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The Art of Evolution

We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. If we fix on the old, we get stuck. When we hang onto any form, we are in danger of putrefaction. Hell is life drying up.—Joseph Campbell

Although it’s not yet December, I find myself in full-on contemplation mode wanting to reflect on 2018 and get clear on 2019. Clarity, always seeking clarity. As if there’s some right answer. {Hint, there’s not}.

I’ve reviewed nearly 100 responses to my recent survey and am blown away by your ideas and requests for support in topics ranging from style to mindfulness to building a business. Thank you for your time and thoughtfulness!

Through this process I’m recognizing that I need to go back to the basics and define for myself what Tranquility du Jour is. Yes, it’s a resource for finding more tranquility in the every day. And yet what are the underlying values? Things like creativity, style, dreams, self-care, giving back, eating and living well, etc.

Over the next many weeks I’ll work on clarifying this for myself and, ultimately, to help shape what’s next for the blog, podcast, and events of Tranquility du Jour.

Never fear, I don’t envision a massive shake up, but more of a deepening and streamlining into its next phase.

When searching for a quote to go with today’s post, I came across the one above by Joseph Campbell. It speaks to the importance of growing, stretching, and evolving. As we head into the winter months of hibernation and death in the natural world, I find it helpful to use this time to do the same for ourselves.

Step back, slow down, get quiet, reflect.

I’m wondering, what can we shed to make room for what 2019 has waiting for us? How do we want to evolve in the new year? Rather than a massive overhaul, let’s consider an energetic shift. Exhale. Bisous. x

A Peek into Writing Salon

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.—Joan Didion

For nearly two decades I’ve sought to create community that supports and nurtures women creatively and spiritually. First it was a yoga studio in my living room, then workshops and retreats, followed by books, a blog, and podcast. The how continues to evolve.

On Saturday I hosted a newly-conceived Writing Salon in my Dupont Circle therapy space in Washington, DC.  I rearranged the furniture to accommodate multiple chairs, set out light vegan treats such as rosemary crostinis, vegan cheese, mini Kind bars, dried local apples, grapes, and herbal tea.

My goal was to offer a safe space to explore the writing practice by offering tools to enliven our writing, tips to create time and space for writing, prompts to practice in the moment, and ways to share our voice with the world.

The 2.5 hours zoomed by as we wrote, shared, took notes, offered ideas, and created community around writing. Save the date for our next Writing Salon on January 12!

Here’s what one participant had to say about her experience:

Kimberly welcomed me into the writing salon before I even arrived, with a series of mindful journaling questions to prepare for the session. Then, she opened her atelier, a divine, cozy space in the heart of the city, for an intimate and engaging class. Kimberly offered tools, tips, and prompts to enliven the practice of writing. I left having reconnected with my voice and inspired to share it with others. Highly recommend Kimberly’s salon as an investment in your best creative self. 

One prompt that I enjoy sharing is “Barn’s burnt down now I can see the moon.” I LOVE this piece found on Medium that brings it to light:

“After watching his barn burn to the ground, 17th Century samurai and poet Mizuta Masahide wrote the following haiku:

‘Barn’s burnt down now I can see the moon’

Maybe you’ve watched as your metaphorical barn burned to the ground. Perhaps life is truly not moving in the direction you had planned, or maybe you’ve been unwilling to see anything but the rubble.

My message to you is this:

Look Up. See the beauty and magic of your life. Know that you arrived on this planet with all of the courage and faith you need to turn tragedy into triumph.

See the moon.”

Wishing you moments of seeing the moon and connecting to the writer within. Join me for the next Writing Salon on January 12 with a focus on the new year! Bisous. x

Pen to Paper: Lists

Sometimes our stop-doing list needs to be bigger than our to-do list.—Patti Digh

Ah, lists. Many of you are probably familiar with a to-do list, yet there are many other lists that we can write and create.

List-making helps to curb that anxious, overwhelmed feeling of too much swimming around in our heads. Studies have shown that imagery is useful for people with anxiety, so making your lists beautiful can alleviate some of those anxious feelings swirling around.

It’s also a space for creativity. When making our lists with color and design like hand lettering and flourishes, we bring a creative streak into our every day experience. Just google “bullet journal lists” and you’ll be filled with inspiration!

Below you’ll find an assortment of list ideas to get you going:

Worry, excited about, gratitude, want to do, bucket, dreams, today’s accomplishments, ideal day, morning ritual, evening ritual, holiday gift list, stop doing, holiday menus, birthdays and anniversaries, journaling prompts, food diary, current projects, meeting notes, exercise log, grocery, meal planning, recipes to try, movies to watch, books to read, restaurants to try, wish, seasonal bucket, places to visit, fitness goals, mood tracker, things I love, favorite quotes, memories, blog posts to write, videos to shoot, things to photograph, monthly budget, items to buy, reading log, playlists, date ideas, outdoor activity ideas, causes you care about, blogs to follow, favorite Instagram accounts, packing lists, day trip ideas, job application log, essential oil recipes, beauty routine, self-care, relationship wish, career wish, habit tracker, pet care, child care, personal care, Q4 list, garden care, to be, home care, sanctuaries to visit, rescues to support.

Create a list beyond your to-do list and to have fun with it. Rather than the typical ballpoint pen on lined paper or a digital list, make it colorful, add doodles or flourishes, or write on a beautiful image pulled from a magazine. Grab your journal, a magazine, markers, washi tape, and do a little brain dumping. Make it uniquely you.

Share your photos using #tranquilitydujour. I can’t wait to see what you create! Bisous. x