Real Life: A Weekly Series

3 Minute Read: Real life, roundup, holiday survival.

Yay – you’re here! Starting today, I’m trying something new on the blog (while continuing my regular posts too). Each Sunday, I’ll be sharing glimpses of my real life, including things that are up for me and how I’m working with them.

I’ll also feature a few recipes, reads + listens I found compelling and am eager to share. Welcome to Week 1!

Winter selfie with a siamese cat ;)

Winter selfie with a siamese cat ;)

My partner left last week, heading to the states for the next few months or so. While his trip wasn’t totally unexpected, the timing of it was and feels raw and jarring. The decision came suddenly; a few days later he was gone, days before Christmas.

I’ve spent many Christmases alone (often in other countries) and truthfully prefer it that way. The holiday noise and busyness are too much for me – they feel the opposite of connection and spiritual practice. That said, I’m struggling with his leaving. It pulls at the trauma of last year’s fall and winter, when he left and we uncoupled for a while.

Still, there are gifts in this difficult holiday time and the months ahead. Here’s what I’m doing to honour and celebrate them:

  • I’m savouring stillness, solitude and silence.

  • I’m pulled more deeply into spiritual practice. From the outside, this looks like more yoga. On the inside, it has to do with ongoing exploration of self, connection, taoism, buddhist ethics, sovereignty and surrender.

  • I’m continuing my practice of keeping a gratitude journal. I haven’t missed a day since starting last winter; it’s one of the most powerful antidotes to anxiety I know.

  • I’m using these few weeks off from teaching Chinese Medicine to focus on new projects – including this series and a coming podcast! Come January, I’ll also be teaching a new nutrition program at the Chinese Medicine school, so I’m getting that ready as well.

  • Amidst working on my business and the nutrition program, I’m taking myself on “self dates”: trying out coffee shops I haven’t visited in years, soaking in the local hot springs, getting spa treatments :), contemplating finally learning to cross-country ski (any locals up for a beginner outing?). This helps me see things with new eyes, make new connections, and feel as though I’m on vacation…even while staying in town.

  • I’m finding inspiration reading what others are up to, including these…

Cabin life and home office (The rug is her xmas present.)

Cabin life and home office (The rug is her xmas present.)

Recipes + Links

Love this post on NOT baking. Here’s to stepping away from the “never-ending quest toward shit-together-hood.”

Check the beauty uniform of Jessamyn Stanley. A yoga teacher, author and body-positive advocate, she’s gorgeous inside and out.

A beautiful read on simple, nourishing food savoured slowly. The “perfect” meal truly doesn’t have to be complicated.

I’m all about grain-free, plant-based soups. This cauliflower one looks delicious.

Favourite holiday album this year. His other albums are brilliant too – I play them on repeat.

Be still and look upon everything kindly. Have a 3-minute listen to my primary dharma teacher.

Lastly, a win for authenticity over flattened consensus: “In a society hung up on aggregated metrics like Yelp reviews and follower counts and Rotten Tomato scores, something a ton of people think is good often ends up beating out something a few people think is fucking incredible.”

I hope you enjoy these…and would love to hear your impressions on this new series. Please send me a note or share in the comments! Wishing you a lovely Sunday and happy Christmas. xo

How’s Your winter going?

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In darkness + in light, always.

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