“Nothing can survive without food. Everything we consume acts either to heal us or to poison us. We tend to think of nourishment only as what we take in through our mouths, but what we consume with our eyes, our ears, our noses, our tongues, and our bodies is also food. The conversations going on around us, and those we participate in, are also food. Are we consuming and creating the kind of food that is healthy for us and helps us grow?”

–Thich Nhat Hanh


Welcome Spring

Photography by Tracy Sheppard

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
― Anaïs Nin

Welcome Spring!

I’ve missed you so.

A season filled with renewal and beginnings. Beauty and bloom. Spread your arms wide and welcome new beginnings.

A season of growth, renewal, hope, and rebirth.

Photography by Tracy Sheppard


The Thoughtfully Designed Life © must carefully attend to all areas of living.

To focus primarily on the physical while ignoring the spiritual creates discord.  To feed the mind while disregarding the physical leaves us unhealthy

Tending to only one area of life creates uneven growth and a life without harmony. Balance is essential.

Spring is a wonderful time to intentionally clean up areas of life that have become stagnant and unyielding.  Purging those areas that are unproductive or unhealthy.  Getting rid of old thoughts, habits and activities that no longer serve us.

Photography by Tracy Sheppard

You Are Allowed to Change



How often to we resist change?  We fight it, go out of our way to avoid it and just plain don’t like it.

One thing is certain.  Change is constant.  But that doesn’t mean change is easy.

We have to learn to adapt, and flow.

Or become stagnant.

We’ve all been around a stagnant pond.  Not only will a stagnant pond appear repulsive;  it doesn’t smell pleasant.  Once water stops flowing, it becomes a breeding ground for a plethora of dangerous and unhealthy environmental woes.  It turns dark and lifeless. The water that may have once teemed with plant life, birds, fish and other creatures;  now hosts nothing but parasites and bacteria.   In other words, it is contaminated.

photography by Tracy Sheppard

A pond becomes stagnant for one simple reason.  It lacks the exchange of living water that flows and continues to provide the necessary ingredients for balance of oxygen and nutrients to keep life vital.

photography by Tracy Sheppard


When we don’t allow the proper balance of fresh thinking, combined with movement;  it invites stagnation.

Thinking the same way day in and day out, without inviting our minds to explore new thoughts; can lead to lethargy.   Motionless and without life.

Change can be scary.  I get it!  It’s so easy to become a creature of habit.  Our comfort zone becomes a place void of stress. We are on autopilot. Coasting.  Call it what you will.  It becomes a place that prohibits growth.  And when we don’t grow….we become stagnant.

Keep the waters moving!  Stimulate the thought process with positive thinking.  Live with the intent to try something new each day.  Start the morning with gratitude for what is present, good or bad.  Keep the momentum.

photography by Tracy Sheppard

Our brains our hard wired to avoid anything unpleasant or challenging.  We have to intentionally step out of that safety net and explore the wondrous possibilities.

Not feeling motivated?

Motivation is often not enough.  We may NEVER feel ready.  We may not be able to WORK UP enough confidence.  Move anyway.  Go through the motions.  Forward is the only direction to go.

I don’t know about you…but I don’t want to become like that stagnant pond.


photography by Tracy Sheppard