At the end of each month, I like to stop, take a mindful look at the past few weeks, and remember the experiences that brought me joy. It is my way of living more mindfully and acknowledging the things I am grateful for.
Now let’s get into my monthly highlights.
Some time ago, I decided to go out and visit new places or do something new as often as possible. My hubby and I usually use our weekends to catch up with whatever unfinished business we have, and I noticed that, unless I schedule it on my calendar, we hardly ever get to do something for ourselves. So last weekend we drove to Delray Beach to visit the Morikami Japanese Gardens. In the early 1900s, a group of young Japanese farmers arrived and formed a colony called Yamato. Ultimately, most of the members of the original colony returned to Japan. Around 1970, one of the remaining members donated his land to the Palm Beach County to become a park. The exhibition has all the elements of the authentic Japanese culture: Japanese gardens, Japanese art, a tea house, library, museum store, and cultural programming.
What I enjoyed the most was the garden. I strolled through the bamboo grove, admired the arrangement of plants and the rock formations, and I gave myself time to contemplate the stillness of the lake and the natural beauty of the cascading waterfalls.
The garden itself is an invitation to introspection and reflection, an encouragement to leave behind your troubles and your everyday chaos, and to give yourself the gift of feeling at peace with the world around you and with yourself. I left the garden feeling refreshed, relaxed, and a little happier.
2. OverDrive App.
Lately I’ve been listening to audiobooks in my car using the OverDrive app from my library. It’s a convenient way to borrow audiobooks from the library and download them right to my phone. Besides, it’s free and so easy to use, and you get 21 days to keep the book! All you need is a library card. If you haven’t heard of this app yet, I would highly recommend it. I already created a waiting list for the books I want to read. It’s a perfect way to use my commute time to and from work. If you want to try it, you can now start planning and setting your fall reading goals.
3. New books and a visit to Barnes&Noble
Every visit to Barnes and Noble is such a treat for my senses! I love checking out the books, I love the coffee aroma combined with the scent of new books, the ambience, the fact that everybody is preoccupied with what they are doing and nobody pays attention to you. I love to check the journals, the calendars, the music, and the greeting cards. And as you probably know, you can’t just visit and go. During my last visit there I bought these two books:
Let It Out – A Journey Through Journaling – by Katie Dalebout – a book about the power of journaling that offers the necessary tools and exercises to develop a journaling habit. I’m reading this one right now.
Daily Abundance – A Daybook of Comfort and Joy – by Sarah Ban Breathnach – a book of 366 short stories, one for each day of the year – each of them a gracious lesson on what to do for a happier, more fulfilling life.
4. Naples Beach and a picnic in the park
This past weekend my hubby and I visited Naples. We spent the day at the beach and we had a picnic in the park. I was totally in the present moment and I intentionally forgot about my to-do-list, deadlines, and chores. I fully immersed myself in the beautiful experience of being present by paying attention to each detail: the relaxing drive, the white sand and the calm ocean, the cooler breeze in the park and the taste of the food, the meaningful conversations with my hubby, and the jokes. I was able to unwind and appreciate my hubby’s presence and the wonderful things we share together.
5. On the blog in September
What are some of the highlights from your past weeks? What brought you joy? What made you smile?
I hope you have a wonderful month of October filled with sunny skies and much, much laughter. Allow yourself to stop for a few minutes and savor a moment of stillness. Enjoy the beautiful colors of the nature in Fall and whatever you do, make sure it makes you happy!