The Sabbath 

How did you rest today?

Did you slow down and enjoy a special moment with someone or something you love?

The message for today was not to hurry. I had to think about this one for awhile and wondered what that would look like and feel like to slow down. I always feel like I am in a hurry and juggling several things at once. I want to go, go, go, and don’t want to stop until bed time.

What happens when you don’t hurry?

I decided to practice today, since it was the sabbath, a day of rest.

As we were leaving church today, a gentleman decided he wanted to talk with us. We did not know him, yet his eyes sparkled and he wanted to share his story with us. Since we weren’t in a hurry, we listened. And we listened until everyone around us left. We walked outside and we listened some more. He had a lot to share and was very interesting and friendly. Plus, we weren’t in a hurry and we felt the presence of the moment and just being together in conversation, sharing stories and feeling good.

Juliana and I went shopping after lunch and we took our time. We weren’t in a rush and we were able to find what we were seeking.  I wanted to hurry home and be done, but instead we slowed down. I smiled at people and shared stories. One girl gave me an extra 10% off my order, maybe because I was not in a hurry and was present for a real moment in the check out line with her, asking her personal questions. I was actually enjoying the slower process and talking to people. I saw the workers differently and appreciated their service and hearing their stories too. 

I feel like if we slow down and see people and connect, maybe we can make this world a little less hectic and discover what we have in common and smile and share a laugh.  

Hmm…that’s what happened to me today and I loved it.  How about you? What happens when you slow down?

The Magic of Tidying Up

I just finished reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, by Marie Kondo.  If you haven’t read it yet, I definitely recommend it and following the advice, not that I’ve done all of what she says but it definitely has changed my life.

She provides strategies for creating space and decluttering so that we can get the most out of life. Her advice is simple and her words keep resonating in my head. Her basic premise is to consider all that you have and ask yourself whether each item brings you joy. If it doesn’t, she tells you to get rid of it so that you can create space for what does.  I absolutely love this and keep thinking about everything I see now and wonder if it brings me joy. If it doesn’t, I’m letting it go and clearing it out. It feels so good to get rid of stuff, I can’t even tell you.

My mom was here last week and I was telling her about the book and how I want to get rid of everything but that it takes time to clear things out. I pointed to a cabinet in my kitchen and she started asking questions and the next thing you know, we’re clearing out the cupboards and now they are empty. The space is ready to be repurposed and I can’t wait. Right now I love just knowing that the shelves are empty and that there is order.  I can’t wait to do more.

I called my sister to tell her of my a-ha moment and she told me she was reading the same book and was already clearing out her closets! She sent me pictures of the pounds and bags of stuff she was ready to recycle and sent me pictures of her newly organized closet. She was so happy. I couldn’t believe we were both reading the same book at the same time and sharing similar experiences.

My favorite part of the book is the end. The book is about learning how to declutter and find a space for everything and putting things back every day so that you have more time to do what you love and to spend less time wasting life on tidying and looking for things you can’t find.  She helps you to learn how to make decisions and to chose what is meaningful and these processes relate to all other parts of our lives.

She says, “pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life. I am convinced that putting your house in order will hep you find the mission that speaks to your heart. Life truly begins after you have put your house in order.”

I think by deciding what you want and don’t want and by being actively present and aware as you make these decisions, these small daily decisions will actually help you to decide what else you really want in your life and to take action right now.

I already noticed in a change in my thinking. This morning I woke up and decided I wanted to go to the Farmer’s Market. Usually I’ll sit around and read the paper and make excuses why I shouldn’t move or go out. Today was different and I made a decision to go and invited Jeff to join me. He said yes, and we went on a spontaneous date together that made my day. I loved walking around, seeing friends, gathering food for dinner tonight, and eating breakfast together outside.

  

When we came home, I decided I wanted to cook Thai food and learn how to poach chicken. I spent several hours in the kitchen cooking and preparing dishes, just for fun. I didn’t procrastinate, as I usually do, and I enjoyed cleaning out the kitchen and just being home, playing and cooking. I loved seeing the kids come in to pick at my food and to enjoy my work and that an impromptu dinner was ready when they were hungry. I loved bringing out my beautiful dishes that I love, and actually using them just for me.  I think this is what Marie Kondo was talking about.

I created space. I made decisions. I enjoyed what I love and today was good.

I wish the same for you. Clear out the clutter. Create space. Do what you love.  nAMaste. xo

Glamping in California

 
I grew up camping and I am so thankful my parents decided to come up to visit us again as they begin their summer vacation.

I was able to find a last-minute glamping spot with all the perks, close to the coast and we quickly packed up and got on the road. Charlie is so in love with his grandpa, whom we call, Opa. He decided he would drive with Opa and I drove with Oma in my car and with the other two kids. 

We have a beautiful, relaxing spot to do nothing and anything for the next two days. I am beyond content.

I love seeing the kids play and ride bikes and do puzzles and hang out together with my parents with no agenda. I am loving on my parents too and enjoying their company.

Life is so good. Live it up, friends. Now is the time to BE. Here I am.

   
    

lichen on the bridge

  
   

This Is Summer Too

 

Sunny days.

Outside play.

Filling the gaps with togetherness.

Together they played and argued and excluded and forgave and apologized and worked things out. Together.

Together they laughed and made up games and had a water fight and chased each other as I watched and encouraged and redirected and smiled. Thankful for this moment.

I love my job. I love summer and this crazy life, even with the chaos.

What does summer look like to you?

Hope you’re enjoying your days.

nAMaste BeLoveRs