Life Dimensions
April 2010
The Relationship Resource
Teaching the Dynamics of Healthy Relationships
In This Issue
Books In Review
Blueprint for Success
Quick Links



It's spring; my favorite season because it symbolizes new life and growth!  Now I am able to go outside to survey my backyard, my secret garden, to see the new growth and what needs to be removed.  My husband and I joke about the importance of timing, pruning and lighting and apply them to things other than gardening.  I apply the concepts to relationships.  Timing is key in relationships.  I appreciate the sage who said, "When the student is ready, the teacher will come." The "right" time can make all the difference between being open or closed to an opportunity.


When it comes to "pruning" and relationships, I especially like the parable Jesus tells in Luke's gospel (13:6-9) of the landowner who, upon looking for fruit from a certain tree, found none.  He instructs his gardener in the following way, "See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none.  Cut it down!

Why should it be wasting the soil?"  The wise gardener replied, "Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good, but if not, you can cut it down."  Relationships can be unproductive.  I am often asked the question, "How long do I keep at it?" How long does a wife stay in what she perceives as a loveless marriage?  How long does a young adult remain estranged from his parents? There are no easy answers.  However, the parable is helpful.  Perhaps putting extra time, energy and nurturing can improve the outcome.  If one doesn't try, one won't know if they've done everything.   


In gardening lighting is everything!  The great masters of art have known this concept (such as my favorite, Monet).  I can see something in the morning light that was missed in the twilight.  If my flowers and vegetables don't get enough light, then their growth is impacted.   How we see others can influence how we treat them.  Do we see our friend in a good light?  Do we judge an action today based on the shadows of the past?   It's much harder to come to a sound decision about someone if I am "in the dark." 


As I assess my garden again, my hope is to use my gardening skills to encourage growth, allow for trial and error, and most importantly, to enjoy it as an opportunity for love.  It is when I nurture, that I receive it. 


Happy planting, timing, pruning and lighting!     


If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?  Pilgrims.


What is a Honeymoon Salad?   Lettuce alone, with no dressing


My wife is a water sign. I'm an earth sign. Together we make mud.

                                                               --Rodney Dangerfield



Book In Review

  A Child's Garden of Verses [Book]

This is an "oldie but goodie" book:  A Child's Garden of Verses (1885) by Robert Louis Stevenson.  For some of you, this may be a familiar author who wrote Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson was a Scottish novelist and poet who lived from 1850 to 1894.  This book of poetry offers a positive reflection on the author's childhood which included illness. 

There is something
quite special about his book of verse to be valued today.  Poets do have a way of saying so much with such imagery and simplicity as the following poems offers:


Night and Day


                                                When the golden day is done,

                                                Through the closing portal,

                                                Child and garden, flower and sun,

                                                Vanish all things mortal.


                                                As the blinding shadows fall,

                                                As the rays diminish, under the

                                    Evening's cloak, they all
                                                Roll away and vanish.


                                                Garden darkened, daisy shut,
                                                Child in bed, they slumber-
                                                Glow-worm in the highway rut,
                                                Mice among the lumber.


                                                In the darkness houses shine,
                                                Parents move with candles;
                                                Till on all, the night divine
                                                Turn the bedroom handles.


                                                Till at last the day begins
                                                In the east a-breaking,
                                                In the hedges and the whins

                                                Sleeping birds awaking.





Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

                     --Marcel Proust


A garden is the best alternative therapy.

                                                  --Germaine Greer


The many great gardeners of the world, of literature and poetry, of painting and music, of religion and architecture, all make the point as clear as possible: The soul cannot thrive in the absence of a garden.  If you don't want paradise, you are not human; and if you are not human you don't have a soul.

                                                  --Thomas Moore


Blueprint  for Success 

Blue Print for SuccessMary Ann Van Buskirk is a  keynote speaker and author and has been selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Blueprint for Success, a highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager.) Van Buskirk, Blanchard and Covey, are joined by other well-known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.
Mary Ann Van Buskirk, M.A., M.Div. is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and co-founder of Positive Coaching with over twenty years of experience as a counselor, trainer and national speaker. People who have worked with her report vast improvements in their abilities to relate in healthier ways at home and at work. Success is a result of healthy relationships.

Workshops & Seminars

Mary Ann offers workshops on a variety of relationship topics. 
For more information visit:
or call
303-692-8006 today!


Mary Ann Van Buskirk
Life Dimensions