Welcome to Tuesdays with Chel.
Each week Chel Micheline of gingerblue dot com will offer her perspectives on our Bliss Habits. Please enjoy the wisdom and clarity she offers.
I was going to write this long thing about surprises and how it relates to change and blah blah blah, but I decided to go at the topic of “Surprise” from another direction, inspired by a song from india.arie.
The lyrics go:
“Early in the morning
It’s the dawn of a new day
New hopes, new dreams, new ways.
I open up my eyes and I open up my mind and
I wonder how life will surprise me today.”
I have been listening to this song for a few weeks now (it’s in rotation in my current iTunes playlist) and today I started asking myself the question: how *has* life surprised me these past few days?
I thought I might share my list with you.
1. I got some amazing life advice this morning that I will share with you. The “surprise” comes from the fact it makes so much sense.
The things that you most want to hear from someone in your life (examples: “You’re doing great!” “You are enough.” “I’m so glad I know you.” “I’m so proud of you.” “I LOVE you.”) are things that you should be *telling* others. If you are feeling a need for certain words, some certain specific encouragement, there is likely there is someone close to you who needs to hear the same thing.
And it is empowering to be the messenger, especially when it’s a message that is desperately needed.
So I challenge you- right now (I’ll wait)… think about what you most want to hear, the words that would mean the most to you at this VERY moment, the words that would be a balm for your soul, and go find someone in your life who you think might need to hear those same words. Say them. Mean them. And tell me if that doesn’t make things better for *both* of you in a very big way.
2. I found a gloxinia at Trader Joe’s. When I first started gardening, all I knew was that I wanted a gloxinia. I had one a few years ago and I loved it (but killed it) and I wanted to make amends. So I searched high and low for a gloxinia – all the local nurseries (and I do mean *all* of them), the home improvement stores, etc. Then I ordered some seeds (ha ha ha HA HA) online- clearly, they didn’t grow. Finally, one of the online nurseries I shop at had them for sale for about two seconds last spring and I nabbed two bulbs.
So imagine my surprise when I walk into Trader Joe’s last night to do some grocery shopping and they have a giant display of them? For $6 each?! I did get one. I couldn’t resist. It’s a double blossom and it’s *so* pretty. So now I have three.
3. I really love Hazelnut tea. Out of all the tea flavors at Adagio I put off trying Hazelnut because… I don’t like nuts. I like peanut butter, but nuts in a bowl kinda stuff make me a little sick to my stomach. So tea that tasted like nuts? Ugh. But I got desperate for a new tea flavor and ordered a sample of the Hazelnut. And, its, like, AMAZING. It smells amazing, it tastes amazing. Happy surprise!
4. The realization that I don’t have to finish reading a book if I don’t love it. It’s not worth the time. I can just move on to the next book in the pile.
5. Mrs. Meyers lavender detergent is pretty great. It doesn’t really scent our laundry (which is too bad), but our laundry room, especially inside the dryer, smells all sorts of great. Doing laundry is slightly less of a drag when I walk in there and it smells like a flower field.
6. Going to bed and getting up just an hour earlier every day has made a TREMENDOUS difference in my amount of “useful time” during the day. I don’t understand why, but I’m rolling with it.
7. It rained today- not enough to keep me out of the pool (the only thing that does that is lightning) but enough that I didn’t have to water my plants today and I probably won’t have to tomorrow. I LOVE gardening, but the break is appreciated!
8. Asking for love and support when you need it is an excellent thing. People step right up to give it to you when you let them know you need some. (It’s been a hormonal/PMS-y kinda week for me.)
9. I have a rose and two snapdragons growing in my garden. I *did* plant some seeds for them last summer (almost a year ago) but the seeds never did anything and I dumped the pots of soil back into the bin where I keep the dirt. A few months ago I filled two pots with dirt and planted some salvia seeds and now there are giant, flower-y snapdragons and a little rose bush in my garden. Happy surprise that definitely threw me for a BIG loop when they started growing.
10. I forgot how much fun shopping at Target can be. And then you get a discount on top for using your Target card…
11. Menu change at our favorite restaurant turns out to be a great thing, because there’s stuff on there that I love even more than our “regular” favorites. Also, Cheesecake Factory brought back their veggie burgers. Now if Trader Joe’s would bring back their spinach egg rolls, we’d be in business.
12. I forgot May is not only my birthday, but Mother’s Day. So I just might be getting that comfy-rocker-swivel patio chair I have been pining over before the summer starts rather than having to wait until after the summer is over to get it on sale. I am *very* excited about this. My porch swing is great, but it’s impossible to work or write or so much of anything besides read when I’m curled up in it. I’m very excited to have a big comfy chair to sit in and be able to write and sketch and paint while I’m in it.
13. I’m starting to like my own handwriting. I don’t *love* it, but I don’t hate it anymore. Hmmmm….
14. I found out that our favorite frozen yogurt place has chocolate sauce. I know this sounds silly, but we go there every week as a treat and it just makes it even better. I had no idea that chocolate sauce was exactly what I needed to make my life better, but there you go.
15. Slipping back into regular mindful practice, especially meditation, was easier than I thought it was going to be.
16. I won an awesome box of craft goodies from American Crafts.
17. Now I have a surprise for you. If you made it this far, leave me a comment sharing how life has surprised *you* lately. Comments will be accepted up until Sunday April 29th at 12am, eastern time. I’ll pick a commenter via random-number-generator and send that person a $15 gift certificate for Amazon.com (the US site). I will be EMAILING the certificate so leave a working email address in your comment. Good luck!