Everyday Life · Quotes

10 Tips for a Mindful Home

I love these tips. Will try to print them out for my wall soon. Until then, here they reside to remind me each day.

Wake with the sun – There is no purer light than what we see when we open our eyes first thing in the morning. Resisting the morning’s first waking moment instantly adds stress to your day. Avoiding the sun, you commence a chase that lasts all day long: running short of time, balance, peace and productivity.

Sit – Mindfulness without meditation is just a word. The search for mindful living is always grounded in a meditation practice. Seated meditation is the easiest and fastest way to clear your mind of anxious, fearful and stressful thoughts. Meditation puts your overactive brain on a diet, so you have more attention to bring to the real life that appears before you. You will be far more productive in the ensuing hours if you begin the day by spending five minutes actively engaged in doing nothing at all.

Make your bed – The state of your bed is the state of your head. Enfold your day in dignity. The five minutes you spend making your bed slows you down from your frantic, morning scrambling and creates a calm retreat to welcome you home at night. Plus, making your bed means you’ve already achieved an even more challenging feat: getting out of it.

Empty the hampers – Do the laundry without resentment or commentary and have an intimate encounter with the very fabric of life. Doing laundry is a supreme act of personal responsibility. It requires maturity, attention and discipline, and it engenders happiness. Don’t believe me? See how you feel every time you reach the bottom of an empty hamper.

Wash your bowl – Rinse away self-importance and clean up your own kitchen mess. If you leave it undone, it will get sticky. An empty sink can be the single most gratifying sight of a long and tiring day.

Set a timer – If you’re distracted by the weight of what’s undone, set a kitchen timer and, like a monk in a monastery, devote yourself wholeheartedly to the task at hand before the bell rings. The time you’ll find hidden in a kitchen timer unleashes more of your attention to the things that matter most.

Rake the leaves – Take yourself outside to rake, weed or sweep. You’ll never finish for good, but you’ll learn the point of pointlessness. The repetitive motion is meditative; the fresh air is enlivening. Lose yourself in doing what needs to be done, without a thought of permanent outcome or gain. You’ll immediately alter your worldview.

Eat when hungry – Align your inexhaustible desires with the one true appetite. Coming clean about our food addictions and aversions is powerful and lasting medicine. Eating is so central to family life and culture that we can pass on our habits for generations to come. Mindless overeating feeds our sickness; mindful eating feeds the body’s intuitive, intelligent wisdom and nourishes life well past tonight’s empty plates.

Let the darkness come – Set a curfew on the Internet and TV and discover the natural balance between daylight and darkness, work and rest. Your taste for the quiet will naturally increase. When you end your day in accord with the earth’s perfect rhythm, you grant the whole world a moment of pure peace.

Sleep when tired – Nothing more to it.

Travel

Cape Cod Visual Diary 2

The homes in Chatham are lovely! Imagine reading a book and sipping a cup of tea or coffee on this lovely verandah.
All houses on Cape Cod look similar to this … charming in all shades of grey.
This birdie must be an introvert. He seemed quite happy here by himself.
Had lunch at the Chatham Squire (popular with the locals, I was told.) I had a lobster bisque (so-so), while my friend had the New England Smoke Fish Plate (good).
How “Happy Days” is this?
The sun will set in about 20 minutes … the best light of the day!
We got to the Pier in time for sunset and to admire the seals. They came here every evening when the fishing boats pulled in after a day at sea. It’s a big feast for the seals.
Dear Mr. Seal … you reminded me of Max!
Not sure why I love this so much. I spent quite some time here taking photos of this fish market. People must have thought I was strange.
Almost every evening, we stopped by this local grocery store to pick up food or snacks or toiletries. It’s a ritual I came to love.
Max seemed to like the rental cottage. He’s quite at home here. Guess that’s a good sign!
While in Chatham, we watched The Finest Hours, a movie based on a true Coast Guard rescue story that happened here in Chatham. The movie was also shot here in town … possibly right here at the Chatham Lighthouse. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I recommend it … totally!
Another great bookshop in Chatham, Where The Sidewalk Ends.
Everyday Life · Travel

Cape Cod Visual Diary 1

Our Cape Cod rental cottage looked bright and happy in the morning. Unlike the night before when we arrived in the dark. The atmosphere was quite eerie.
First breakfast on the Cape was at Chatham Filling Station, a popular diner with the locals.
The fluffy Popover was delicious and the sunny side up was made just the way I like it. Extra crispy!
I dropped by the Yellow Umbrella Bookstore to check out the lighting in the shop. I’ll be filming it in a few days for the Book Lovers Series. 🙂
We drove to Falmouth on the day the Nor’Easter was blowing through the East Coast. The strong wind knocked down power lines and trees. This shop (Ace Hardware) was among the lucky ones that still had electricity. And of course, the whole world was there … shopping away.
Hanging with the seals was the best thing about being in Chatham. They came in to shore when the fishing boats docked. And the feeding frenzy began. The fishermen fed the seals with the leftover catch-of-the-day. All the humans watched on with awe and affection. If you want to see them, you have to go to the Pier. I didn’t see any seals on this beach. Just a sign.
Mornings are my favorite time at the cottage. I love the way the sun rays made art all around the house.
We drove to the Outer Cape for lunch. As luck would have it, we ended up at a table with a lovely view.
My friend had the lobster/clam bake which she said was good. I had a lobster roll which was just ok. But the view made up for it!