At the end of each month, I take stock of the previous month. What went well? What did I learn? What brought me a simple joy? These monthly reports are a way to encourage myself to take delight in the littlest of things– like the surprising combination of chickpeas, broccoli rabe, ricotta, and lemon juice that you’ll see below. I find that Ten Things I Loved allows me to always see the silver lining, even when there are hard moments in a month. And taking joy in the simple things is paramount to how I want to live, making 10 things an invaluable tool for me. Here’s this month’s simple pleasures.
Things I/ We Did
1. Unbridled Authenticity. We held the last Unbridled Authenticity for the year, and, just like the other three, it was really grounding, inspiring, and moving. UA combines horse work with self-awareness work, and each quarter’s workshop had a theme (and really yummy food). This month’s theme was reflecting, and it was touching and telling to process both the day and the year. There were also lemon cupcakes (with ROSE WATER!) and gingerbread cookies- made by two of our UA participants. Happiness and good feelings all around. An added bonus? I got to ride one of my favorite horses for the first time (though that’s not me or Clyde in this picture). As I told Kris, my co-facilitator, it was like taking our horsemanship relationship to second base.
2. aware: an everyday yoga experience. Aware kicked off this month, and it was totally amazing. We had a great first session filled with lots of truth-telling, intention-setting, vulnerability, and dreams. We also had some incredible pumpkin oat balls and quinoa cranberry balls. Here’s to amazing women, yummy food, and all of us just honestly trying to find our way.
3. A perfect Saturday. We had an accidentally perfect Saturday, and it totally rocked. The only two things on the official agenda that day were to get Happy some new shoes and to go to the International Festival at the local college as we have a new, dear Ethiopian friend who is a student there and she was going to be manning the Ethiopia table. We did those things (and our new friend can seriously cook some divine ET food) and then we happened outside and realized that there was a college football game going on so we stayed for that. After a quick rest at home, we let Happy pick dinner and he chose a Japanese Hibachi restaurant because, as he explained, we had gone once when he was three but we hadn’t yet been there when he was four. As it turns out, it is just as fun for a four year old as it is for a three year old.
4. Seeing My Person Get Married. You know that friend that you just inexplicably click with from the very first moment you meet, and it is like you have known her your whole life? It’s almost as if she already knew you? I have a couple people like that in my life and one of those people, the one whom I affectionately call My Person and she calls me that back, got married. It was beautiful and so absolutely her and her partner. It was an honor to witness and humbling to be a reader at the service. Some of the many things I love about my person are that she’s unconventional, an incisive thinker, has such a sense of justice, and is always real, right and true. So, it came as no surprise that when we talked about what I might read, she asked for this passage from a movie that we had originally seen together (and, truth be told, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are two of my favorite artists and Diego makes an appearance in one of my poems)…
“To Diego and Frida” (Tina Modotti’s toast) from the movie Frida
I don’t believe in marriage. No, I really don’t. Let me be clear about that. I think at worst it’s a hostile political act, a way for small-minded men to keep women in the house and out of the way, wrapped up in the guise of tradition and conservative religious nonsense. At best, it’s a happy delusion – these two people who truly love each other and have no idea how truly miserable they’re about to make each other. But, but, when two people know that, and they decide with eyes wide open to face each other and get married anyway, then I don’t think it’s conservative or delusional. I think it’s radical and courageous and very romantic
Products/ Processes I Love
5. Organizing Templates. Um, this post (which I found on Pinterest) kinda made my year. I’m playing with a bunch of these templates now, seeing if any of them are a match for my life. How fun is that?
On the Plate
6. Crispy Broccoli Rabe, Chickpeas, and Fresh Ricotta. This Whole Living recipe is so, so good. Put these ingredients on your grocery list now. You won’t regret it.
7. Minestrone. This is a simple but delicious minestrone recipe we enjoyed this month.
On the Bookshelf