Tick-tock, tick-tock… I can choose to let the demands on my time and attention overwhelm me. Or I can decide to slow down and take a break.
In the midst of my daily calendar, I schedule times for me to stop throughout the day. I have a mindfulness bell on my phone that’s set for specific intervals of my choice. Thank you Sheila Glazov for recommending this App to me. The sound of the singing bowl is my signal that It’s Time.
Time for what? You ask.
Time to put my shoulders down and take a deep breath. Time to take Willa for a walk. Time to eat. Time to stretch. Time to be grateful. And time to watch the bees on the hummingbird feeder enjoying the sweetness of life. They teach me how to fully be in a moment without a care about anything else in the world. They teach me that sometimes the greatest joys come in the smallest things. They remind me that life is sweet. It’s especially sweet when I’m fully present, fully aware, fully engaged, and fully enjoying it—joie de vivre!
When I lay in bed at night, one of the heart-based exercises I do is to mentally go through the alphabet and list things that my best self enjoys extending and receiving:
Acceptance (celebrate our differences) Benefit of the doubt Compassion Divinity in action Encouragement Forgiveness Gratitude Hospitality Inclusion Joie de vivre (joy of life) Kindness Listening between the lines (attentiveness) Mindfulness (present-moment focus)
Namaste’ (honoring the divine spark in self and others) Optimism Peace Quiet strength Respect Simplicity (the gift of ease) Truth Understanding Vision (cultivating and nurturing original ideas to fruition) Wisdom Xellence (the daily practice of being my best self—living my best life) Yoga mindset (valuing connection with the world and its inhabitants) Zen attitude (daily letting go of what I can’t control)
Hummingbirds — their name comes from the fact that they flap their iridescent wings so fast (about 80 times per second) that they make a humming noise. They can fly right, left, up, down, backwards, and even upside down.
Using strategically placed salvia, hyssop, and a sugar-water feeder, we’ve intentionally created a hummingbird hideaway. “Build it and they will come,” they said. That’s an understatement. They’ve come all right—in droves—and I’m enamored.
Once I started researching these colorful little creatures, I quickly discovered that they hold a wide variety of symbolism in different cultures around the globe, but there are a few core similarities:
I can’t even begin to describe the joie de vivre—enjoyment of life; exultation of spirit—that continuously bubbled to the surface throughout my recent European holiday!
My two favorite locations were Venice, Italy and Santorini, Greece:
Venice—roughly the same size as New York’s Central Park, Venice welcomes 70 million visitors annually. And though it hustles and bustles with modern day activity, it continues to exude old world charm.
I had a wonderful time capturing memories.
Santorini—fresh-from-the-oven pita bread, hummus, big juicy olives, and rich purple bougainvillea climbing white walls. Heaven on earth? Yes!
If tapping your heels together three times would instantly transport you anywhere in the world—different from your current location—for a 3 week holiday, where would you go?