Hi again. I know I’d said I would write. Honestly, I’ve been jam packed with so many things. There’s school and other work, some college stuff, etc. Then, with the free time I do have, I just want to recharge and refuel for another week. But today I’ve decided to share with you guys a practice that I’ve been doing to keep me grounded when the busy hits and the middle of the week is happening.
Everything seems so big in the middle of the week, doesn’t it? There’s so much to do, always somewhere to go, someone to be. I try to take time to recharge and take care of myself everyday. Some days are busier than others, so I end up grasping at the little time I have left. But most days, I do have some space to just sit and be in the present. Weekends are absolutely amazing for that, because it frees me up from the hectic schedule of the week.
This is the time when I really try to rest in this practice, the time where I feel the most connected to God. Here are some of the ways I practice finding beauty in the ordinar-i-ness of everyday life:
Have a Gratitude List
Not only is this great for your outlook on life, it is also scientifically proven to make you happier and improve your mental health. I try to list at least one thing a day. Sometimes on paper, sometimes in my head, and other times on an app. Either way, this is great to see the bigger picture. Even though you may have had a busy day or a day where you just were not feeling it, this reminds you of the little things in life that make it worth it. Like that waiter smiling at you even though you were short-tempered. Or taking a good walk with your dog.
It’s the little things in life that really remind us why we’re here, and help us to see Jesus everywhere we go. I believe that Jesus is in the details as well as the big things. He’s in the miracle, but he’s also in the days leading up to it. He’s in the best Sunday sermons, but he’s also in the small town church that gathers every Wednesday for Bible Study. If you begin to see these moments, you begin to seek them, and if you begin to seek them, you begin to find them everywhere.
Some of the things on my gratitude list:
You want to know what’s saving my life right now? Rituals.
Yep, I like to keep routines through the week, and especially on the weekends. I am a self-care junkie, mainly because I get burned out really fast. I love being creative, doing things like this or art or writing for other things or whatever else there is to do with a crazy creative mind like mine. I don’t want to do work though, I’ll confess. Chemistry, math, etc., I do not like at all. Which is why I think I won’t take a career in either of those zones, but it’s also why I get so burned out so fast.
If it’s something I love, like music or art or writing (even English!), I can do it for hours. But if I’m not interested, the work feels tortuous to me. I mean, it’s okay, but I don’t find that it doesn’t feel like work, you know? With the things I love, I could work for hours and it doesn’t even feel like I’m working because it comes so naturally to me and it’s such an easy thing to get lost in. My creative rituals help keep me grounded amidst all of the academics I am faced with each day.
But it isn’t only creative rituals. I also love to recharge, because I’m very introverted and I’m easily maxed out. Sometimes they’re daily, sometimes they’re occasional, and sometimes they’re on the weekends.
Here’s what rituals look like for me:
- More Yoga (Have you figured out yet that I love yoga?)
- Photography (only a little)
- Youtube (SoSonia is my current inspiration)
- Storyplanning (Aka Pinterest)
- Church-Mosaic LA
Act Like A Child
Children are the best at seeing all of the beauty around them. The world is their snowglobe. They have so much to do, so much to see, and even the smallest things are amazing to them. They can stare out of the window for hours and still want to sit there all day. They’re so full of wonder, and the world is like a flower, spreading its petals and growing bigger and bigger each day. Every day is a new discovery.
I think as people get older, imagination and wonder is stifled. We think, ‘that’s for kids, we’re bigger than this’, but the truth is, we don’t know everything. Some of us may think we do, or act like we’re supposed to, but there’s so much out there that is just waiting for you to notice it. Maybe you walk to work, and you miss the beautiful flowers on the way there because you’re too busy thinking up all that will be on your to-do list. But if you act like a child, you begin to see the world through different eyes.
Maybe you stop, smell the flowers, and spend a few minutes soaking the sights and sounds and smells in. Sure, you may take a few minutes longer to get to work, but as long as you aren’t late, you’ve enriched yourself through the experience. Because it’s all about perspective, finding beauty. What do you see when you look out of the window? Is the glass half full or half empty? Should you tilt your head to see it from a different angle? How would your day look if you began to intentionally look for the beauty all around you?
Finding beauty isn’t just about your familiar surroundings, but also about exploration. Maybe that looks like a new city or state for you. Or maybe your exploration is right around the corner, at that diner you didn’t even know was there till yesterday. Sometimes it’s a combination of the two. You never know what you might find.
For me, just today, I found this beautiful cafe near my house that I’d always seen and walked past. I figured it wasn’t really for me. But today, as the car was getting washed, I decided to take a look inside. What I found was a small, cozy little place that I will definitely return to. The food was also a big hit. I got a kids meal, just cause (remember acting like a child?). It’s the first picture you see in this post, and it looked gorgeous so I decided to take a photo of it.
The sun beamed inside, and there really wasn’t anyone there but a few people. It made for a great afternoon. If you haven’t already figured out, I am a cafe groupie (is that a thing?). I’m a sucker for a nice-lookin’, cozy, little place with great food. It just calms me, it resounds with my soul.
It isn’t like you have to jump far out of your comfort zone to experience beauty. Sometimes it’s right around the corner where you never thought to look.
I feel like this is one of those things that you would not expect to list up here, but that it is so very true and important. Even if you dance like a maniac (it’s okay, you have plenty of company-including me). I’m not a dancer. I’m not trained, and I really don’t do too many regular moves. I love to just dance around my apartment to my favorite music and look silly and have fun.
If you’re like me, I suggest you start to not care what other people think. I’m starting to, because I actually saw someone on the street having her own little dance party, so I thought, “Why not me too?” I think I’m going to start doing that, even though I really tend to care what other people think and I hate looking silly in public. It’s a part of who I am, and it’s a part of living my life beautifully, so I shouldn’t have to apologize for it. Plus, I seriously think Jesus is dancing with me, so it’ll be great.
Life is about celebration, among other things, so why not have my own private dance party while I’m at it?
I hope that helped you somehow. If you’re going through something right now, I would love to pray for you in the comments and just be with you through that. I know I said that life is a celebration, but it’s also about owning what you’re going through. You can’t be happy all the time, even Jesus wasn’t. He got mad and sad sometimes. He wept. I just wanted to be sensitive to that, and to say that he feels with you, and that you’re never alone.
Anyway, I will try to write more, but it might only be once a week since that’s kind of my only free time. Thanks so much for visiting, and for entertaining my thoughts. I hope that you got closer to Jesus as a result of reading this. How do you find beauty in the comments? Do you already do any of these things? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.