15 Seconds of Pleasure

I don’t remember an autumn like this one. Every week, some new assault. History-making hurricanes, fires, and political revelations feel like the new normal. I feel the trauma that so many have suffered…and yet, there’s no time to collect myself. Life has never felt more full. You, too?

This fall, even our beautiful New England maples never turned their usual red. What is going on?

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Seems like a sign… so like every other animal right now, I know I’d better prepare for what’s to come.

Squirrels lay up a cache of acorns so they don’t starve. But when I’m so busy handling the day-to-day craziness, it’s easy to put off my own inner preparation, and just hope for the best.

But this year, I can tell already that I can’t afford my usual naive optimism. So I’m feathering my winter nest with warmth in every way possible.

But more than the usual self-care, it’s soul-care I know I need.

When I allow myself reverent care for my real needs I feel resilient and alive… and then almost magically, I’m most able to handle whatever comes my way.

Because I’ve never needed them more, I’ve come up with 3 essential — and amazingly simple — soul-caring shifts to help me thrive this winter.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing these and more through email and as mini-reminder videos on FB. Here’s the first… and stay tuned for more to come.

1. Take a 15 second Beauty Break
When my day is extra full, it can feel like I can’t spare the time for even a shower, much less a hike up my favorite trail or a long hot bath. But I know I can spare 15 seconds!

So as often as I remember, I just stop and notice what’s around me. Simple!!

There may not be red on the hillsides this year, but the blaze of yellow out my window is the gift in this moment that can take me out of my too-long to-do list and help me gain perspective. It’s also a real kind of joy that seems to almost magically shift my day.

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This winter I’ll be making it a point to really enjoy what’s there! What my senses can taste, touch, smell, feel, and smell turns out to be the very best tool to ease my perpetually overworked mind and bring joy to an otherwise exhausting day.

And here’s a little trick. I even put stickers up on my kitchen cabinets and bathroom mirror. They simply say, “STOP AND ENJOY.” It’s the conscious shift from struggle to joy that I know will make the real difference this winter. So I’d better build in the habit now.

Give this a try, right now. Look around. Spend 15 seconds — 3 slow breaths — really taking in whatever pleases you in this moment. Then take a minute to let us know how you feel afterward in the comments below.  What 15 second slice of joy did you allow yourself to enjoy today — and how are you changed?

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