summer the week that was series

29: The week that made me want to slow down

26 Jul 2021

It’s a slow Sunday night, I just watched the summer sunset slip behind the buildings in the distance, and I’m right now realizing how July is coming to an end soon. How is that even possible? Where has the time gone? If literally feels like yesterday that we moved here. At the same time, it feels like I’ve been here for a while. Mostly, though, I realize that even though I am feeling more + more settled each day, I am most definitely still in a transitional phase. What’s more, the summer vibes and vacation days make everyday life feel nothing like everyday life. And, crazy as it may sound, I think I am craving a little normalcy. And to help me balance all of this out, I really need to just take a breath + slow it way down.

Now, I am certain that I need to really embrace this time of summer freedom and the excitement + newness + possibilities that are all around me right now. There’s no need to wish time away and no reason to not fully soak up the pause that summer gives. But, to be honest, I just want life to be normal again. In reality, “normal” hasn’t existed in a year and half.

Because we up + moved our life, everything is new (and exciting!), tons of things are still unknown (endless possibilities!). Settling into a new home is not at all conducive to feeling “normal” – and that’s a good thing. But, it’s more than the move. What you may not know or think of is that, in the middle of all of this excitement + newness, my love + I are still grieving. At the same time that life has been wonderful + exciting with new beginnings and all, there is a parallel set of emotions flowing through our life. In our own individual ways, we are still carrying the grief of losing our 16 week old baby girl back in February.

I think that, now that we are here in our new home + settling in more with each passing day, I am finally able to get back in touch with my deepest thoughts + feelings. And what I feel is tired. It fels like life has swung back + forth so much for so long now. The past year has brought me the highest of highs + the lowest of lows. The uncertainty of a global pandemic + how it is going to affect society/everyday life has been exhausting.

And then, there are have been moments when I’ve felt like I was soaring and overflowing with gratitude. Recently, of course, I have had this joy of moving to a beautiful, inspiring apartment + fulfilling another set of dreams. Of experiencing a hot, sunny, glorious summer in Sweden – while aching for summer in North Carolina as well. In our new home, though, I find myself feeling a bit more alive again. Everywhere I turn I see art + beauty. I feel at home, I experience healing, I find hope.

But, tonight, as I sit here ready to share with you all of the updates from this past week’s super summery photos + moments, I realize that it is all of this swinging back + forth, and feeling all of these emotions all of the time, that has me craving a sense of normalcy – even in the height of summer. I realize that I want to find some more balance again.

Luckily, in spite of all of the swinging + uncertainties + newness + grief + pandemic, I’m in a place in my life where I feel very calm + accepting of all of this occurring at the same time. I have learned so much over the past 5 year about how to stay grounded + centered. So, I am able to make space for all of the parallel emotions. But, it’s still tiring.

I know what I need to do, though. The balance and normalcy that I crave right now – to help me stabilize the highs + the lows of life these past months – is something that is not found by getting rid of my grief or diving head first into my new life + new home.

What I crave is found right here, right now… no matter my external circumstances, no matter what high or low I am experiencing, no matter where I am or how I feel. It is found in by dropping down into the present moment. By letting everything just be. Accepting it all. Feeling everything. Allowing myself to cry when my heart hurts and dance when I’m overwhelmed + in awe.

The thing is, the only thing I need to do is to just slow down + be.

When I feel like life is swinging back + forth, that everything is unstable, and when I’m exhausted from all of the highs + lows that life offers, the balance and normalcyI crave is found by slowing down, by staying true to who I am.

I am meant to live a life of a certain rhythm. But, life knocks me out of that rhythm every now + then. Yet, I cannot be knocked too far as I have fully embraced + accepted this contemplative life that calls me to live in rhythm with nature’s slower pace. So, even though I have this most beautiful, inspiring, exciting new urban life which has been a whirlwind of activity since arriving, I still need to flow with the slow rhythms of my soul. Perhaps that’s exactly what this craving for a feeling of everyday life is all about.

My desire for balance + normalcy is simply a call to realign myself to a place where my soul is firmly rooted in its center + connected to its higher source – a call to realign myself with my soul’s slow flow and to rediscover how to live in rhythm with nature in my new surroundings. It’s a call to return to rituals + routines.

So, here I am. The end of July, feeling more settled each day, but still living in the midst of those sweet summer days, a global pandemic, a grief-stricken heart, and transitional vibes. But, this is how it is. This is the present moment. And, no matter how chaotic, inspiring, crazy, painful, and uncertain it is… I am grateful.

In the end, I truly believe that it is only me who can choose how I wish to live and face each day. I just need to write a long post every now + then to help me slow down, process it all, and realign my inner soul + outer life.

With that said, I had a beautiful week last week with a flurry of activities. It was super busy, but also super fun. There was so much + I took so many photos, that I’m going to share it all in another post or two. It really was that much! Everything from home decorating to exploring our neighborhood to family time. I snapped so many photos, captured so many moments, made so many memories, and found a deep reservoir of inspiration with every single day.

With that said, I’m going to post this + get to work on organizing my calendar for the week ahead (it’s gonna be busy too!) and those next few posts so they can come out as the week goes on. Even with all of the activity, though, it’s all about keeping an intentional, aware, mindful mindset.

Wishing you a slow, balanced, inspiring week – wherever you are. Feeling so much gratitude that you stopped by and checked in with this post. Sending you all of my love. xoxo. liz.

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3 Comments

  • Reply Arlene Hanratty 26 Jul 2021 at 13:54

    I too am craving the ritual and routines again! We had a hot week in Ireland, very unusual for us and it felt like the entire country was on holidays together, amazing energy. However, I am looking forward to getting back to my rituals, grounding myself and living the slow soulfull life, just like you! I hope you’re week goes well. My thoughs are with you and Lina as you move through your grief. sending you love and light xx

    • Reply Liz 27 Jul 2021 at 10:49

      Oh the heat has been crazy here too! Yes, you’re so right… the energy has been so alive as well. A carefree, live life kind of spirit. But, as you say, I do look forward to settling back in to… dare I say it? The magic of autumn. But, first, a bit more of this steamy summer is fine with me! Thank you so much for thinking of us and sharing your light and love. It is definitely received and soaked in. Hope all is well with you. xo

  • Reply Barb Keith 28 Jul 2021 at 16:47

    I am feeling a bit of that same need for normalcy. We have been living away from home for nearly 2 months, for a home renovation. We finally moved back into our “new” home this last week, and, well, you know how exhausting unpacking is. Looking so forward to being back into a routine.

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