From the rocking chair on the deck I looked out over the yard and realized that the beautiful view of Mount Chocorua and the brook that runs behind my house had become obstructed by a tree. Several years ago, the tree had been struck by lighting and the right side of it splintered from the rest. It had to be cut down, to leave only the left side of that wonderful tree standing. That was very sad day. I didn't own the house then. I rented the owner's apartment. I remember sitting with the owner and her telling me a bit about the history of the tree and the emotional significance it represented. A connection to her Dad, as I recall, who had since passed away.
From where I was sitting, I could see how much new growth the side of the tree that had been struck and cut away had sprouted. It had grown so much that the hammock that was on the other side of the tree could no longer be seen from where I was sitting. The main trunk leaned to the left and hung low to the ground, making it difficult to mow the lawn underneath it. That side had grown up so much that the view of the mountain and the brook had become obstructed from the deck.
From what I could see, just one single cut with a chainsaw and the view would be restored and the lawn could be mowed more easily, leaving the new growth to mature while restoring the view from the deck. A perfect plan!
I felt a twang in my heart as I contemplated that one cut. I remembered that day after the lightening strike and the owner, now my good friend, telling me the story about the tree and her Dad. I had a strong sense that I needed to reach out to her and let her know I was planning to cut the main branch of the tree to restore the view. I owned the property and had every right to cut that tree down, but I felt like I need to let her know.
My thoughts were interrupted by a terrible sound. I heard a mechanical sort of choking that I hadn't noticed amongst the bird song, the rustle of the leaves and the buzzing of the cicadas. Upon further investigation I discovered it was the pump to the irrigation system that brought water up from the brook to water the lawn. I put my coffee down, went over to the shed and shut the system down. I had only been out on the deck for a few minutes and I already had two things on my to do list.
For a minute I forgot about my new morning Rampage of Appreciation practice and reached for my phone to call my friend Nancy and then Bernie, the irrigation man. I could have jumped right into the details ... but wait! It was early and I simply want to enjoy the morning and add another day to my new practice. I wanted to get back to nature, back to flow that happens every time I allow myself to simply just be. I wanted to do something to get back into the high vibrational place I love to start my day from. I wanted to get back to gratitude and joy.
I closed my eyes, took a few deep, heart centered breaths. I indulged my senses with the taste of my coffee, the feeling of the gentle breeze on my face, the sound of the leaves rustling in the wind, birdsong, the buzz of the cicadas. I could feel my body sink into the chair. I just sat there for a few minutes immersed in the experience of being connected to the vibration of nature.
Nature is my go to place when I wish to raise the vibration beyond my to do list. Once I'm immersed in the sights and sounds of nature, I deepen the experience. I move into my new habit of a Rampage of Appreciation. I dig deeper into a reflection on the things that I'm experiencing. The gentle rocking of the chair and all the energy that went into putting that chair on my deck. The wood that was harvested to build the chair, the trees the wood came from, the craftsmen who made the chair, the workers who packaged it and shipped it to me. The truck that delivered it and all that it took to load the truck, fuel up the truck, manufacture the truck.
A Rampage of Appreciation might never end. It really depends on how much time, attention and focus one chooses to give to this conscious experience. But one thing for sure ... when I allow myself to indulge in it, wild things happen. When I raise my vibration to this level of gratitude, its as if some sort of magical connection with the Universe happen.
My thoughts were interrupted by the buzzing of my phone. It was my friend. "I have something to drop off to you. Is it okay if I come by? I'll be driving by in a couple of minutes." "Sure. I'm sitting on the back deck. The door is open."
A few minutes later, she plopped herself in the rocking chair next to me, took a deep breath and looked out over the yard along with me. We both loved this property and relished the easy connection to nature that it provides. "Wow! That tree has really grown! The part that was struck by lightning really took off, but the main tree is obstructing the view. It's time to take a chain saw to it and let the new growth take over," she exclaimed.
I was stunned. I had projected a difficult conversation. Instead, I got exactly what I needed to support my next step. That afternoon I got a call from a friend of mine who just bought a new chainsaw and asked if she could practice on a couple of dead trees on the side of my property. I told her about the other tree. She came to look at is and said she will cut it down once she has practices with her new chainsaw. That all just flowed and I didn't have to do anything.
Back to the deck, as Nancy left, I heard voices in the side yard. A minute later, as if he had read my mind, Bernie and his helper were walking down to the pump by the brook. I walked down to meet them. Apparently, one of his clients on the lake was having trouble with their irrigation pump as well and while he was in the area so he thought he would stop by to check my filter. In ten minutes the irrigation system was working again. Wow ... just wow!
As we were walking back up towards the deck, he commented on how much the tree had grown since it had been struck by lightening. He used to maintain the property "back in the day". I told him I was planning to cut the main trunk to restore the view of Chocorua. He told me that he had just purchased a piece of heavy equipment that he was dying to play with. He told me that if I wanted him to come over and move the tree after it had been cut, he was more than happy to do it.
All of that happened in literally a half an hour! Other days I've engaged in the Rampage of Appreciation, I've come out of it with specific inspired action steps that have catapulted a project I've been working on or inspired me to make that phone call at just the right time. I could go on and on about the power of raising my vibration with gratitude and appreciation. There is also something very powerful to changing up a routine and seeing things from a different perspective. And there is definitely something to choosing to live life in 30 day experiments. It gives us a chance to see what works, what new habit we want to develop as well as what old habit we want to break. Plus it's fun!
This daily Rampage of Appreciation works and I'm going to keep doing it. My morning practice has expanded throughout my day. Sometimes I find myself having to wait in line or on hold. Instead of getting irritated I find myself focusing on something in my immediate environment and following the path of deeper appreciation. It changes everything. It's like turning on the switch to the magic of flow that is always around us just waiting to be noticed and experienced.
I invite you to give it a try ...