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

Hope for a Better Tomorrow

Hello friends. The past week or so has been a tense time in the United States. Many are frustrated, sad, angry, outraged, and ready to see substantive changes. I acknowledge and understand the pain behind the actions that have occurred, and I continue to hold a space of hope and love for all people. No matter who or where you are, please continue to hold HOPE for a better tomorrow. If you can spend a moment just sending your good energy toward the US population, that would mean a lot to me.

Take care, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

life curation

Belated Birthday Post: What I Got for My Birthday

You know that you *might* have had an awesome birthday if you take nearly three months to share what gifts you got! Well, for the record, my birthday was pretty awesome, and my super-thoughtful bestie bought me a few gifts that I’m loving.

Along with my birthday card, I got a bunch of things to remind me to “play” each day. I find that many of my days lack “play” because I have such a hectic schedule. But when I do have downtime, PLAY is a priority. Injecting JOY into every day – in the form of play or pleasure – is crucial to keeping me sane.

So I’ve been enjoying my coloring books and my bubbles. They’re great for helping me unwind during the stressful times. This little bit of whimsy really does wonders for my mood. I love her for coming up with such a creative gift!

I also bought myself a few things, but I’ve already shared that in my latest book purchase post. Remember to always get yourself treats: you deserve it!

life curation

Dealing with Emotional Lows

Happy Friday! I hope you all are gearing up for a fantastic weekend full of friends, family or whatever brings you tremendous joy!

I’ve been feeling very content but also reflective. Recently, I spent some time sorting through some of my emotions. I’ve had a lot of “highs” this year: travel, new friends, good times at work, etc.,. But I think that most people underestimate how bad a “low” can feel when you’ve been flying high for a period of time. It’s easy to assume that lots of “highs” = more immune to the “lows”.

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But it isn’t true sometimes. Sometimes, a “low” can hit you out of nowhere and really bring your vibe down. I’ve had a few of them over the past month or two. The source of these “lows” were one person in particular. This isn’t blaming the person, just acknowledging that the “lows” were connected to interactions that I had with this individual. The “lows” didn’t feel good but I knew that these things were happening for a reason and I had to figure out – quickly – how I would handle these emotions.

The best thing that I could do was ride it out. I decided to explore whatever the “low” is was trying to teach me, because there was definitely a lesson in there somewhere. In this case, I got a new level of understanding about my triggers, boundaries and expectations. I got a chance to express my dissatisfaction and unhappiness in a healthy, productive way. I had the chance to allow someone to self-express then ask for another chance to do better. And this “low” gave me a chance to practice forgiveness and starting over in a manner that felt comfortable for me.

It’s still too early to see if this individual will do better. But I’m open to whatever this next few weeks brings: whether it’s improved interactions or a clear sign that distancing will need to be employed. I wish I had a “all’s well that ends well” way to wrap this up, but, just like everything in life, the story continues to unfold in front of me.

And so it is.

I hope that you all know that emotional lows don’t have to sidetrack your joy completely. Continue to take care of yourselves, and, before you make any rash decisions, get into a quiet space and listen – really listen – to your inner guidance. It always knows the right way.

Enjoy your Friday, and I’ll talk to you all tomorrow.

life curation

My Top Three Goals For This Year

I’m still buzzing from the excitement of welcoming in a brand new year of life, but I wanted to share some thoughts I had over the past few days.

It’s easy to talk about the “stuff” that I want, but I spent some time getting real with myself and asking, honestly, what do I REALLY want for myself in the year to come?

My list is brief, but it perfectly captures what I think will be the most powerful things that I can do to create a wonderful new year.

kindness

1) Be more kind and generous

I always strive to be kind but I want to make this my signature personality trait. That will involve me regularly taking a more empathetic stance and avoiding “hasty” reactions. I’ve been working on these things for a while but I can always stand to improve. As far as generosity goes, giving is one of my favorite things EVER! So I’m looking forward to giving even more in the year to come.

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2) Deepen my commitment to my writing

I’d like to write a lot more. I already work on my craft frequently, but what if I wrote daily? I’ve decided to commit to writing 1000 words per day. This won’t include blog entries, thought that would be a wonderful way for me to rack up my word count. No, these words have to be in the form of entries in books that I will (hopefully) one day publish. It doesn’t matter if the entries are great or nonsensical: the point is to get in the habit of doing it daily. I decided a day ago to do this, so I’m a little behind. I’m keeping count, however, and I’m aiming to catch up soon. Just for fun, I’ll put the count in the bar on the right side of the page, so you all can see my progress as I go along. The end goal is 365,000 words before August 1, 2019. I can do it!

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3) Incorporate more joy daily

Joy is always my daily goal, and I have made it a point to share a lot of my daily joys on this blog. But a bigger commitment to experiencing joy daily is a goal that I can really get behind! I’m open to however it comes – big, elaborate displays, small, interesting surprises, and everything in between – and I am looking forward to seeing how joy shows up in my life daily. Of course, I’m going to make sure that I’m a vibrational match for joy, so that it has no choice but to set up permanent residence in my life!

 

life curation

Tomorrow Isn’t Promised

Hello beloveds! I have had a busy week, and I am glad to see it come to a close.

Sadly, I will be attending two funerals this weekend. One of my dear friends lost her mother to cancer, and I lost one of my uncles to kidney disease.  My uncle’s death, in particular, had quite the impact on me, as I lost my beloved stepfather to kidney disease several years ago.

I’m keeping this brief, because I don’t want to weaken the message with too many words. Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you – hug them, spend time with them, laugh with them, create as many memories as you can. Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us.

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Rest in peace, Uncle Richard and Mama Shirley. I’m sending love to everyone one of you reading this, on behalf of my dear departed ones. May you have lots of love and cherish every moment with the ones that you love.

Uncategorized

On This Memorial Day . . .

If you’re inclined, please say a prayer for the men and women who have sacrificed their lives to keep us safe. Send vibrations of love and healing to their families, that will never be the same without them. And, if you can, hold your own loved ones close: life is precious, and tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.

 

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Take care, and have a blessed Memorial Day.

life curation

A Mother’s Love

Maternal Caress by Mary Cassatt (1896), on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Mothers are so special. There’s not a lot to say, other than this: make sure to appreciate your mother (or the mother figures) in your life. Cherish the women that pour into you, and uphold a higher vision of you than you could ever imagine for yourself.

The Marquise de Pezay and the Marquise Rouge with her sons Alexis and Adrien by Elizabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun (1787), on display at the National Gallery of Art

Here are a few touching portraits of mothers that I have seen over the past week, as well as thoughts on motherhood from a few famous women. I’m going to link my post to Phylicia Rashad’s thoughts on motherhood here. In this post, I’ll share more thoughts from Maya Angelou (you can read my previous post about her here).

words of wisdom

Because . . . Love Liberates

I’m just stopping in briefly to share this video, which touches my soul every time I watch it.

Sometimes, it’s so easy to think of love in terms of possession. We hold love close to our chests and, instead of keeping an open palm, allowing love to be free, we hold it in a tight grasp. Nothing crushes love faster than an unyielding clutch.

Love doesn’t smother or stifle.

Love liberates.

Enjoy, and I’ll be back tomorrow.