hello, my friends. well, december is here.
and, oh how i love this month. not only for the holiday feelings, but for the darkness + coziness that it brings to us up here in the northern hemisphere. i mean, i just want to have blankets and coffee and candles constantly. and i pretty much do whenever i am home. basically, this season of the year is perfect for my contemplative soul.
but, what i love about it most is the fact that it is the last month of the year.
whether we find ourselves at the beginning of winter or the beginning of summer, we all find ourselves at the end of one year + the beginning of another.
and, that, my friends, leads to a natural tendency to pause. to look backwards + to look ahead. to reflect on what has passed + to set intentions on what we want to come. it is the perfect opportunity to mindfully transition from 2016 to 2017. to move from what has been to what will be. to let the lessons learned + experiences had, transform us as we evolve and move onward.
and i don’t know about you, but i feel like a really need some reflecting after this crazy year. 2016 has been weird. very high highs and very low lows. and the desire to have a balanced soul through it all. i feel like i need time to process it all. know what i mean?
and december is the perfect time to do that… if we consciously choose to.
instead of being a time of slow, intentional purpose, though, more often than not, december tends to be hurried and frantic. am i right?! we get stressed about shopping for the perfect gifts on our list. what to wear and how to fit in all of the office parties and other social events. we get pissed off at the crowds instead of feeling the spirit of the season. we consume and wrap and decorate and go crazy trying to make this year the best holiday ever. we let ourselves get pushed and pulled in many different directions, taking care of all of the “shoulds” and “musts” without giving our souls a moment to rest and breathe during this very magical, sacred, delicate cycle of the year. and in all of the craziness of trying not to miss out on anything, we end up missing out on so much more.
but, not me. not this holiday season.
oh, i’m not going all christmas with the kranks and skipping the holiday. not at all. i’m doing the complete opposite. i intend to soak it up even more than usual. but i intend to soak it up slowly, and without expectation. no fussing. no fretting. just simple, mindful awareness of all of the little details and the simple moments that make this time of year so special.
and i’d like to invite you to join me.
this december let’s make it all about creating calm in our lives by slowing down for just a bit every single day.
the idea is to simply create some space to just be. to just breathe and observe and think. to capture the simple magic of the moments… like twinkling lights or sharing a warm drink with a loved one. let’s take the time to rekindle the tiny flame that is flickering in the dark, so that, by the beginning of the new year, we are ready to rise + shine brightly as we embark on a whole new 12 month journey.
here are some ways that i am planning to create that mindful space throughout december. and all you have to do is jump right in to whatever speaks to you. to whatever seems like it might allow you to settle your soul a bit and rediscover the magic of the season as you prepare to say goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017.
// my mindful december blog posts
i will be writing one post on this theme (my mindful december) each week. follow these posts to get a little inspiration of your own + about what i will be focusing on during the week. i’m all about the journey + evolving, so here’s my plan for some themes to help us move mindfully through december.
→ week 1: kindle (this post)
→ week 2: gather (december 8)
→ week 3: create (december 15)
→ week 4: live (december 22)
→ week 5: rise (december 8)
// my word of the year.
during the last week of 2016, i will release my 2 day workshop for finding your word for 2017. this is a very sacred and beautiful activity that i’ve done for years, and a little workshop i’ve shared on my blog for the past 2 years. i just love hearing from all of you as you go through the process of letting your soul speak to you. and i cannot wait to discover what we all choose for our own personal focus for the upcoming year. i’ve already got some ideas and words tugging on my soul… have you?
// my mindful mixed tape challenge
i looooove creating playlists + of course i have made one for december. you can find it on spotify. my suggestion is that we use it on a daily basis as a way to slow down + soak in a quiet moment during the month. i use it every morning as my meditation time. it gives me a focus and a bit of inspiration for the day. when i created the playlist, i choose each song for each day for a specific reason. what it might mean to you as you listen will be exactly what you need that day, i believe. just let the inspiration come to you. the songs also follow my 5 weekly themes for a mindful december.
[click on the photo to connect to the playlist]
here’s how to use the playlist → there is a song for each day of december (numbered 1-31 below, and in the same order on spotify). find a quiet space. plug in your headphones. breathe deep 3 times. play the song + just feel the music. let it be your meditation + inspiration for the day. if you’re feeling amitious or super inspired, grab your journal after you listen + then write down whatever you are thinking + feeling. just be present + aware. and enjoy the music of the season.
week 1: kindle your flame (get in the spirit of the season – a slow, intentional season – by spending some time in solitude)
2 White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes
3 Sacred Ground – Over The Rhine
4 O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Belle & Sebastian
5 In The Bleak Midwinter – The Hot Hearts
6 Julian of Norwich – Rani Arbo, daisy mayhem
7 All the Trees of the Field Will Clap Their Hands – Sufjan Stevens
week 2: gather (be still. just be. pay attention. observe. notice others. come together. connect.)
8 I Wonder As I Wander – Jewel
9 No Hard Feelings – The Avett Brothers
10 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming – Rani Arbo, daisy mayhem
11 Winter Eclipse – Beta Radio
12 Still Still Still – Future Of Forestry
14 Then Came the Morning – The Lone Bellow
week 3: create (it is up to each of us to create the life + world we want. we have the power. what do you want to create in your life? how can we work together?)
15 Joy Never Ends (Auld Long Syne) – Caroline Herring
16 Save the World – Shovels & Rope
17 All Is Love – Findlay Brown
18 Mvmt IV, “Every Bell on Earth Will Ring” – The Oh Hellos
19 Take This Body – Gill Landry
20 The River Will – The Lowest Pair
21 Ring Them Bells – Sarah Jarosz
week 4: life (shhhh… slow way down this week. ponder your purpose. why you are here. celebrate love.)
22 The Brightest Star – Jim Avett
24 The Earth Stood Still – Future Of Forestry
25 If You Were Born Today – Low
26 I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day – The Civil Wars
27 Everything Looks Better (In Hindsight) – The Wild Reeds
28 Follow Your Bliss – Po’ Girl
week 5: rise (we say goodbye + prepare to move on, to turn the corner to a new year + new opportunities. what do you want to focus on? what will be your word for 2017?!)
30 Auld Lang Syne – The Henningsens
31 Circle Around The Sun – The Pines
so, there you go.
i hope that you join me this december in slowing down and enjoying the simple things this season. i deeply look forward to sharing my thoughts with you, and i hope that you will feel free to share with me your tips for keeping the magic in the season.
happy holidays, lovelies.
I was just thinking about my possibilities for my word – and reflecting on this past year’s, a couple days ago! Excited to see the workshop you’ve developed! xx