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Living in Montana definitely has its perks- especially this time of the year- during huckleberry season. A few days ago, my son, his girlfriend and I went into the mountains of Montana in search of huckleberries. We drove for a few miles up a dusty, dirt road, then parked the car and hiked into the woods. For those not familiar with huckleberries, they grow on bushes usually not more than 18″ off the ground and produce a somewhat tart berry, most closely resembling a blueberry.P1080594

As usual, I couldn’t help but relate this experience- in this case berry picking- to life. Here are some life lessons I was reminded of while picking huckleberries:

      1. Timing is everything. A week too early and the berries aren’t ripe. A week too late and they’re gone. And like many things in life, you can’t make berries get ripe before their time. It helps to remember that Nature is always right- even when our timing and Divine timing are different
      2. Life is abundant. It you think you’ve run out of berries to pick, just look around you. Chances are if your patch is empty you’ll always find another one just a few steps away.
      3. Getting messy can be fun. Don’t worry about the purple stains on your hands, your sticky fingers, mud on your shorts or anything else. Just enjoy the moment!
      4. Problems exist everywhere. What you focus on grows- and remembering that is critical. The key is to focus on the good things in life- the berries, being in Nature and the beauty of the moment rather than the mosquitoes, the flies, the neighboring thorn bushes, the heat or anything else. Choose to focus on the good things.
      5. Things are always more fun when we share them with friends. When you’re heading off to do something fun, share the experience with someone you love.
      6. Collaboration works better than competition. It seems like when we were each trying to fill our own bags with berries, the process was much slower than when jointly tried to fill one bucket. And, it was more fun to work together in the same patch too.
      7. Persistence pays off. If you keep on picking what’s in front of you, eventually your bucket will be full.
      8. Perspective changes everything.If you’re not happy- change your perspective. In the case of picking huckleberries, it’s a literal change. The perspective from above and below are quite different. Most times, the best things in life lie under the surface. If you’re standing in the forest looking down at a huckleberry bush, most times it will look like a bear has already enjoyed the feast, as the berries are hidden underneath the leaves and can’t normally be seen from above. But, when you kneel down on the ground and look up at the bushes, you will find plump, purple berries just waiting to be picked.  It’s when we turn things upside down and look at the world differently that circumstances usually change for the better in our lives as well. (In the photos below, the left photo is looking at the bush from above, and the right photo is the same bush looking up from the ground.)
      9. Gratitude works. Every time I had thoughts of “no more berries”, I was consciously grateful for the berries that we’d already picked and almost immediately we found more unpicked berries. The process seems endless
      10. Share. Always leave some for the bears and others to enjoy, knowing there will always be more next season.Screen Shot 2010 08 17 At 8.02.59 Am
      11. There is nothing so sweet as enjoying the fruits of our efforts, or in this case, eating an amazing huckleberry pie, made with love from the berries that we just picked. When we’re tired of “working” and we’re tempted to quit, it helps to keep the reward in mind. Just visualizing that mouth-watering yummy pie made it easy to pick more than enough berries for our pie, and provided a wonderful way to spend a summer day in Montana.
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Gail Lynne Goodwin is the founder of, bringing the best inspiration to the world. provides free inspiration, each day from a new Inspirational Luminary, to a global community of folks from over 150 countries. Gail has interviewed many well-known names including Sir Richard Branson, Guy Laliberte, Seth Godin, Tony Hseih, Gary Vaynerchuk, Michael Gerber, Marci Shimoff, Jack Canfield and hundreds more. According to Mashable, Gail was one of 2009's Top 25 Most Inspirational People on Twitter.

Prior to, Gail spent several years as manager for her recording artist daughter, Carly. As a result of the success of their co-penned song, "Baby Come Back Home", Gail accompanied her daughter to bases in the US and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where Carly performed for our troops. Gail and Carly created the 'World's Longest Letter' of love and support and delivered the 18-mile long scroll on a month-long tour of Iraq and the Persian Gulf in 2006.

Gail is excited to present her latest course, Love in 21 Days, a step-by-step guide to finding love online. Love in 21 Days is founded on a logical process that has been tested - and proven! - by not only Gail, but also by students around the world who too have found love.

Gail is a published author and a regular writer for the Huffington Post. She offers mentoring and mastermind services to clients worldwide from her home in Whitefish, Montana. Follow Gail on Twitter or Google+.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. hahaha

    You summed me up in the 1st one, my timing is alway off 😉
    and #5 Things are always more fun when we share them with friends !!! Amen to this cause without friends I find it hard to enjoy anything

    Hope the pie was good, sure looks good, YUM YUM 🙂

  2. Love all of these….especially the reminder that our timing is not always God’s timing. Thank you for the encouragement to persist in chasing my dreams!

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