A Love Affair with Mugs

mugs

If I had to pick a “thing” that brings me great pleasure, it’s ceramics, more specifically, mugs.

I think they are so lovely to look at and hold.  I feel grounded when I hold a mug that was crafted by a local artisan. One that is not perfectly shaped, but fits the contours of my hands and fingers.  I breathe a little easier, heart beats a little slower ~ my hands were made to hold this life giving vessel.

uiiiiiiii8 (Miles, my cat, contributed this part)

When I am out and about, I am drawn to mugs.  I can’t help but notice their beauty.  Each one has its own history and uniqueness.  They tug at my heart, but I am reminded that I don’t really need any more.

What is this heart tug about?  I know that I have plenty of beautiful mugs.  I know that I will acquire more once I donate ones I no longer want.  But the heart knows what it needs and wants.  It seems to be about this feeling of staying connected to the earth.   

I don’t feel this way about many other “things”.  I certainly don’t breathe easier when I am holding my cell phone.  In fact, my hands tend to cramp up or fall asleep.  I find this difference quite telling about what my body knows it needs.

Whether it is an actual “thing” or something abstract, I’m going to keep listening to what my body is drawn to and what makes it happiest, and I hope you will to!!

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Extended Quiet

I’m tired of scrolling through social media and feeling not up to par with everyone else. Most of the time I am happy for others and the joy in their lives. Today, I’m kind of over it. Not over others being happy, just over wasting time soaking in others’ lives, instead of living my own life in that moment.

I am thankful for my friends and for connections with others, but I truly do not get any real joy from scrolling. Sometimes I might get an idea of something I want to do or laugh at a funny animal video. I am somewhat happy to see that a high school friend is having yet another child 😉 All okay, just not fulfilling. Yet this is the way of life. This is how people stay connected. This IS what most people do, right?

So my experiment this week is to take a break from it all. I am on spring break, having a staycation. For a while I have wanted to try a silent retreat, but decided that I could have my own silent retreat for FREE!

I’ve told a few people that I want a silent retreat for the week and I have not really gotten the supportive reactions I assumed I would get. It’s more like, hmmm that sounds boring, or no reaction at all, or so I guess that means you don’t want to hang out? Etc. Makes me wonder again, am I crazy for feeling like this would be beneficial? Is this something that only completely burned out people would think of?

Regardless, I’m looking forward to the experience. It’s so easy to get distracted by others’ requests, needs, dramas, etc. I feel like I have neglected to truly listen to what I need and want. With the pace of our society and the work load that never seems to end, it feels like an impossible task sometimes to let go of it all and hone in on what is next for me. The world will overwhelm you, if you aren’t very careful.

I’m an introvert and talking is not my preferred mode of communicating anyways, so I’m pretty certain that I will not struggle with keeping quiet this week.

By not talking, by not scrolling social media, I hope to accomplish the following things~

-better sleep

-limited input from others

-time and space for deep reflection

-permission to not care too much

-mental rest and clarity

-focus on next steps/plans

As I write my broad goals for the week of quiet, I feel like I must find a way to honor these needs on a more regular basis. But for now, I’m excited to give this a try and see what I learn.

Desire

I’m back at peace now–

But for days, what seemed like years, I felt I needed this “thing”.

This desire felt so strong, and I was certain that this would be the next step.

It would definitely propel me to increased happiness and fulfillment.

However, this excitement transformed into a strong wave of anxiety that was about to engulf me.

Which is how I knew this couldn’t be decided now, not because I was giving into fear,

but because in that moment I realized that I am truly at peace with what already is.

The wave receded, for I knew that I didn’t need anything else.

I gave myself the opportunity to explore this desire, and listened when my soul said, I am full.

“Sell” me something I don’t know.

Wise consumption is much more complicated than wise production~ Leo Tolstoy

 

In the last few years, I’ve become extremely conscious of what I consume.   Perhaps it’s the result of responsible adulthood, but most likely it’s the result of being completely sick of what society dumps on me/us.  Either way,  I am paying attention society, I just want you to know that.  I’m more powerful than you think.

I was checking my 2016 year in review bank statement yesterday, as I completed my taxes.  I was pleasantly surprised as to what I spent the most money on this year.  What industries did I support, you might be asking?

I bought my first house, so cheers to you and me, real estate industry.

I also supported the music industry with a fair share of concert tickets.

Transportation expenses ranked up there.

There were interspersed payments for Jcrew and DSW, but they were so few, not even enough to count on two hands.

I love fashion and shoes and all the cute stuff, but I didn’t need much of anything new this year.   As a matter of fact, I gave much of my clothing away to goodwill over the last few years, and made sure to only bring with me what I wear on a regular basis to the new house.

In 2016, my biggest contribution was made to the food industry.   Not to restaurants necessarily, but to local farmers, and organic food purchases.

I had made a concerted effort to support foods that are healthy and sustainable. And this pie chart from my bank, reminded me that I met that goal.  yes!

I am asking you to think about what you are consuming each day.   Pay attention. Which industries do you support?  What changes does our society need for people to be healthier and happier?

Today I went to a craft store, so that I could purchase supplies to hang up a picture I painted.  When I said politely “no thank you” to providing her my email address, she despondently looked at the ground as I left.  Are all salespeople like this? Of course not.  It’s just an example of this consumption driven, more more more, society… that is ultimately unfullfilling.

Pay attention to who and what you support, smile, be free. I am hopeful.