Slowing down this year was more than a treat, a luxury, an indulgence. It was an absolute necessity. It was suddenly as though I was moving through cold maple syrup, sticky and sweet but slow slow slow…I am not sure I ever gave myself permission to check out so completely–to detach from work, from the phone, even from large swaths of my community who I normally need like oxygen and water. I let it all slip away and fell into a space that was silent and warm.

The sap is starting to rise again, and its as though that period of deep rest fed me. I think it fundamentally changed me.

But I know myself. I know that I could easily forget what I learned throwing myself into new adventures and bliss. So I am easing back in, all the while integrating what the hush and quiet taught me.

1. Lighting candles and singing old hymns and spirituals is very nourishing.
2. Everything that is important enough will find a way to get done. The rest will find a way to stop pretending to be important.
3. Lighting a fire or simply lighting a candle is an instant way to sanctify a space and make it holy and peaceful and a little bit juicy.
4. Gifts freely given don’t need to be given on any specific day.
5. Anger is OK. It can carry you somewhere if you let it. It is as holy as bliss.
6. Its important enough to slow down enough to make my bed every morning and take the time to apply moisturizer to my feet. If I am moving too fast to do those two things, its a bell reminding me I am moving too fast.
7. Filling my house with art made by friends makes me happy. Hanging up my own art makes me even more blissed out.
8. I don’t really need coffee if I take the time to drink my tea.
9. There are three reasons (and only three reasons) to do anything: a. To bring me joy. b. To bring me peace. c. Because something needs to be done. Doing things because they will pay off one day, or to be a good girl is a fast track, surefire, express train ride to misery. Don’t do things for those reasons. Anymore. Ever.
10. There is always enough time. Always.