And the Stockings Were Hung . . .

Happy December! It’s hard to believe we’re now in the final month of 2017 and it’s time to jump fully into the holiday season. Hence, the stockings.

To prepare the Pink Palace, last night I did a deep clean, hung silver tinsel, needlepoint stockings, and the family’s initials (note our anonymous future pig hanging with me and Tim) to the sound of classical music and snoring pugs.

I’m experiencing feelings of excitement mixed with “omg, where did the year go?!” topped with a slight dizziness. Anyone else?

This final month of the year will be a sweet whirlwind and finale to 2017. In two weeks I’m off to Oklahoma to drop Mookie with his grandparents for the holidays and in three weeks we’ll be arriving in Paris with Belle Starr. In four weeks we’ll be back to DC to lead the Yoga + Mindfulness New Year’s Eve mini retreat, then drive to St. Louis to pick up Mookie!

My parents have graciously agreed to meet us halfway and we’ll be staying in an old train station turned hotel New Year’s Day. Then back to DC and post-holiday life with a possible newly adopted one-eyed senior pug named Gizmo. Just what we need, right? Yes, I may be well on my way to becoming a rescue pug collector!

Throughout December I’ll be sharing ideas for reflection as we bring 2017 to a close *and* announcing a new offering in 2018!

It’s been a year filled with much transition and I look forward to all that lies ahead for each of us. Wishing you a joyful launch into December! Bisous. x

Tranquility du Jour #410: Hemingway

Hemingway with New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Reynolds. In this week’s edition of Tranquility du Jour, Nick and I discuss his recent book Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spyhis longtime love of Hemingway, the writing process, and yoga.

Tranquility du Jour #410: Hemingway with Nicholas Reynolds


Direct download: Tranquility du Jour #410: Hemingway with Nicholas Reynolds

Upcoming Events

Yoga + Mindfulness Mini Retreat in DC: December 31, 2017

Yoga, Mindfulness + Creativity in Costa Rica: February 17-24, 2018

Yoga + Art in West Virginia: June 1-3, 2018

Penning in Paris: July 23-27, 2018

Featured Guest: Nicholas Richards

NICHOLAS REYNOLDS has worked in the fields of modern military history and intelligence off and on for 40 years, with some unusual detours. Freshly minted PhD from Oxford University in hand, he joined the Marine Corps in the 1970s, serving as an infantry officer and then as an historian. As a colonel in the reserves, he eventually became officer in charge of field history, deploying historians around the world to capture history as it was being made. When not on duty with USMC, he served as a CIA officer, most recently as the historian for the CIA Museum. He has also tried his hand at farming, writing a novel, and mountain climbing. One of his proudest moments was making it to the glaciated peak of Mt Baker at the age of 64. He currently teaches as an adjunct professor for Johns Hopkins University and, with his wife, Becky, cares for rescue pugs.

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Launching into the Holidays

When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.—G. K. Chesterton

I hope your launch into the “hollydaze” is filled with gratitude, exhales, and deep connection.

Last night Tim and I curled up fireside with the pups and watched a thriller. Nothing says holiday like a thriller, right?!

Before yesterday’s dinner I created a collage spread about intention (see above image). It feels good to play in paper, washi tape, and pens again. I plan to spend more time this weekend curating—pulling images and words that resonate, then cutting them out to place on a future collage spread.

If you’d like to do the same, the next phase involves creating a collage with the words, images, quotes, paint swatches—anything you find that inspires—and gluing or taping them down.

The final phase is writing on or around the images by answering journal prompts or free writing. Here’s a video I made a few years ago that gives more insight into art journaling and a France travel art journal.

Since we’ve all heard about the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal, a fun spread could be around what you’re grateful for.

This holiday weekend offers an opportunity to shake things up and do things differently. Maybe for you this means sleeping in or traveling to grandma’s. Or maybe it means taking naps and losing yourself in a novel.

Listen deeply to what wants attention and allow yourself to drop into the holiday experience with intention. Set aside the smartphone, roll out your yoga mat, slow down, and savor. Even if it’s only a few minutes and means pumpkin pie for breakfast (my favorite thing about this time of the year).

This weekend I’ll be catching up on online courses while sitting by the fire, writing, reading, walking in the woods, and spending quality time with Tim, Belle, and Mookie. Oh, and art journaling!

Wishing you an ease-filled weekend that nourishes your soul. Bisous. x

P.S. Below is a poem I found a few years ago and thought you, too, may enjoy!

Be Thankful Poem
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.
—Author Unknown