Sunday, February 14, 2021

Rewilding


"He found the wild trapped within my heart.  Instead of trying to tame it, he tore the cage apart."
-Vivi Dale

Friday, February 12, 2021

Reset

 

How is everyone doing?  How are things going?  Are you getting into the swing of the new year, have you set your intentions, are you sticking to your resolutions?  Yes?  No?  Maybe you're a little like me, and would find it useful this time of year to press pause, take a little stock, and check in with yourself.  I know a lot of my posts lately are about "what do I want to take with me throughout the year," or, "how do I want to experience this or that," but that really is how I use my Winter months.  As the year winds down, I take a look back at what worked, and what didn't, what I want more of, and what I'd like to have a less of, and spend some time figuring out exactly how to make that happen for the incoming year.  I focus on what I want to grow, and expand, more than the things I'd like to quash, mainly because I've found in my life, what I dwell on, I just get more of ... You know what they say:  What you fight, you ignite!  So, instead of battling all of the things I'd like to eliminate from my life, I like to keep my attention trained on everything I want to increase, and as the good things proliferate the bad things just kind of naturally get pushed out entirely.  

Overall, it makes for much more peaceful transitions, a happier experience, and is a lot less exhausting.

Once I've decided what I'm working toward, I begin each January by mapping out, and practicing how I'd like to spend the rest of the year ... A little "try before you buy" sort of thing.  Like, can I really spend 12 whole months on this journey, in this way, or do I need to change up a couple of things to make life run a little more smoothly?  And that's what I use the Lunar New Year for.  To me, it's the perfect time to reassess everything, lift the hood, kick the tires, and make the necessary changes for a successful year.  If you celebrate the dawning of a new year on January 1st, and you had all of your intentions in place, and you've managed to slip off the wagon, or you're clinging by a finger ... Here's your reset!  And frankly, I think it's going to be a doozy, so you'll want to hop back up and get a good seat.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not encouraging folks to go out and start appropriating things that aren't ours to be fussing with.  We don't need to be invading, and taking things over, and acting like we invented them, but I definitely think it's a worthwhile activity to learn about cultures that are not our own, and partake in celebrations, and incorporate pieces that we find uplifting and useful into our own regularly scheduled lives.  I mean, honestly I think we should all be celebrating a lot more holidays anyway, because I've always felt that anything that causes us to slow down, savour the moment, and increase our joy and the pleasure of being alive is a wonderful thing.  

Plus, there's this Christmas-horse-skeleton-thing I'm really looking forward to getting into if I can remember it this year.

Anyway, the Year of the Ox is upon us, and with it, a time of unwavering determination, and strength of character will be ushered in.  Everything I've read about it sounds refreshing, and hopeful in that some of the very best change in life comes as the direct result of putting a little elbow-grease into whatever you're doing, and I think this is going to be a year that involves a lot of hard (but rewarding) work, discipline, and organization— three things that will always have a spot in the dictionary of my Love Language, so I am stoked!  Besides, what better time than now to correct your path (if need be) than with this confident, and steadfast energy fueling your decisions?  It seems like we've got the perfect opportunity to lay down a solid foundation before 2022 (Tiger) roars in with all of its excitement, and passion.

So wherever you are, and whether this is your first Happy New Year of 2021, or your second, may you have good luck, good fortune, and an abundance of happiness all the rest of your days!

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Rain, Hail, Sleet, or Snow...

Some friends just always deliver, and I have to say I've got a pretty great batch of them!  So I was at once surprised, and not at all surprised when this delivery of gorgeous Lebkuchen cookies arrived ... Can I just tell you that when I sliced into that vacuum sealed pouch - the aroma that erupted instantly made my dining room table seem as though it had been dropped in the center of a fancy bakery somewhere far, far away, and totally fabulous - ah, l'amour.  Truly, I wish your screen was scratch 'n' sniff, because these goodies are a whole experience!  Anyway, the woman behind them is (said without even a hint of irony, or exaggeration) living, breathing, walking art; effortlessly enchanting everything she puts her hand to.  I say "effortlessly" because even though a great deal of work goes into the things she does, she makes it all look wonderfully easy.  Mmhmm, yes.  In case you were wondering, even in your own group of chums, your perfectionist friend also has a friend who takes everything to the next level.  I don't consider myself a perfectionist in that I do everything "perfectly" ... It's more like, I have a hard time wrapping up my projects because I always find something that can be improved upon.  And yet, with my hyper-focused eye for critique, girl friend still blows me away.  

Ok, ok I get it.  You're probably thinking, lady, calm down, it's just a cookie with some frosting on it...

First of all, wash your mouth out! 

I mean, it's so much more than that.  February to February has been a hell of a year for folks, and the fact that people are taking their time to care, and nurture one another from across the country is heartwarming, and beautiful.  These cookies—oh my god, wait, her pies!  I never mentioned her pies!  Well, they're incredible too, and they're all lovingly baked in a charming 100+ year old home nestled in a picturesque New England town ... Is it just me, or is the YouTube series just writing itself here?  I don't know about anyone else, but I would binge my eyeballs out watching a magical kitchen witch conjure artisanal cakes, and confections in a snow-covered cottage.  I obviously think it's a hit, but I also subscribe to a channel where a girl talks about serial killers while she applies her make-up.  Alright, back to the point, it's been a weird year, and I think it will get weirder still before it ever gets any better, and people are out here doing small things for each other, that are actually kind of big things, and I absolutely love them for it.  You know, they say it's the thought that counts, and a lot of times the "they" in question are just gift-snobs looking for a nice way to say, "Thanks, I hate it" without hurting anyone's feelings, but it really is true!  The thought, and intention does count.  It counts for a whole lot with me.  This lady baked her ass off, and then carefully packaged I don't know how many kits, and sent them all over the country to members of this kooky little cookie-coven (in my case 3229 miles door-to-door), ensuring they arrived as fresh as they were the day they were baked JUST to say, "Hey, how ya doin'?" and lift our spirits, and make us feel closer, and more connected, and better about everything?  Yes, the thought counts, indeed.  The fact that the thought came attached to one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten in my entire life certainly didn't hurt either!

I believe I've mentioned it here before, and I'm sure I'll mention it many more times after this, but I am not an "Oh, you shouldn't have" kind of girl.  I promise you, I will never say those words.  In fact, it is one of my fervent prayers to see the phrase eliminated from the English language altogether, because yes you should.  We all should. 

We all should be doing whatever we can to show the people we care about that we do, in fact, care about them deeply, and earnestly, without hesitation, or expectations.  Don't wait for the right time, or for signs, or an eerily accurate horoscope, or a good hair day, just do the thing.  Do it even if it's inconvenient.  Do it especially because it's inconvenient.  Be awkward, be random, be a happy surprise, be the reason someone else feels good today, because it really matters.

 xoxo

Friday, January 15, 2021

Comfort and Joy

 

 
Last month, like clockwork, Pantone released its choice for Color of the Year to represent, lend focus, and inspire us as we move through 2021 ... and as surely as night turns into day, I hate it.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

12th Night

20 + C + M + B + 21 


"Bless this house, and all who inhabit it.  Fill us with the light of Christ, that our concern for others may reflect your love."

Friday, January 1, 2021

Float On


 

Word of the year: Ukiyo

"The floating world"
Living in the moment, detached from the bothers of life.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Not Taking Any Chances


"Those who want to come may come, those who want to leave may leave, without harm to myself and my people."

I always end up reading about other cultures' traditions and folklore around this time of year; usually for the Northern Hemisphere, and usually because I think other countries handle Winter months better than Americans do.  A lot of us, at least in my experience, seem to be offended, if not downright indignant over the days deigning to get dark earlier, and the weather turning cold, while folks in other places around the world just seem to roll with it, and dare I say, even enjoy it?  So I was reading along, and found a passage where 19th century Author, Jón Árnason describes Icelandic women, whom after tidying their homes for the Christmas holiday and leaving food out for elves, or Huldufólk (Hidden People) who allegedly partake in raucous dark-season parties, would then make their homes immaculate for the incoming new year, and move about the space reciting the above quote whilst lighting candles for every corner of their homes so any entities besides the family who'd taken up residence in the home could find their way out.

I don't know about you, but I dig this idea.  The alternative, of course, is to build a bonfire in my front yard, and I don't think I can get my landlord on board with that one, but I can definitely throw a log in the fireplace, light a few candles, and give the joint a good scrubbin'.  I won't be putting a candle in every corner of my house, thanks to my early 80s Sting-induced childhood nightmares, but I can provide enough light to help any lost entities scram.  I'm not interested in starting 2021 with anyone or anything in my life that's not meant to be here, not to mention (heaven forbid), anything possibly trapped in the dark recesses of my home ... So if you're coming along, let's go!  And if you're not, let go, but either way I hope we're all going to be a bunch of cool little Fonzies.

xoxo

Friday, December 25, 2020

May Your Days Be Merry and Bright


Wherever you are, and how ever you're spending the day, it is my Christmas wish that every person experiences at least one moment that causes you to pause, and truly savour it.  

Be well.