Nature is Amazing

Although it’s been a bit on the hot side this week, we have been having a glorious spring (or early summer I suppose) here in Portland. Over the past few days the heat has broken and so I have taken some time to show my sister, (and new intern) Erin around the neighborhood. After fueling up on (gorging ourselves on) raspberries from the yard of course.

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We’ve had so much fun checking out all the flowers, veggies and herbs that people are growing in their yards. And we are certainly taking time to stop and smell the roses– and lavender and sage.

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It’s so great to be able to take it slow and absorb all the beauty around us.

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These are a few of my favorite things:

I love all kinds of stuff. Plain and simple. Music, wildflowers, spring blossoming trees. Part of my game plan for more intentional living is to deeply appreciate the small things, dwell on the day to day, wallow in the wonderful. Dirt under your fingernails, innocuous spiders scurrying around in the garden. Blackberry picking, hot tea, the smell of an old book. And to go out searching for more beautiful experiences. Cool breezes, sunshine, campfires. I just want to feel good all the time and I believe that comes from connecting with nature and the people and things around you. Disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with what is real, tangible, touchable, smellable. Each week I will share a few of my favorite things with you (Julie Andrews and the Sound of Music being among them) in an effort to take a moment to reflect and revel in the things that make me feel truely happy.

You know that thing where you’re just going about your life and you come across something that makes you say, “Man, I LOVE grapefruit!” or “OMG, where has arugula been all my life” (or whatever it might be?) I’m gonna write about it, dwell on it. I want to make that moment last as long as I can.

To tell you the truth, I am a rather cynical person most of the time. It’s not something I am particularly proud of and I would love nothing more than to try to increase the positivity in my life. My paternal grandfather (who passed away the day after my birthday this year, at the age of 89) was part of the Optimist International club. As a teenager I remember receiving a plaque of the “Optimist Creed” on my 18th birthday, just like all my older cousins had before me, and thinking it was “nice” and “cute” while rolling my eyes. I read it once an stuffed it in a drawer. Now, at the ripe old age of 31, I have learned the value of slowing down and being thankful for things, of looking for the good in life, focusing on the positive, the little things. Though I viewed it as cheesy in my youth I now see appreciate its wisdom.

The Optimist Creed

Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

I love fresh air. Walking along a creek in the woods and smelling the pine, the dirt. Dirt smells SO good. Seriously, so good. Have you smelled dirt lately? Do it! It’s so good. I’m telling you, little things like that are where. it’s. at.

Tune in each week for the little things that I am groovin’ on at any given moment. And don’t forget to stay tuned in to the insignificant pleasures in your life. Like listening to “Such Great Heights” with headphones. Yeah, the percussive feeling right at the beginning when it alternates ears. That.