Summer is in full swing, with long hours of daylight, celebrations, picnics, walks on the beach, campfires, and one of my favorite things - fields of lavender in bloom. I have a kind of crazy connection with lavender (read about it below in ‘Lavender Calm’), but what I like most of all is it's calming qualities.
Our theme for this month is ‘Collecting the Quiet'. Have you ever gone to the beach and collected shells? It's fun to gather them and keep as mementoes. I suggest collecting something else this month - quiet moments. As life gets back to it's normal hectic pace, the noise and busyness can crowd out the quiet that we need for reflection. Perhaps pausing and being still a little every day can be life-giving to a really important, unseen part of us - our soul. Read more about that below in ‘Collecting the Quiet’.
I came across this quote that I think sets the mood for this month:
'The air was fragrant with a thousand trodden aromatic herbs, with fields of lavender, and with the brightest roses blushing in tufts all over the meadows.' - William Cullen Bryant
I hope you'll consider collecting your own moments of quiet, and as you seek out the calm, may grace surprise you along the way.
COLLECT THE QUIET
Pebble Beach. One of my favorite vacations that we took when the kids were much younger was to Door County, and more specifically, to Pebble Beach. Watching the kids splash along the water’s edge, hearing their laughter, and gathering smooth stones on the beach was such good soul food.
When it comes to herbs, many of us are comfortable with using them in the kitchen to flavor our food. But how about in the medicine cabinet? In addition to their culinary uses, herbs have amazing healing qualities that most of us are unaware of.
What do you find calming? For me it's always been lavender. I remember taking Lamaze classes when pregnant for the first time. I was taught to picture in my mind a scene that calms me, so when the contractions would get to be too much, visualizing that place would help. My scene of choice? A field of blooming lavender. . .
This month, take time to do what makes your soul happy. Perhaps getting creative is one of those things. July's schedule includes pressed flower bookmarks, a pressed flower necklace, an essential oil necklace, and learn to paint with acrylics!
We are also introducing a new monthly series we have dubbed ‘Herbs with Cindy’. Join us every 3rd Thursday evening to learn how to use herbs in our daily lives. Cindy Rabe, owner of Moonflower Apothecary, will focus on one herb each month. July's class is all about the wonders of Calendula which has medicinal and culinary uses. In addition to this information-packed session, each participant will make a Calendula oil which helps calm heat rash, eczema, and other skin issues. Calendula plants will also be available so you can grow your own!
Click the link button below to reserve your spot for our classes.
Do you remember keeping a diary when you were young? Journaling is the grownup version of that. Writing can help sort through your thoughts, work through problems, help with stress and anxiety. It doesn't have to be a big thing that takes a lot of time. Here are some tips that have helped me journal:
1. When you don't know what to write, just start writing the first thing that comes to mind. Once the thoughts start flowing, your hand might have trouble keeping up with your mind!
2. Commit to writing for a few minutes every day for a month to make it a habit, but never feel bad about missing a day, or a longer stretch of time. That's the great thing about journaling, you can pick up a pen any time and start again! Make journaling part of your morning routine, or something you do at the end of the day. This also can help establish regular entries.
3. Try to fill up one page every time you journal.
4. Look for a journal with prompts if you need a nudge.
5. If you're not sure where to start, write about your day, decisions that need to be made, or make a list of things you are grateful for. Read a scripture passage and write about how it applies to what you are going through right now.
For me, the best reason to journal has been for reflection. I love looking at entries made years ago when my kids were little. How much I have forgotten about those days, but I'm so thankful that I took the time to write when I was in the thick of it. So just write! Your future self will thank you!
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Until next month, you can find me on Instagram @bellabotanicaboutique or if you are a fellow plant geek, follow along as I post plant pics @beautyseekr. Happy collecting!