Making Me Happy

{I was going to write a separate post for what I’m about to say but it feels right to weave it in here so I will. Note to self and universe and anyone else that has an open ear: do more of what feels right}.

If you’ve been hanging around here for a while, you’ve probably heard me say that I love to read.

I’ve always been a huge reader/ devourer-of-pages/ word nerd and for this I can thank my parents, who spent a tremendous amount of time reading to their first-born in the way that most parents read to kids – the same book, 50 times. In a row.

I quickly latched on to the whole reading biz and it became a sweet sanctuary for me – to the point where I used to tear through books so quickly as a young child that my parents stopped buying them for me after a while, instead taxiing me back and forth to the local library where I’d try and push the ’10 book limit’ and slide another copy of The Babysitter’s Club or whatever it was I was engrossed in through the beepers.

Fast forward to the weekend just gone… also known as, Remembering Why I Love to Read So Much.

I’m getting tired of the “It’s been a hectic week/ month/ year” story but it’s hard not to draw parallels in this instance because reading was the first thing to slide once my schedule really got out of hand earlier this year.

Sure, I’ve stuck my nose in some great books in the past 7 or so months, but it’s always felt like an after-thought. Something I knew I “should” do because I’m an insatiable knowledge-sponge and love to learn, but the thing is, it was always minus a certain vital component – doing it out sheer pleasure.

On the weekend, I got back to me. The computer was turned off, the task list was ignored, tracksuit pants were slipped on and I unfurled into the deliciousness of Cheryl Strayed’s story in her book ‘Wild.’

As I burned through almost all of that 311 page masterpiece on Saturday (it was promptly finished first thing Sunday morning), I realised that I read to think. Of course, I came to this conclusion this as I was reading, which exemplifies what I just said, but nonetheless, that aha! moment was a poignant one.

Reading gives me pause, which leads to me working stuff out in my head as I go. Inspiration emerges. Other people’s stories help me make sense of my own – or make me realise how different my own are (either way is A-OK).

Undoubtedly, this has to do with the fact that more creative stuff bubbles up when you make space for it and slow down, but also, I think when you hang out in your happy place, you connect back up to that beautiful power source that is YOU. It doesn’t matter whether it’s surfing, or riding a horse, or playing an instrument or painting – or anything else. All that matters is that you make time to “go there” (because the rewards are so, so worth it).

On the back of my little insight-filled endeavour, I have a question for you:

What have you stopped making time for? Is there anything you can let go of or let slide so that you can invite more of what really lights you up back into your life?

Let’s get a list going in the comments. I want to know what sets your soul on fire!

Dreamcasting in Le Magic Moleskine

 

A few years ago I christened one of my Moleskine diaries my “Magic Moleskine” after filling it to the brim with things I wanted to manifest by specific dates. The whole ‘magic’ thing was just a cute, throw-away line at first but after things started happening, even Ramai started saying  “Write it in the Magic Moleskine!”

I’ve been a vision-boarder/ goalsetter/ big dreamer fo-evah and a day so it didn’t surprise me too much that the majority of the things I’d written in my diary came to fruition, but I’ve always treasured that unassuming black diary with pictures stuck everywhere and big, black words graffitied on the pages. I guess that’s where my love for this particular brand of stationery really took hold.

As part of the mid-year review/ shake-up I’m undergoing at the moment, I bought a brand spankin’ new Moleskine last week – an 18 month one that starts this month and finishes in December 2013 (perfect!) – and I’ve started to do the same as before, filling the pages with affirmations, dreams, ‘things I love’ lists and short journal entries. As you can see above, I also enlisted the help of my friends Tiger’s Eye (great for focusing and insight) and Quartz (for amplifying wishes and visualisations) to max the good juju.

Thank you in advance Magic Moleskine 2.0. I have a feeling you’re going to be even more powerful than your predecessor.

Outrageous Organisation

 

I’m having fun getting all my ducks in a row at the moment and went a bit bananas in kikki.K buying a big monthly planner and two to-do list notepads (one is super cute – it even has a space that says “What I’m Thankful For”).

I’ve also finally made time to clean out two email inboxes that desperately needed some deleting action, renewed a professional membership, paid a bunch of bills, got my tax info off to our accountant, finalised some web copy for a friend and cleaned out my bookshelves this week. Organisation station. Feels gooooooooooood, my friends.

Men’s Tees

 

I’m loving men’s tees and my husband’s big, chunky knit jumpers this winter. Picked up this pretty (ha, sorry boys) pink Silent Theory number the other day at David Jones and I may have to go back for a few more colours I think. Comfort… and then some.

Vistaprint

 

Does anyone out there use Vistaprint?

I seriously love ’em. Our Thank You cards arrived a few days ago and they look fab. This weekend’s job: writing them and posting them!

If you’re part of the crew over on the In Spaces Between Facebook page (and if you’re not, come join us – there’s lots of stuff over there that doesn’t appear on the blog), you’ll know I do something called One Word Wednesday, where I ask you to describe how you’re feeling in one word.

I’m going to follow that same line of thinking here today and ask you to think of One Thing you’re thankful for. Just one thing. Of course, if you’ve got a whole scroll to share with us, you know that is always encouraged, but I know you’re all busy little kittens so if you don’t have time for all the details, feel free to keep it simple.

What’s the best thing that’s happened to you over the past week?

*** As an ‘added extra,’ I’d love to hear about the passion you feel like you’ve stopped making time for and how you plan on “getting back there.”

Images: Jose Villa | 28 Media

22 Comments to “Making Me Happy”

  1. Best thing this week: My blog traffic increased exponentially. (Thanks Rachel!! xxxxx!)

    My one word for this Wednesday: inspired.

    The passion I need to make more time for: listening to audiobooks whilst walking outside (I know it sounds totally dorky, but for me, it is the perfect convergence of In the Moment + In Nature + Mind Relaxed and Wandering Creatively + Exercise Endorphins = Winning!)

    Sidenote: I was obsessed with Babysitters Club books back in the day, and couldn’t resist the opportunity to share this link: http://bscrevisited.blogspot.com.au/
    The girls on this site are re-reading the ‘BSC’ books as adults, and come up with gems along the lines of “why *was* Stacey so sophisticated? Was it the suspenders worn over apple-green tights? Or her dangling ‘big apple’ earrings that clinched it? And who thought that an apple-themed outfit was such a good idea anyway? We get that she’s from New York!”
    Golden!!!

  2. I love reading also. It is definitely my happy place, always has been. As much as I procrastinated University assignments I did enjoy the learning they involved. Although it did leave little time for reading for enjoyment.

    Since my little one has started sleeping through the night (at two years, no less!) I’ve been reading again most nights. It’s such a wonderful way to end the day, eventually falling asleep book in hand and head full of stories.

    x

  3. Yep I’m completely with you on the reading front. There’s a few books that I’ve recently read but I feel I didn’t do these books justice and allowed them to settle in & weave their full magic. I resolve to not buy any more books until I’ve given these books their full opportunity!

    My one word for Wednesday is Aware. I’m also grateful for this amazing feeling. Opening my eyes & allowing new changes to flow in.

  4. Best thing this week has actually been time to read! I’m part way through the Firestarter Sessions and goodness…Inspirational stuff!!

    Love the magic moleskine, so cute xx

  5. Exercise is the first thing to go for me.. between working loads and running a little business on the side it tends to drop off my radar pretty quickly when the pace picks up (or the temp drops) eek
    One thing I am greatful for at the moment is living not too far from the snow and venturing down there each weekend for some fun on the slopes .. yay x

  6. Reading is so special to me.
    At one point, reading became an escape for me. It would let me out of my stressful life and hand me over to another world.
    As much as I love reading inspirational, self development books I found that I also need to allow myself to read a chick lit book occasionally to have a laugh and allow myself to be lost in a book without thinking to much.

    For nearly a year now I have planed to have no plans on a sunday.
    Sundays are my day where I spend time with myself, go to the gym, get creative in the kitchen and read.
    I find this very beneficial!

  7. Jess: YAY, inspired is a damn good word. Oh haha, I’ll have to check it out. I’m pretty sure there are some blogs that do the same for the Sweet Valley High series as well. Funny memories! Xx

    Laura: I remember that feeling at Uni. “If I’m reading, I should be reading textbooks.” And totally agree, the best way to finish up the day. Xx

    Jenn: Exactly my thoughts (and hey, don’t we just have a lovely society of book nerds hanging around here?!) Aware is a brilliant word. Open and ready for opportunity! xx

    Kylie & Emily: Reading FTW! Xx

    Tegan: Sounds like you’re still getting lots of exercise in on the slopes which is great, but absolutely know what you mean. I find I crave exercise the most when I’m busy to keep me sane – that rush of endorphins is essential to keeping the sneaky creep of overwhelm at bay. Hope life eases up for you soon beautiful! xx

  8. Lisa: Agreed! I think reading so many personal development/ self empowerment style articles online means that when it comes to books there needs to be a real mix. I love the sound of your ritual – sounds like the perfect way to prepare for the week ahead. Super inspiring. xx

  9. Ahh, I agree entirely with the reading thing – I think focussing my conscious mind on a book whilst reading gives my subconscious time to sort itself out without me getting in it’s way…I can’t sleep without a little bit of reading time first, and I am sure this is why; my mind resets itself and settles when I read!

  10. I really try to commit to reading every day: when I’m working, I use public transportation (just so I can read uninterrupted!) and I always try to read for about 15-20 minutes before I go to bed. SO important to my mental health, whether it’s pure escapism or to learn something or to be inspired! Really enjoyed “Wild” as well :)

  11. Christine: Definitely one of the upsides of public transport – reading time while someone else does the hard work getting you from A to B! xx

  12. I wanna see you model that tee.. after your bloggy break… which I hope you really enjoy. Don’t feel bad is you find one week isn’t enough (sometimes it isn’t). We’ll all be here when you get back!

    x Catherine @ The Spring

  13. Reading is definitely one of the first to go from my list when things are hectic.

    Being a typical Gen Y, I am always doing a million things at once and reading doesn’t allow this. You have to be peaceful and focused and open to learning. You can’t be distracted or you don’t absorb the information but when you’re busy, it seems like a time consuming luxury and it’s so sad that I’ve allowed that to happen!

    My mum always tells this story about how when I was in primary school, she was called to the principal’s office. You see, they were concerned about my ‘ball skills’ in PE (i.e., having none) and she looked the principal right in the eye and said that she took me to the library every week to get new books and I was the top of my class in reading and spelling and that she wasn’t at all concerned about my ball skills.

    Thank you for reminding me that I deserve to take time out from being online and working to absorb and learn! I can’t let that little girl down who used to read so whole-heartedly!

    My word for this week: survival (and next week I plan for it to be ‘absorb’!)

  14. Catherine: I’m sure it will turn up in one of my pics! xx

    Katherine: It’s the best feeling allowing yourself time to explore those simple pleasures – guilt-free. xx

  15. Like you I read to think. I love it. unfortunately, I’m terrible at doing it when I’m not on holiday. I’m also going to blame the invention of the ipad. I used to think it was a great idea to have all my books in digital format – but I just can’t seem to get in to my book and out of my email/tweets/facebook/blog etc etc

    I don’t make enough time for me. It’s quite simply that. i joined a health club on Friday – extravagant – maybe – but it’s a way of taking a hour or two a few times a week to just be me. Alone with my thoughts, doing something good for my body and embracing ME time.

    Actually, think I’ll stop there as I could go on all day – thanks for giving me a good blog post ;) x

  16. I think cooking really nice meals is probably something I need to make more time for…especially because eating gets to be expensive.

    PS: Reading is the best!

  17. Rachael: I know exactly what you mean and I think that’s the reason why I still prefer hard copy books than reading ebooks on the iPad. Too much temptation otherwise! xx

    Pati Mo: I know the feeling. Here’s to lots of healthy, easy to whip up meals xx

  18. Oh I am so the same – I love reading so much but it is the first thing to go when I feel busy or overwhelmed (because I end up sleep deprived if I stay up too late engrossed in the pages).

    Haha I totally know the feeling of the library as a kid – we used to leave with huge stacks of books (we would even max out mum and dad’s library cards) and just read read read – I think it helped that we didn’t have a tv growing up… we would beg mum to go back twice a week – and I’m pretty sure I read almost all the babysitters club and nancy drew series!

    Somehow I missed this post on Wednesday but am so happy I came back and found it – always love ‘making me happy’!

    One thing I am grateful for this weekend: having no plans… I am on the verge of sickness and have uni work to catch up on and I am so grateful that I don’t have to run around doing anything!

  19. Ha ha, I LOVED The Babysitters Club!! You mentioning it in your post made me think of the “imaginary” babysitters club one of my girlfriends and I created when we were younger, sweet old memories.

    While reading your post it actually came to me that the thing that I stopped making time for is keeping track/scribbling down the things that make me happy, bring me joy, make me laugh, touch my heart, inspire me, I am grateful for, crazy ideas, anything. I use to do that on a very regular basis. I would read through it when I was sad, needed inspiration, a lift up. Time to start adding to that list again!!

    The best thing that happened to me over the past week? Feeling totally and utterly happy and satisfied between the rice paddies in Bali, great experience! The feeling that nothing matters but yourself, the people you love and happiness. The rest is insignificant.

    Thank you for the inspiration Rach, love it! xxx

    Oh btw – passed kikki.k this morning and had a sneaky look, that to do notepad you got is too cute!

  20. I know I am a little late but the thing I am most grateful for this week is my first yoga class and the relaxed state I left in and the hope it has given me that this relaxed state could become a regular part of my life.

    As for the first thing to go when I get busy, well that is my craft and when I get back into it I always realise how much of a nicer person I am when I have had my time at my sewing machine and vow to keep it up but I always break that promise to myself.

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