Here comes the sun…

coffee

 

I have been meaning to post about this because it is exciting. Exciting in an understated, quietly lovely way.

I have changed my morning routing.

I should preface this all by saying that I’m not a morning person by nature. I’d be one if I could. Most weekdays I hit the snooze button several times until I get a hazy memory of being employed. Then I quickly jump out of bed and rush around my apartment in a flurry. I’m typically making it to work just in time for my morning meetings.

The rushing wasn’t working for me. I’ve also seen a lot  of articles lately focusing on the negative impact of being so connected to our phones. I realized most mornings I’d wake up, end up having my phone nearby and then checking email or Facebook from bed.

The more I thought about it; this wasn’t how I wanted to start each day. Other focused and staring at a tiny glowing screen that is giving me a TON of (mostly useless) information before my feet even hit the floor. This habit, combined with the morning rushing, brought a scattered and unfocused energy to my morning.

So, I started having a more intentional morning routine a few months ago. It’s slowly becoming a habit.

Here’s what I do:

I wake up and make a point to be still for a few moments. Just to notice things and breathe. Maybe I remember a dream from the previous night or tune in to how my body feels. I take a quiet moment to offer up some thoughts of gratitude for waking up and for the day ahead. Simple and slow.

Then I journal. I write longhand for at least three pages. I like to journal but can fall in and out of the habit. I find that journaling daily keeps me honest. There’s nothing to avoid or skim over. There’s no “I don’t feel like writing today.” I just write. Daily. The good and the challenging- the deliciousness of everything in my life. It all gets captured. Studies show that writing longhand is good for your brain, focus, and learning. Mostly, I just find it soothing and meditative. Making time in the morning to be alone with my thoughts changes the tone of my day. It feels like I’ve carved out some sacred time. Like I’ve given myself a little gift every morning with this new ritual.

Lastly, I’ve been getting dressed to a new playlist. I love it and gets me moving before work. There’s nothing like  waking up with a dance party.

Even if I can’t always do all of these things, if I at least do one or two of them, I start the day more centered and grounded.

Here’s a new favorite from the morning playlist. I dare you not to dance.

Paris, Je t’aime…Part I

Images and memories of the trip are still sinking in but I wanted to write a little here while it is fresh on my mind.

iwanttomakememoriesallovertheworld

Paris.

It’s lovely. It looks just like it’s supposed to and I can understand why it has become the city of love. I loved it too. It seems impossible not to fall for Paris. The gardens and outdoor markets, the beautiful architecture and the food- the food, oh THE FOOD. It was amazing. This vacation, as all good trips should, quickly turned into a food focused trip- in the most marvelous way.

My first morning in Paris, I was wide awake by 5am. Thanks to the time difference, I found myself dressed by 6 and setting out to explore the city. The first one awake in Paris. I ended up at a quaint French bakery and bought freshly made warm croissants from the sweetest French woman in the world. Our limited exchange was in French. My part mostly involved gesturing, smiling and butchering her beautiful language. Nonetheless, I exited the bakery with a bag of warm croissants and was elated.  I practically skipped back to our apartment.

As a side note, I had only meant to order one croissant but somehow ended up with two. A happy French accident.

This set the tone for the rest of the trip and I was hooked.

What I would suggest if you are going to Paris:

  • Stop into all of the outdoor markets. They are a marvelous treat for the senses. You can buy all kinds of food there and it’s a great place to get what you need for a picnic. Some of the markets also sell household items, clothes etc.
  • Go to the gardens. All of the gardens. Any of the gardens. They are beautiful, lush and green. This was one of my favorite aspects of this city…I had no idea how green it would be and that around every corner waited a beautiful garden
  • Lots of things in the city are closed on Sunday (and sometimes Monday as well). It’s good to plan ahead of time to work around this- particularly if you are only in the city a short time. We discovered that the Marais district (which is historically Jewish) was a great place to go on Sunday. It was bustling and the shops and restaurants were all open. We had the most amazing falafel there (twice). It’s a a very fun and vibrant neighborhood.
  • Eat the bread, cheese and wine. This is was Parisians do best. Eat their food, the way they eat it and you will not be disappointed.

 

Part II coming next…..Amsterdam and Copenhagen!