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Category: well-being

Happy Summer Solstice

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald

Earlier today I received a sweet email from someone worried that she wasn’t getting my posts in her inbox anymore. I reminded her that I was taking a bit of a blogging/Love Note break for the first time since 2004.

I’m in one of those creative fallow spaces where I’m stepping out of routine to reassess and rest.

Creativity goes in cycles. Sometimes there’s a harvest, sometimes there’s planting seeds, and sometimes there’s leaving it fallow to restore. I’m in the latter at the moment.

As promised, podcasts are still releasing every other week, I’m still posting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and penning blog posts here and there.

And although for the first time in a decade I’m not hosting the online Summer Solstice gathering, I wanted to wish each of you a sacred launch into this new season. This is the longest day and shortest night of the year. It’s a wonderful time to do some seasonal reflection.

What cycle are you in right now? Planting, harvesting, resting. What do you crave most?

For me, it’s time curled up with a book (just finished Apprenticed to Venus: My Secret Life with Anaïs Nin = SO good), writing in my Moleskine, long walks with Tim and the pups, tending my garden, nurturing my clients, practicing yoga, and enjoying experiences like plays at The Kennedy Center and weekend jaunts away.

May summertime bring you a sense of beginning over again. I like to think that each day (or moment) offers this opportunity and, yet, there is something about summer that brings us back to a childlike state—playing in the sand, letting watermelon juice run off our chins, climbing trees, watching fireflies, camping under the stars. Bisous. x

You Can Be Brave

The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.
—Elizabeth Cady Stanton

I snapped this photo of my office after a client’s session today. To frame this post, I looked up quotes about being brave and came across the one above by Stanton. It felt apropos considering what happened on the Hill today and what happens within us when we are unwilling to give voice to our truth.

Although sometimes we’re not clear on our truth and, as we grow and change, need to spend some time exploring and questioning things we may have considered truths.

There’s a mindfulness saying I like, “Is it true? Is it real?” What we feel and think is real. It’s real to us. However, is it true? For example, is it really too late to go back to school? Are there really no other options for handling a tough situation? Is it really true you have to work 24/7?

Sometimes we get so stuck in our definition of truth that we fail to see alternatives and can feel trapped. Bravery is stepping outside those long-held beliefs and considering a different way.

And when we take a step back from doing things as we’ve always done them, we may find ourselves shining in new ways. Life looks different. We’re no longer just following an old path or outdated way of being and thinking, but we’ve given space for something brewing deep within to begin to blossom.

What would being brave look like for you? Bisous. x

Everyday Mindful Moments

In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.—Eckhart Tolle

Recently I hosted a weekend retreat in the woods of West Virginia. We practiced yoga and mindfulness, dabbled in paint and collage, and roasted vegan s’mores over a campfire. For many, they confessed that it had been far too long since they’d taken time to  focus on their inner selves.

Taking the time to stop and notice what’s going on in the body and mind is challenging. It requires shifting from autopilot, carving out space to push the pause button, noticing the mind’s activity, feeling any emotions that arise, and observing the body’s physical sensations.

The good news is that we don’t have to wait for a weekend retreat to hit reset. You can do it right now. Stop reading and take three deep breaths . . . voilà, you did it!

In the above photo collage, I captured a few sweet moments from May—trying to do yoga despite my pups antics, walking a labyrinth, setting out succulents to greet the retreaters, savoring tea at the new Laduree in Georgetown. It’s these spontaneous mindful moments that make my day brighter and offer a mini-retreat in the middle of everyday life.

Here’s how I like to take a mindful moment:

Sip a cuppa tea
Write a love note
Practice yoga
Sit in meditation
Read in a café 
Eat a plant-based meal
Journal
Sit in a park
Connect with a friend
Get my hands dirty in the garden
Drink a green juice
Take a walk
Ride my bike
Soak in the tub
Savor dark chocolate
Connect to my breath
Spend time with animals
Embroider
Plan my day in color
Walk the pups
Sit fireside or around a campfire
Take photos

These are my simple every day activities that offer an opportunity to slow down, tune in, and savor the moment. What are yours? List them. Then choose three to make a priority today.

As Annie Dillard reminds us, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” I believe that our days, and lives, are made up of these tiny moments. Namaste.