Showing Up for Yourself

Not unlike many Foreign Service families, we traveled this summer to soak up quality time with loved ones. Wanting to take advantage of being back in the states, we stayed busy. Days were full of celebrating with yummy meals, museum visits, outdoor activities, creative pursuits, exploration, and play dates.

But while giving our active seven year-old the kind of amazing summer I wanted us to have, I frequently made less-than-healthy choices for myself. Mindful eating, writing, and yoga practices became obsolete. I tossed out my personal barriers easily, right along with the ticket stubs and latte receipts.

When I was younger, this didn’t seem to affect me much. But in my forties, perhaps unsurprisingly, I came home after weeks of summering feeling fulfilled, but also frustrated. In some ways, I hadn’t shown up for myself. My body felt wrecked, and I was disappointed that I hadn’t said yes to committing to my personal goals.

The school year resumed, and I took steps toward a healthier, more centered existence, but I wanted something to hold onto in the future that would allow for all the fun and the showing up, especially when far from home. But what was the answer?

Do you ever feel the universe is trying to tell you something? Like a higher power is saying, Hey! Could you pay attention this time, Please?” Three times in one morning, I heard the same, clear message: Show Up.

I made my favorite French tea, pasted a few images into a vision board, and read pages of Rachel Hollis’ book, “Girl, Wash Your Face,“in which she emphasized the importance of showing up  and keeping commitments for ourselves as we do for others. She asked, “would you keep hanging out with a friend always flaking out on you?”  To summarize the response: no, you wouldn’t. Commit to your dreams and goals and treat yourself as well as you do everyone else in your orbit.  Good reminder, I thought.

I had recently signed up for, but not completed, Meghan Genge’s “Magical Morning” E-Course. When I opened her email (nine days after it arrived), her message was clear: “Continue to show up for yourself. Every morning. Because magic will start to happen when you start your day mindfully.”  Hmmm. Twice I’ve heard this today.  I worked out what my morning ritual would be: light a candle, tap a singing bowl, set priorities for the day, write in my journal, and stretch.

When I opened a recommended video called “Yoga with Adrienne,” sure enough, in the introduction she said, “Show up, even if you’re tired. Commit to dedicating to your yoga practice for yourself.” Ok, universe, now you have my attention.

Once I returned to a daily ritual and carved out time for exercise and reflection, that was it! The answer was clear: a morning routine that took all of 30 minutes and made all of the difference. I still straightened the house, typed out my carefully-calculated word count, ran errands, made appointments, and planned and prepped dinner. Some days, I was even busier than while on our jam-packed summer break, but the key was that I also factored in mindfulness. I showed up for myself and the universe came knocking with its gentle reminders.

Do you have a morning routine or a way of showing up for yourself? What tools do you use to commit to your personal goals and make your way back to center?

So much abundance to you,

Tracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Things Writerly

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A thought-provoking question for you:  Where do you immediately go in a book store? Apparently, this can be insightful into your personality.  I tend to gravitate first toward the travel section, meander over to browse decor and design magazines, then check out the blank journals, and lastly, to the fiction novels and books by authors who write about women’s success, their life journeys, or personal connections. Well, and spy novels-who can resist the intrigue?

What do you enjoy reading?

I could spend hours in bookstores. The atmosphere feels so civilized and calming; great for daydreaming, and sometimes there are inviting coffee shops nearby.

Do you seek out books when you travel?  It’s one of my favorite parts of going to a new city, exploring its bookstores and cozy spaces. Shakespeare and Company in Paris feels like boarding an old pirate ship full of treasures waiting to be discovered. Book shops in London are reminiscent of an earlier era with their rows of gorgeous, dark mahogany shelves showcasing the classics and latest works, alongside beautiful, hand-stitched leather journals.

Drinking in cafes and all things writerly appeal to me. For more than a decade, I’ve used a little Mont Blanc “Mozart” fountain pen when journal-writing (and to write old-fashioned letters and postcards).  I have to admit, I’ve caught guff from colleagues in meetings about having to change the ink cartridge mid-sentence, or rub ink off of my hand…but I love the way the nib feels on paper, and the art of writing.

I also have a fervor for stationery stores. In addition to beautifully hand-made paper, some stationers in Italy, France, and Spain carry little vials of ink , sealed in wax, with glass pens. It feels very Shakespearean,or Hemingway-like, depending on the vibe.

Which are your favorite places to peruse passions and prose?

Happy daydreaming,

Tracy