Subscribe to Barbara Brabec's newsletter  


Related Articles

Out with the Old, In with the New—The Thoughts of a Widow Now Ten Years Into Her Journey. In this continuing series of articles for widows, Barbara talks about how nearing the ten-year mark in her journey prompted her to take another life-changing widow's step.

How to be a Fearless Dreamer and Reinvent Your Life at Any Age. Barbara's thoughts and research about the importance of dreaming and changing your life if it's not all you want it to be.

Copyright © 2000-2015 by Barbara Brabec. All rights reserved.

Pruning Your Life to Encourage Growth

As we grow older, we tend to try to rid our lives of things that are stressing us, taking more time than we want to give them, or are simply becoming a burdensome physical responsibility.

by Barbara Brabec


ONE MORNING AS I SAT IN MY PATIO enjoying my new backyard landscape after having worked with my landscaper to remove a hedgerow of forsythia bushes, I suddenly saw a connection to pruning those bushes from my life and just pruning my life in general. Wondering if others had something to say about "pruning your life," I searched for that phrase and turned up a wonderful blog by Laura Filbert, a professional writer and creative event coordinator whose creativity is well expressed in her articles. Two of her articles really spoke to me that day. One was on how to use music to increase creativity, something I've done all my life. The other was on the topic of pruning oneís life to encourage growth. In this article, Laura said, "Just as it is healthy to prune trees so that they may grow, we also need to prune our lives so that we can make way for new ideas, growth and opportunities."

AHA! I thought. That was exactly what I needed to hear at that time. Earlier that year, I had announced that I was withdrawing from active involvement in the crafts and home-business industries so I could focus on writing and publishing books I had been dreaming about for years. I didnít look at it like this at the time, but I had already started to prune my life then to make it simpler and easier as I grew older. The older we get, the more important it is to rid our lives of things that are stressing us, taking more time than we want to give them, or are simply becoming a burdensome physical responsibility.

My literary agent, Barbara Doyen, who also loves to work in her yard, put it like this: "This summer I ended up getting rid of quite a lot of flowers and shrubs plus a couple small trees. Just too much for me to keep up with. I commented to my husband that it was bad that I'd even think of destroying beds I'd nurtured for 25 years, and he said not to think of it as destroying them but of redesigning the landscape. It was the perfect thing to say as I love to design and it reframed my attitude."

Yep, 2010 was the year I first redesigned my landscape, reframed my attitude, and made room for new ideas to grow. Since them, I've been making this "pruning exercise" a part of my New Year's Resolutions.

How about you? Is it time to do a little pruning in your life?

P.S. If you liked this article, a reprint from an issue of THE BRABEC BULLETIN, you'll enjoy being on Barbara's mailing list. Click here to subscribe.

[Back to Top}