7/31 & 1440 {110} :: Kindness & A Daily Retreat

i used to ‘reward’ myself at the end of the day… constantly encouraging myself, if you get this {this, this and this} done, then you can … {read} {take your camera up to the field} {scrapbook} {watch that show} {knit} {take a long bath} {get coffee with her tomorrow} {insert that little thing which you love to do}. the problem was, even when i was able to get that list checked off, i rarely had the time or energy for my self-proclaimed reward.

then i decided that getting my family off to start their days successfully was enough of an excuse for an early morning reward. so as soon as the house is quiet again, sometimes as early as 6:30am, i start a load of laundry, get the dishes out of the sink, and then claim my reward.:)usually a cup of coffee and a favorite blog, sometimes a quick adventure with my camera, sometimes morning news and my latest crocheting project… snuggled up in my bed with a cup of coffee, steam rising and fragrancing my room with that warm, earthy scent… the perfect kindness retreat. it is a soft moment in what usually ends up being a chaotic day in our busy lives, and it is so refreshing, so rewarding that it actually motivates me through the day. i still get my list checked off; i just tend to do it with a much better, much more pleasant and much less resentful attitude. {this gift of kindness to myself ends up being a gift of kindness to my family, doesn’t it?}

allow yourself a daily kindness retreat… something small, something you love to help you through the day. it might be a cup of coffee brought in to work, a lunchtime walk with a favorite co-worker, meeting your spouse in the middle of the day, a quiet walk through your favorite boutique… 30 mins to read or bathe or practice your art. it will nurture your spirit and provide you with the fuel you need to be present for and kind to others.



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Roxi - October 10, 2014 - 8:41 pm

Great advice. Days do go better if there is a little self nurturing.

Diane - October 11, 2014 - 6:04 am

Resentment; I found myself thinking about this the other day and now I stumble upon your post and there it is again… Message received! I have a lot of it bottled up, I must deal with it before it breaks me.

[…] Kindness & A Daily Retreat and Kindness to Self – Finding Serendipity. Interestingly enough, my Coach recently emailed me back and one of the things she asked me was how I’m practicing self-care right now. I really think that the biggest way I am kind to myself – and my daily retreat is that hour or so I spend writing every morning. Somewhat ironically, the timing of that hour prompted the question. *Said as I yawn because I got up after sleeping for just 2 hours so I could go to a photography meet-up* […]

6/31 :: Be Kind To Yourself

via pinterest, for sale on etsy

i don’t think most of us even realize how UNKIND we are to ourselves. we neglect our bodies, we ignore our spirits, we don’t have time for self-improvement.  we talk ugly to ourselves all.day.long. i don’t know why we think we can continue to nurture those around us, when we don’t take care of the vehicle we need to do so.

we need to nourish and exercise our bodies so we have the strength and endurance to care for others. we need to create, to practice fellowship with others, to dream, to pray, to give ourselves time so that we have the desire to care for others. we need to learn, to read, to attend church services, to practice so that we are capable of caring for others.

and we certainly don’t need to bully ourselves anymore.



courtesy of Tracy Villaume
Tracy Villaume and her daughter Emma.

For her #30DayDetox, Tracy Villaume, 43, is going to give up saying anything negative about herself — especially in front of her daughter. “My daughter is 5 years old and yesterday told me that she thinks she is getting fat (she is tiny),” she told us. “I could only surmise that the question comes from my constant angst and negative verbalization about the way that I look.” So for the next 30 days, Tracy is going to focus on stopping herself before saying anything bad about her own body.  [www.today.com]

She reported after an early checkin, “I audibly said that I looked lousy,” she told TODAY. “I immediately turned around, not knowing if she caught it…but I got her attention and I paid the penalty I set for myself, and I told her three nice things about the way that I thought I looked.”

Since starting the detox, Tracy’s realized that what she says doesn’t always reflect how she feels about herself, but has simply become a habit, which has been tough to break. But she hopes this new awareness can help her make a change — one that’s lasts beyond these 30 days: “I’m way more focused.” [www.today.com]

At the end of the 30 day detox, Tracy reported that she felt better about herself, she felt more relaxed and had more time.

it occurred to me, after following this story, that we probably don’t even realize how often we speak negatively about ourselves, both aloud and to ourselves. as Tracy reported, it’s simply a habit. {and we are teaching it to our children!} 

i have two challenges for you today: 

|| o n e ||  notice your own negative language and thoughts. how much of your day is occupied by self-inflicted negativity?

|| t w o ||  cease. stop speaking unkindly to yourself and about yourself for the remainder of our 31 days together. {my guess is this will have such a positive affect that you will continue to let go of the negative self-speech after that, too.}

via pinterest


5/31 :: The Inner Circle


i think many of us support a cause, something that has become a place where we place our efforts… our support, our energy, our monies, our prayers… our blog posts.:) but i would submit to you that if we are not taking care of our inner circle, it doesn’t matter much how we’re helping others. i’m all about supporting efforts to stop hunger and rescue stray animals, but to what end if i’m neglecting {or simply not putting the same amount of energy into caring for} my own family and friends?

let’s spend the next couple of days discussing why it’s important to be kind to our inner circle, those closest to us, first. we’ll begin tomorrow with a conversation about being kind to ourselves, and radiate out from there.



[…] on to the next layer of our inner circle, we will be chatting about kindness in marriage over the next few days. i hope you’ll join us […]

4/31 :: Then, Act

{Notice. Then act.}

**this is a repost from earlier this summer, but i felt it was perfect for the message

1440 {109} & 3/31 Days :: To Be Present & To Observe

i confess, i like technology.
i like reading from my back-lit nook at night while my husband sleeps right next to me.
i use my cell phone all.day.long., and i especially like using it to look up words and facts, things i’m hearing right then and there.
i use the gps weekly, running from volleyball games to exploring back country roads with my husband.
i listen to news all day on satellite, unless i’m blogging, and then i often listen to pandora.
and like you, no doubt, i’m busy. so busy. i thought by the time i had two in college, life would slow down… but i’m as busy as ever. it seems i have a million unrelated responsibilities, chores, to-do’s… and it so easy for things to fall through the cracks, which leaves my brain reeling in self-depricating thoughts.
who has the time to think, much less observe?
and still, i know, all these i do all day long, these i do while my brain is thinking of what’s next and my senses are overwhelmed with extra stimuli, are being half-done when i’m not present… in the moment. why am i running to my daughter’s volleyball game, if i sit in the bleachers making lists of what else i have yet to do?
i imagine if i shake myself free of all this clutter that my eyes would truly see a beautiful world.
and when i  can truly observe, i can interact with and react to the things i see.
kindness is a reaction to a need observed.
we can’t practice kindness if we can’t observe others’ needs.
challenge :: practice observing. turn off the technology, and listen. talk to the people you pass. hear what they tell you. watch their faces as they speak.
begin to notice.
if you are new here, or here for 31 days, i host a weekly link party. it’s all about noticing the beauty around us. and if you are here for 1440, i’m participating in the 31 day challenge… 31 days of writing on a single topic. and my topic is kindness.

Buckeroomama - October 3, 2014 - 6:08 am

Absolutely gorgeous images! I love how sharp yet soft they are… so lovely.

Dina Lettre - October 3, 2014 - 11:42 am

Amazing light, Patty. Beautiful!

Dawn - October 3, 2014 - 2:09 pm

Patty, once again you have enlightened us with the truth. Twice a year my family does what I call a black out week. (My kids call it Amish week) As a family we give up phones (except for pressing matters) computers, ipads, ipods and TV for the whole week. I have to admit it is really had the first 2 days, but on that third day you see the difference and hear the difference. WE are actually listening and paying attention to each other.Looking for creative ways to spend our time. Reading becomes a necessity and our time seems so much more meaningful. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology and realize the benefits of having it, but it’s so refreshing to the soul to “fast” from the distractions and just notice the little things.

Jen Allen - October 3, 2014 - 6:00 pm

As always these are such incredibly beautiful photos. Thank you!

artmusedog and carol - October 3, 2014 - 9:22 pm

Wonderful post and gorgeous series of nature photography ~ all very creative!

artmusedog and carol ~ A Creative Harbor
Happy Weekend to you!

Kathy - October 4, 2014 - 12:00 am

Oh my goodness…soooo much bokeh to love here :)

Suzanne - October 4, 2014 - 1:38 am

Isn’t the world so much
noisier now than when
we were younger? In the
“olden days,” things got
quieter as you aged, but
now we don’t have that
in the technological world
in which we live, unless
we are conscious about
making it quiet, at least
in our hearts and minds.
Still. Calm. Observant.

LOVE your prompt!

xo Suzanne

[…] To Be Present & Observe – Finding Serendipity. I seriously want to spend a day with her. I want to be able to create photos like that. […]

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