Today it’s the seventh instalment in the How to fall in love with your world series: can you believe how time flies?! How to fall in love with your world aims to offer a moment to pause, in the midst of our busy lives, in the midst of the angst and pulls from all different directions. A moment to grab a cuppa and let the words wash over you. Words of wisdom as to how other women learn to fall in love with their world. There’ll be something – hopefully more than one thing! – in each post that’ll capture your imagination, that you can take away and implement, somehow, in your lives to help you fall that little bit more in love with your world.
Today’s instalment is from Heather, wonderful Heather. She writes so beautifully at her blog Icing on the Cake. Love everything she writes. Such a tender- and deep-hearted woman with such a sensitive and beautiful soul.
Here goes with her post…..
What a beautiful series to write about! When there is so much uncertain and scary about our world today with Ebola fear, ISIS, and unpredictable job security it is good to ponder how to fall in love with our world. We don’t want to live afraid of the world we live in! Especially as we draw near the holidays it is important to consider what we are grateful for.
This fall I have been reading “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin. It has given me all kinds of ideas of how to find happiness in our world and within our individual lives. In her book, she quotes G.K Chesterton, who writes, “It is easy to be heavy, hard to be light.” Sometimes it takes a lot of energy to figure out how to fall in love with our world, to note the silver lining and to allow ourselves to experience a reason to celebrate. Here are just a few of the ways I have encountered that have helped me fall in love with our world.
- Find Out What You Think Is Fun and Do That.
We can all too often be judgmental of what we truly find fun. We think it’s not adultish enough. Often we do what culture or society considers fun but is not actually fun to us personally. I have struggled with this myself. The media and pop culture tells me that clubbing is fun and exciting. I have not found it fun. I usually feel anxious, claustrophobic and overly hot in a club. In the same way so many people love amusement parks and crazy upside down roller coasters. I don’t think they are fun either. I hate standing in line on rock hard cement only to get on a ride that makes me feel nauseated.
Gretchen Rubin suggests in her book to think back to when we were children and what we did for fun before we felt influenced by what our fun preferences should be. We should not judge what we find fun. We have to be ourselves. “Be Heather!” I tell myself. “Heather is enough!” My husband and I recently pulled out the red wine and each individually wrote what we found fun in our journals. Then we shared so that we can incorporate these things into our regular rhythm. My husband, Scott loves puzzles and board games. I don’t have to love these to appreciate them or enjoy them with him. But they also don’t have to be “my fun things” As a child I loved show and tell time at school, I wrote constantly and loved my art class especially when it involved the use of color. I also loved to “watch weather”. Today I still love going outside while it’s raining. I love writing in my blog and I enjoy painting with acrylic.
- Engage your 5 senses.
One way I pursue falling in love with my world is by noticing what I see, hear, smell, taste and can touch. This is especially a good one to pursue as the holidays draw near and we begin to smell the aroma of baking. C.S. Lewis writes, “God never meant man to be a purely spiritual creature. That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us. We may think this rather crude and unspiritual. God does not: He invented eating. He likes matter. He invented it.”
One of my favorite things to do is go on a “nature walk”. This probably isn’t the rigorous mountain hike you might envision. It’s mindfulness. When I go on a walk in my neighborhood I notice the changing color of leaves (even San Diego has subtle changes). I walk slower. I take time to bend over and pick up that red leaf.
Have you ever noticed the way kids go on walks? It’s taught me something for sure. My sweet Owen, the little boy I have nannied and tutored for years inspires me to stay mindful with my senses. He absolutely loved looking for fall leaves this season, searching out the specific reds, yellows and greens. He skipped. He stopped and bent over. He ran. He stood still. He sat down. He engaged with all his senses.
On my walks I usually can find some lavender to pick and then I can also smell it’s sweet and calming scent. There is something powerful about being able to both see something and experience it in our hands. I listen to the birds chirping all cheery like. I hear the church bells around the corner. I hear the sounds of people pedaling on their bikes and the sounds of barking dogs, greeting each other as they walk with their owners.
- Be Kind
As elementary as this sounds being kind has been especially relevant to falling in love with my world. Leo Tolstoy wrote, “Nothing can make our life or the lives of other people more beautiful than perpetual kindness.” This is relevant to the kindness we show ourselves and the kindness we show others. The more kind we are to ourselves, somehow mysteriously, the more kind our self becomes to us! When I realize we all belong together and we are in this world together I am much more likely to be kind to the trees, the postman, and to my inner psyche.
I am a huge fan of Glennon Doyle Melton’s blog Momastary, as well as her book Carry on Warrior. Every year she does something called Holiday Hands. Holiday Hands was created to help moms, dads and families in need during the holiday season. Some need help putting food on the table and some need helping buying gifts and some need encouraging words.
This year, the fellow bloggers met the needs of four hundred mammas in three and a half hours!!!
That is amazing! This warmed my heart so much to know that people all across the world CARE about the needs of others and not just physical needs but emotional needs. There is a whole online board of people just requesting encouragement and affirmation through the form of letters and prayer. Anyone can sign up to send a holiday card to someone who is hurting!
I decided to pick a 10-year-old girl who is struggling to fit in due to how sensitive she is. I figured I could more than relate to feeling like I am too sensitive to the world around me. It’s not true though. I am just the right amount of sensitive. My sensitivity reminds me to be kind to others and kind to myself. That somehow being kind really does give back. Our kindness really does shake the heavens and something beautiful is released here on earth. Kindness causes me to be brave. It makes me create a world that is hospitable rather than hostile in only the way kindness can do.
I have loved thinking about ways to fall in love with the world around me. From where I sit I see sunshine racing through the windows, the trees are dancing with golds and browns. I smell biscuits baking. I feel my cozy and soft slippers keeping me warm (aka UGGS booties) I feel the kindness of family in their hospitality and their generosity. I find the time to do what I find intrinsically fun on this Thanksgiving break, reading and writing. I am grateful to live in a world that is worth falling in love with, over and over again.
[Helen again – thanks so much Heather! – for this wonderful post. It certainly gave me a lot to think about and I hope all my readers will love it too…..what a wonderful way to say HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of my American readers. May you all have a restful, peaceful and wonderful holiday, with family (or loved ones) close by].