It’s no wonder fall is the time of year so many memories are created. Both fall and the earliest weeks of winter offer reserved dates for honoring community, that crucial element of human well-being that is so easily forgotten without the anchors of holidays, celebrations, ritual and ceremony committing us back to one another.
When I slow down enough to notice details and deliberately move through the moments of my day, there are so many opportunities to be amazed and feel gratitude.
I don’t always remember to pause and notice, but when I do, my day is better without fail: I am more grounded in my values, more conscious of the actions I choose to take, and more resilient for any obstacles I face.
This weekend, I challenge us both to take five minutes to intentionally pause for the seemingly small stuff.
When was the last time you made something for fun? Not because you had to, not because you needed to make money, not because your kid needed help with a school project, but a time when you sat down, gathered a few materials, and decided to scratch the itch of an idea?
Today’s little ritual is quite possibly my favorite of them all. I rely on it often to help me return to baseline in times of stress, anxiety or frenzy, and to promote gratitude in times of ease.
This practice invites you to find ten minutes of space in your day to do nothing. Absolutely nothing. On purpose. And to go outside while you do it. If being outdoors is not possible, then at a minimum sit by a window.
Is there anything better than sitting around a fire on a dark, crisp winter night? Whether alone or in community, something about a campfire is universally familiar, comforting, and grounding.
Do you have a bird feeder in your yard? Or a place for birds to get water? If not, I humbly suggest you consider getting or making one this winter. Create a sanctuary for winter birds to come and fill their tummies, and claim it as a visual reminder to clear space in your mind, and free yourself from a few moments of worry and/or thought-clutter.
Much like the character of Cook in The Tale of Desperaux, I believe compassion and soup are the answers to most of life’s questions.
Lately each day, when I’m feeling chilled or sense the hint of sickness coming on, I find myself making warm honey, lemon and cayenne “tea”. I have always sworn this concoction can nip a fuzzy headed, drippy sore-throat feeling in the bud before it ever settles in, but I’ve never really known why it always seemed to work. This week I took time to explore that curiosity.
The holidays are a fantastic time to create ritual that invites us to pause and reflect on the year behind us and consider what we want most for our days ahead. Not only does taking time to do this allow a way to integrate lessons learned both collectively and individually, it also provides a place to share these things when we might otherwise keep them stored inside. What’s more, looking back on the ways a family has grown, or the ways dreams were realized (or turned into something completely different) after many years is the way this simple and quick ritual can turn into something priceless that can be enjoyed perhaps even by generations who will follow.