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TDJ Survey {+ Giveaway}

Dearest reader:

I’m in contemplation mode for 2019 offerings (mainly online) and YOUR input is incredibly valuable to me.

Will you please take a moment to share your feedback by filling out this survey?

As a thank you, fill it out by FRIDAY, November 9 11:59pm ET to enter to win complimentary access to an e-course of your choice. Three of you will be randomly chosen and announced here this weekend.

Thank you for your time, ideas, and suggestions.

By the way, have I told you lately that I think you’re amazing?! Bisous. x

October in Review

The month of November makes me feel that life is passing more quickly. In an effort to slow it down, I try to fill the hours more meaningfully.—Henry Rollins

Month in Review

Anyone else feeling like that quote above? Two months left in this year is hard to believe. I plan to spend some time with my art journal this month to explore how I’d like to tie a bow around 2018. And I’m contemplating hosting an online event to share my process. Stay tuned.

October kicked my “asana,” so to speak. Gum surgery, two weeks of an unpleasant cold, a 40-hour round trip drive to Oklahoma, planned and hosted multiple events, and missed my energy and routine.

On the other hand, it was also amazing.

A friend sent me flowers to help the healing process (top photo). Yoga with pigs (second photo). Wrapped up my first Tranquility Salon. Raised $871 for Mid-Atlantic Pug Rescue during Pugs & Pints. Virtual retreat was fun and went smoothly. Time with family in Oklahoma. Leaves began changing colors. Dressed up to support Humane Rescue Alliance’s Bark Ball event. 80 people joined me for the fall detox. Eve Ensler and Anne Lamott inspired at their local talk. Saw Reese Witherspoon at her Whiskey in a Teacup event. Savored time in the woods. Forest bathed in a Smithsonian garden. Finished Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One. Saw Halloween on Halloween (scary!). An encouraging Writing Salon group. Collaborated with mentoring and therapy clients. Started a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy series. Ate LOTS of vegan marshmallows (last photo). Hosted Year of Tranquility’s writing module.

Filled to the brim and overflowing, October brought me to my knees. I kept asking myself, “How did this overscheduling happen?”

Rationalizing, I blamed it on squeezing lots in post-summer and pre-holiday. However, my hope is to do some deeper digging to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Like ever.

It’s time to slow down, sink in, and savor this magical time of the year sans overflow. Won’t you join me? Bisous. x

November Wish List

Safe travels to and from Paris
Write for hours in Parisian cafes
Savor a vegan Thanksgiving
Release and host inspiring Entrepreneurship Year of Tranquility module
Determine Veterinary Social Work programming plan
Design new Tranquility du Jour and TranquiliT postcards
Compile feedback for idea generation
Create capsule wardrobe plan
Take 8 ballet classes
Finish Journal Therapy programming
Track and evaluate time
Finish Cognitive Behavioral training

Savvy Sources

A Star is Born Review: The New vs. the Old
9 Books to Add to Your November Reading List
The Science—and Magic—of Forest Bathing
Break Bad Habits and Create New Ones
The Power of Journaling
7 Tips for Getting Yourself Back into Creative Writing
Tips for Coping During the Holidays
Why Everyone Should Keep an Art Journal
Messy Nessy’s Secret Paris Archives

Forest Bathing

And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.—John Muir

Since hiking the hills of Oklahoma as a little girl, I’ve sought nourishment in nature.

Muir Woods—a redwood-infused forest located outside San Francisco is my most treasured spot on earth and I believe that nature is therapy.

According to the Nature and Forest Therapy website, “Forest Therapy, also known as ‘Shinrin-Yoku,’ refers to the practice of spending time in forested areas for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness.”

The Forest Agency of Japan began promoting this practice in 1982 and it’s spread globally. You’ve probably seen the multiple books and articles in outlets such as Time, NPR, The Atlantic, and the Huffington Post touting the many benefits.

Last Sunday we packed up the family and headed to a rented Getaway tiny house in the woods. It was nearly a year ago that we first visited these darling cabins and I’d been eyeing a possible return date ever since. We arrived at the 3pm check-in time excited to set up camp.

In this glamping type situation, setting up camp means placing my stack of books on the table, putting food items on the one shelf and inside the refrigerator, and setting out bowls and beds for the pups. Next, campfire time.

Our two days consisted of campfires, noshing (lots of vegan poutine), and walks in the woods. For hours we sat and stared at the fire with pups wrapped up in blankets on our laps. When I looked up and saw the stars, I realized how completely content I felt.

To watch the flames dance, smell the burning wood, and feel the radiating heat is magical. I see how gathering around the campfire was a sacred and social experience for our ancestors.

One recent study found “that hearth and campfires induce relaxation as part of a multi-sensory, absorptive, and social experience.” The anthropologist researcher believes fires awaken our inner cavewoman.

The day after we returned, I took a Forest Bathing workshop through the Smithsonian Associates with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, an author and certified nature and forest therapy guide. We were invited to disengage from our phones and to-dos and to walk through the Enid A. Haupt Garden paying attention with all our senses. Smelling a gardenia plant was a highlight.

Next we wandered through the Katherine Dulin Folger Rose Garden where many roses were in bloom (see last photo). I noticed the sounds of trickling water from a fountain and a nearby carousel that began to play music to entice children (and me) to ride. We ended the two-hour experience with a tea ceremony sipping maple water and eating pure maple candies.

As I’m writing this many days later, there’s a fire crackling in the fireplace and a pug snoring on my lap. Since my time in the forest I’ve been more pensive and moved at a slightly slower pace. I think there’s something to this forest bathing!

Thoreau wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Now, that’s one to ponder as we move through our weekends. Bisous. x