The ABC's Of My Important Things
It's Thanksgiving in Canada and as I was thinking over things that I'm grateful for. I was also inspired by this post, so I came up with my own list of important things.
A is for autumn. The best time of year where scarves, cardigans, and boots make a more regular appearance in my world.
B is for belly laughs. My husband and I give ourselves imaginary points when we've made the other one bust a gut laughing. He'll tell you that he's in the lead, but really I am.
C is for caramel. Salted caramel preferably. Especially those salted caramels that I bought at Whole Foods once while on a retreat and have not been able to find since returning home.
D is for dahlias. I’ve never been much of a flower kinda gal. I’m all for getting out amongst the trees and I love being outside especially if there is a nice breeze. But when I first saw a dahlia, well I was smitten. I could stare at them forever and never get bored.
E is for ease. This is not to be confused with the word easy. Ease represents authenticity and being real. It's being capable of working through what life tosses your way and being less jolted by the challenges of living your life. Ease isn't always easy.
F is for feathers. I wanted to test a theory. So, one day I asked for a "bunch" of feathers that I would know were meant for me. When I returned from walking my son to school there was a feather that was waving at me in my front lawn. It was like someone had planted it there. I went to run some errands and came home to another feather standing at attention in my lawn. I added it to the one from the morning and went to pick my son up from school. We returned and found eight more feathers spread across our lawn. I got worried and searched for a bird carcass but we didn't find one. All we found were more and more feathers. So in one day I found 10 feathers after I put out a specific request for them. I no longer question asking for what I want!
G is for my favourite G. Also known as my son, my kid. But I tell him every day that he is my favourite G______. This is a kid who's so kind, creative and funny and it's a bonus that he still wants to hang out with mom and dad.
H is for honesty. Doesn't it feel great to say what you mean, and mean what you say? I like being honest and I appreciate it in return.
I is for my intuition. This is one of my great super powers. I've been working on strengthening it over the last few years, and I'm continually amazed and grateful by what it shows me, teaches me and how it helps me navigate my days and weeks. It's not always easy work, because sometimes trusting it can be hard, and messy, but it's always worthwhile. Even when it takes me some time to realize that.
J is for joy. I'm on a constant lookout for joy and I challenge myself to find it in the most unlikely places.
K is for kettlebells. I'm forever grateful for getting "stuck" with a movement specialist who taught me how to use them properly. And when I say properly I'm referring to how Pavel Tsatsouline and Gray Cook would use them instead of Jillian Michaels. Kettlebells are a perfect compliment to my other physical activities and I get so much out of them in a short period of time.
L is for lavender. Rows and rows of lavender growing in a field. A beautiful sight to behold.
M is for music. When I'm looking for new music I go searching for soundtracks of movies and TV shows. This is how I've been finding music I love since I was a teen. When I'm watching something, I'm listening to the music that's in the background and taking in the action that's playing out in front of my eyes. Then I go searching for some obscure song that stuck out for me. Sometimes I've only heard a few seconds of the song that I must now find. Thankfully Google and iTunes have helped my search immensely over the years. This is how I was introduced to the music of Nina Simone, Fela Kuti, and Ludovico Einaudi to name just a few.
N is for never accepting funds from any royalty in Nigeria. As tempting as that invitation may be, don't do it.
O is for Olwen. Yep, it's my name and it's important to me. It made the list because I still have people who I've known for years who still can't, or won't, pronounce it properly. So, to clarify it's pronounced ALL-WEN.
P is for pens and paper. I like to kick it old school when I'm taking notes. For some reason when I write things out on paper I have a better chance of remembering them. And while it might be easier to cut, copy and paste in a digital program, nothing beats scratching out sentences, changing phrases and scribbling in the margins with a good old fashioned pen. And don't even get me started on new notebooks. I've never met one that I didn't like.
Q is for quartz crystals. Clear quartz can help you amplify energy and rose quartz is one of the most soothing crystals that I've ever come into contact with. You'll often find clear quartz in my crystal grids and rose quartz tucked in my bra.
R is for resistance. I know that it can be tiring to not comply, but it's soul-sucking to go along with something that I don't agree with. And it's been a pleasant surprise to find others who have similar views as me when I do resist the status quo.
S is for my sheepskin slippers. The man who made my home-made slippers warned me that they may become my new obsession. He was right. I've kindly moved my favourite G out of the way a few times when he's standing between me and my slippers. FYI, My husband was not pleased to learn that my slippers beat him out of this spot since his name starts with S. Like I said, obsessed.
T is for tongue twisters. Seriously, try saying "Good Blood, Bad Blood" ten times fast and not laugh out loud when you mess it up! I remember seeing this on Jeopardy with my Nan when I was a kid, I swear I can still hear her laugh when I think about all of our attempts to do it.
U is for underwear. Nothing beats a good pair of well fitting underwear and a comfortable bra. Sadly, I'm still on the search for both.
V is for vulva. Vulva. Vulva. Vulva. I get what Lindy West is saying in this piece, but I personally think that the word vulva needs more attention. So... vulva.
W is for The Wild Unknown Tarot Deck. I fell in love with the imagery and found it more welcoming to a newbie like me when I bought it years ago. I don't read tarot like many other readers might, and instead I use the cards as a tool to guide my intuition, or provide me with some insight or perspective. Often I practice psychometry with the cards after having a person shuffle, pick and hold onto a card for a while.
X is for x's and o's. Also referred to as tic tac toe. Trying to teach my little one how to play this game has led to more laughs and frustration than I ever thought possible.
Y is for yoga. My practice is always evolving. I used to try and have it look like someone else's, but it didn't work for my body, or my mind and I felt horrible on my mat. But even a practice that wasn't ideally suited for me helped me recognize what works and what doesn't. Yoga postures, breathwork and meditation techniques are simply tools that help you build awareness and skill in living in, and with, your body. It can take some time and effort to find the right fit for you. But becoming more comfortable in my skin and giving myself the space to simply be has been two of the best gifts my yoga practice has given me.
Z is for zest. Before you squeeze lime juice into your guacamole, add a little bit of lime zest to it too. It goes nicely with the garlic and cilantro. You're welcome.