Final crisp air of the last days of winter fragile, foolish hopes glisten with the frost my life is cracking open to reveal a new season finding shelter from sunlight in the cool moss It's hard to keep turning pages when the book seems halfway finished making paper cranes with yellowed edges translating words that weren't written in english Skittish tip-toe steps towards the sunrise unsure sounds of someone else, footsteps at my side breathe me in deeply with the humid air of summer protective ribcage sanctuary, by your heart I will reside
This is the New Year
The new year emerges under ice and snow the shivering beauty of fresh starts are still tangled with somber shadows The new year reminds us that beginnings and endings are both as sharp as the cutting winter wind amid this season of death, space is made for the spring The new year slips silently past the white horizon bringing the bright, painful light of sober morning to aching heads and rooms littered with good time debris The new year offers a choice to change the opportunity to bravely face another blank slate a promise we can make ourselves to keep moving forward
Just Say Yes
Just say yes, and see where life takes you you can't avoid mistakes but you can embrace them allow your troubles and trials to transform you to teach you new ways to move through Realize it's not a requirement to waste time second guessing there comes a point in your journey when you've got to trust believe that you know the right path to take even though you can never be 100% certain of an intuition Life isn't about being certain or being right like I once thought it's just about being, fully belonging to whatever comes your way bending with the wind, joining in the graceful dance of tree branches bobbing above the waves rather than holding your breath Accept the inevitability of regret and keep going anyway give yourself the grace to falter and fall off course find rest in the strange wisdom that most of the great things in life were never planned or anticipated Not knowing what comes next is what creates the adventure it's okay to feel afraid as long as your truly feeling endless repetition seems safe until it creates a numbness that seeps into your bones and leaves your soul soggy Bear your tender heart to the warm light of a new day even knowing that there is a chance for thunder and rain dare to acknowledge how resilient you really are and step out continuously into the crisp air of the unknown
My New July Routines
Happy July everyone! It’s a brand new month full of possibilities and promise. I always love the firsts. First day of the year, first day of the month, first day of the week even. It always feels like a fresh start, a clean slate. July is probably one of my favorite months of the year too, which makes today extra special for me. In just a few more days it’ll be my favorite holiday, Independence Day. There couldn’t possibly be a better time or headspace for me to start cultivating some new self-love routines. Today I wanted to share these new routines with you. Feel free to incorporate them into your day and/or tweak them to better suit your needs.
Morning Goals/Intention Setting:
The first new habit I’ve decided to add into my day starts first thing in the morning. Usually it’s really hard for me to wake up, but this morning I was actually so excited to start my new daily ritual that I woke up feeling great and ready to start a the day. After feeding my fur children, starting a pot of coffee, and brushing my teeth, I went out on my back porch in the warm, morning air. I sat down and listened to the sound of light rain surrounding me. I placed one hand on my heart, one hand on my belly and took five deep, mindful breaths. I wanted to take a moment to check in with my physical body and ground myself, as well as send myself some loving, gentle energy. Then I asked myself these three questions:
- What do I want to focus on today?
- What do I want to accomplish today?
- How can I show myself love today?
I can’t even remember a morning where I took a moment to offer myself this sort of kindness. It took less than five minutes, and it was an absolutely wonderful way to begin the day.
Healthy, Mindful Eating:
Somehow during the pandemic, I acquired some pretty unhealthy eating habits. The main one I’ve still been unable to shake is not eating all day, then eating a day’s worth of food right before I go to bed. Obviously not ideal. Starting today, I am going back to eating regular meals throughout the day. I’ve read a lot of great things about mindful eating so I wanted to sprinkle that into my new eating routine as well. Just like with my new morning ritual, I am going to begin each meal by taking five deep, mindful breaths and really checking in with my body. How am I feeling? What does it feel like to be hungry, for my stomach to be empty? Then unlike what I’ve done practically my entire life, I am not going to watch anything or do anything else at all while I eat. I do put some lofi hip hop on, just to calm my nerves a bit. Then I have my meal while really focusing on the food as I eat it, chewing it slowly and intentionally. Finally, I finish my meals with a cup of my favorite tea (dandelion root). After my tea, once again I close my eyes and take five more mindful breaths.
Even though my lunch ended up getting pushed back quite a bit due to a very hectic and busy workday, I still managed to maintain my new routine. After a full day of eating this way, I already feel a huge difference. It was much easier than I expected to simply focus on my meal and be present instead of zoning out by watching some TV show. It definitely helped me stay connected to my body and feel more satisfied by my food.
Not only am I going to start my day with mindfulness and intention, but I want to make sure that after a day full of activity, I make time to wind down before bed. This routine will start at 9PM ideally (I usually go to bed by 10) and will consist of:
- Brushing/flossing my teeth (I have yummy watermelon flavored kids toothpaste for my nighttime brushing.)
- Washing my face and putting on a moisturizing night cream
- More tea
- Gentle self-massage (checking in with body to decide where it’s most needed of course)
- Evening check-in
Tonight I added some gentle yoga in bed as well since I didn’t have time for my practice earlier in the day. It was such a wonderful end to a peaceful, nearly stress-free day.
I plan to end my bedtime routine and my day with something similar to the way I started it. I want to start and end my days with intentional self love. Lately it’s felt like I’m just this floating mind, full of stress and nervous energy. It’s important to me to make an effort to reconnect with my physical body and make sure I am taking care of myself properly. Just as my morning ritual does, my evening check-in will also begin by taking five deep breaths. Then I’ll ask myself a few more questions:
- How was your day?
- What was the overall impression/vibe?
- What went well?
- What is something I am proud of/grateful for?
- How might I use what I learned today to build myself a better day tomorrow?
It was really delightful to sit with myself regularly throughout the day at mealtimes and to start and end my day mindfully. Often times even though I begin a new routine filled with excitement and high hopes, I’ll eventually feel overwhelmed by it. That’s why my goal for these new routines is to treat it more like a little self-experiment. Can I do this for 30 days? How will I feel at the end of the month? How might I be different? What can I learn through this experience? I am so excited to keep the momentum going as long as I can and discover new things about myself along the way. Let me know if you decide to try any of these routines for yourself and what you thought of them.