health · life curation · Uncategorized · words of wisdom

A Graceful Ending

I wonder if the world’s population has ever been as ready for a year’s ending as we are right now. 2020 has been a momentous year: devastating at times, solemn at other times, and tremendously unpredictable throughout. There seems to be a collective desire to close this chapter and move cheerfully into the next.

While I am as eager as everyone else to end the year and turn the page, I am cautious to give this year end the graceful closure it deserves. If there is nothing else that can be said about 2020, it should be noted that this year has been highly instructive. I want to share some of the lessons that I learned in 2020.

Patience – I had to learn to be patient when it comes to my travel desires, as well as being patient as everyone around me adjusts to a “new normal”. Funny enough, I have always found it easier to be patient with other people than with myself. So when I occasionally get frustrated with myself (I’ve set multiple deadlines that I ended up having to adjust later), I try to remember to show myself a little bit of the patience that I usually reserve for others.

Love – I had high hopes for meeting a life partner this year. And while I did meet some interesting suitors, I didn’t find the romantic love that I desired. I did, however, experience an abundance of love in my life, in the form of family and friends that have been incredibly supportive and caring this year. I learned to look for authentic love in all its forms, and I wasn’t disappointed with what I found. I did not lack for love in 2020, and that was such a blessing.

Gratitude – As I expressed earlier this week, I am thankful for the fact that most of my family and friends were all healthy and happy this year. I am thankful for platforms like Zoom that made it possible for us to stay in contact while staying safe. I am thankful for having a beautiful home to quarantine in, within a safe and welcoming neighborhood. I honestly have so much to be grateful for, and I try my best to stay in the energy of gratitude.

Slow down – One of my key traits in years prior was to stay in constant motion. I loved to always have a project, or trip, or activity, to keep me occupied. This year has forced me to slow down in unexpected ways. I couldn’t just run to my favorite hangout spots: I actually had to stay home and learn to entertain myself in different ways. Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m an introvert, so staying home wasn’t hard. But I was forced to really examine my life, resulting in the decision to slow down and really enjoy the small things.

Rest – I previously had the motto, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”. I’m fortunate to have matured from this point of view, and now I value my sleep. What my body has needed this year has been intense self care, with sleep being a centerpiece of my care routine. So much of my health improvements has depended heavily upon my commitment to rest and restoration.

In conclusion, this is my way of blessing 2020 as I move forward to 2021. Thank you, 2020, for the lessons. I’ll never forget them.

life curation · Uncategorized

A Joyful Return

I’m so happy to be back on the Bronze Butterfly blog! I took some much needed time to care for myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, and I especially felt the weight of this year when I considered the fact that I’m unable to travel internationally. As you all know, international travel is one of my favorite pasttimes, and the lack of travel has left me a bit depressed.

That being said, there are many things that I am appreciating at this year’s end. My family and close friends have been healthy (no COVID infections) and safe this entire year. My grandmother and her sister have been able to live comfortably in my home since March, and they are thriving here. And speaking of my home, I’m so grateful for a house that is in great shape and hasn’t needed any major repairs. My car, however, did need some small repairs, but these repairs were done affordably and with ease.

This time at home has allowed me to focus on what really matters, and I’ve relished the domestic duties that I’ve completed. This year has, indeed, been a good one (all things considered). We’ve been blessed beyond measure, and it’s been a year full of love, many changes, and lots of gratitude.

I am overjoyed to be back. I hope you all are doing well, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!

I’m so delighted to be back over here! I am looking forward to chatting with you all soon. Have a great day, and I’ll be back tomorrow.

What wonderful things have happened for you this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

life curation

Resuming My Gratitude Practice

I didn’t mention this at all on the blog last year, but I meant to, because I was eager to resume one of the practices that made 2016 and 2017 especially magical years for me. Several years ago, I kept a gratitude journal. This journal is good for capturing the little things that I appreciate throughout the day. I got away from this practice because, life being what it is, I got distracted. I really wanted to resume the practice, and even begin using my journal again in August 2018. But, soon I found myself again skipping days and forgetting to do my entries. So my journal went unused for most of last year.

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This year, I wanted to start things on a different note. I decided to begin using my gratitude journal again because well, why not? I don’t have many pages left in this particular journal but I will use it until it’s full, then I’ll start a new one. I focus on capturing the great things that happen each day. I don’t worry too much about expressing gratitude for the same thing multiple times within a week. If there’s something great that I appreciate on more than one day during any given week, I take no issue with noting this more than once. I do, however, try to focus on what truly makes me happy each day and I make an effort to find the moments that made me smile, no matter how small.¬†

So we’re eight days into the new year, and I’ve ¬†already know that more than 24 things that I can be grateful for this month. I’m happy to be recording the things that I appreciate, because I tend to lose sight of what’s important. Now, I like to think that I am very appreciative on a daily basis. But, I am human and I’m not always as mindful as I’d like to be. Sometimes, I forget how much I have to be grateful for. So this exercise has been great for getting me to focus on what really matters.

Are any of you keep a gratitude journal? If so, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear more about your personal practice as well as how long you’ve been doing this.

That’s it for today. I hope you all are enjoying your day. Have a great afternoon and take care!

life curation

Maintaining Joy: Gratitude Journal

I don’t recall where I heard about this first: perhaps it was from an Law of Attraction podcast, or maybe a YouTube video. But I’m thankful for whoever shared this tip with me first.

Most of us forget how good our lives truly are. We could have 10 or 20 amazing things happening at once, but we focus on the one thing that isn’t going our way. The fact is, most of us have lots to be grateful for, even when life doesn’t feel 100% perfect.

To stay in the mode of appreciation and joy, I keep a gratitude journal. For every day, I list 3 things that I appreciate and feel thankful for. I try my best not to repeat gratitudes, but if I must, I don’t get upset about it. The truth is, some days are duller than others: I won’t always be able to name a “new” reason to be thankful.

I make an entry for every day, but I often forget days here and there, and I have to try to remember what went well for me on the days where I skipped an entry. During the earlier part of this year, I missed nearly two weeks in my journal, since I was traveling and living in the moment. In those cases, I simply do my best to remember as much as I can, listing my appreciation in no particular order.

I’ll be finishing my current journal this year, and I’m already looking at a few other designs. I’m considering purchasing this lovely set of four journals, all with soft, beautiful watercolor designs.

Do you maintain a gratitude journal? Please let me know in the comments below!