Weekend Review: Pigs + Parents in TN



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Weekend Review

I crawled out from under my faux down comforter Friday morning and peeked onto a big box parking lot in Jamestown, Tennessee. That morning we were headed to the Pig Preserve and I was like a little girl Christmas morning eager to unpack her stocking.

Tim, Mookie, and I headed south Thursday afternoon in the vintage camper that toted us around Northern America during the 2013 Tranquility Tour. After an eight-hour drive, we pulled into that parking lot to rest and await the next morning’s festivities.

Touring the Pig Preserve for three hours with the founder Rich Hoyle was an honor. We expected a downpour but the rain held out for our entire visit. He carried us along on his tractor to visit the various herds nesting like royalty on his picturesque 100-acre property. I snuggled up to a variety of farm and potbelly pigs, met a wild boar, and bonded with his rescue dogs. His female pit/lab mix insisted on riding up front in the tractor with us. She’d wrap her arms around me and begin humping my right side if I got in and took her place. I quickly learned to let her in first.

Next we headed to the University of Tennessee so I could get more scoop on their Veterinary Social Work certificate. When I found the flier for this program in the bottom of my swag bag at a recent therapy conference, my heart raced. I tucked the flier inside my Daybook and have carried it everywhere since finding it. Synchronicity.

Finally we headed to Gatlinburg to meet up with my parents for the next few days. My father was there to take a photography workshop so we spent hours exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Mom and, of course, Mookie. The dense forest, layered mountains, and smoke-like fog were mesmerizing and the perfect backdrop for numerous photos.

After another overnight stay in a big box parking lot somewhere in Virginia last night, we made it back to DC this afternoon with a full heart. Hard to believe yesterday at this time we were deep in the Smokie mountains. It’s almost discombobulating to shift so quickly among settings.

May and June are overflowing with an assortment of travels: trainings, hosting retreats, going on retreat, visiting family, another Garth concert (I mean, it’s been nearly two months!), and attending conferences. The abundance of away time wasn’t intentional and once I realized that every weekend from late April to early July was filled, I shook my head. How can so many things of interest be happening in such a short amount of time?! Once this passes, I’ll be full of new information and (hopefully) inspiration and most eager to nest.

As I move into a three-day week before heading to Pittsburg for a Creative Nonfiction Writers’ Conference, I’m grateful to sleep in a non-moving enclosure, see clients, teach mindfulness at Tranquil Space, and brush my teeth with running water. Although falling asleep to the sound of rain pelting the camper’s metal roof and the stream outside our window at the campground is hard to beat. Bisous. x

Savvy Sources

Why New Yorkers Have Always Worn Black
Farm Sanctuary’s New York Hoe Down
7 Ways to Display Photos at Home
Beginner’s Body Scan Practice
New York Times: A Humane Revolution
Emilie Wapick Ted Talk: Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling
The Crossroads of Should and Must
The Richness of Everyday Life

Make Beautiful Moments


This weekend I hosted the annual spring Art + Yoga retreat in the wild and wonderful woods of West Virginia. After weeks of rain, the leaves were a vibrant shade of lime green and moss covered the forest’s floor.

I spent 24 hours before the guests’ arrival setting the stage for beautiful moments: hanging handmade bunting, chalkboard signs, and twinkle lights; planting marigolds; decorating with pink peonies, purple petunias, and white candles; and stuffing their goody bags with sensory delights (candles, French soaps, lavender bath fizzies, lavender tea).

Throughout the weekend I encouraged the ladies to look for beautiful moments—everyday things that bring joy and can be missed while immersed in thought or rushing from A to B. One may be more attune to these simple pleasures while on retreat. But we don’t have to go away to appreciate them.

The above collage from my Instagram feed shares a glimpse into beautiful moments ranging from enjoying tea to yoga to books to flowers to embroidery to art supplies.

It’s easy to fall into the “who has time for that” mode when looking at our to-do lists. Yet the good news is that we often don’t have to go oroseut of our way to have beautiful moments. They surround us. It does, however, take slowing down and paying attention.

Why do we value putting all our energy into preparing for the future and missing the moments in front of us?

Let’s notice the smell of tea, the taste of dark chocolate, the purr of a cat, the well manicured lawn, the blooming rose bush, the laughter of a colleague, the feel of a book in your hands, the joy of an update from a loved one, the sound of rain.

When are days are over, will we remember that we knocked that one more thing off the list or that we slowed down to truly smell the roses? Bisous. x


Tranquility du Jour #370: Sipping Tea

Sipping Tea with Andy Hayes. Hear the story behind his tea business’ mantra “making moments matter,” how we collaborated to create the tranquility tea blend, and how he bookends his day for tranquility.

Tranquility du Jour #370: Sipping Tea



g0TBXe58Vf4OufS8bwG1BNXvwrNAwj5_VhZ4U-KYlKgFeatured Guest: Andy Hayes is a tea aficionado and advocate for self care + first class living. He believes that to live a life you love, you have to focus on creating moments that matter. Based in Portland, Oregon, Andy is the founder and creator of Plum Deluxe Teas.


Savvy Sources

Upcoming Events

Penning in Parisvirtualretreat: June 6-10 {2 spots}

TDJ Live {Seasonal Podcast}: June 16 at 8pmET

Yoga + the Animals at Burleigh Manor Animal Sanctuary: June 18

Tranquility Virtual Retreat: July 9

Writing in the Woods: October 28-30 {6 spots}


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