“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
Bonjour and happy, happy spring. This time of the year is a beautiful reminder to explore our own opportunities to grow, bloom, and flourish along with the natural world.
Although the year has been a bit of a blur filled with profound grief due to my beloved 99-year-old Gramma's passing, I'm hopeful of tranquility to come. I began 2012 with the launch of Tranquilologie (love!) and time in New York at a yoga gathering filled with intense, blissful yoga, inspiring talks by the likes of Kris Carr, Simone Reyes, and Neil Barnard, and playtime with friends. The following week my Gramma was transitioned to hospice care and my world shifted. I flew to Texas for cuddles and then returned to Mexico for art journaling with Lisa Sonora Beam while processing my Gramma's decline. More visits to Texas followed, including the final one in February when she took a quick decline and left her body on February 20. During this time I interviewed for my final Master's in Social Work internship and was offered a position with Amtrak's Employee Assistance Program. My grief has been most consuming and forced me to make changes including a semi-sabbatical from day-to-day operations at Tranquil Space to focus on processing the grief and finishing my final year of graduate studies. Whew! It's been an intense few months and I have lots to process from all that has transpired.
Despite the new year's challenges, I am grateful for the many lessons that continue to come my way. Life is full of them and sometimes they aren't necessarily ones we'd sign up for, but are needed nonetheless. I'm reading a wonderful book called Grieving Mindfully: A Compassionate and Spiritual Guide to Coping with Loss. It's filled with great gems on the many lessons that transition and loss teach us.
As I move forward with the year, I'm looking forward to hosting a lovely group of ladies for my April Art + Yoga Retreat (3 spots left), two France Art + Yoga Retreats (4 spots left), doing lots of reading, finishing up my spring semester and being sans summer school, my weekly sewing classes, exploring more DIY creative projects, heaps of yoga and hot baths, finishing my journal for The Sketchbook Project, and interviewing lots of inspiring ladies for Tranquility du Jour podcast.
As we move into this sacred season of rebirth, I hope that you, too, will take time to explore what lies within and is ready to bloom. Take a walk among the cherry blossoms, make a terrarium, sip iced green tea at a cafe, do legs up the wall, take your journal to an art gallery and sketch, organize your bookshelves, or do a juicy yoga class and let your heart open.
I hope you enjoy this spring edition of Tranquility du Jour's Museletter - you'll find a peek at TranquiliT's spring collection, artistic play inspiration, favorite yoga poses, do-gooding tips, and savvy sources. If you have any tips or love notes, please pass them along. J'adore hearing from you!
Below are a few upcoming adventures for indulging in tranquilologie and I look forward to connecting in spirit or in person:
1. E-courses = 4-week Tranquility Project e-course begins April 4th and outlines ways to live life fully, with tranquility, and a dash of flair. The four sessions focus on her favorite tranquility tools and are broken out into mind, body, soul, and a combo module. Two of the ecourses are ongoing, and you can start anytime: Creative and Conscious Business and Tranquil Space Lifestyle. The other fab e-courses are released on a schedule - take a look to the left or read the details here.
2. Classes + Workshops in DC = weekly yoga + meditation classes, hip-hop yoga, and an urban women's retreat. Details here.
3. Yoga + Art Retreats = Indulge in yoga, goal setting, meditation, and creative play at a cozy cabin in West Virginia. Details here.
4. Paris + Provence Art + Yoga Retreat = The journey begins with two decadent days spent exploring the City of Lights as your heart desires - tiptoeing through the Tuileries, browsing vintage shops and bookstores, walking along the Seine, indulging at a hamam (Turkish bath), window shopping along the Champs Élysées, visiting Mona Lisa at the Louvre or a favorite Monet at Musée d'Orsay, enjoying a macaron at Ladurée, or sipping a cup of café au lait at one of the countless sidewalk cafés. Each day in Provence will begin with a leisurely breakfast, sun salutations and a creative yoga flow, followed by led art journaling. Details here.
5. Spring Tranquilologie Podcast = Join me for a seasonal one-hour seasonal podcast from the comfort of your own home with your journal, cup of tea, and pen in hand. Details here.
6. On the Road = join me in Richmond, VA and Shepherdstown, WV this spring. Details here.
Guess what? TranquiliT turns 10 years old this year! Yep, a whole decade of serving up locally sewn, eco-friendly fashion with a personal touch.
This week we launched our latest collection featuring tangerine and ink plus 12 new designs such as our 2in1 maxi dress, sleeveless mod tunic, cowl neck top, crop top, hi lo skirt, pedal pushers, and maxi skirt. In addition, we've added new goodies to our vintage/reclaimed offerings in spring shades such as sheath dresses, tiered dresses, and sparkly vintage sweaters.
To honor our newsletter subscribers, we're offering 25% off your entire order now through March 31 with code SPRINGBLOOM. Enjoy and thank you for your support!
This January I returned to Mexico for a week of art journaling and began the journey by putting together my annual goals in fun format: a dreams booklet to tote with me in daily life. Here are a few simple steps to make your own:
1. Choose heading to put at the top of colorful index cards, note cards, postcards, or whatever you choose to use. I chose my 4 organizations plus a personal one.
2. List the goals you have for each of the categories.
3. Once you have your goals for each category, create action steps for each goal. For example, here’s one of mine under my KW heading: “Goal: Health. Action Steps: Daily yoga, gym 3-5 X/week, morning green juices, weekly artist dates, vegan diet, mindfulness practice, dance classes, time in nature."
4. Once you’ve written your goals and action steps onto your pretty paper, punch a hole into the top corner of the cards, and thread a ribbon or baker’s twine through it. Voilà, you now have the cutest, personalized dream booklet ever.
Place this artistic creation of your dreams inside something you tote daily. Use this colorful guidepost to help you make daily decisions aligned with your dreams.
Butterfly: Yin Yoga Pose
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~ Maya Angelou
This yoga pose works wonders on stretching the lower back and is stimulates the kidney meridian of the body – considered critical to fluid energy flow. Meridians (based on Chinese medicine) are invisible pathways through which energy flows. During an acupuncture session, needles are inserted into meridians to open blocked energy and allow it to flow freely through meridians. Yin yoga has a similar effect sans needles! Each pose stimulates a certain meridian and stretches the connective tissue of the body – rather than muscle in a typical yoga class.
To begin, sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Move your feet forward so that they form a diamond shape. Your knees will resemble butterfly wings – hence the pose name. Bend forward from your hips and round your spine. Let your head rest into the soles of your feet or onto a blanket or pillow that you place between your head and feet. Take deep full breaths and stay here one to five minutes.
With yoga we want to avoid pain. Find that sweet spot of sensation located between stagnation and pain. In yoga – and life – it’s referred to as “finding your edge.” If you are feeling any discomfort beyond strong sensation, back out of the pose by adding another pillow or lessening the time you hold the pose.
Benefits: Stimulating the kidney meridian helps to balance bodily fluids in the blood and circulatory system, lymphatic system, endocrine system, and urinary system; helps regulate blood pressure; offers an emotional opening and releases fear.
Omwork (homework with a yogic twist): Try a yin yoga class on DVD or at Tranquil Space. Pay attention to your energy – do you feel depleted or energized? Sit it butterfly for a few minutes a day. Note how it feels and observe your progression. Yoga is a journey and yin yoga is a yummy, slow, quiet practice.
I have a favorite quote by Maya Angelou that speaks to this season's do-gooding section, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Powerful! Considering I spent time over the weekend pulling together lots of sweet details for upcoming events, this idea is fresh on my mind.
Often do-gooding is associated with philanthropy, donating money, and volunteering. Yet do-gooding is something we can do every single day by simply practicing kindness and making each moment special. For example, try tucking a love note inside your partner's jacket or inside your child's lunch box so so they'll find it when least expected. Or set your table in a way that shows you care by infusing simple touches such as candles, flowers, doilies, and inspirational cards. I've recently fallen in love with chalkboard contact paper and love to add it to reused jars to pen a love note or name to the drinking glass or vase.
There are many ways to do-good in everyday life and they don't always involve penning a check to a favorite charity (although that is lovely, too). It may be as simple as tying a bow around a gift, smiling at a stranger, adopting a pet, sponsoring a farm animal, or sending care packages to loved ones. Let your life be an example of kindness, compassionate giving, and relishing in simple pleasures. After all, it IS how we make people feel that is most important.
Anthology Magazine: A wonderful source of inspiration
French Striped Top: The perfect staple for Paris
Ruche Blog: Heaps of DIY inspiration
Yoga for Emotional Balance Book: Beautiful insights
The Artist: Moving movie and lovely soundtrack
The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking: J'adore this book