Thursday, July 31, 2014

tranquilosophy: bonjour august


August is upon us. Is it just me or does it feel that 2014 has flown by? I mean, I vividly recall penning new year's dreams fireside with snow on the ground. Now, it's time to write August's dreams.

There is something tranquil about August. Almost as if we're given a pass from living in a state of overwhelm. Photos of feet on the beach with rolling waves in the background are the norm. Emails take slower to get a response. And when you do get one, it may just be an out of office reply.

It's a chance to exhale and even if you're not escaping the city, you, too, can take advantage of this slower pace.

As I prepare to pen my August dreams, I'm reflecting on how I'd like to feel beyond the perfunctory checking off of various projects and to-dos. Despite accepting a therapy position at The Women's Center, teaching five weekly classes at Tranquil Space, and working on the Anthology and new Daybook design, I'm feeling a sense of spaciousness that is permeating everything I do.

From choosing which get-together invites I accept to the way I plan my day, it's all feeling lighter. Bedtime by 10pm has become the norm. Up at 6am, too. Writing is a daily practice. The gym and yoga mat call me daily. Quality time with my pets is priority. While Le Beau is biking the west coast, I'm experiencing a subtle, slower shift.

Maybe it has to do with a deepened connection to mindfulness, more realistic expectations on what can be accomplished, or it's simply a slower time of the year. Either way, it's feeling good. And I'd like you, too, to have a taste of slow.

Here's what I've found that's working well for me at the moment: lots of dates with girlfriends as a strong social support increases happiness and health. Ample downtime after social gatherings (a must for us introverts). Making fresh food, less sugar, and daily exercise a priority each day. Early to bed, early to rise. Hosting a simple, elegant affair to bring together close colleagues for a couple hours of socializing. Time with my journal. Reading before bed. Packing up bags of clothing and trinkets to donate. Booking spontaneous trips using miles. Biking around town. Batching errands and tasks to minimize extraneous output. Lightening overall expectations of what will be completed in a day. Saying yes to late night dancing with a girlfriend. Combining multiple events into one.

Have I figured it all out? Not at all. But I am grateful for this new found sense of spaciousness and I'm hopeful August takes it even further.

If you, too, are experiencing a lightened load of emails and expectations, take advantage of it. Sometimes we keep ourselves so busy to avoid what's percolating within.

And if you're not experiencing a lightening because it's your busy time, do your very best to make self-care a priority. And remember, exhale. Bisous. x


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