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I’m not gonna lie—in a string of difficult weeks, this was one of the toughest. All the reasons don’t matter. But added to that difficulty was the morning I left my apartment for work and the temperature read 2 degrees.

The extremes of this winter have been challenging, though I try to make peace with the season.

This morning, I decided to snuggle with pillows and hibernate.  I sat on my couch, ate breakfast, drank a cup of coffee, watched one of the Oscar-nominated movies. A perfect, lazy Sunday morning.  Then, the movie ended.  I listened to the silence.

Suddenly, I could feel it.

I could feel a shift in the air.  Spring, a calendar month away, seemed possible. Even though it snowed yesterday, and the temperature hovered near zero the day before, something felt different.  I hadn’t known that it was above 40 degrees today, but the promise of something new whispered in my ear.

This is what I remember: no matter how hard a moment is, it always passes. Though the temperature will drop, the winds will pick up, and surely the snow plows will be on the street yet again, easier times are around the corner.

May you find shifts in your life to help navigate your way through any difficulties you encounter this week.

xo, with goodness and grace.

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I woke up on Valentine’s Day with a throbbing headache—the aftermath of too much unexpected fun the previous evening—and in desperate need of a giant cup of coffee.  On an uneventful and quiet Saturday morning, I struggled out of bed and began my morning ritual.

Fresh brew in hand, I sat down to watch a bit of morning TV.

Suddenly, I saw something fall.  It seemed to fling itself from the edge of my bookcase.

It was a picture I’d bought a few weeks ago, when it was still the holiday season. I’d spent an afternoon wandering and window shopping in the East Village, and I stopped into a tiny store with some fun items.  One thing caught my eye, its sweet sentiment making me smile.  Though I hadn’t planned to make a purchase, I felt the need to have it as a reminder for when I felt down.

I brought it home and found a temporary place for it.  Every time I looked at it, I felt a sense of peace.  I hadn’t framed it yet, but I securely placed it on the front edge of a bookshelf, in front of a few favorite books and next to a little statue of Ganesh, the Hindu God otherwise known as the remover of obstacles.

I put it back on the shelf and sat down.

Ten minutes later, it fell again.

I’ve learned to pay attention.  Clearly, this was a message I needed.  It was, after all, Valentine’s Day.

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Sometimes love sneaks up on you, and sometimes it falls right in front of you.

May messages of love find you this week and beyond.

xo, with goodness and grace.

After an emotionally exhausting couple of weeks, I decided enough was enough. It was time to take back control.  This meant deciding to be happy.

To be clear, things didn’t magically become sunshiny and spring-like.  Literally, it’s winter and cold and snowy; metaphorically, I decided to accept the season for what it is.

There were many small moments where the clouds began to part in the skies, so to speak.  As I left work on Friday, I walked towards the Hudson River hoping to catch the sunset.

With its pink and peach and amber tones, it didn’t disappoint.

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And then there was today.

Sunday is normally the one day I can sleep in, which I value deeply.  But this morning I changed things up and went for a SoulCycle spin. I hadn’t been in a couple of weeks, and I remembered whenever I am stressed, it’s important for me to give an outlet to all of that energy.  So, I work out.

There, right on the bike this morning, I found a taste of joy.  It was palpable in the room.  It was like a Sunday morning church service.

The instructor, a pint-sized powerhouse ball of good energy, talked about having taken a dance class the night before.  So unused to choreography, she felt silly. But, as she said, she kept going even though she wanted to hide in the corner.

“I don’t hide,” she said.  “And neither should you.  Don’t you dare let fear make you hide.”

And there was my directive for the week ahead.

No matter what is going on in your life, I hope you find room for joy.  And don’t you dare hide.

xo, with goodness and grace.

I’ve been in a funk.

It was a cold, snowy week (though, beautiful!), and my mood matched it.

How many weeks can a person write about feeling off center, unsettled and in a funk?  But, there you have it, y’all.  Sometimes those are days in a life.

But then, in the middle of all that, magic arrives.

You know how when you are in a funk, people seem more rude and insensitive and impolite?  Well, I’ve been just on this side of cranky (okay, who am I kidding? I have been fully entrenched in the cranky zone), and every interaction has seemed heightened, so the obnoxious things (and people) have been irritating at a whole other level.

This is when you need to take care of yourself, treat yourself well and plug up the emotional holes so your beautiful and brilliant life force does not escape.

So, I took myself on a date.

My Saturday evening was spent at Shuko, a relatively new restaurant near Union Square in New York City.  I got to know the team when they were at Neta, which I’ve written about on this blog.  Whenever I see them, it’s always a bit like coming home.  Only with better food.

When I sat down, Chef Nick said, “How can we get you to come in more often?” It’s like when my parents say they don’t see me as much as they would like.  Home.

As I glanced over the drink menu, Jerrad, the general manager, walked over and poured a glass of what he knew I liked to drink without me ordering it. Sometimes you don’t know what you need until you get it.  Home.

I sat in front of Chef Jimmy, who was meticulously preparing beautiful and artful bites of sushi, reading on my iPad.  He looked over at me and said, “Where are your magazines?”  I usually bring a magazine to read as I eat, to catch up on things I don’t get to read during my crazy weeks.  He is never offended and sometimes amused by it, making fun of me for reading so much.  Home.

Over the years I’ve learned eating out isn’t simply about having a plate of food you didn’t cook.  It can be an experience—and when hospitality at its highest level, you feel cared for and fed beyond your belly.

The food, hardly incidental, became a vehicle for care.  I lost count of how many courses there were, absorbed in each bite.  I started off taking photos of each dish, but I decided the experience was better left to memory.  See this crab salad with chrysanthemum?  Attention must be paid.

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And with that, a glimmer of joy began to find me.

Wherever you find yourself this week, I hope you feel fed in all ways that are possible.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

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