At the beginning of every month I round up the small things that I loved from the month prior. This practice has helped me cultivate a deeper gratitude for everything in my life. It has also helped me dive deeper into the slow living lifestyle that I’ve been working on creating for myself. Not only that but this practice helped me keep my head afloat throughout winter. Typically in December, January and February (and sometimes March) I struggle with seasonal depression. But, this year was different and I swear that this practice helped me to maintain a positive mindset! Without further adieu… here are the things I loved in April 2023.
If you’re new here – I’m going to let you in on a little secret… and if you’re not new here… you already know. I🌸LOVE🌸FLOWERS! Flowers are one of my favorite “little luxuries” in life and I believe that flowers are one of the things that proves we have a birthright to experience beauty. We don’t have to spend a dime to marvel in the beauty of flowers – we just have to take a walk outside. And April proved that! There were flowers in bloom on so many of the trees along the typical route I walk. And, just when the flowers started to shed and turn into leaves… more trees bloomed! April was a great month for a flower lover such as myself.
Energy Work + Healing Sessions
To say that April was a healing month would be an understatement. I’ve mentioned in the Things I Loved: December article as well as the Things I’m Doing this Autumn to Support my Mind, Body and Soul article about my Ayurvedic massages with Chynna Dee. In April I had the pleasure of an Ayurvedic massage with Chynna as well as attending a retreat with Chynna on a regenerative farm and Ashram in Upstate NY.
Before the massage I set the intention to release an old habit that, I feel, has been holding me back and hindering my growth. A few moments later Chynna had me pull a card and lo and behold – the card reiterated my intention to me. Stating: “I shed habits that hinder my truth, I release and renew”. The synchronicities were syncing that day!
I also attended Chynna’s Neurogenic Yoga and Trauma Release retreat at a regenerative farm and Ashram in Upstate NY in April. I’ve been a huge fan of the spaces that Chynna creates since first attending Nina’s Amalfi Coast Retreat where Chynna co-hosted, offering daily yoga, meditation and breath-work. That retreat changed my life and since then I’ve continued working with Chynna and I’m so grateful to have attended this first retreat of hers.
This retreat gave me the space to re-connect with nature and the beautiful, bountiful land the farm is located on. The opportunity to connect with a community of women – something my soul has been craving. The opportunity to connect with stillness – by putting my phone on airplane mode for the four days and through meditation and ceremony. But most importantly, it gave me the opportunity to connect with myself. To allow myself to feel what was bubbling up to the surface to be released. The modalities that Chynna taught us (which are modalities we were able to bring home to practice further) helped me to physically release old, stagnant traumas that have been pent up in my body through tremoring. If you want to see more ‘behind the scenes’ from the retreat you can watch my TikTok video here.
Signs + Synchronicities
I’m big on signs from God or the Universe (or perhaps from both!). And April had many, however I was in such a state of bliss that I didn’t really capture many of them in photos. Many times those moments where I see a sign or a synchronicity become deeply emotionally profound and I often just sit with the moment – thanking God for showing me I’m on the right path or reaffirming a decision I made was the correct one. However! I did catch a couple that were too good not to share.
I feel like I’ve been on the verge of closing “Volume One” of my life. That the next “chapter” for me is so big that calling it a “chapter” is undermining it. That I’m on the verge of the next book of my life. And within that new book is a story of a woman who deeply and unapologetically loves herself.
While I was cleaning up some old papers I found a little bag of mementos from trips of my past and in that I found a magazine clipping (God knows how old it is) that reiterated my feelings, “I feel this desire to throw away the story I’ve been telling for years. Cheers – to a new story!”. And while on a walk through my neighborhood I stumbled upon a message in sidewalk chalk: I 💖 ME.
like, C’mon. LOL 🥂Cheers – to the new story!
While I didn’t capture a ton of sunsets this month – I did have a few moments of deep appreciation for the sun. We even a little taste of summer where the weather got up to 80° (26.5°C) one day. However, I am glad that the weather cooled back down so we can appreciate Spring in it’s glory without pushing Summer on us. I, will not, complain about sitting in and fully enjoying that warm sun though – it was a glorious afternoon!
I also had a moment of appreciation for the way the setting sun reflected off of my neighbors home through the kitchen windows. Lately, I’ve been feeling crammed on Long Island – there isn’t a ton of ~space~ and I feel squished in between a lot of other people, buildings and cars. So, finding this moment of appreciation for the sunlight on my neighbors home (which is just a tiny stones toss from our home) helped me to reframe some of what I’ve been feeling and find gratitude instead of resentment.
Eats, Sweets and Treats
It’s no secret that I love delicious eats! I think that food is easily one of life’s greatest pleasures. Friendly reminder: so long as you’re not overindulging and only finding pleasure through food! April had lots of delicious eats and plenty of sweets and treats, as well.
I miss living in Italy, a lot. The cuisine there is just to die for and a lot of it comes from the simplicity of the ingredients. (You can read more about what I’ve learned about the slow food movement, as well as 18 other life lessons, from Italy in my article here.) In April I had a taste of Italy with a delicious Naples style pizza from Naples Street Food in Oceanside, NY. (In typical Italian fashion – they don’t have a website but they do have a Facebook page!)
Dessert is definitely one of my favorite food groups. Celebrating Easter this year with my big-fat-Italian-American family was a special treat because there was a 1-3 dessert to person ratio. We had SO MANY desserts from lemon meringue pies to tiramisu to chocolate cake to limoncello tiramisu to cookies to cinnamon butter cake to apple pie and so much more. This spread was a serious treat!
The start of Spring also means that some of my favorite fruits and veggies are starting to come into season! As I mentioned in my article Things I’m Doing this Spring to Support my Mind, Body and Soul – I eat with the season. Meaning, if its not in season – I don’t eat it. April brought on mission figs! I love figs so much and had such fun playing with how I ate them. I put a few into a yogurt bowl one morning with berries and hemp seeds and the following afternoon I made a mission fig, sautéed spinach, avocado, mozzarella/gruyere grilled cheese on sourdough. OH. MY GOD. It was amazing.
Spring means that it’s also oyster season on Long Island! On that particularly warm afternoon I met a friend for lunch and we indulged in a dozen local oysters.
I’ve also been experimenting with different beverages. I consider myself to be in my raw milk beverage era and I really love that so much for me. In April I made myself some raw milk iced matcha lattes – experimenting with different infusions. My favorite was rose infused! I also made a warm raw milk and raw colostrum beverage one morning – mixing it with raw honey and topping it with local bee pollen.
I’ve also been experimenting with different healthier spins on my favorite sweet treats. In April I made “almond joy bites” and they did. not. disappoint.
I also went to dinner to celebrate one of my cousin and one of my aunts April birthdays and while the dinner itself was delicious – this rainbow cookie cake really stole the show for me!
I believe that to experience beauty is one of our birthrights as humans. I also believe that to experience that beauty you have to be really present with life in order to notice that its all around us. In April I was lucky enough to experience a lot of beauty and pretty things. However, similar to the signs and synchronicities – I was so present with them that I didn’t capture them on camera. Except for the stunning reflection of the sun off of my mug on the kitchen counter one morning.
Rounding up April was so fun for me. It was a month full of growth, releasing, joy, beauty, and lots of sweetness. I know I say it every month but I’m so grateful for this practice and how it reminds me that there’s so much beauty in my life when I slow down to recognize it. What were you grateful for in April?