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Kimberly Thorson Rundles

"Amidst the wild vines and the wiggly worms, the beautiful blooms and the buzzy bees, I am digging with gratitude. Gratitude for my freckles and my freedom. Gratitude for the wisdom and windblown hair."


Delightfully unrestrained, a loosened tendril playfully flops into my field of vision. All attempts to corral it with the back of my dirt-caked hand only serve to encourage it in a grimy game of peekaboo. Pollen dusts the apples of my cheeks and a mix of sweat and soil smears and spatters on my forearms swirling in artful patterns. It is Spring in East Tennessee and the balmy weather has gently coaxed the slumbering weeds and dozing flowers and snoozing veggies awake from their earthen beds. I am digging.

Hands and knees in the red southern clay. With every inhalation, the newly-born gold and ivory honeysuckle blossoms whisk me back to the innocence of childhood and big amber jars of sweet sun tea, their heady scent carried on the morning breeze. I lean back on my heels and let the sunshine hopscotch the freckles on my nose. Some people, individuals that likely would never dare catch themselves knee-deep in a lettuce bed, may whisper coyly that I’ve reached a point where these spotted “signs of age” should be cause for concern. An alarm clock of sorts to alert me that my “mid-thirty gonna find it hard to compete with the younger crowd” self should be booking Botox and donning Lulu’s for the gym instead. Those people make me laugh.

I love the sunshine. I love the dirt and the grass and the way the wind tangles my hair. I love my old faded tank-top and worn-in jean shorts and my forest green garden clogs. And I especially love my freckles. Even as a child, I remember thinking that the prettiest girls in grade school were the ones who had freckles and glasses. So, quite frankly, I couldn’t care less what the Botox bunch thinks. I’m grateful for who I am and what I’ve got and the insta-fake social standards with their cookie-cutter clique’s can simply move on. I’ve got digging to do.

Perhaps this sense of being at peace with oneself is something that simply comes with the natural passage of time. Like a fine wine, a woman’s depth and sweetness only curated with the ripening of age. I could most certainly ascribe to that line of thought. Many a man has been said to find the clarity, substance and relaxed nature that comes with a woman who has taken the time to get to know herself is not only attractive but downright delightful. This is no superficial side-piece, this is a woman who has done some digging.

As a Holistic Life Coach, one of the first things that new clients do when working with me is to participate in some good ole’ fashioned digging. The Greek philosopher Aristotle once stated that “knowing thyself is the beginning of all wisdom.” So, it is always interesting to see, for both coach and client, how well they “know thyself.” And then, like any good gardener, we take a good honest look and get to digging.

One of the most fascinating places to begin digging is in the area of Character Strengths. Scientifically speaking, we have twenty-four distinctive character strengths that every individual on the planet possesses at differing degrees. Personally, my greatest character strength is gratitude. It is the quality that comes most naturally to me, the most predominant part of my personality that impacts how I think, feel and behave. Gratitude is the “master tool” in my tool-shed that I use effectively every single day to help me live my best life.

So, what about you? Are you living your best life? Do you truly know thyself? What do you lead with? With what lens do you view the world? It is with Love? Honesty? Bravery? Humor? The answer might surprise you. I know that mine surprised me, but I kept digging and the result was something really beautiful. A deep sense of inner peace, cultivated over time. The bountiful harvest of a woman comfortable with watering and weeding and planting and digging.

And so it is this morning, as I feel a trickle of sweat run down my neck and lean forward once again into the work ahead, I do so with gratitude. Amidst the wild vines and the wiggly worms, the beautiful blooms and the buzzy bees, I am digging with gratitude. Gratitude for my freckles and my freedom. Gratitude for the wisdom and windblown hair. I am digging. How about you?


Kimberly currently resides in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee where her biggest blessings call her momma. A Professional Life Coach and Behavioral Consultant, she gets a real kick out of helping people uncover their hidden treasures, discover their God-given destiny, and then bravely get out there and truly live life. You can read more from her and discover your own hidden gems at

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