Moments of Joy Monday: Taking a Me-Me-Break
Good morning, I hope your Monday hasn’t slapped you in the face yet. This will be a regular feature every Monday, outlining the things that have brought me joy that week – books, plays, a lipstick, moments, furniture etc – hoping that they might bring you joy too. This week, it is not hard to list any number of joyful things as I am currently taking what I call a MeMe break in Thailand. I’ve been on a detox and doing yoga and basically just talking to myself for almost two weeks, I find time away from the city and my life every now and again to reset and replenish absolutely necessary for my creativity and life force. (Pause for self-deprecating laugh) But seriously, here’s some joy for you, wherever you are:
Ok so don’t laugh, I have never truly appreciated the comfort of a good hammock. The wonderful place I'm staying in Thailand, The Sanctuary has them all over the place including on my deck outside my jungle house and I can’t stop falling asleep in them. I think it’s something about the rocking motion. I'm so enamoured that I've even googled indoor hammocks to see if I can squeeze one into my house in London somewhere. I found this website based in the UK and endless Pinterest inspo boards. The problem is I'd take even more naps than I already do so it could be quite anti-social, but seriously if you have trouble sleeping, try a hammock.
2) Book: The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Look, I know I’m late to the game with this one, especially for a “spiritual” person, but this book is beautiful. A tale about the value of pursuing your hearts desires in life via a beautifully written tale about a shepherd boy who travels to the pyramids to find treasure and meets a lot of interesting characters along the way. It is choc-ful of quotable lines such as “Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should love their lives, but none about his or her own”.
Picking one book was difficult bearing in mind I’ve read A LOT of books this week., Special mention to The Gifts of Imperfection and Daring Greatly (amazing research on human shame) by Brene Brown, Higher Selfie by Lucy Sheridan and Jo Westwood and Radical Self Love by Gala Darling (you know the kind of holiday I'm on!)
3) No Make Up
I’d forgotten the joy of wearing nothing on my face for long periods of time. I'll be honest with you and say that I'm usually far too vain to do this. Unless I'm at the gym or chilling at home, I'm not one to casually walk about with at least a slick of lipstick or some bronzer. I love make-up, it is such a fun, playful part of life and I'm not ashamed of wearing it. However, somewhere between winter and an overdose of Kylie Jenner on snapchat my regime had been getting longer. It has been so hot here that my face literally slides everything straight off even if I try to put on a bit of bronzer in the evening. So my bare face, freckle moustache, uneven eyebrows and all is out to play and I'm loving it. I'm not even bashful to look people square in the face which I certainly would be in London when caught bare faced. The tan helps, I'll admit.
4) Eating Raw
When I first arrived in Thailand (at The Sanctuary)I did a pretty severe four-day detox which involved clay shakes, self-administered colonics (THE HORROR) and vegetable water broth and after this feel reluctant to put anything complex in my body. I’ve been eating a basically vegan diet for a week and I actually feel pretty amazing. I've also not had alcohol or more shockingly to me caffeine which I don’t think I've abstained from for longer than a day since I was a young teenager. It helps that they have a wonderful raw food menu here and all sorts of dressings that make eating basically just vegetables interesting.
Even though I eat a pretty healthy diet normally (- wine), it’s made me think quite seriously about my nutritional and lifestyle choices.
5) Podcast: Passion Pods
I am a podcast obsessive at the moment and listen to everything from True Crime to Desert Island Discs., This podcast from broadcaster Emily Chiswell interviews different creatives and start-ups doing interesting things every week. It's fun and inspiring and the episodes are short so are perfect for the commute.
6) This H&M Dress
It’s red, it has a cold shoulder, it’s perfect for dancing and you can use the red dancer girl emoji in all pics. It makes me feel fun and reminds me that my uniform of London black is purely practical and sometimes we need frivolity. What’s not to love.
7) Mind Space
I think I'm above average in terms of the general population in making weekly time to sit and think whether it’s after meditation or in the bath. I am fully aware of the necessity of both the clearing value of meditation and the time to wonder and ponder in my life, it honestly keeps me sane and happy. However spending almost two weeks with basically just myself has given me a new lease of life in terms of my business, my creative projects and just putting some practices and habits in place to ensure my days are more fruitful and my emotions are more steady on a week-by-week basis.
I think this is a really valuable practice for everyone. Sometimes our lives can be so loud and monotonous that we forget to step back and think about what we are really doing all of this for. If we can give ourselves the regular space to think about what we want, our values and any niggles that we may have been masking, it can help us to think about actions we may need to take. Feeling my way back to my path this week has left me with a sense of joy which I doubt will disappear as quickly as my tan.
Until next week.