I would not call myself a “traveler” nor would I classify it as a hobby. I do love to visit new places but I don’t want to “see the world.” I am blessed to live in a country that is expansive and filled with interesting cities, people, and history in their own right. Although all of this is within my reach, most of my travel within the United States has been strictly East Coast.

I have traveled to Europe. In 1999, at the age of 14,  I visited Paris and London. For my honeymoon in 2015, my husband and I took a tour of Ireland.  I’ve been to the Bahamas twice and Punta Cana. You could say that there are lots of places to check off on my list but one thing always struck me: there is a huge country just to the west of me and I want to see it!

One of the places on my list was California, but not the typical L.A., Hollywood, Beverly Hills visit. I wanted to see the Pacific Ocean and The Redwoods. After a few weeks, my husband booked and planned out our entire trip. We would fly into San Francisco, drive up the coast to Mendocino, down to Gualala and back home through San Fran Airport. 

 

As we drove up the winding coast, I would look at my phone – as one does out of habit – and noticed I had zero service. I should note that I do not have any social media apps on my phone except Twitter. That’s right: No Instagram, No Facebook, No Facebook messenger, no Snap Chat…nothing. So my checking my phone was not to check for push notifications but simply to see if I had any text messages or missed calls.

As usual, I had none.

And though I do not have apps on my phone, I will post photos or check Facebook through the web browser. So I would see a beautiful shot like the one above and think, “I need to share this!”

But I couldn’t. And I was OK with that.

My service was spotty at best throughout the 5 days and while I took photos on my phone, it was only because I wanted to capture the moment for myself. My husband had the “Big Boy” camera so I took way more shots on that than my phone.

This trip was last month and I feel ready to write about it and share it. The most remarkable experience was the Redwoods. I do not have photos of those to share now because, frankly, capturing them on a real camera is hard enough let alone of a itty-bitty phone camera. More importantly I didn’t want to. Being in those Redwoods made me feel powerful and powerless all at once. They are powerful, strong, natural structures that you have to see to believe and experience. To look up at a tree and not be able to see the top, knowing it has been there for hundreds and hundreds of years is quite humbling. I didn’t have a life-altering experience with these bad boys, but I realized that having zero service was the best unexpected gift the California coast gave me.

 

Far too often we spend most of our experiences with our phones in our hands and our eyes looking through a screen.  We never take the time to experience life through our eyes and take it as a moment that doesn’t need sharing immediately.  Our “followers” can and should wait. The best moments like the ones “captured” in California would not make the best Instagram shots that would gain me thousands of followers and sponsorships.

 

 

Like in the photo below when I visited Jessica Fletcher’s house. Happening upon this house was a complete accident. It was not until after the trip was booked that I learned the 80s-90s show Murder, She Wrote was filmed right where we were staying in Mendocino.

I couldn’t send this to anyone.  I couldn’t post it online. I couldn’t text it, email it, or Tweet it. It was MY moment. And while I am sharing it with you now, the “no service” has taught to give me pause. 

Pause before you think to jump on that app and share a photo of a delicious meal or a beautiful scene. Soak it in. Welcome it into your brain and your experience. Once you’ve done that…then, share away.

 

I must admit, Christmas is not my favorite of holidays. There I said it.

Image result for comfort and joy

I am more of a Thanksgiving and Fourth of July kind of lady.  The biggest reason why is because there is so much comfort, joy, and excitement buzzing around and then come January 2nd – or whatever work/school day follows – the magic in the air fizzles and vanishes, never to return until next year. So many of us forget that comfort and joy should be with us all year! Why reserve it for 25 days out of the year? It got me thinking what brings me comfort and what brings me joy throughout the year.

 

Below are just 3 of my seasonal comforts throughout the year. What are yours?

 

WINTER COMFORTS

  • Homemade soups
  • Leggings and sweaters as lounge wear
  • Dinners and Gatherings with family & friends

SPRING COMFORTS

  • Opening the windows in the house for fresh, spring air
  • The end of daylight savings time – Spring forward!
  • The start of baseball season

SUMMER COMFORTS

  • Cookouts
  • Ceiling fans
  • The option for my hair to air dry

FALL COMFORTS

  • Backyard firepits
  • Root vegetables
  • The scents of cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin….

One of my favorite YouTubers, Melissa Alexendra, recently posted a video on her Top 10 Feel Good Favs for a Bad Day. I was inspired to share mine. Be sure to leave a comment to let me know some of yours!

 

  1. Movie  It goes without saying that anything with Jim Carrey in it is my feel good go to. Image result for jim carrey 2016I remember when I got an expander (a hunk of metal put in the roof of my mouth to expand it….yeah…) to prep for getting braces, I called my dad crying about how much it hurt, how uncomfortable it was and he said, “Go watch a Jim Carrey movie; you’ll feel better.” So I popped in Ace Ventura 2 in the VCR (Oh yes…) and it took my focus from my mouth discomfort to Jim. He has been my hero since his days on In Living Color and I still love and admire him to this day. He is a talented artist, always gives me a rush of excitement when I see him on TV, and he is also a deep thinker. This talk alone will show you how deep his mind and spirit goes and his amazing talent in painting.  My others are: Weekend at Bernies, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Tommy Boy. Anything that makes me laugh out loud.
  2. Item to Wear: Fitted Tees and tank tops are super comfortable. I also like that I can dress them up for work by wearing a blazer or cardigan, clean, go out and do shopping or tasks. They are not binding and I feel free!
  3. Beverage Cabernet Sauvignon and Coffee. These need no explanation!
  4. Music I listen to a lot of instrumental music that are New Age or international. Right now, my favorite CD (yes, I still use CDs) is Land of Gold by Anoushka Shankar. It is so lovely. I also love Native American flute, Spanish guitar, and house music. My guilty pleasures are still the Spice Girls and Geri Halliwell, No shame                     Image result for anoushka shankarImage result for geri halliwell 2016Image result for native american music
  5. Book When I need a spiritual pick-me-up I go to “The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching” by Thich Nhat Hanh. Is is so detailed and thorough yet so manageable and inspiring. I also recently discovered and love Mindfulness on the Run by Dr. Chantel Hofstee. A very user-friendly guide to daily mindful actions. She really breaks it down in a way that is perfect for everyone. There are drawings and charts and great for all ages                                     .Image result for the heart of the buddha's teachingImage result for mindfulness on the run Image result for just for the record geri halliwellImage result for how to be parisian wherever you areImage result for messages for lightworkers patricia hawse       Others are: “For the Record” by Geri Halliwell; Lessons from Madame Chic / At Home with Madame Chic by Jennifer Scott, “How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are” (this is a tongue-in-cheek book that really made me laugh), “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work” by the late Richard Carlson, Ph.D.  Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl (puts my problems in perspective! What a beautiful spirit she was…); Some brain/science books: “The Mood Cure” and “Your Brain at Work” and “Messages for Lightworkers” by my friend and spiritual mentor Patricia Hawse. As for fiction, “Chocolat” is a book I read every year around Lent/Easter. if you know the story, it will make sense why. 🙂
  6. Activity Drawing and sketching. it puts me into a place of quiet and concentration like nothing else.
  7. Food Cheesecake. That is all. 🙂
  8. Quote I’m not really a “quote person.” I will hear them and think, “That’s nice” but I don’t keep a collection of them. My inspiring quotes are more like mantras or daily thoughts to have a good day or little reminders when things get too “heady.” One is when someone is annoying me I think, “That is THEIR lack of mindfulness.” it reminds me that I am not responsible for their behavior and it should have no direct impact on my mood or thoughts. This isn’t to say people do not piss me off or get on my nerves, but once I realize someone is annoying, I try to remember that.
  9. Candle Anything unscented.
  10. TV Show “Castle” (duh); Poiroit, and Frasier

Image result for castle tv showImage result for poirotImage result for frasier

relatably.com

I think this is one of the most popular internet searches on Sunday night. I obviously have no point of reference for this statistic, so I’m just going to assume it is true. I can say for myself, I’ve entered it into the search quite a few times.

The responses are your typical cliche go-tos: Take a warm bath filled with your favorite essential oils, light candles and read a funny ir romantic book. Make and eat warm soup or make a cup of hot tea. Give yourself a facial or manicure.

Honestly, those are suggestions most people don’t have the patience to do or the uninterrupted time (queue husbands looking for something in the fridge, dog or child crying outside the bathroom door while spa music swells in the background). The truth is most of the time I search the Sunday Blues Cures, I do not think a single one of them does a damn thing. It’s not realistic. Last night I was tossing and turning thinking, “what can the rest of us do to beat the blues?” Here are some ideas:

 

  1. Write 3 things you have to look forward to this week: Dinner with a friend, a workout class, a favorite meal you plan to make, walking your dog in a park, playing with your son or daughter and give them a new toy or game. It could even be as simple as a new episode of your favorite show or something your ordered is set to arrive.
  2. Nothing on your list? Plan something to look forward to: Maybe going to bed an hour earlier than usual or start a new book.
  3. Engage in some alone time with your guilty pleasure: I have a weird fascination with you tube videos on decluttering and cleaning routines. I have no idea why, but no shame! Think of that one thing you love that could be weird to others and take the time to do it — and guilt free.

 

For me, it is about not allowing WORK to be the ONLY focus for the week. We do have other hours in our work days so make the most of it!