My Top Eleven Soothers
in no particular order
:: taking photos. i carry my camera around with me and, magically, i begin to see beauty everywhere: colors, textures, tricky instances of ephemeral light. the cat doing yoga. red leaves in the river. my shadow. it's a daily treasure hunt of my own life! i never know what i'm going to see.
:: keeping home organized. notice i didn't say extremely dusted or fanatically clean. just organized. i come home, throw the keys in the key bowl, toss the hat and arm warmers in the basket, kick off the shoes and put them on the shoe shelf, etc...
:: a good vacuum. the above said, there's nothing like a great expanse of freshly vacuumed rug to make me feel like all the detritus in my mind is cleaned up too. don't know why, but it is so. notice i didn't say, vacuum the whole house. oh, no, no, no. just the two main rooms. the whole house can wait for another day. it may be a little dusty but at least it's organized.
:: a leisurely walk. just a stroll, a meander, a saunter, if you will. around the block or down the street. looking, thinking, observing, breathing, feeling my body and my bones. a pause. a breath. (ah, there are my lungs!) kudos if someone comes with.
:: a self-given pedicure. seeing my raspberry--colored (or emerald, or cobalt) toes makes me smile each time i see them, even as i slip them into a thick pair of raw wool socks and then into calf-high boots. i know they're there, and they're having a party on my feet.
:: a hot bath. i take a hot bath every day, mostly before bed. i read in there. i write lists. i sigh and sink below the water level. i look at my toes. it is the best thing i know for instant soothing.
:: writing. not so much journaling or book-writing (though they're great.) i'm talking here about the writing down of loose ends, bits & bobs, and to-do lists in the back of my journal, or on snatched pieces of paper. it's like a safety net for my mind, a drain, a depressurization. often, much later, i'll find a list and realize i've done half of it, and completely forgotten about the other half. (i thought that was important enough to write down?) but it was, at the time, and i got great relief from it. so much so, that i then let it go.
:: 10 deep breaths. or more like trying to take 10 deep breaths. i usually make it to about three before i get distracted or forget. (meet my monkey mind!) interestingly enough, the hardest part for me about 10 deep breaths isn't finishing them, it's stopping to take them. convincing my busy mind that yes, i do have time to stop to take some full breaths.
:: going to the thrift shop. yes. soothing. stepping into the path of Serendipity. the sense of joy, anticipation, discovery, triumph or zen acceptance is just like when i was a kid, playing in the woods and discovering treasures. i am fortunate to have a great thrift shop just around the corner that i can pop over too on a regular basis and cast among the flotsam and jetsom. marvelous. (these are yesterday's finds.)
and, last but not least, number eleven:
:: chocolate Reisens. perfect size. perfect unwrapping. perfect yumminess. talk about soothing! they wrote the book on soothing.