Rejuvenating Reset - The Magic of Intention and Routines

Rejuvenating Reset - The Magic of Intention and Routines

I have spent the past month be-bopping around, away from home, away from my routines, away from my typical diet - and you know what...I feel pooped! 

All that change has effected the way I feel in my body, my energy levels, and my ability to focus. Luckily -- I know the secret to getting back on track in a flash: a solid morning routine and a day of detoxifying, nutrient-dense eats.

You can turn to this 1 -Day Reset if you've been traveling or if you're just feeling less vibrant that you would like. I recommend giving this a try if you’ve been feeling bloated, achy, low-energy, or unfocused. These are all signs that your body may be under stress and therefore inflamed. 

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Get Your Buns in the Kitchen with Mise en Place

Get Your Buns in the Kitchen with Mise en Place

There is this fantastic concept that comes from French cooking, and adopted well beyond the French, called: Mise en Place (pronounced: mees en plah). It means “putting in place” or “everything in its place”. It refers to the set up required before cooking, and in professional kitchens it would refer to the organization and arrangement of ingredients that a cook would need access to during a night of fast paced food prep. 

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Saying NO + Sinking Into the Gifts of Water

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Emotionally, the wintertime and especially holiday time, can leave us feeling frazzled, spread thin, and like our time is not our own. To attain some balance  I encourage you to practice slowing down, resting up and tapping into your intuition. In order to do that, we need to create a bit of space for ourselves to just be -- and we need to practice saying NO.

It can be challenging to say no. We don't want to disappoint, or miss out on the fun, or close the door on an opportunity. But if we are spread too thin, we simply cannot bring our best selves to the table, and we begin to feel like we don't have enough. We don't have enough time, energy, resources--to make it through--and that is a lousy way to feel!

Say NO to those things that don’t light you up-up-up! There are thousands of distractions available to you everyday--thousands! Be a rebel, listen to your body and say no at those times when it is not a spine-tingling, gut warming --YES!

Then, practice listening to those beautiful YES moments -- those sweet little sparks that you are eager to watch grow. I find that water is very helpful when trying to tap into intuition. Water allows us to soften. Water helps to dissolve those things that no longer serve. Water is patient. Water is powerful. Embracing these qualities of water is great therapy, especially in the wintertime (Vata time of the year) when  it is colder, drier, and we tend to constrict in order to create warmth. Water helps us to feel held and completely enveloped,  whether we are drinking a cup of tea, listening to the sounds of a rushing river, or sinking our bods into a nice hot bath.

To celebrate saying NO and cultivating your sweet, supple intuition, I say treat yourself to a delicious herbal bath.

I made this super tasty herbal bath at a moon medicine class I participated in at Wild Craft Studio School. We called is a psychic bath, and it was!

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup Dead sea salts (those green ones were amazing and so softening)
  • 3/4 cup Epsom salts
  • 2 T dried Mugwort - for psychic dreaming!
  • 2 T Yarrow - to establish boundaries and provide protection
  • Hand full of Pine Needles - to provide a sense of place and clarity to perception
  • 1/2 cup Chamomile Flower - to relax the belly and to tap into that gut wisdom (and to feel like you are steeping in a dreamy tea!)

Dump it all into your bath and let your heart and mind take you where it is ready to go. This is a delicious way to care for yourself this season. Let the water soften and dissolve all that you are ready to let go of, and bring clarity to all that you are ready to embrace.

Remember, when you give yourself the care that you need and the space to cultivate what you deeply desire, you radiate light to all of those around you--and that is a beautiful thing!

So...have the courage to say NO. To disappoint, (it will be temporary). To trust that a door meant to be open will not close.

And sink into some beautiful self-care this holiday season...

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water_altar

Finding Balance : Making Space : Seasonal Clothing Cleanse

  SEED Find Balance Make SpaceFinding balance | Making space | Appreciation | Clarity | Witnessing truth

This New Libra Moon is all about balance, space, kindness, appreciation, and clarity -- Clear  eyes, minds and hearts. I celebrated the new moon by doing one of my favorite space making activities: a wardrobe cleanse.

This little ritual started a few years ago, after I had realized that almost daily I went through the excruciating decision-making gauntlet that was: WHAT SHOULD I WEAR today/tonight/to this thing I have to go to/etc. I am already painfully challenged with decision making, and having gobs and gobs of clothing options did not help the toil. I had clothing that I had collected from others or for various occasions, or for a lifestyle that just wasn't mine anymore. Clothes were spread across different rooms, and storing them was a total chore. This little bit of chaos made me feel crazy and weak and amplified my indecisive tendencies to a deafening roar. So began the methodical, border line obsession, that is the Clothing Cleanse. Essentially, seasonally I curate a  small selection of clothing, hang it in it's place-in my space, and I put the rest away. Out of sight, out of mind.

This ritual allows me to feel in control and intentional-about where I put my money and what I spend mental energy on in a day.  It encourages me to be creative with what is, and imagine what could be. Having fewer, yet appropriately curated items, means that the things that are showcased are things that I love--that really work for me. I don't have space for things that are just so-so. This brings a deep appreciation for those items that I get to enjoy for a part of the year--I take care of them and treat them well. Because items rotate and new things come into my consciousness a few dedicated times a year--I break free from that graspy feeling of always wanting something else. And, decision making is more or less effortless.

Now, I live in a tiny house, so having the essentials on hand-- and only the essentials in my space-- is, well-essential. Pictured below is the clothing storage that Oliver and I share.  That's not a lot of space! That means I need to be particular about what is going to take up space.

iny House ClothingThe seasonal wardrobe is in the house and the rest of the items are in a small storage closet, in 2 plastic storage containers. This includes all off-season clothing, coats, shoes, scarves, and accessories.

When it comes to "seasonal" clothing, there are plenty of items that are good for all seasons-- this means that I have to store some of those basics so that the wardrobe is manageable. I love this aspect because inevitably I will be delighted later in the year when I "rediscover" some of my favorites. This also means that the longevity of the clothing and shoes is preserved, which is great! Less stuff to buy. Speaking of which, this whole practice  makes going shopping way less interesting as I get to "shop" my existing wardrobe a few times a year. I still get those little "yay--new stuff" sensations when I pull out a scarf or a sweater I completely forgot about!

This whole ritual is incredibly satisfying, and is something that has removed much stress and decision fatigue from my life. You may not be as crippled at decision making as I am--but I assure you that you would benefit from lightening your clothing load.  It clears so much space!

SEED WardrobeAre you feeling pumped about cleansing your own closet?  

Here are some steps to consider:

Set up

  • Make space. You're going to be spreading stuff all over and depending on how much you have to deal with, it could take a while.
  • Have dedicated bags ready for items you are ready to:
    • donate/swap
    • items that need to be cleaned/repaired
  • Have storage containers for off-season items. I have one for "Spring/Summer" and one for "Fall/Winter". I like those plastic rubbermaid storage containers.
  • Most importantly--pour a glass of wine and turn on some tunes! Celebrate this space-clearing ritual. It doesn't have to be a chore!

Then begin to sort!

How do you choose what stays and what goes?

  • Some items will be no-brainers--Get those items out of the way ASAP:
    • Items that are clearly the wrong season (store it)
    • Items that are the wrong size (toss it--unless it is reasonable to believe your size will change in the next year)
    • Items you never or rarely wore when it was in-season (maybe toss it or set aside).
  • Are there some items that you love, love, love--and are really looking forward to wearing?
    • Put the lovers in the center of your space so you can really see them. There are usually a few pieces that inspire the whole collection, or pull the whole thing together.  The pic below has a few items that I was really excited about...and the colors in the floral arrangement just screamed autumn to me and inspired a palette.
  • With what is left, consider the items holistically:
    • What shapes and lines do you like to carry this time of year?
    • What's your lifestyle like this time of year?
    • What are your shoe options for the season?
    • What jackets do you have?
    • Start to add complimentary items to the outside of the circle--so you can see what you are working with!

SEED Wardrobe InspirationBe a sleuth.

  • Look for patterns in your go-to selections.
    • Are there recurring fabrics or colors?
    • What do you like about these things?
    • Where do you imagine yourself wearing these items?
    • What are you doing in them?
  • Look around at the other items that you own and decide what REALLY compliments the items you have already chosen. Add those items to the mix.
  • Now look over the remaining items. Could you live with out them for a few months? If so, put them away. If no, set the remaining items aside.

Place the keepers in their new home.

Once you have selected what will stay, put them away in your closet. I have a finite number of hangers and drawer space. Everything must have its place or it is too much... This may mean you will need to be a bit more ruthless about what items stay and what items are stored.

Pack away the rest.

Now, for the items that are going to be packed away in the tub:

  • Make sure they are clean and not damaged.
  • Make sure you have tossed a few things that just didn't work so that you don't have to reassess next year.
  • I will also note anything that I wished I had had for that season but never came across. Those items go into a notes app on my phone, in a note dedicated to items to look for when I happen to be out shopping. This makes shopping more purposeful and allows for screaming deals, as you may be the only one looking for certain items off season. Last spring I scored some autumn booties at 75% off. Stoked.
  • Once that is done, toss in a  little satchel of lavender and love note...you will forget about some of these things and will be delighted when you open up your storage container next spring!

Now, things get really creepy!

I think this is my favorite step:

  • Assess the goods that make up your current duds! I love to sketch out the different silhouettes and general outfit ideas I have. For me it is all about creating nice shapes. So fitted tops, big scarves and flowey skirts or boxy tops and matchstick pants with booties. I also assess my color palette and make sure it is still feeling harmonious. One year I might make paper dolls to take this to the next creeptastic level.

Wardrobe SketchAssess what it missing from the collection to take it from great to wow:

Sometimes a new scarf or a jacket will pull all the items together in a magical way. So I keep my eyes peeled for opportunities to pick those up. I don't shop much throughout the year, but when I switch out my wardrobe I usually shop a bit for very specific items: things that are going to work with what I have going on for the season. Shopping in the way feels more gratifying.

And that's it.

This is a commitment, but the time and energy spent up front, make way for clarity of mind and spirit and ease of decision making. Plus, I LOVE not being hungry for clothing items all year. I have never been a huge shopper, but I am certainly no stranger to that desire for "something new"--whatever that is. This little ritual builds in something new a few times a year--and often are items that I already own. I love that most.

Anyhow, if you're feeling inspired--- Give it a try!

Baby steps would be packing away summer shorts, tops, sandals now, so that they don't clutter your closets. You'll be able to see what you have more clearly...and you will have the delicious element of surprise next spring/summer when you pull those babies out again.

Put on some good music, pour a glass of wine, and get down to business. It feels so good to simplify your day to day choices by cleansing your closets, and with it--the angst of decision fatigue!

P.S. It is my D R E A M  to help people to do this. So if you want someone to help you decide what goes, schlep things to storage, or just sit there and drink wine--you know who to call.

 

xo

Denise