gentle reminders

south bridge

We’re starting to move away from that time of the year again. It’s that time when everything is beautifully green and needing weeding and trimming and mowing and admiring and the lakes are beautiful, and really, shouldn’t we be out sitting on the deck with a cool drink?

At 54 degrees latitude, we really only have six or so hours of darkness. I can’t sleep. I feel the pressure to do everything. And it’s not even berry season yet! (When I will really feel the pressure to do everything.) This summer-math has landed me in that place of needing to manage depression, of trying to keep my head above water.

Today, though, I have received some gentle reminders on finding balance. Kylie wrote a guideline for herself when feeling depressed, and it hit incredibly close to home for me. She offers so much gentle guidance there, and reminded me to do the same for myself.

Tiny Buddha posted fifty-one things that will make you smile. I smiled just thinking about trying them.

And I have reminded myself: find your routines. Eat well. Go easy. Sit. And get on the trails.

Comments? How do you find balance? Can you point us to other gentle reminders? And my own gentle reminder: let’s be kind with one another.

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getting to no

It was yesterday. And I behaved very much like an adult.

I had just gotten up from my post-Vancouver-conference-trip sleepathon, and was happy to see my friend Helen stop by for tea. She didn’t just come to visit, though: she also had a spare U2 ticket that she offered to me. For tonight.

The Messenger, by Mike LaNasa (somedesignerguy on flickr) used under Creative Commons license.

I can’t say that it wasn’t tempting. Very, in fact. I’m of the age. I got my first U2 concert T-shirt in 1987, and it is now in the bottom of a drawer–the joshua tree is see-through threadbare–but I can’t get let it go. I saw U2 at the same open-air stadium where they are playing tonight in (I think?) 1996. It was amazing. Adrenaline-rushing, mind-expanding, emotion-bursting, “we’re here with one purpose” amazing.

And today? Today I’m tired. (Yesterday, I was tired.) I know that when I’m tired, I start heading into my own personal no-man’s-land. I’m worn out a little, and this would have sent me into that low place.

Today, everyone I talked to, everyone on my facebook stream, were all talking about going to the show tonight. There’s still a free ticket out there (well, I hope that they found someone for it). I would love to see U2. I would love to be a part of the excitement. I could possibly have pushed myself to go. And loved it.

But while the band is on the stage right now, I know that I’m doing the right thing. I’m learning my limits, and what healthy decisions look like. I said no.

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group energy

I paused for a moment on twitter this week, when @meganmonique asked the crowd about a-ha moments. Her question made me think, “Have I had an a-ha moment today?”

I realized that I can make a difference to the energy of a group. That my energy can affect the group’s as much as anyone else’s. That I can boost the energy-math equation, positively.

This is a huge a-ha for me.

There was a critical point in my recovery from a deep depressive episode where I realized that other people might also need something from me or the group. That I could ask them how they were doing, and offer them some energy and compassion. I can write this now with a smile, but at the time, it was a monumental shift. I now know that “normal” encompasses a range of energy levels.

By attending to my energy, I can strengthen it and share.

Since my low days, I have been reading Donna Eden’s Energy Medicine, and trying to attend to my energy health–for my own goodness. I have been doing her five-minute energy routine off and on over the past few years, but regularly in the past few weeks. I have noticed that I’m able to take on more, but what I saw this week is that my reach is farther than I could have known.

There is a lot of not-so-positive energy at my workplace right now. I can’t change what people are saying and doing. By consciously feeling my own positivity, however, and then being it in a group, I can feel some negativity shift.

Like that cute British actor dancing in the love movie, expressions of good energy can be quite private. But when shared–when we really focus on it–our good energy can come back us in the form of a shift in the group’s energy.

I am still learning. In beginner’s mind. My intention is to observe, to notice, and to take a certain care of group energy.

Comments: what have you done to shift the energy of a group? How do you maintain your own energies when things get rough?

Posted in emotion, mental health, sense | 1 Comment

two weeks of really good stuff

Victoria’s No-Brainer Scenario ebook. The package includes Victoria’s five-minute audio file walking you through a getting grounded process–the place to start in decision-making. Good stuff. I need to spend more time with this.

Michael Nobbs interviewing Lisa Baldwin, where they talk about naps, containers, and curiosities.

the magic trick is to practice trusting curiosity, and being curious about trust

Zen At Play’s “This is how I work.” Amen.

Sustainably Creative’s sustainable creativity: “Advice on how to maintain a creative life for people with low energy or limited time (or both!).”

Scoutiegirl on enthusiasm and creatives making it work for them. Enthusiasm. I will sit with that.

Serious honesty from Kylie of effervescence. Honesty. So real.

Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Rising fabric. I’ll have some of the viewfinder fabric in “natural” coming my way soon!

And, more gorgeous design felt from filzfelt, coming soon to build things with.

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one day sale!

brown-grey felt bear pillow

There’s a sale! Thirty-nine percent off of anything in the boreal modern etsy shop, from now until bedtime tomorrow night. (And I go to bed early. Like very soon. Only tomorrow.)

Coupon code: HAPPY39

http://www.etsy.com/shop/borealmodern

…39% off! to celebrate my turning 39 tomorrow. For the first time. Yay!

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positive shifts this week

bottles in the garden, day ten (? or so) of snow

Here are a few places that had me saying “oh yeah!” this week.

First, twitter. I finally joined. . . and against all things I knew to be true, I kind of really like it!

Pretty soon thereafter, I came across the scoutiegirl post on using twitter effectively. Timely and, well, yes!

And found this breathtaking short film–a video montage of people on the pier at Santa Monica–again, through my new best friend twitter.

Learning to set aside the how with smarty-pants Victoria. Seriously. This is good stuff.

Thinking about place and space with Tara.

A fun and energy-filled videochat with Danielle LaPorte with Kris Carr, all about the book Crazy Sexy Diet (ordered!).

How is it that I have only found Bridget Pilloud just now? Smart.


My friend Sarah has opened up freestanding and etsy CHILDish shops, offering personalized melamine dishes to help your organization raise funds. (A secret: you can order just one for yourself, if you like!) They are so-o-o-o cute!

And, in a top secret moment of my off-screen life, I got to sit in on a videoconference with Joseph Boyden, where he read from his upcoming, as-yet-untitled, new book! Glee!

Yes, it has been a good week!

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feel good cards and guillotine

Two new things! I love them both, and they are so good together!

feel good cards

1. feel good cards, from up up creative.
As Julie puts it on the etsy page: “In case of mood emergency, print these.” These are lovely little cards with inspiring and instructive reminders, like “take a nap,” “learn a new word,” and “cook a hot breakfast. and eat it while it’s still hot.” It’s love.

guillotine in action


2. a guillotine paper cutter.
Ever since the days where every grade school class in the province had one of these, temptingly left out to taunt little fingers and limbs (I feel fortunate to have all ten fingers to type with. . . ), I have wanted one for my very own. So, one day at work, when what to my lucky eyes did appear but a giant sign on the mailroom guillotine “discard. no longer sharp,” I believed I did find heaven. Of course, I didn’t scoop it right away. . . I ever so gingerly asked the procurement person that it was destined for, “what happens to things like this?” His blunt answer: “I leave them on a table out back, and it’s first come, first served.” Me. “Hm. So if it made its way into my home somehow, no one would really notice?” Procurement dude: “Tell them you talked to me.” Eeep–yay!!!

Posted in fun, inspiration, mental health | 2 Comments