A dear friend of mine once shared with me that she finally made peace with being late to school because an attitude of ease was more important than punctuality. She realized that her energy set the tone for the children. If she was rushed and frustrated, then everyone else would feel the same. By choosing to slow down and honor her family’s pace, she was able to get everyone out of the door with smiles on their faces, their energies nourished by her graceful approach.
I needed to hear these words. Traffic in Los Angeles is already excruciating and when you throw three kids into the mix who need to be somewhere at the right time, it's even more nerve-racking. This is when I feel the tightening the most. It is the anxiety and stress rising up and into my body that makes me rigid, leaves me breathless. The expression on my face is tense. I can feel it. I’m sure my children can too. When I feel my body begin to stiffen, I remind myself that life is a series of moments in which I get to choose how I want to live and be. I ask myself, what would it take for me to be more loving right now? What would it take for me to be more open right now?
Katrina Kenison writes, “Not a day goes by that I don't still need to remind myself that my life is not just what's handed to me, nor is it my list of obligations, my accomplishments or failures, or what my family is up to, but rather it is what I choose, day in and day out, to make of it all. When I am able simply to be with things as they are, able to accept the day's challenges without judging, reaching, or wishing for something else, I feel as if I am receiving the privilege, coming a step closer to being myself. It's when I get lost in the day's details, or so caught up in worries about what might be, that I miss the beauty of what is.”—from The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir
I forget this sometimes—a lot of the time. The details of everyday life can be a huge distraction that causes my eyes to glaze over and I fail to notice the simple pleasures that also grace my days. There are simple phrases and words that I carry with me when I feel myself begin to tighten: Just breathe. Take your time. Soften. When I feed myself these nourishing thoughts I can bring myself back into the beauty of the moment. I can make subtle shifts in my energy and in the way I breathe. I can erase the stress that lines my face. I can remind myself that in this moment I can do it differently. In this moment I can be love, peace, and ease. In this moment I can nourish my spirit.
I also find this important to remember during the holidays. In the United States, the day after Thanksgiving is considered Black Friday by retailers because it is the busiest shopping day of the year. Sometimes people stay up all night for early morning sales or they wait in line for after-midnight shopping sprees. However you choose to celebrate, I encourage you to carry these phrases with you ... just breathe. Take your time. Soften. Plan ahead for lines and lengthened commutes by packing snacks and a warm thermos of tea. Create a playlist on your iPod and sing in the car with your kids. Or stay home and buy handmade. Whatever you choose to do, set an intention to keep your heart open and look for beauty.
With gratitude and joy,
Calling Artists + Soul-minded Entrepreneurs!
Heart-soaked + Handmade: An Artist Community Link-up
Because I love supporting soulful entrepreneurs and artists, I warmly invite you to share your online shops, Black Friday, Small-Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday sales, digital offerings, and other deeply nourishing and creative heart-soaked and handmade goods here on Annapurna Living. This is perfect for nurturing and beautiful items which can be mailed, downloaded, subscribed to, or experienced online. For an idea of what to enter, please explore the gifted artisans above! *Note: some links are affiliate links.
How to participate
In the link service below, share a direct link to your item, shop, or to a post describing your sale, digital offering, or any special discount code. Images must be 125x125. When you enter your link, images from your site will automatically populate. Select the one you'd like to use or upload a new image. If you don't consider yourself an entrepreneur, you're welcome to share your favorite artisan or soulful shop in the comments!