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Everyday Tranquility {+ Giveaway}

Today I’m delighted to be part of Bella Grace‘s Blog Hop along with 15 other beautiful writers. See below for a chance to win a copy of Bella Grace‘s latest work, Field Guide to Everyday Magic, and read along for a muse on everyday tranquility.

There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness.—Shannon L. Alder

Over the past few weeks I’ve said goodbye to many things—a business I nurtured for 18 years, a therapy job and dear clients at a downtown center, a beloved neighborhood cat whose meow has been replaced with a shrine, and an office I’ve used since launching private practice. And these are just the ones at the top of my mind as I pen this post.

When I consider these changes, I’m reminded that change is the one constant in our lives and the ability to weather these shifts is what truly leads to everyday tranquility.

Sure, being surrounded by tranquility tools such as journals, cups of tea, flowers, books, and loved ones is divine, but those not-so-tranquil moments in between is when we’re tested and, ultimately, can grow.

For nearly two decades I’ve written about tranquility and shared numerous ways to find it in every day here on the blog, in the podcast, through books, and on retreats. Yet I’m learning that my ability to maintain a sense of tranquility is best when it’s not dependent on outside circumstances since they are constantly in flux.

I believe that what matters most is having a sense of tranquility deep within. A self-compassionate spirit that speaks kindly to oneself when under pressure and whispers a gentle, “bless your heart.”

I believe everyday tranquility is found through tiny pauses in between. For example, before diving into projects and seeing clients, I started today with a soak in the tub. Between clients and a meeting, I stopped into a local salad shop for a spinach, arugula, watermelon, and peach salad. As I type this, I’m sipping a green juice and facing the window to savor natural light. After seeing clients tonight, I’ll meet up with a girlfriend to see the Thich Nhat Hahn film, Walk With Me.

Sure, these are small every day sort of things, but they contribute to feeling grounded while the world whirls around me.

Life is not perfect. Change is hard. Loss stings. Flat surfaces in my home (such as those shown in these photos) are often covered with a thin layer of black pet hair and I eat too much sugar. As the above quote notes, “There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness.”

I  believe everyday tranquility is found in our imperfection. Embrace what makes you uniquely you. Find your own voice. Live out loud and don’t apologize.

Wishing you deep, intimate moments of messy, everyday tranquility. Bisous. x

Giveaway: Share a takeaway from today’s post in the comments section below by Sunday, September 17 noon ET 11:59pm for a chance to win a free copy of Field Guide to Everyday Magic. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents. International participants are eligible to receive a free digital edition of Bella Grace. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced here on Sunday evening. Good luck!

A Peek into WV Retreat

If you don’t love the sea, the sun, all the simple pleasures, what sort of life are you going to have?—Marty Rubin

Last weekend nine beautiful souls descended on Tim’s cabin. As you can see, Belle was enthralled.

I had succulents and goody bags waiting by their beds and decorated the cabins with twinkle lights and bunting. Tim made vegan and veg cuisine topped with ample kale chips, green juice breaks, and dessert. We practiced yoga on the porch, set intentions, watched Funny Face while creating in art journals, roasted vegan s’mores by a campfire, and created action plans.

After spending a few days immersed in nature, yoga, art, and kind spirits, it can be jarring to think of returning to the real world. To help with the transition, I came up with five post-retreat tranquility tips.

1. Slow. Let your return be gradual. Create space for yourself to ease back into routine. Keep the slower pace of the retreat with you. Remember to breathe and observe what is happening within you.

2. Nook. Create a space to hold memories of what fed you on this retreat—a photo, quote, page from your art journal, yoga pose. Have your art supplies and yoga mat in this nook so that you can create and practice during those sweet moments in between.

3. Hold. Keep the retreat experience close to your heart. Honor how you showed up. Remember the smell, taste, sound, touch, and views of where you were.

4. Space. Carve out a sense of spaciousness in your schedule. Avoid overbooking and work with your energy flow. Midday naps or walks around a city block can have a profound effect on the mind, body, and spirit.

5. Explore. Consider how you are different from your time away. What do you understand better about yourself? What were your takeaways and how will it expand at home?

Since you, too, may be headed off on an adventure this weekend, I thought these may be helpful for  a smooth return. Safe travels this weekend. May it be restorative and intentional with hints of decadence. Bisous.