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July in Review

The people that I liked and had not met went to the big cafes because they were lost in them and no one noticed them and they could be alone in them and be together.—Hemingway

Month in Review

Last month’s jaunt to Paris truly was a moveable feast. From riding a carousel, to eating a vegan rhubarb kiwi crisp, to writing in Luxembourg Garden, to doing yoga in the Tuileries, to sipping pot after pot of green mint tea at sidewalk cafes. Suffice it to say, the experience was sensory-filled and I’ll be writing about it here shortly.

July provided a few exciting opportunities such as signing a lease on my own office space (I’ve been subletting the past 1.5 years), seeing Ain’t Too Proud at The Kennedy Center (SO good), meeting Jamie Cat Callan, and spending 10 days in Paris.

In addition to these experiences, I made it to the other side of a 10-day summer cold, enjoyed two belated birthday teas with girlfriends, shipped 70 Year of Tranquility care packages, conducted interviews for upcoming podcasts, hosted two Facebook Lives, handled TONS of Paris logistics from hotel to transport to programming to goody bags, hosted five weeks of the Year of Tranquility yoga module, spent hours online purchasing furnishings for my new office (blush or gold?), took numerous ballet classes and am FINALLY seeing some improvement, hosted a five-day Paris writing retreat with a GREAT group, penned numerous thank-you notes, sent a Love Note,  co-hosted a Pigs & Pugs Project board meeting, released three podcasts, collaborated with therapy and mentoring clients, and did my best to navigate jet lag.

I chose the Hemingway quote at the top because I resonate with the people in the big cafes. There’s something about being solo in a group of people that feels comforting and anonymous. It’s my favorite place to be. As an INFJ I crave alone time, desire to go unnoticed in public places (wearing all black helps with that), and am quite private (despite blogging since 2004).

At some point during the last five months of 2018 I want to go on a quiet, contemplative getaway that involves getting lost in Parisian cafes, a Redwood forest filled with ferns three times my size, or a cabin in the woods surrounded by snow-capped firs. Alone, yet together with other cafe goers or wild creatures inhabiting the woods. If you have any location suggestions where Gizmo can tag along, I’m all ears. Bisous. x

August Wish List

Settle into my new office
Daily reading time
Finish Happily Ever Esther
Read A Moveable Feast
Cultivate backyard garden
Savor walks with pups
Lots of girlfriend time
See McQueen
Take three weekly ballet classes
Organize Tranquility du Jour and Year of Tranquility feedback into projects
Learn lots at Main Street Vegan Master Class in NYC
Finish Module 2 and 3 of Journal Therapy program
Finish Module 1 of Veterinary Social Work
Daily greens
Collaborate with therapy and mentoring clients
Pen blog post about Paris, my new office, and my “uniform”
Consider home kitchen and bathroom renovation
Schedule self-care {Year of Tranquility monthly focus}
Update therapy website with new photos

Savvy Sources

Forget a Fast Car: Creativity is the New Midlife Crisis Cure
Why You Should Be Revisiting Your New Year’s Resolutions
8 Outdoor Spaces to Inspire Your Own Small Space Oasis
Taking Control of Your Distracted Mind
Beginner’s Guide to Boho Glam
Reinventing Yourself
10 Wellness Tips to Live Like a Parisian
50 Ways to Cultivate a Creative Habit

June in Review + Resources

There are two great days in a person’s life—the day we are born and the day we discover why.—William Barclay

June in Review

I know I shared this quote last month, but it’s such a powerful one and felt apropos with this Month in Review. The search for my why continues.

June’s Year of Tranquility focus was wellness and we explored 10 different types of wellness. During the month I tapped into the intellectual, occupational, social, and spiritual wellness types through a week of learning and exploring in Utah, building new skills, growing connections, and volunteering/exploring purpose.

Last month went quickly due to 12 days of family and nonprofit travel. When I review June, it feels quite compressed despite having 30 full days.

The month’s experiences were vast—from a memorial service in Texas, to hosting Yoga + the Animals, a 7-day detox, and Tranquility du Jour Live, to spending 30 minutes in an MRI machine, to taking a pet portrait painting class, to spending a week at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary learning about sanctuaries, to collaborating with mentoring and therapy clients, to taking ballet classes, to celebrating my 45th birthday by seeing Hamilton and having high tea.

There were a few wishes that didn’t happen—moving deeper into online classes, finishing books, or diving back into memoir writing.

Instead, I did my best to drop deeply into the experiences I was in—eating Tex Mex with Mom and Dad, dining al fresco with the pups and Tim in Utah, walking sanctuary dogs at Best Friends, soaking up the beauty of Zion National Park, running through Coral Pink Sand Dunes with Gizmo, and savoring the performance of Hamilton.

Although it’s never pleasant to review my June Dreams and see unchecked boxes, I try to remind myself of what I did experience last month.

July is another month with 10 days of travel hosting the Penning in Paris retreat so it may also feel distorted. Despite the beauty of travel, it does have an interesting ripple effect on everyday life. Routines get shaken up, there’s a lot of acclimating to new environments, and daily life is turned on its head.

As someone super sensitive to my environment, I try to set myself up for success by toting creature comforts and reminding myself to just focus on the day’s MITs (Most Important Tasks). I’m no longer a robot moving through a to-do list. Instead I’m encouraging myself to fully appreciate what’s in front of me.

Maybe that’s my why. To appreciate simple pleasures, make deep connections, and do meaningful work all while spreading compassion for all beings. I like it! Bisous. x

July Wish List

Host inspiring Penning in Paris retreat
Ship lots of Year of Tranquility care packages {doing today}
Release three podcasts
Savor tea time with girlfriends
Take 10 ballet classes
Read two books
Write daily
Nurture my patio garden
Collaborate with mentoring and therapy clients
Organize paperwork
Plan a mini-getaway
Learn lots at Compassionate Action for Animals Conference
Make a macrame wall hanging {done!}

Savvy Sources

7 Versatile Pieces for Your Summer Wardrobe
9 Easy Tips for Going Green at the Grocery Store
These New Indoor Plants Are All the Rage
5 Ways to Reset When You’re In a Creative Funk
Poses For Your Yoga Cool-Down Routine
This Documentary Will Help You Reconsider Your Diet
How to Decorate Your Office Space
7 Habits to Adopt if You Want to Write More
Ways to Manage Your Time
20 DIY Boho Decor Ideas
5 Tips for Macrame Beginners

May in Review + Resources

Give me books, French wine, fruit, fine weather and a little music played out of doors by somebody I do not know.—Keats

May in Review

That Keats quote always makes me think of summer and the start of June tends to symbolize its launch {despite the official date being June 21}, so here we are. Happy June {aka birthday month}!

May’s Year of Tranquility focus was minimalism. Returning to some of the basics—single tasking, decluttering, simplification, essentialism, intentional time, money and energy usage—has left me in deep reflection and review. While it isn’t always {okay, ever} particularly comfortable, it IS necessary.

My wish for May was “spending time with more pink blooms, learning, and writing.” And that happened, along with much more.

May’s experiences included reading Unprocessed and The Year of Less, attending a workshop on small farm budgeting, picking peonies at a flower farm, studying writing as a tool for healing at Duke and through an online Journal Therapy program, wandering Duke’s gardens, starting a new journal, collaborating with therapy and mentoring clients, taking 10 ballet classes, losing a dear aunt, hiking and picnicking on Mother’s Day, watching the ballet Giselle under the stars with a friend, surviving a few migraines, fast walking a 5k, sipping numerous matcha lattes, noshing on pounds of cauliflower wings, releasing two podcasts, celebrating a friend’s birthday over brunch, meeting Jamia Wilson at her book event, reconnecting with memoir writing, creating and shipping care packages for Penning in Paris retreaters, listening to Pamela Druckerman read from her new book There Are No Grown-Ups, and being a guest on Victoria Moran’s podcast. 

May offered many opportunities to slow down and savor in a way that felt foreign. Wondering what to do on a weekend day or a few free hours is uncomfortable, new, and oddly liberating all at once.

We’ll be traveling nearly half of June with a jaunt to Texas and 10 days in Utah for the Best Friend’s conference, so I’m looking forward to carrying my simply joys with me to help stay grounded. May we appreciate the playfulness and lightness that is summertime’s promise.

June Wish List

Learn lots at Best Friend’s “How to Start an Animal Sanctuary” weeklong conference
Celebrate the life of my aunt at next week’s memorial service in Texas
Take 10 ballet classes
Create summer reading list {+ share}
Update my personal Year of Tranquility journal {used to track weekly practices}
Read two books
Host inspiring Tranquility du Jour Live {you’re joining us, right?!}
Savor Hamilton at the Kennedy Center
Have a tranquility-filled birthday
Fill my home with peonies
Nurture my patio garden
Host inspiring Wellness Module for Year of Tranquility
Release two inspiring podcasts
Complete more modules of my online Journal Therapy and Vet Social Work programs
Collaborate with mentoring and therapy clients
Host inspiring Yoga + the Animals event for Pigs & Pugs Project

Savvy Sources

You Can Improve Your Life with Books
Asking Yourself This Simple Question Will Make You Happier
Why I Decided to Go Vegan
10 Summer Reads to Add to Your Beach Bag
How To Journal Through Your Struggles
Writing Is A Journey
10 Yoga Poses for Travelers
The Practice of Forest Bathing
9 Ways to Start a More Minimalist Lifestyle
How to Host a Vegan Brunch