Love Notes

More than kisses, letters mingle souls.—John Donne

Receiving a handwritten letter in the mail is a true delight. I rip it open with a big smile on my face and typically sit down to drink it in. Since the sale of Tranquil Space, I’ve been privy to more snail mail than usual and it’s meant so much. I have a stack on my desk that feels like a shrine.

Since childhood I’ve been a letter writer—thank you notes, get well cards, condolences. My beloved Gramma and I communicated via snail mail for nearly four decades. I have an entire basket dedicated to stationery waiting to be written upon along with pretty floral postage stamps, piles of washi tape, and a personalized rubber stamp with my address to I dip into pink ink.

Writing a letter is a sensory experience. Typically there’s a cuppa tea nearby and a candle burning. I love the feel of the  paper and pen in my hand, the sealing of the envelope with washi tape, and the dropping of the letter into the big blue post box.

Yesterday I stuffed 20 envelopes with lavender tea, a 5×7 photo from our Team Thank You Soirée, and a handwritten love note sealed with gold polka-dot washi tape. Later I created 125 goody packets shown above for Shape Soiree {where I’ll be speaking on 10/20}. All of these hand packaged goodies were dropped at the Post Office today and I’m eager for them to make their way into their new homes.

Within the next few days I’ll be sending a Love Note out to all newsletter subscribers. If you’re not yet on the list, please feel free join. It gets you access to Tranquil Treasures and occasional updates straight to your inbox. While it’s not the same as snail mail, I treat it with the same loving care because . . . letters mingle souls. Bisous. x

September in Review

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.—Albert Camus

Month in Review

First off, sending so much love to Las Vegas, Florida, Puerto Rico, Houston, and beyond. I’ve linked to various ways we can offer support right now. What a tough few weeks it’s been across the U.S. and the islands! Please take good care of yourself and share what you can with the many who are suffering right now.

The transition from summer to fall has always been my favorite. While I like the sunshine and activity of summertime, I adore the slower pace and reflective nature of fall. I guess as a highly sensitive introvert, it simply fits me better.

September brought an excursion to the National Arboretum, a dog-friendly winery, and two weekend trips to celebrate Tim’s birthday in Montreal and to attend a writing workshop near San Francisco. During the San Francisco trip, I hit City Lights Bookstore and Vesuvio cafe—two literary hot spots of the Beat Generation. I also did a tour of the Beat Museum and picked up a tee with a vintage Underwood typewriter on it. I have my Gramma’s vintage Underwood so it made me smile!

Saturday Tim and I attended a yoga with the pigs and volunteer event at Whispering Rise Sanctuary where we cleaned out six huts’ old straw and replaced it with broken up bales of fresh straw. You’ll see the photos toward the bottom. The last pic is me trying to lure a senior potbelly out of the hut so we could clean it. He was having none of it.

Since the transition of Tranquil Space to YogaWorks, I get a lot of questions about how I feel or what I’m doing now. I don’t feel like I’ve yet settled into the “new normal,” but I sense a shift on the horizon. Honestly, I still don’t have a good answer to the first question and I’m becoming more okay with that. Maybe I don’t need to have the answers, especially when I’m living it. Those will, hopefully, come later.

This makes me think of Rilke:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Wishing you a glorious, colorful October filled with living the questions. Bisous. x

September Blog/Podcast Wrap Up

Transitions Podcast
Scenes from Tranquil Space’s Team Thank You Soiree
Everyday Tranquility
Creating with Purpose and Saving the Elephants Podcast
Daybook + Playbook Pre-Sale

October Wish List

Release two podcasts
Host inspiring luncheon talk at Shape Soiree
Collaborate with clients
Read, write, and practice yoga daily
Write 5,000 words of memoir
Tea dates with friends
Dive into Veterinary Social Work curriculum
Spend a full day in declutter mode
Host inspiring Writing in the Woods retreat
Start Certificate in Positive Psychology course
Picnic with friend for Opera Outside
Visit the Renoir and Friends exhibit

Savvy Sources

What I’ve Learned (and Unlearned) About ‘French Girl Style’
End Factory Farming Podcast
Cheryl Strayed is Fed Up with Memoir Bashing
8 Budget-Friendly Ways to Update Your Space
World’s Best Bookstores
Introverts Don’t Hate People, They Hate Shallow Socializing
Do You Want to Be Known For Your Writing, or Your Swift Email Responses?
A 5-minute Mindfulness Practice
James Baldwin’s Advice on Writing
Aimless Walking Meditation
I Went Vegan Like Beyonce: Here’s What Happened
The Transformative Power of Writing
The One Less Straw Pledge

Tranquility du Jour #406: The Story Behind Shape Soiree

The Story Behind Shape Soiree with Kelly Kostecki and AnnMarie Grohs. In this week’s edition of Tranquility du Jour, we chat about their inspiration to pull together a 3-day event in Richmond to shape lives, the importance of self-care, helpful tips and resources for finding balance.

Tranquility du Jour #406: The Story Behind Shape Soiree


Direct download: Tranquility du Jour #406: The Story Behind Shape Soiree


Featured Guest: Kelly Kosteki + AnnMarie Grohs


Born and raised in the Heartland, Kelly grew up an Indiana Hoosier with a love for all things sports, travel, and school.  The thrill of adventure and lure of new cultures soon led Kelly away from her Midwestern roots to soak up the sun and Southern hospitality of the South Carolina Low Country.  It was there, while competing as an Athlete at the College of Charleston that her drive for peak physical performance led to injury and she first found herself on a yoga mat.  Admittedly, at first, yoga was simply a way to ease and loosen her overworked and burned out muscles.  However, soon she was overtaken by the stillness awakened in her mind and the spiritual connection encountered by her heart, which ultimately hooked her for life.

Since those early years Kelly has kept her passion for the practice as a focal point in her life, allowing it to shape the very essence of who she is, what she loves, and how she gives back to her community.  Her continued deep devotion and belief in the transformational power yoga provides, eventually led Kelly to receive her 500 hour RYT from Tranquil Space in Washington, DC, the home of all things goddess and glitter.  She then went onto open her own yoga studio, Om On Yoga, in Richmond, VA in 2010.  Through this venture, Kelly is deeply honored to share her experience and provide a nurturing space that offers a warm and inviting community to those who yearn for the beauty of yoga in their lives.  Kelly is also the creator of Shop Om On, a hip online boutique offering consciously curated fashion and goods for the active and holistic lifestyle.

When she’s not on her mat, a Raspberry colored Manduka to be exact, Kelly can be found globetrotting to far off and sometimes exotic but mostly laid back destinations, burrowing deep in a good book, relishing in the quiet solace of the outdoors, or savoring the pure goodness of a great acoustic guitarist.  Richmond, Virginia is where Kelly calls home.  She lives there with her incredible husband, and fellow yogi, Ken, and her sassy Schnauzer, Miss Gracie Mae.

AnnMaire Grohs ran her first 10k in college. And she came in dead last – behind a team of 8 people carrying a Santa sleigh.


Ever since then, AnnMarie has challenged herself to do better – to do more – always striving for one goal: wellness. And to never again be bested by a gaggle of people carrying a large prop.

AnnMaire’s journey to wellness has taken her many places – to Chicago where she learned to appreciate the outdoors when she could; to D.C. where she learned the limits of – and ways – to challenge her body; and to Richmond where she learned the effect that food could have on her overall.

It all ultimately drove her to open Boho Cycle studio, a Richmond, Va.-based indoor cycling studio focusing on fitness, nutrition, and health.

Today, AnnMarie continues to explore her commitment to wellness, keenly aware that wellness isn’t a fraction of life: it’s the whole of it.

 “The most important thing is fun,” she says. “You’ve got to have fun – and know what does your body good: whether that’s a run, a salad, yoga, reading a book, or knowing what clothes look good on your body.”

And AnnMarie continues her wellness journey. She still partakes of all the foods she loves – in moderation – and is aware that she’s constantly evolving. What worked for her 10 years ago may not work for her today – or 10 years from now. But she’s committed to sharing that journey and knowledge. And she hasn’t been beaten by a team of people carrying Santa’s sleigh again. Yet.

Upcoming Events

Daybook + Playbook Pre-sale: through October 20

Shape Soirée Talk in Richmond: October 20

Writing in the Woods in West Virginia: October 27-29 {2 spots left}

Yoga + Mindfulness Mini Retreat in DC: December 31

Yoga, Mindfulness + Creativity in Costa Rica: February 17-24

Yoga + Art in West Virginia: May, 2018 TBA

Savvy Sources

Find Kelly + AnnMarie

Mentioned in the Podcast

Social Media

Tranquility Tips + Tools



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