Tag Archives: Calm

Let’s talk about the weather.

14 Aug

When I was in Ireland for my summer study abroad program earlier this summer, I took an Irish language class that met twice a week. I was hoping to learn some Irish phrases so that I could come back to the States and impress my friends and family with some Irish, or maybe an accent. Unfortunately, I came back with neither. However, I did learn one interesting thing: The Irish love to talk about the weather. One of my language professors said that in Ireland it’s typical to spend about 15 or 20 minutes every day just talking about the weather, as if it is as important as something that happened at work or an interesting conversation you overhead while standing in line at the grocery store. I found the importance of the weather as a conversation piece very interesting mainly because that’s not how the topic of weather is viewed in the States.

Here if someone brings up the weather as a conversation topic, they’ve done it for 2 reasons: 1. The conversation is so boring or awkward that they’ve settled for discussing the weather or 2. Something big is happening in terms of the weather (i.e there’s a severe storm coming their way or it’s been unseasonably hot). Normally, I think that if the weather is brought up as something to genuinely discuss, the conversation has already been shot to hell. However, imagine how things would change if we put the same emphasis on the topic of the weather as the Irish do. Though we normally view the topic of the weather as a mundane discussion, taking the time to actually sit down and comment on the weather could help us slow down a little bit. It could give us a break, even a small one, to discuss something that seems as simple as brushing our teeth in the morning. When I was in Ireland, I noticed the slow and overall relaxed nature of the Irish. They don’t rush. If the bus is 15 minutes late, it’s not a big deal. The earliest classes begin at 9am rather than 8am. However, forbid them to go into their favorite pub as soon as they get off work at 5pm, and you’ve got trouble.

I know that if I took a few minutes every day to talk about (or at least observe) the weather, it would be a daily reminder to slow down. Though I know that it is a common saying to “Stop and smell the roses,” how many of us really stop and take the time to notice the little things? Maybe today each one of us could try to connect to our Irish roots (that we may or may not have) so that we can be reminded to take things just a little bit slower.

When in Ireland, dream of the Blue Ridges.

20 Jul


Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.-John Muir

The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina are my home, and one week from today, I will be back among their beauty and serenity. I even believe that my coming home calls for a trip to Max Patch Summit, a grassy bald that offers a 360 degree view of mountains. It really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I haven’t been to Max Patch in about 2 years, so it’s definitely time for another trip since Max Patch is quite literally the most inspirational place I know, the perfect place to go and think. The thought of sitting on top of Max Patch all day and just writing my heart out sounds like just what I need after being away from home for the past 5 weeks.

Barbara Kingsolver Quotes.

12 May

Since I’ve been on a recently discovered Barbara Kingsolver kick lately (I just finished The Bean Trees and am now reading Pigs In Heaven), I thought I’d share some Barbara Kingsolver quotes since I haven’t done a quotes post in a while (Quotes obtained from goodreads.com).

  1. “The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”
  2. “Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.”
  3. “It’s what you do that makes your soul.”
  4. “What keeps you going isn’t some fine destination but just the road you’re on, and the fact that you know how to drive. You keep your eyes open, you see this damned-to-hell world you got born into, and you ask yourself, ‘What life can I live that will let me breathe in & out and love somebody or something and not run off screaming into the woods?”
  5. “If we can’t, as artists, improve on real life, we should put down our pencils and go bake bread.”
  6. “In a world as wrong as this one, all we can do is make things as right as we can.”
  7. “Morning always comes.”
  8. “Every one of us is called upon, perhaps many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job…And onward full-tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another–that is surely the basic instinct…Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.”
  9. “Literature duplicates the experience of living in a way that nothing else can, drawing you so fully into another life that you temporarily forget you have one of your own. That is why you read it, and might even sit up in bed till early dawn, throwing your whole tomorrow out of whack, simply to find out what happens to some people who, you know perfectly well, are made up.”
  10. “It’s surprising how much memory is built around things unnoticed at the time. ”
  11. “To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story, and that is the only celebration we mortals really know.”
  12. “She kept swimming out into life because she hadn’t yet found a rock to stand on.”
  13. “In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again
  14. “Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say.”
  15. “That was when we smelled the rain. It was so strong it seemed like more than just a smell. When we stretched out our hands we could practically feel it rising up from the ground. I don’t know how a person could ever describe that scent.”
  16. “If you ask me, when something extraordinary shows up in your life in the middle of the night, you give it a name and make it the best home you can.”
  17. “It’s one thing to carry your life wherever you go. Another thing to always go looking for it somewhere else.”
  18. “Anybody can get worked up, if they have the intention. It’s peacefulness that is hard to come by on purpose.”
  19. “People read books to escape the uncertainties of life.”
  20. “Don’t wait for the muse. She has a lousy work ethic. Writers just write.”

Happy Saturday everyone! Is there a particular author that has some of your favorite quotes? What are they?

Write On Despite The Rain.

18 Apr

Asheville has been hit with a crazy amount of rain over the past few days, but it’s been perfect for me. I forgot how much I love walking in the rain. It’s not exactly my favorite when I have to walk to class (especially when I’m in a hurry), but overall, I love it. I love the way everything smells so much greener after it rains, and I love the sound the rain makes as it hits the leaves of the trees that surround campus. Rain has a different feel to it in the mountains. Instead of something to complain about, it’s something to celebrate. It has a kind of calming effect that is truly hard to describe, but sometimes when it rains, I just sit outside and listen to the pure sound of such a simple thing: rain falling from the sky.

These rainy days haven’t been good for my productivity level however. Even though I did get a good bit of work done on a Humanities paper that’s due on Monday, I’d much rather open my window and curl up with a book and some coffee. Or even better: sleep. Adequate amounts of sleep are rare at college campuses this time of year. It’s the time of year for final projects, presentations, papers and the favorite of all, final exams. Even though my final exams officially begin a week from today, there is still so much to be done before I can even think about studying for that Wednesday final exam. Chief among them is the paper that’s due Monday. Therefore, instead of listening to the rain and reading a good book with some hot coffee at my side, I’ll be working on this Humanities paper until it’s done. I’m hoping that I’ll be finished sooner rather than later, but with papers it’s so hard to tell. One day I may be able to crank out a good 3-4 pages of the 7-page paper, while other days I may struggle just to get one paragraph. Alas, this is college, and I must do what I do best: Write On!

Blue Ridge Parkway Photography.

22 Mar

As my friends and I were driving along the curvy mountain roads of the Blue Ridge Parkway yesterday, I made the comment that the Blue Ridge Parkway isn’t the type of place you can see too many times. Each time I decide to go to the parkway, I feel a different vibe. Whether it’s peaceful, calm, quiet, happy, contemplative…..it’s a place I go to think. Sitting out looking at the beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I’m reminded just how close beauty can be found. In a world full of pain and hardships, there are places along the Blue Ridge Parkway that becon me….urging me to come sit a while on the grass and look out towards the pure awe of nature. I’d like to share a few photos that I captured yesterday, plus one of me and my friends.

We also stayed on the Parkway to see the sunset because I had always wanted to see the sun set over the Blue Ridges since I love mountains and sunset photography, so it seemed like the perfect match. My favorite sunset shot is below. There are more that I’ll share with you during tomorrow’s Photo Friday, so come back soon! 🙂

My favorite shot of the day.

This is my favorite shot due to the colors and the “waves” of clouds that span out from all the colors. I just can never get tired of views like this!


My 100th Post!

6 Feb

It’s hard to believe that I started this blog on November 1st of last year, and I’ve already written 100 posts. I guess that’s what happens when you vow to write a post a day and actually stick to it. It still feels kind of unreal though. I feel like I just started this blog, and already I’ve reached a milestone.

Most of all though, I’d like to thank all of you, my wonderful followers. You’ve helped me see that I’m able to have an impact on others with my words. Also, without all of you, I doubt I would have realized how much I miss writing. Though some people are surprised that I write a post a day, it’s not a challenge for me. It’s something that I want to do and need to do. Even on the days where I don’t have much of anything to say, I still write a post. It’s a routine that I’m scared to break I guess. I just feel like releasing my emotions on a day-to-day basis allows me to feel less stressed and anxious, so not writing a post on a certain day would just feel wrong.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in the library cafe on campus enjoying a vanilla latte and lemon poppy-seed muffin, my current favorite breakfast (even though I hardly ever really eat breakfast). Students are coming in and out to get coffee or snacks between classes. Chit-chat, the whirring sounds of the coffee machine, and the opening and closing of the register drawer surround me. Even though I’m surrounded by life, I’m in my own little world too. Despite being surrounded by the commotion of a typical cafe, at the same time it just feels like I’m the only one here…just me and the calm clicking of the computer keys as I type. I think that’s what this blog has given me over the past few months: a safe place where I can write out what I’m feeling, while also getting support from all of you.

Even through all the different things that I’ll face in the future, I hope to keep this blog going. Scratch that, I will keep it going. Since I’ve gotten into yoga recently, I’ve realized the importance of having time to myself. That’s what my restorative yoga class is on Fridays: “me time.” It’s helped me more than I imagined…allowing me to relax, while also helping me find ways to face day-to-day life with a calmer mind and stronger sense of being. I guess that’s what this blog has been too. Just another dose of “me time.” However, instead of quieting my mind, I’m letting it wander. I’m breaking down the boundaries I’ve kept up for so long and letting go of a lot of things that have held me back in the past….I’m spreading my wings, closing my eyes, and hurdling myself out into the blue sky of life.

Change Is Coming…Ready Or Not?

18 Jan

A few years back, if I was told that certain people in my life wouldn’t be in my life now, I would have probably laughed and said: Yeah right. The thing is, time is a funny, funny thing. And time mixed with a change of location can result in you becoming a different person all together. It can help you grow into the person that you’re meant to be.

I feel like change can be positive or negative, but ultimately, it puts us face to face with our reality. And yes, maybe that reality is harsh at first. But isn’t a big part of living focused on learning how to make the best of our reality? I used to constantly think about the negative impact of things, and I guess I have yoga to thank for helping me think more positively. But I don’t think it’s always “thinking positive.” I think it also is important to realize that we’re not in complete control (though many of us would like to think so). I think it’s just important to also see that we’ve just got to try to make the best of every situation, even if that means making some hard decisions at the time. I mean, our whole lives revolve around making decisions. And yeah, we are going to make some mistakes along the way. But without mistakes, we wouldn’t be human. So we might as well make the best of it, flaws and all, right?

Life isn’t full of sunshine and rainbows. There are storms and curves in the road and lots of detours. But life wouldn’t be worth it without all the hard stuff. I mean, without hardship, we wouldn’t be able to understand the true feeling of happiness. I mean, we’d know we were happy, but there wouldn’t be a polar opposite to compare it to. Change is a big part of life, and even if we try to run from it, it’ll smack us in the face anyway. So instead of running away or fighting it, why not try to at least remain calm in the face of change. Yes, that’s way harder than it sounds, and I know. But by calming our minds, we become more aware of the world around us and are better prepared to make intellectual decisions without our judgement being clouded with fear and uncertainty. All we’ve got is right now. And change is coming. And by being aware of the coming change, we’ll feel more calm when we’re faced with difficulty in the future.