Happy New Year, friends! I hope you are all well. I’m popping my head up to share a post today on how I’m approaching 2019. My philosophy is going to be pretty simple – include more of what’s good in order to crowd out what’s bad. I’ve spent the last few months deeply focused on radical self-care in order to achieve a new level of wellness in my life. I’m not making lofty goals for 2019 because I’m already on the right track. And you are too. You know what you need more of. Don’t over-promise yourself this year. Instead, know this. You are already enough. You already have the tools you need. Figure out what you have that is good, and focus on more of it. Here’s my list for inspiration:
Living in a city means nature isn’t part of my every day. I have to seek it out if I’m going to have it in my life. But connecting to the earth is such a powerful way to feel alive and connected to yourself. Here are a couple ways I’m doing that:
- Bringing it inside with potted plants and spending a few moments breathing around them each day.
- Prioritizing activities outside on weekends when possible. We have a lovely park near our house that I can easily walk to and spend time there.
- Appreciating nature where I do get it – even if it’s just a walk around the block with my dog. There are plenty of trees and plants and earth to admire if I just open my eyes and mind to them.
- Seeking out nature moments when traveling. On my recent trip to Charleston, I was feeling really low energy one day, so I went out to the Angel Oak and then to meditate on the beach to the sound of the waves. I felt much better.
MORE MINDFULNESS MEDITATION
I’ve been meditating for about 4 months now. While the stress of life doesn’t go away just because you are meditating, the increased calm and more steady emotions have helped the way I deal with the stress. That makes me feel more balanced. Here’s my best advice for getting started:
- Set a timer for 3 minutes.
- Breathe in and out deeply.
- When thoughts wander – and they will – just come back to your breath.
- Reciting a mantra helps me to remain focused. Here’s an easy one: I am capable. I am calm. I am kind. I am present.
- Up your minutes, when you’re ready!
I de-prioritized reading books forever ago. That was dumb. Reading soothes my soul and gives me a break from the everyday grind. It also makes me feel like I’m exercising my brain and learning new things. I’m going to try for 10 minutes a day to start and see how that goes. I have a long commute, so I’ve also recently bought a subscription to audible for listening in the car. My current reading list falls into categories that are important to me:
- Female Role Models: Becoming Michelle Obama – Michelle Obama
- Self-Help: #Chill – Bryan Robinson
- Beauty/Fashion/Fun: Fashion Climbing – Bill Cunningham
- Nature: How to Be a Good Creature – Sy Montgomery
- Fiction: The Power – Naomi Alderman
I dabble in running and weight lifting here and there, but neither activity speaks to me profoundly. Yoga, on the other hand, has a real healing place in my life right now. I like that it is a mix of strength, meditation and calm. I recently found a Yoga Works studio that has a location near my office and one near my house, so I can hit a class after work while I wait for traffic to die down or I can grab one in my neighborhood on a Saturday. I have a balanced practice of two types of yoga:
- Vinyasa Flow Yoga – this is pretty active with a lot of repetitive movements and builds strength and heat.
- Yin Restorative Yoga – this is a slow-paced, peaceful class where you hold poses for several minutes at a time.
MORE MYSTICAL STUFF
Yep, I’ve become a crystal-loving, sage-smudging hippie this past year. And I love it! When I come home from work I will smudge off the day to cleanse the energy in our home and from myself. I meditate with crystals that promote the intention I’m aiming to cultivate, or I hold onto small crystals when I’m stressed at work – like worry stones. My favorite is rose quartz, which promotes self-love.
If you’re in Atlanta, I recommend Modern Mystic at Ponce City Market for your exploration into this realm. They have free classes on Sundays about topics like palm reading and auraology. It’s really fun and magical!
Happy New Year! Good luck with all your goals, whatever they may be. I hope we’ll see more of each other this year here on the blog. You might start to find more wellness and inner beauty content here because that’s what I care about now. I’ll be more engaged in this blog if I can weave that into my content. Hair, makeup and style is still my jam, but working on the inside is so much more important for happiness. I’d like to share with you what I’m learning!