Welcome to Wellness Weekly coming to you every week. This is a weekly series, sort of like a Letter from the Editors, that will rotate between Lara and Luigi, along with other members of Team Smudge and with the occasional guest. We’ll hold space on the Dirt to check in on our Sixth Sense: the term we use to refer to our spirit, intuition, and inner power. And because while we exist in the world alongside our other Five Senses, we’ll do a check-in of those, too. This week we focus on Wellness-weekly-blossoming.
Spring is here and with it comes my annual self-reflection on personal growth and what it means to blossom (not coincidentally, our theme for this month!). As everything in nature gives its best glow-up – and along with it, a less-than-welcome dose of seasonal allergies – I am finding myself yearning for my own version. AKA, find me doing google searches on new hobbies (should this be the year I master the art of pot-throwing?), tearing throw books as if they are their own form of nutritional sustenance, and planning aspirational vacations to lands near and far. Personal growth to me, at least when I’m relying on reaction rather than intention, looks a lot like mindless wandering.
So this Spring, I’m going to do my best to focus my personal growth on something that is counterintuitive to me: creating boundaries and being comfortable with staying still.
Regarding the boundaries, I’m practicing the ancient art of saying no to activities, people, and things I don’t feel comfortable doing. I’m reminding myself that my true loved ones will understand that my occasional opting-out is about self-preservation. This will require me to summon my power of staying grounded and focused (hello, Smokey Quartz and Tiger’s Eye by my bedside table!) and sticking with things that are aligned with what feels authentic and true.
The staying still part will be tougher – I cope poorly with idle time. While I still consider myself a meditation novice, I’m going to draw on the sage advice and guidance of Team Smudge, who have created a treasure trove of meditations, journal prompts, and how-to’s on finding the calm and growth that occurs when we take a beat and tune out the external noise. Success on this front will definitely be marked by progress, not perfection, but what a team to have behind me for the journey.
Here’s a quick take on what’s going on with my other senses this week…
I am spending Spring Break in Florida this week. I have a touch-and-go relationship with my home state, but one thing I unconditionally love is the sight of the Gulf of Mexico and the unparalleled sunsets. Doesn’t get better than dipping my toes in the water while my kids dance around in the waves.
Speaking of Florida, the best sound right now is the sound of protest. My kids and I are doing our best to loudly and proudly say “GAY” every chance we get in response to the anti-gay bill recently signed into law. Here in St. Pete where we are staying, I am happy to report, the pride flags are flying everywhere and the gay bars going strong, proving that no matter what a misguided state legislature has to say about it, the LGBTQ+ community can’t be silenced. To all of the queer kids feeling less than right now, you are loved, you are respected, and you are valid.
Florida vacations mean lots of seafood, so the theme of the week is a beachfront restaurant, margarita in hand, with a steady supply of oysters and grouper. Last night we stopped by my childhood staple, Rockaway Grill, and while it might not meet any foodie’s criteria for fine dining, it checked the box of a nostalgic good time.
A kid of the 70’s and 80’s, sunscreen was unfortunately a foreign concept to me. I’m determined to avoid repeating the mistake with my kids and make amends for the torture I inflicted on myself with hefty doses of SPF gazillion. So the smell of the week? Sun Bum lotion. Like, absolutely everywhere.
Hugs, hugs, hugs this week as the kids and I savor time with family. A special and rare treat is the serendipitous occasion of having four of my high school friends at the same time, making for an unplanned reunion that my heart and soul truly needed. Here’s to old friends, laughing about old memories, and making new ones!