Series: For This I'm Grateful

This week was tough. The fog and anxiety can be a not-so-quiet whisper sometimes, and  I really felt those sounds this week.  The possibility of these emotions -- anxiety, fear, sadness -- are always there. They can get louder in life's best or hardest moments. Like anything else that's true, they know no bounds and don't have manners (aka show up whenever they want). Reminding myself that all things come in waves, and just as sure as the water reaches my ankles on the shore it will return to the ocean helps me breathe through these unwanted visits. Concentrating on all the really.freaking.good happening also helps. Creating literally brings me to life. And getting to create things, literal products and items that people enjoy, keep in their homes, and put on their nightstands as symbols of beautiful moments, warms me and encourages me. My heart could burst when I think about the event we are throwing in two weeks. Knowing that a vision I've had for our community is coming to life makes those moments easier. "Where you invest your love, you invest your life." It's all temporary, so I'm doing my best to invest in the good. This week, here are a few of the things that made it a good one:

1. Morning rituals. I love the mornings. My dad would say different during my high school years, but I think I always have. I used to work out in the morning and maybe I'll get back to it eventually, but the last couple of months I've been using the mornings to just be. Before the day and the emails and the calls, I light a candle, make my matcha, and spend just a little time, fifteen minutes even, doing things that bring me pure joy. This includes religiously reading the first blog I ever read, Cupcakes and Cashmere and writing and journaling if I feel up to it. I'm a planner at heart, so I'll go through my calendar and find or plan a few things to look forward to every week. On a Monday, this could include making sure I save time for some bad TV at night. Or if it's something bigger or seasonal, I'll look around for fun activities, concerts and shows to note. Starting my day this way keeps me excited.

2. My new book, The Bear and the Nightingale. This book is fantastical and mysterious, and I've enjoyed getting lost in it. Set in the winter woods of Russia, it seems to be about a family with a lot of traditions (and perhaps a little magical power -- stay tuned). I went through a long phase of reading a lot of non-fiction so it's been fun to get engrossed in a story again.

3. The Eternal Dilemma: Revenge or Forgiveness, a new article by Leo Babauta. This article resonated with me, and it helps me to consider and approach decisions the way he does. Meaning, let's list out the pros and cons and considering where my choices get me. I learned a few things in this when I read about having a more compassionate approach to difficult situations. It's easy to have the narrative set in my head, but pausing and considering to just be with my emotion, instead of the story I create, will help me to pull in deeper to the root of what's happening. Noticing the physical symptoms of an emotion (in my gut, in my heart) gives me a moment to pause before acting or before repeating my version of the story over and over in my head.

Naomi MartinComment