wednesday well-being: 2014 takeaways

love notes
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Au revoir 2014. You’ve been a year of anniversaries, creative expression, and growth with a splash of challenge.

As I prepare to lead today’s three-hour Yoga + Mindfulness Mini Retreat at Tranquil Space and launch the 52 Weeks of Tranquility Program to my mailing list, I’m taking a moment to reflect on this year’s takeaways.

By sharing them here, I’m hopeful they’ll give you an inside peek and offer encouragement to pen your own takeaways. A smattering of mine are listed below in no particular order.

1. Read, read, read. I devoured books at a quicker than usual pace this year and finally joined Goodreads. When struggling, I turned to books and often found the answers tucked inside. Even last Tuesday while riding the Metro, I pulled up Thrive on my Kindle. Surprisingly enough, I’d stopped reading months ago at the exact spot I needed to read last week.

2. Get in touch with feelings. Through mindfulness and yoga practices, I’ve learned the importance of getting out of the head and into the body. During daily life I’ll often take a moment to tune in to the feelings around a comment, situation, or experience. One practice is called focusing and connecting to the felt sense.

3. Therapy rocks. Through my work at The Women’s Center, I’ve found the connection with clients through therapy to be an amazing tool for self-growth and understanding. Finding a therapist of my own this year has also been an insightful way for me to explore and deepen my own self-understanding.

4. Creativity. The majority of this year was focused on bringing two new babies {Anthology and Daybook} into the world. In addition, there were multiple classes, programs, and exercises to help deepen my writing practice. Having a play date in Paris to make natural beauty products, releasing new TranquiliT collections, and penning weekly Love Notes also nurtured this side of me.

5. Simplify. This was my word of the year and I plan to carry it into 2015, too. Thoreau said, “Life is frittered away by details. Simplify, simplify, simplify.” While I’m a big proponent of paying attention to the details {doilies, twinkle lights, lavender candles}, I also appreciate the notion of paring down to the essentials. While twinkle lights are an essential to me, there’s been a big focus on exploring what is and is not working in my schedule, in my relationships, in my home, and moving toward making changes. Also, I’ve just downloaded Essentialism onto my Kindle and I plan to devour it over the next few days.

6. Add a dose of sparkle. I’m donning sequin leggings to teach today’s workshop and believe strongly in the power of dress-up. Sparkle doesn’t have to come in the form of anything glittery, it’s a state of mind. Dabbing my favorite perfume behind my ears each morning, brushing cat eyes on with a heavy liner, or applying red lipstick prepares me to enter the world. Lighting a candle when I get home, helping clients have an aha moment, or spending sacred time with my family is a dose of sparkle. Hanging pink twinkle lights and silver garland gets me into a celebratory state of mind.

7. Celebrate. This year was filled with many celebrations. From a 10-year anniversary with Le Beau, to a 15-year anniversary of Tranquil Space, to a 10-year anniversary of this blog, Tranquility du Jour, to a 10-year birthday for Le Pug. Although most years don’t have so many anniversaries, it’s important to stop, step back, and acknowledge the transitions of life. Ideally with a flute of bubbly in hand.

8. Move. I rarely walk around town as I’m typically on my pink bike zooming to and fro. Even biking home late last night after seeing clients into the wee hours, I loved feeling the cool fresh air on my skin and breathing it in deeply. Yoga continues to be a big part of my life along with occasional jaunts to the gym. A little bit of movement each day is critical to my mental health.

9. Speak up for what matters. In May I participated in a Mercy for Animals protest along with my visiting mom and friend Carol. Stopping animal abuse in all forms remains incredibly close to my heart. Here are 55 ways to help animals per Humane Society of the United Sates.

10. Stay present. I’ve noticed that I tend to get the most riled up when I’m trying to multitask or figure out too many things at once. Coming back to my breath over and over is the best way I’ve learned to battle my deep desire to accomplish more and more. Thank goodness for mindfulness as it’s teaching me how to simplify, slow down, and begin again.

As you look back on your year, what themes stick out? What lessons did you learn? What were some of your highlights {think experiences}? Give 2014 the final reflective moments it deserves and then get ready for an exciting brand new year. A fresh slate. Move into it with your takeaways and tie them into your 2015 dreams. Bisous. x