Hey friends, happy Saturday! I hope if this is your weekend that you enjoy a long, deep drink from exactly the well of refreshment you need most. No doubt you have earned it.
For me, refreshment will mean cuddles and extended leg braids with my husband, and hopefully big bowls of plain popcorn and a great movie. It means one more easy run, maybe with friends, and as much yoga and foam rolling as I can slow down for. (It’s been a great mileage week and I need the stretch.)
Refreshment could mean a few fun outings around town, some gardening, one exceptional birthday party for our friend Jason, and also making substantial progress on the Lazy W Outreach Batmobile. I am so pumped about my husband’s newest project and cannot wait to tell you everything!
In case your idea of refreshment is reading and watching soul-nourishing stuff, here is a list of treasures I have found lately.
Kindness Diaries This is a Netflix series that chronicles a globe-trotting social experiment about generosity between strangers. I found it by accident a few months ago. Now Handsome and I watch it together. The episodes are short (really short) and sweet (really sweet) so you can easily fit them into your busy life anytime your spirit needs a boost. The globe-trotting set up also means you get to learn about all kinds of places and cultures in a slightly different way, something more casual and less anthropological. Please sample this beautiful show for yourself, cuddled up with your people if possible. While not always easy to watch, the program is family friendly. And I love the overarching message that while the world from a great distance can be harsh and terrible, up close there is more than enough light to dispel the darkness. I cannot even say how much I love that.
“I realized on my journeys that all though we may be different religions, although we may be different colors, although we may live in different countries, we are all the same,” ~Leon Logothetis
Book of Joy: Can’t stop, won’t stop. I am on my third pass now, making note of my own notes from the first pass and organizing my thoughts and emotional responses along the way. Every day I find new layers and brighter echoes. This slim volume speaks to so many lessons I have been learning over the past eight years or so. And although the three authors are from different “religions” than any to which I have ever ascribed, all of it complements my deepest spiritual faith so cozily, I honestly feel like I was always meant to read it. Have you ever felt that way about a book?
Related, here is some exciting news: My friend Kellie recently listened to The Book of Joy on audio, liked it so well she is now reading the print version and agreed to discuss with me soon. Kellie S. is great at deep conversations. I am very excited. I happened to hear that our other friend Kelley F. had read it years ago and wants to discuss (yay! She is SO smart and I can’t wait to get better acquainted with her!), and still another friend Meredith (yes we all know each other already!) started reading it this week. I’m not even done. Brittany from Colorado (and Sante Fe and Paris and my dreams) checked it out at the library, as did my new internet-local running friend Jessica who is fast like lightning and bakes sourdough more than I do, and I know they will both love it. As of early this morning, our very own Handsome has also downloaded and started reading the book! He said he wants to finally see what it is I can’t stop talking about.
We have ourselves a small, intimate study group focused on a supremely worthwhile book.
Deep breath from all of that excitement!
Speaking of deep breathing… This article on the mindbodygreen website was super thought-provoking. It gave me a fresh look at the wellness of our little household, especially as the days cool down and shorten. Two things to which I have been trying to pay attention are micronutrition and rest. When I need energy, instead of thinking first about food or caffeine, I stop to breathe deeply and stretch. Maybe drink water or have a small piece of fruit, then wait to see how I feel in a bit. I think this practice has helped my digestion too, if you have read much about Ayurvedic medicine. It certainly helps me with mindfulness. If you read the article, I would love to hear your thoughts.
An Autumn Mindset: The Inspired Room is such a gracious source for ideas and motivation on how to keep house and decorate, but in a lusciously gentle, meaningful way. I love love love her annual autumn nesting series, and this year it all begins with this mindset post. So perfect. My gosh. And doesn’t this quote apply to every season, every effort we make at home?
Cultivating an autumn mindset begins with quieting the noise of what everyone else is doing so we can actually focus on the simple joy of creating our own cozy sanctuary.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Last but not least, the Fred Rogers documentary. We curled up with some comfort food one evening and watched this, and it was just perfect. Better than I expected, more interesting and more emotional. I am so grateful to have been raised on television like this and Sesame Street. And as we watched, I learned more about my husband’s childhood, too.
What have you been watching and reading lately?
Full disclosure: As I edit and try to post this for you, Shameless series 7 is playing in the background. The show is fascinating and prompts lots of great conversation, but it does require a palette cleanse here and there, haha. Hence, the list above.
“There is no normal life that is free of pain.
It’s the very wrestling with our problems
that can be the impetus for our growth.”