You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘signs of love’ tag.

Time off is necessary.  NECESSARY.

At least once a year, I take a week off and don’t go anywhere. I love the idea of roaming my city. I love the idea of sleeping late and getting to enjoy all the places that have remained undiscovered to me throughout the year.

This time around, I also learned a few things that will also enhance my daily life:

  • You should have something to look forward to every day.  While I had enough time to be aimless, I made sure to plan something each day. From a simple dinner with a girlfriend to an epic night at a U2 concert (epic!), the anticipation of fun made each day an event.

This I don’t do enough of in my normal life.

Sometimes a leisurely lunch and glass of rosé in the middle of the afternoon is enough.

IMG_3137

  • Coffee is a savior.  My friend insomnia did not take a break when I went on vacation, so when I was up at the crack of dawn, groggy and confused, coffee set me straight. I don’t love having to have something (dare I use the word addicted?), but I’ve surrendered. Coffee offers me the gift of wakefulness, of presence, so I am okay with that.

IMG_3136

  • You cannot wake up with sunflowers in your apartment and not be happy.  End of story. Beauty is a springboard for happiness. Sometimes it is that simple.

IMG_3131

  • Always leave room for unexpected treasures around the corner.  Because signs of love are everywhere.

IMG_3138

What do you love about a staycation? I’d love to hear–post below.

xo, with goodness and grace.

Advertisements

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.

IMG_3116

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.

It’s the little things, isn’t it?  The small moments that turn an ordinary day into something magical.

On my walk home, there’s a nondescript office building.  Ugly, almost.  Last year, one of the window panes was decorated with a strand of lights, put up in the shape of a tree.  Every time I walked by the building, I made sure to look up, like some kind of brief pilgrimage my eyes made before I got home.  The lights were up for months past the Christmas season, though not lit every night.

And then a few months ago, I saw they were gone.

The other night, as I waited at a red light, my gaze moved upward, for no reason in particular.  I noticed a new strand of lights had been affixed to the window.

Love found me again, all lit up for the season.

IMG_4678

Random signs of love show up in the most unexpected places.

May the little things bring you joy and happy surprises find you this week.

xo, with goodness and grace.

Whenever my friends post photo albums from their vacations on their Facebook pages, I always wonder if they really think anyone really wants to see all of the fun they didn’t have.

But, I get it now.

I understand that when you find magic in the warm breezes that play with your hair, when you see beauty in shades of color you have never seen in person before, when the crest of an ocean wave rises proudly then tumbles to kiss your feet in the sand, you want to share all of that with the world.  You want your people to know that such graces actually do exist in life.

So, these pictures of paradise, otherwise known as Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

From the air…

IMG_4198

…to the land…

IMG_4544

…with respites in gardens…

IMG_4570

IMG_4470

…and in the sea…

IMG_4543

IMG_4571

…and under the palms.

IMG_4542

How I knew this would be an incredible few days?  Upon arriving I walked into the main house on the resort, and I saw a most perfect sign of love.

IMG_4572

Should you not find yourself in paradise this week, I hope you are able to find it in your heart.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

Ideas can be revolutionary.

I was reminded of this when my friend Sandy emailed me yesterday.  She’d been waiting in a doctor’s office and saw this note on the seat next to her:

Love Note

The note made her think of me, which brings me such joy.  I’ve been seeing signs of love for almost a year now—today my walk through Central Park was basically a parade of love—and have been so moved by it that I’m always giddy to show a sampling of it to you.  The fact that she thought of me affirms the idea that love is contagious.  Love can spread like a wildfire, illuminating everything in its path.

What if all of us committed ourselves to love this week?  What if we affirmed that commitment with random acts of love?  Kindness doesn’t have to be grand—it can be as simple as a smile.

How will you spread love this week?  I’d love for you to share below.

xo, with goodness and grace.

Self care is one of those buzzwords, like balance, that you hear about often but don’t necessarily know how it fits into everyday life.  It sounds good in theory, but reality may be a very different thing.

During these last 6 weeks of my self care project, I was surprised to see there were many things I do for myself on a regular basis.

I allow myself some kind of chocolate treat everyday, but I also mother myself by limiting the number I can have.  And if I have one sugary/rich/boozy meal, I try balance the other meals with something more nutritionally sound.

I walk a little bit everyday—whether cold or breezy or rainy or perfectly sunny—because fresh air is good for my sanity.

I take in my surroundings, realizing that today may be very different from tomorrow.  While I wait on the bus stop in the morning, I take note of how the clouds frame a backdrop to the apartment buildings above me and how the sun lights of all it perfectly.

I pay attention.

But, here’s the thing.  Self care is an inside job.  It’s not what you do, but how you show up.  During these 40+ days, I began to notice the conversations in my head, which weren’t always kind or loving.  In fact, they often involved berating myself for the things that I hadn’t done.  And that only stressed me out more.

Self care is to notice that everyday is a miracle.  And so are you.  Therefore, you must treat yourself like the precious thing that you are.  Kindness matters, and most of all it matters that you are kind to yourself.

I’m still working on this.

But for the moment, I do know that self care is…

…knowing when to walk in the rain and when it’s time to take a cab in the middle of a torrential downpour…

IMG_3099

…taking a moment at a work event to be in awe of the amazing views from the observation deck of the Empire State Building…

IMG_3148

…noticing the beauty that spring reveals…

IMG_3170

…acknowledging the incredible beauty around the corner…

IMG_3511

….and seeing the signs of love.  My chronicle of self care is concluding this week, but the journey continues.  And I know that it is leading to towards more love.

I mentioned in an earlier post the decorated eggs that were placed all over New York City.   This week, all of them were moved to Rockefeller Center.  Out of the 300 eggs, there were many nods to love.

This one was my favorite sign of love, from one of my favorite designers, Diane von Furstenburg.

IMG_3248

IMG_3250

Because, love is life.  That’s what it’s all about.  Paying attention—and self care, however imperfect—has taught me that.  In this season of miracles and renewal, I hope you see the signs of love in your lives.

xo, with goodness and grace.

My 40 days dedicated to self care continues through a week of schizophrenic  temperatures as a lead up to spring.  Here’s what happened, in pictures.

Day 6:  Ever come home from work with no idea what to eat for dinner?  And maybe you are so tired that you aren’t all that hungry anyway?  And, really, all you want is chocolate.

There are times when a girl has got to do what a girl has to do.

Chocolate

PS – See that Mo’s Cinnamon & Sugar Bar from Vosges?  It is outrageously delicious. I didn’t think that chocolate could be transformative, but if you ever have a worry, just eat a square of this and all will be right in the world again.  I’m just saying.

Day 7: In the midst of wintry cold days, this particular afternoon held the promise of warmth—happiness was in the air. I went for a long walk at lunchtime and saw that spring was about to sprout.

Spring Coming

Day 8: For me, a big part of self care is feeding myself well. But when I get busy, this is one of the first areas where I fall short.  This week, I did my best to nourish myself with home cooked meals.  On this day, as I began making a warm kale and brussels sprouts salad (topped with a poached egg!), the olive oil in the pan pooled into a heart.

Signs of love are everywhere, even in the kitchen.

Heart of Oil

Day 9: This week my heavy workload made me anxious and uptight, so I buckled down and stayed in the office late to get a handle on everything, with a goal of relieving my stress.  And honestly, I wanted to sleep well again.

These pigeons reminded me that when the work is done, you need to remember to find your flock and just hang.

Pigeons on a Wire

Day 10:  A day of work and a Friday night blow out at the hair salon behind me, and a weekend ahead of me, I walked through midtown.  Always remembering to look up, I loved the sight of the nearly full moon snuggled up to the Chrysler Building.

Full Moon Next to Chrysler

Day 11: Last October, I wrote about a Manifestation Yoga workshop I attended, led by the incomparable Jennifer Pastiloff. (If you don’t know her inspirational work, please check out her awesome blog here. )  I loved it so much that I signed up for another, held on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

I took it as a sign that I was exactly where I was supposed to be as I walked towards the yoga studio and walked past this on the sidewalk. Because happiness—and community and connection—certainly lay ahead of me that afternoon.

The Way to Happy

Throughout the workshop, I marveled at how different I felt from the previous one. Then, it was as if I’d unearthed gigantic oceans of emotions I didn’t even know were crashing against the shoreline of my life.  It took some time to process that, and in some respects, I still haven’t grasped it all, at least consciously.

This time I felt lighter, different, changed somehow.

This year, I’d intended to finally allow myself to be the woman I’d always wanted to be.  This was the year I’d stop with the what-if and what could have been.  This year, I’d stop playing small.  I’d decided let love in, and that afternoon I was surprised to see that maybe, if only little by little, it was working.

Maybe I don’t have to try to be the woman I’d always wanted to be.  Maybe I’ve been her all along and I just didn’t know it.

Day 12: I am fortunate to have a close relationship with my parents.  We try to meet at least once a week over a meal.  This time, we went to Stella 34, a year-old restaurant in Macy’s Herald Square.  I don’t always expect much from department store restaurants, but this was an unexpected surprise.

When I told our server about my gluten sensitivity, he helpfully pointed out what dishes I could eat.  And when he offered us bread for the table, he also said he would bring rice crackers just for me.

Instead of saying, “I wish I had something to give you,” as I’ve gotten used to hearing, this server—this restaurant—actually did have something to give me.  I don’t expect every restaurant to have alternatives for every food allergy, but when one does have options, it makes me feel as if my needs matter.

I was also able to order gluten-free pasta.  After almost a year without pasta, this was a delicious reunion with an old friend.

Pasta

When you begin to take care of yourself, oftentimes, the world will reach out to care for you as well.

That is grace.  My wish is that you feel cared for this week as well.

xo, with goodness and grace.

I was walking around the cheese market when one of the store’s workers moved aside so I could continue walking down the aisle.

“Thank you,” I said, smiling at him.  “How are you today?”

He smiled back.  “I’m happy.”  I laughed at this unusual response.  “And you?”

“I’m good.  It’s a good day.”  And it was.  I’d just come from having breakfast in a restaurant I’d been wanting to try, and I had one of those delicious and leisurely meals where I could have sat at the bar all day.  Then I took a very long walk through my city, and though it was very cold—or perhaps because it was very cold—I felt wide awake and content.

He stopped for a moment, then began stocking the shelf.  “It IS a good day.  All things are good with love.”

This is how my day went yesterday.

As I walked through the city, I couldn’t help but smiling as I saw the love.  It was everywhere.

It was immediately in front of me when I left the restaurant in the single leaf that peeked through the snow on the sidewalk.

Processed with VSCOcam

It was in the sticker on a wall filled with graffiti and assorted flyers.

Processed with VSCOcam

It was in the store that I stopped in to dream of my future home in a far distant future.

Processed with VSCOcam

It was in the window of a restaurant that mesmerized me and stopped me and my footsteps.

Processed with VSCOcam

It all reminds me of that new book from Drew Barrymore, where she chronicles all of the hearts that have shown themselves to her over the years.  It’s aptly called “Find It in Everything.”  Because you can.

Love is in everything…and everywhere.  Where do you see it?

 

My old friend Stuart emailed me this morning, telling me that he’d just arrived home from Israel, where he’d spent some time for work.  While on a walk with his wife one day, they came across a series of hearts.  They reminded him of me, and the signs of love I’ve been seeing over these last few months.

Love made its way to me, even though it was on a mural far away in Tel Aviv.

photo_2-2

Love may not always be perfect, but it’s all we’ve got.

photo_1-3

And love can transform anything into something beautiful, even a rusty, old drain cover.

photo_3-3

Signs of love are everywhere, even halfway across the globe.

 

 

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: