Mindful walk

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #62

I have lots of good intentions about going for a walk first thing in the morning when I’m not rushing to work, but for some reason I resist them fiercely.  Though I know it would be good for me to begin the day by moving my body, getting some fresh air and being in touch with the elements, somehow I usually come up with all sorts of things that need doing before I head out.

However today the sun was beckoning after yesterday’s windy storm, so before starting anything else I just put on my shoes and left the house.

I had a beautiful walk. It felt so great to be outside and take my time, with no specific destination in mind, my only goal being to try and walk on the sunny side of the street as much as possible. The cold woke me up and I enjoyed looking at the sun playing hide and seek in passing clouds. To be present and not get too lost in my thoughts, I focussed on small things that caught my eye, like the unusual beauty in a colourful lichen or branches of a willow tree gently knotted together…

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Recharging my batteries

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #60

I am so glad to have taken this week off work. January does not seem like the ideal time as it is cold and the days are short, but actually for me this feels like a deeply needed re-set before the year starts in full again. Free time is so precious and it is a real pleasure to have time to switch off completely. I feel like I’m filling the well little by little and my batteries are recharging.

It’s funny how a few days feel much longer being away from our daily routine. These days have been a perfect blend of relaxing, creating new memories and laughing with friends and family,  enjoying going to the theater and being inspired by art, exploring local places by foot in the sunshine and going further afield to discover a medieval village above the clouds…

Looking ahead and dreaming big

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #59

These days I’m enjoying spending time with my family. Having a bit more than just a couple of days together means we can do more than just scratch the surface on how we are all doing and what is keeping us occupied. Over many lengthy meals, cups of tea and pieces of homemade cake, we’re slowly getting past the talk of day to day topics to deeper conversations, and that’s where it gets more interesting and I feel like we really connect.

With my Mum and sisters, we spent a really fun afternoon of art and collage around the kitchen table to manifest all the wonderful things that we would like to call into our lives for 2018. Then over breakfast we were making grand plans to travel together for 2019. It is in these quiet times that there is space to dream big. I’m looking forward to what the future will bring us!

Hooray, it’s the holidays!

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #58

After a frantic end of the year trying to finish off as much as possible at work, the holidays have finally arrived:) I am so glad to have some time off to enjoy the important things in life. These include but are not limited to having time to catch up with my family around chocolate cake and tea, while planning the menus for the coming festivities; hunting around our garden for intriguing and beautiful plants to photograph; reading magazines and looking through the art books on my Mum’s coffee table… Free time feels like such a luxury.

Inspiring workshop

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #57

This week I attended a very interesting workshop about gender at the office.  I really enjoyed taking a step back from day to day tasks to connect with my colleagues and find out how they experience this topic and also hear their points of view.

It was a great interactive session to raise awareness, as well as talk openly about what we see going on in our organisation (not just sexism, but also more generally observations around the importance of diversity and equality) and brainstorm together some concrete next steps to see some change.

Tiny steps

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #56

In the midst of these very busy and stressful weeks at work, I am trying my best to take better care of myself.

Having inspiring chats with a dear friend over lunch about creativity and self-care, in a quieter space away from the busy cantine (and sometimes even making time for a walk to get some fresh air after). Sending that email containing my truth, things that needed to be said to stick up for myself.  Spending my afternoon off getting my hair cut, then reading a book for several hours undisturbed while it snows a little outside…

For now it’s really tiny steps. Every one of them feels like a victory and I’m counting on a snow-ball effect:)

Quiet evenings in

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #55

With the cold weather upon us, I feel so glad when I have quiet evenings at home where I don’t need to brave the icy wind on my bike to go someplace.  Having time to potter around the flat, write some thoughts in my journal or read a good book curled up under a cosy blanket, with a cup of ginger-orange yogi tea by my side, is simply wonderful.

I’m grateful that hibernation season is here, and I plan to make a conscious effort not to make too many plans to go out, so I can protect these sacred evenings of calm as a gift to myself:)

Learning about resilience

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #54

This week via work I got to participate in a lovely full-day workshop about resilience outside the office (think cosy yoga studio with mats, blankets and cushions…:)  I am very grateful for the opportunity to step away from the daily grind to think about resilience and getting some tips on how to recognise stress and cultivate resilience in our fast-paced and ever-changing world.

The workshop was very interactive and it was wonderful to get to know my colleagues better and particularly interesting to see that we share many similar struggles, regardless of our backgrounds.

Setting boundaries is a big challenge for me so I’ve decided to focus on improving how I identify my boundaries and how I communicate them.  I see these steps as the key to being kind to myself and I’m curious to see where this awareness will lead me.

A year of joyful gratitude

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #53

Last week was the 52nd week in a row that I wrote about what I am deeply grateful for in the series I created called JOYFUL GRATITUDE! I really enjoy this ritual and plan to continue looking out for and writing weekly about big and small things that I am I very lucky to experience in my life:)

I decided to look back at these past 52 weeks, and use a lovely spreadsheet to place the things I’m grateful for under broad categories to examine what brings me joy.  The categories that most posts clearly fell under are: Outdoors, Tribe, Food, Quiet time, Travel and Nature. Interestingly most of the posts were a combination of several categories (like enjoying good Food with friends – aka my Tribe).

Outdoors was the clear number one category, a nice reminder of how important it is for me to be out and about despite my rather sedentary lifestyle. I will keep in mind for these winter months that when I feel tempted to profoundly hibernate, actually going out for a brisk walk will do miracles for my mood:)

Click here to check out all the JOYFUL GRATITUDE posts!  What are you grateful for this week??

Whipping up a simple lunch

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #52

One of the perks of working from home is getting to enjoy a warm lunch in Paolo’s pleasant company:) Today it felt particularly nice to take a break from working to whip up a quick lunch consisting of different left-over veggies from our fridge, and then chat peacefully whilst enjoying the meal and a good coffee (there may have been a square or two of dark chocolate too…;)