It is literally 8 degrees today.  I am wearing a sweatshirt, tshirt, sweatpants and wool socks. Not lookin’ so good, but feeling beautiful on the inside. OK…that’s a stretch.

However, I have decided to try and embrace my inner beauty, as they say, and succumb to the season. I seek to revel in the days when I don’t have to wave a mascara wand. It’s that time of year, when I want to be “out” and yet, yearn to be “in”.  It’s a challenge. I tend to err on the side of caution on these days; snow falls in the morning and I cancel my evening, below 10 degrees and I figure that  my “to do” list is allowed to morph into my “to be” list.

You see, years ago, on a cold, winter day in Cleveland, I was driving to a “must have” interview and slid on a curved road, into a tree, setting off my air bag and smashing in the front of my car. Call it what you will – luck, angels, Grace – whatever you call it, it was on my side. The tree I hit was in front of a house, owned by a nurse who happened to be home. She, too, drove a Saab. She came out, helped me inside, called her car dealer and set about bandaging my fear.

What are the chances that I would hit that tree, in that car, on her day off?

And so, I am skiddish. Yes, having grown up on the East Coast and Colorado, you would think I could take the road on a snowy day, with ease. And yet, I take it with fear. A fear that I can’t seem to shake, but I can laugh at when my friend Ellen picks me up at the first sign of flakes.

I worry for the safety of people I care about. I cancel plans and hunker down, hoping the sun will come out and freedom will be mine.

And so it is on this day of 8 degrees, that I am finally embracing it all, letting myself off the hook and realizing that even birds are grounded when it snows. Instead of berating myself and stressing over making the exercise class at the JCC,  I jumped on the basement treadmill, watched Mark Nebo on OWN. Then I threw in a load of laundry, sent a thank you note, wrote some new house ideas in my journal and made a date with Colette for creative inspiration, David for physical inspiration and Jay for finalizing some things around the house that really do need to be done. I put on my Holiday Itunes playlist:

Home For The Holidays – Danity Kane

Baby Its Cold Outside – Vanessa Williams

Love’s Holiday  – Earth Wind and Fire

Someday at Christmas – Jack Johnson

America the Beautiful – Edwina Travis

Peace – Norah Jones

Hallelujah = k.d. lang (my favorite)

I appreciate the work I had this past year and the success behind me. I am trying to have faith that I will have what I need in the year ahead and that by not pushing now, I will have the energy and strength to push through when new work appears. That staying in my sweats doesn’t mean I am lazy. It really doesn’t mean anything, except for the meaning I choose to give it.

In this morning’s interview with Mark Nebo, he said, “Every experience we have reveals to us a word in the language of our own wisdom.”

Today’s word is surrender. Calgon, take me away…

How do you MindFULLY use your experiences? Let us know!

Slow Down

Ever get going really fast and an easy voice inside says, “slow down”? Sometimes I am going so fast that all I can hear is the harder voice that says, “come on…check one more thing off your list.”

Always looking for little things I can do throughout the day, when I travel and when I am up at 2am perseverating over life’s details, I seek simple ways to help me relax. I keep little reminders on the shelf above my computer desk. I have also literally written the words SLOW DOWN on a piece of paper and taped them to the mirror over my bathroom sink. Its not that I am wound up, but I do have a tendency to do a lot of things at the same time or go into “line em up and knock em down” mode as my friend, Ellen, says. I am very productive, but sometimes I can get going too fast and then I crash and burn.

A few weeks I came across the Healthy Living Lounge.  http://www.thehealthylivinglounge.com/  I thought it sounded intriguing and was delighted to find some really helpful articles and tips. Below is one of them. So simple. And yet, so powerful.

 Stop holding your breath!

When you start paying more attention to your breath you may find that you hold your breath more often than you realize. Simply being aware is the perfect first step towards  slowing down your mind and heart rate. It gives you a chance to think clearly and to answer/speak/act from a more thoughtful space.

Slow down… Check it out…

How do you slow down and MindFULLY create a space to think from? Let us know!