A breath for here and now.
Like last time, let’s first take a look at some of the places my attention has been in July.
Books: Of the books I read last month, here are the ones I recommend:
- “The Art of Asking” by Amanda Palmer
- “Formation: A Woman’s Memoir of Stepping Out of Line” by Ryan Leigh Dostie
- “Tell the Wolves I’m Home” by Carol Rifka Brunt (fiction!)
- “The Dark Side of Light Chasers” by Debbie Ford
Portraits project: I painted four portraits in July, bringing me to 70/100.
Cooking/baking: I made pizza (with basil and oregano from the garden) and actually got Daiya “cheese” for it (usually I make my pizzas with just crust + sauce + veggies), crackers, mint tea with mint from the garden, hummus with cucumber, kimchi fried rice, chocolate granola (so good!), plus weekly chocolate chip cookies and non-recipe dinner cooking.
TV: Have made Thursday evenings my “Grey’s Anatomy” nights, which gives me something to look forward to each week. Am still watching season 3 of “This Is Us.” I started a Korean series “Hello My Twenties” because I missed watching a non-US show. And I learned of “Queer Eye” and it’s freaking amazing! Fantastic feel-good show that acknowledges our inner selves and our authentic selves.
Podcast: I finally gave Beautiful Anonymous a listen, which my younger brother has recommended to me since 2016, and I’m enjoying it! I was also excited to learn of Mothers of Invention, a podcast which believes climate change has a feminist solution. It’s hosted by the former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins, and they make quite the duo. Finally, am two episodes into ologies, another neat find. Real Talk Radio returns this month, and I can’t wait!
Language teaching: VIP Kid totally petered out, so I’ve let that go—now able to put that energy elsewhere. I’ve still been teaching two Spanish classes per week, which I’m ready to let go of at the end of August—to put that energy into other pursuits as well. (Like, going west!)
SUV hunt: The van hunt turned into an SUV-hunt, and I’m still on the lookout.
Scrapbook mania: Inspired by a cousin I saw two weekends ago, who scrapbooked 5 years of photos this summer, I ordered 350+ photos to be printed at Walgreens. I hadn’t touched my scrapbook in years—the most recent page I’d done was college graduation in 2011. So I spent 3-4 days in scrapbook mania, and finished two full years of the last decade!
Deck building: I’m helping my dad rebuild our deck. He works retail, so his schedule changes week to week. On the days that he has off, we are outside working. It’s nice to build something with my hands—though I will admit it’s taking much longer than I anticipated. On Monday we finished the last three floor boards and put up the top rail, but the staircase is unattached and needs creative fixing up—plus the railings and everything else that have yet to be cut and installed. And then painting/sealing? We’ll see how far we get in August!
And now on to last month’s focus areas.
Obnoxiously Encouraging Thoughts
Lean into Goddess card (Dana).
This really helped me make those AZT blog posts a priority! I turned to my Goddess Guidance deck multiple times during the month, and find it so helpful. Eireen (Peace) showed up again for me these last few weeks, to remind me “There is no need to worry, as everything is working out beautifully.”
Finish reading “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.”
I finished the book and really enjoyed it as an introduction to shadow work.
Filling a Poetry Notebook
Track 10-minute poetry play sessions in journal.
This fell from view early on in the month, and I’m going to release it from focus this month.
AZT Guide + Gratitude Project
AZT guide: 30 minutes of writing, 4x/week.
I’m still working on the AZT Guide, though I’m close to finishing! I published five or six posts in July, and will finish by next week. So, only touched my gratitude project once this month—but its season will come.
Obnoxiously Encouraging Thoughts
Lean into Goddess card (Maeve).
Last night I was talking to a friend and it came up that my approaches are now much more intuitive—I wait to see how I feel, and decide what I’ll do in the moment based on energy levels, etc. She and I both have had calmer/indoor summers, because that’s the season we’ve found ourselves in.
This was still on my mind this morning, I was thinking about how nature doesn’t follow a set schedule. It rains when it rains, you grow when you have the ingredients to grow. So I was surprised when I looked back on my 2019 year spread to find out I’d turned over Maeve for August, goddess of Cycles and Rhythms. Her message is to “Honor the cycles of your body, energy levels, and emotions.” So in sync! Two meanings of the card that I cherry-picked from the guide are to allow yourself to grieve and that a doorway of opportunity has opened up. I will keep all of this in mind during the coming weeks.
My inner universe—and outer connection to everything and everyone in the universe—has become increasingly important for me to explore and nurture. It will be a new focus item for as long as that feels right.
Finish reading “Wicca for Beginners.”
Meet the minor arcana cards.
I’ve met all 21 of the major arcana cards in my tarot deck, and next up are the minor arcana cards. It feels intimidating because there are four suits, 1-10 plus four court cards of each suit, so that’s a lot of cards and meanings to learn. But I’ll just start one at a time.
Start reading Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth.”
Material-World Burden Things
Buy an SUV.
Buying the vehicle, getting a title, license, insurance. This needs to be like #1 on my list.
Transfer Roth IRA.
I need to transfer my Roth IRA to Vanguard. I tried tackling this earlier in June but, long story short, made a mistake and had to wait a month.
Take ukulele to get repaired.
I’ve tried a few times but for one reason or another this hasn’t panned out yet; want to have it looked at before my warranty expires in December.
Finish AZT Guide
I will finish this guide next week. There’s one post left that I’m working on—wildlife and plants—and then I have a slew of other random info and tips to compile somewhere.
Gratitude + Box Project
When AZT is done, I want to work on these two handwritten projects.
The Encouraging Times
And I need to make a new plan for this project—likely moving it online until I have enough submissions to make a printed zine as I originally wanted to. (No submissions yet. You could be the first!)
As always, you’re welcome to use the space below to share what your month has felt like.
I also invite you to join me in taking some time for personal reflection.
How have you been feeling lately?
What is lifting you up?
What is weighing you down?
Where will you place your attention in August?
Thank you for being here.