the tug of doing or resting...

Do you ever feel a tug between doing and resting?

I think we all have times of experiencing this.

It can happen when we've got a ton of stuff to take care of, and we feel like we need to get it done...and yet we also long for a nap or relaxing with a good movie.

It can happen when our mind is flowing with new ideas for projects or plans or redecorating a room...but our body is telling us to slow down, take a break, rest.

Sunday evening was like this for me.

The new moon - and its energy of setting intentions and looking at beginnings. The air cooler than it's been here in months with the hint of the first taste of autumn on the way - and the freshness of the fall-like soft breeze stirring my own energy to do.

A part of me wanted to get to work on the beginning steps of shifting my blog to a new online home, craft more items for my Etsy shop, and declutter closets to gather things for the donation truck coming through the neighborhood this week.

And another part of me wanted to simply sit and breathe in the cool air. Relax. Not do.

I knew my body needed rest. Rest, for me at that time, was more important than site work, crafting, or decluttering.

So, with windows and patio door open to let in the almost-autumn breeze, I diffused bergamot and frankincense in the oil warmer, lit candles, turned on fairy lights. And let myself relax.

In that moment, this was self-care for me.

Self-care is different things at different times. It's not always resting and candle-glow and essential oils. Sometimes it's being active, doing a certain something, eating a specific food.

The important thing is to check in with yourself, be aware of what your spirit is telling you and what your body is telling you - what do you need in that moment? What is self-care for you at that time?

That's true self-care.

It's not the same for everyone. It's not even the same for you all the time.

And sometimes it's doing - and sometimes it's not.


As I've mentioned, it seems like my anxiety amped up over the summer. It turns out painting was the main thing that helped me center and calm... but my experience was a reminder that I hadn't been doing some of the helpful things I know to do, and I'd let some things fall to the side a bit.

So I've been consciously, intentionally, connecting more (and more often) to things that help me with calming and centering.

This means, for me, continuing to paint and work with crystals and diffuse essential oils in the air... but bringing these things into my life even more.

It means I've been pulling out markers and one of my mandala coloring books, letting myself enjoy the calming and meditative act of coloring.

It means that I've returned to practicing centering prayer every day. I was introduced to centering prayer at a workshop at my church in 1998 and it immediately became part of my life, something that centers me, calms me, helps with my anxiety, and also deepens my spiritual relationship.

I had been practicing various forms of meditation off-and-on since 1982 (off-and-on, not consistently - I go through cycles of practicing consistently... and then not-consistently) and centering prayer was a welcome addition to my life. As with other forms of meditation, over the years I've been through cycles of consistently and not-consistently spending time in centering prayer, and it had been a while. Recently I felt a strong pull to get back to it. And so I did, and I am. Already I'm noticing a positive difference.

Bringing calming and centering things into my life more also means that I'm consciously connecting more to joy.

It means being even more aware to spend time cuddling and playing with our sweet kitty.

And it means laughing more. Being more intentional about finding light-hearted moments with my husband, laughing on the phone with friends, and watching shows that make me chuckle and giggle-snort.

There are other things I'm doing but these are a few. If you're looking for more calming and centering in your own life,  maybe something I've shared will spark some things for you to try.

What helps you with centering? How can you bring those things into your life more?

It is so worth it to know... and to follow your knowing.  ♥

summer slowdown...

I'm having my own personal summer slowdown this year.

My work is at a slower pace. I've got fewer things "out there" and I'm being very selective in what I do as I honor my needs.

Although I'm still on instagram and facebook, I've done a big pull-back with my time on social media. I've had a plug-in blocking my fb feed since early or mid June... and I have to say this has resulted in a wonderful clearing of my personal energy to have this break from my fb feed. The revelations of this compare/contrast have been eye-opening, and I don't think I would have realized the extent of the impact on my energy - just from my fb feed - if I hadn't taken such an extreme break from it to experience the contrast.

One of my ongoing projects for the summer has been doing some reorganizing, redecorating, rearranging, and decluttering of our home. I'm doing a new level of nesting, it seems, and it's having a positive and lovely effect on the energy of our home and how we feel in the space.

I'm creating new little places of organization that also give me delight.

One of the cards I recently pulled for myself - working with Colette Baron-Reid's Enchanted Map Oracle and asking the simple question "what do I need to know right now?" - brought this confirmation...

Slow and steady.

It's okay for me to go at my own pace right now. It's okay to go slow and steady (I'm not always going at a steady pace, though!). It's okay for me to take a summer slowdown.

Summer is a season of fire, and fire is the element associated with action and doing.

But summer can also be a time of laid-back relaxation. Slowing down. Taking it easy.

That's what I'm being guided to do now with my summer slowdown.

Even with my slow (and not so steady) pace, things are happening. I've done some tweaking of my site and also put out a new short ebook/journal. There's a lot I'm doing around the house. I'm writing and painting and reading. And there's family stuff going on - including on the life-and-death level of the spectrum of family-stuff - and that's also having an impact on the summer and its energy.

My summer slowdown is part of my self-care, and it's also a time when I'm doing some re-evaluating, questioning, and making some decisions.

In some ways it's a simple time... and in other ways some deep stuff is happening beneath the surface.

Are you having your own summer slowdown? Or is this a busy and active time for you?

Either way is okay - there's no right or wrong answer - there's only what's right for you. If you listen to your body and your guidance, you'll know whether to go at a fast or slow pace.

You have your own rhythm, a rhythm that can change during the cycle of the day, the month, or the seasons. This rhythm can also be affected by other things happening in your life or your health - and your rhythm right now might look different from your rhythm this time last year.

The main thing is to honor your rhythm. Honor your body. Honor your pace.

And if you're like me, needing a time of a summer slowdown, honor the "slow and steady" (or not-so-steady) energy that will serve you best until you feel the nudge to go faster again.