbows Over Ruins" to share her creative problem-solving wisdom on EdenMakers as part of her book "blog tour."
As the Line Producer on the Home & Family Show, Susan has the huge task of supervising the financial bottom line of a daily, Emmy-nominated, national talk show.
When I met Susan a few years ago, I had no idea what overwhelming obstacles she overcame to land her dream job and maintain the positive disposition that is her signature style.
There is a compelling story behind her dimpled smile and confidence.
Susan gave me a copy of her book, which offered me a glimpse into her life, and more importantly, the thinking strategy and tools that form the cornerstone of her success and resilience.
Enjoy Susan's guest blog post, and leave a comment below to enter a drawing for a free copy of her book, Rainbows Over Ruins!
Guest Blogger, Susan Sherayko
Looking at the beautiful spaces that Shirley highlights here on EdenMakers Blog, I lament the state of my own gardens.
We live at the edge of the high desert in California where water is becoming ever more precious.
Our well is no longer producing water so we have to truck it in every two weeks or so.
I’ve made efforts to use drought tolerant plants, but even they need some regular watering.
At the moment, the Texas Ranger (Leucophyllum) is blooming at its best ever.
The rock rose (Cistus), prostate rosemary and purple cacti are holding their own, as well as the plants that “volunteered” to live in our garden spaces.
After 9 years in this environment, I welcome all comers.
If they can grow in our yard, they have earned the right to stay here.
I’m not trying to make excuses for the sorry state of the gardens.
Instead, it occurs to me that the creative thought process I share with others might work well here too.
What if someone applied these techniques to improve their gardens?
Visualize What You Want Your Garden To Look Like
The most important questions to answer first are:
What do you want your garden to look like?
What is its primary purpose?
How will your yard be used?
Do you have favorite plants that will thrive in your specific climate?
Visualizing what you want is fun.
Since I like to journal early in the morning, it is the perfect time to imagine the things I want.
If I were answering these questions, I would see the gardens of my childhood.
My parents lived on the east coast and had gardens filled with roses, irises, azaleas, rhododendrons, daffodils, ivy, a pear tree that survived a hurricane, snowball plants, a lawn, and did I say roses?
They planted roses everywhere, in small gardens around the bird bath and climbing the fences that surrounded the house on all sides.
Compare Your Real Garden To Your Dream Garden
Now, take an inventory.
How do your existing gardens compare?
Do you see a contrast?
The difference between what you have and what you want to have is called a gap.
When you think it’s huge, it’s likely to stop you from making any attempt to work on your gardens, if you let it.
It feels easier to make a long list of all the reasons (excuses) you have for doing without your dream garden.
However, that isn’t the way to succeed at anything, let alone gardening.
The better approach is to catch yourself when you start any negative self-talk and take a different approach.
Ask yourself “Why am I able to improve my garden?” and then make a different list – a list of pro-active positive suggestions that might help.
Make A List of Positive Suggestions
You don’t need to know all the answers right now; however, if you keep asking that question, ideas are bound to come to you.
Then, you can choose one action out of all the potential ideas to start creating a better space.
They don’t have to be massive projects.
In the beginning, it may be all you can do to visit Shirley's blog to get ideas.
Maybe you’ll write a comment and ask for suggestions.
That’s how the creative thought process works.
Keep asking positive questions that point you in the desired direction and you’ll be surprised how many resources show up in response.
Funny, that sounds like a suggestion I can take myself.
Do You Have A Garden Suggestion For Me?
Since the low water situation is having such an effect on my gardens, perhaps you would be willing to share what you do in your gardens when you have a water shortage.
What plants do you recommend to bring color to my high desert, water-thirsty garden?
We experience extreme temperatures: very hot dry summers and cold winter nights.
I would love to see the suggestions you have for me.
Thank you in advance for the help.
To Your Success in the gardens,
ENTER YOUR COMMENT BELOW FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A COPY OF "RAINBOWS OVER RUINS" BOOK DURING OUR DRAWING!
Susan Sherayko is the author of Rainbows Over Ruins, a guide to those who seek to unleash their creative power.
She is the Executive in Charge of Production and Emmy nominated Line Producer for Home & Family on the Hallmark Channel.
Susan is passionate about guiding others to discover how to change their thoughts and attract more successful results.
To find out more about Susan and her book, Rainbows Over Ruins, visit: www.RainbowsOverRuins.com