Many of you have been following and contributing to my Instagram hashtag #enchantedsimplicity so I thought I would share a bit more about what this term means to me as well as tips for keeping the magic alive as 2018 dissipates and 2019 begins to unfurl.
Acknowledgment of the magic present in all things. A slow-living lifestyle in which the everyday transforms into joyful enchantment. This lifestyle is inspired by minimalism, simple living, slow living, and hygge. It is about being present in the world and having respect for nature. It is about being a conscious consumer who researches a brand before purchasing to make sure our values are in alignment. A person who lives an Enchanted Simplicity lifestyle will always use what they have first, recycle, repurpose, buy secondhand, and finally purchase new quality items from eco-conscious brands. Besides living in harmony with the Earth, an adherent to the Enchanted Simplicity lifestyle recognizes that the world is full of magic and wonder. It is important to live a magical existence--to watch the first spring buds unfurl, to catch glimpses of shooting stars and rainbows, to stop to smell the flowers, to attract amazing synchronicities.
Here are some ways in which I embrace enchanted simplicity:
1. Spontaneous morning tea parties with my six-year-old. I make a pot of loose leaf tea, fill a fancy cream jug, get out the good bone china and let him pour his own tea. That little bit of magic first thing in the morning seems to set the tone for our entire day.
2. Go on a sacred walk in nature. This is an activity I suggested for participants in one of my workshops. The idea is that by walking in the same place on a regular basis you will begin to form a meaningful relationship with place. The first step involves walking and observing from a multi-sensory level. What can you see, smell, taste, touch, hear? Record your experiences in a journal.
3. Collecting nature treasures. Another walk, this time one in which you gather little nature treasures as you walk. Is there a particular acorn calling out to you? A smooth river rock with an enticing glow around it? A sweet smelling pine cone?
4. Playing dressing up. This is something I encourage my son to do on a regular basis, but it’s also important for me to engage in this activity every now and again. I get dressed in a nice outfit, do my makeup, add glitter, spray on some perfume. Even if I don’t have anywhere to go, it makes my day special when I dress as if something amazing is just around the corner. Try it! You’ll be amazed at how you feel. This is useful for everyone, but especially stay-at-home, or work-from-home mamas.
5. Planting seeds, or potted plants. We’ve had the same potted geraniums for at least four years now. Once the first frost arrives we bring them inside. Last winter, in February, I noticed one of the geraniums was about to bloom. It was such a magical sight—red flowers blooming in the middle of winter. As I write this I can see two of my potted geraniums are blooming—one pink and one red.
6. Take a long bath, or shower. Use fragrant soaps, oils, bath salts. If you don’t have a tub (like me), try a foot soak in a large basin instead.
7. When you first awaken, notice how you feel. What are you thinking? Is your mind already rushing ahead to all of the things you must accomplish this day? If so, take a few deep breaths and speak words like the following: I recognize the enchantment in the everyday. I am open to receive and recognize magic.
8. Make lunch or dinner special. Take a few extra moments to set the table in a beautiful way, arrange your food in an aesthetically pleasing manner, light a candle. These little touches really don’t take long and they make a world of difference. We always say a mealtime blessing. Whatever your spiritual beliefs, it’s nice to take a moment to appreciate the food before you and to acknowledge how it nourishes your body.
9. Evening ritual. Perhaps you are busy all day long, but have some time to unwind in the evening. Make this time special. Dress in your most comfortable clothes, light candles (or a fire in the fireplace if you are lucky), journal, read books, create a collage, sip tea, take time to reflect on your hopes and dreams, let go of stress and negative thoughts, concentrate on deep breathing, do yoga. These are just suggestions. Take what works and discard the rest.
Of course I have lots of other ideas, but I hope these suggestions will help you continue to embrace the enchanted simplicity as winter continues and the earth slumbers. Winter is a time of hushed quiet, inner contemplation and reflection.
Share some ways you embrace enchanted simplicity, and thank you for continuing to tag your photos which highlight the magical in the everyday with #enchantedsimplicity.
Check out the following for some Enchanted Simplicity inspiration:
Pinterest board dedicated to simple living, green beauty, eco-conscious brands, and Enchanted Simplicity.
The Calm Collective Instagram page run by Cassandra Eldridge. She also has a blog and a podcast.
Katy Who is one of my favorites! Her outdoor, nature, fairytale, simple living photos resonate with me so very much.
How is it possible that this year is almost over? Did it seem to fly by for you too? This was the first year I managed to keep track of my reading (for the most part) through Goodreads --and I am glad I did, as it makes it easier to look back on my reading year.
I read some truly amazing books this year, so it was difficult to narrow down my top favorites. I decided to limit most of my reading picks to books which were published this year. I rated all of these with 4 or 5 stars (out of 5). So without further ado, here are my five favorite books of 2018!
1. Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield. Genres: Historical Fiction, Magical Realism. Publication date: December 4, 2018. Atria Books.
This exquisite book wasn't published until December 4, 2018, but I was lucky to receive a free galley from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It may very well become one of my favorite books of all time. My review can be found here.
2. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang. Genre: Magical Realism. Publication date: November 14, 2017. St. Martin's Press.
Magical Realism is by far my favorite genre to read and write, but that being said I find it is rather hit or miss. I was pleasantly surprised by this fantastic book. The characters stayed with me long after I read the last page. My review can be found on Goodreads.
3. The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay. Publication date: October 30, 2018. St. Martin's Press. Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction. This book was gifted to me by the publishers via NetGalley. The writing was eloquent and hauntingly beautiful. I honestly can't wait to read another book by this author. My review can be found here: the-rain-watcher.html
4. The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. Publication date: February 8, 2018. Raven Books. Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller.
This was a brilliant book! It was a fresh and unique mystery. It's almost like a more sinister version of the film Groundhog Day. This was another book I was grateful to receive from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. My review can be found here: www.goodreads.com/review/show/2521218878?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
5. Circe by Madeline Miller. Publication date: April 10, 2018. Little, Brown and Company. Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Historical Fiction, Mythology. I know I am not alone in listing this as one of the top books of 2018. This book is phenomenal! Review here: book-review-circe-by-madeline-miller.html
Tell me, what were your top five books of the year?
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